The Witches' Ladder
Knots, cords, beads feathers, bones, sticks and stones - the Witches'
Ladder is made up of any combination of these things. Simple and
effective, the Witches' Ladder incorporates basic knot magic with
elemental correspondences to create a distinctive and powerful
talisman that you can hang in your home for protection or give as a
gift to your friends for one of the sabbats.
A Witches' Ladder is a length of cord that is knotted to hold feathers
or other objects. It is used in multiple-part spell or consecration
practice that takes place over the span of a lunar month, though you
could construct one based on planetary hours, or tie it at the same
time each day, or link it to a certain sabbat or Full Moon etc. The
important thing is to remain consistent and to repeat the same
procedure each time so that you keep charging the ladder the same way
each time. This is part of the power of this particular charm, as it
is a highly charged and potent reservoir for certain very specific
energies reinforced by selected correspondences. Thus you can make a
Witches' Ladder for home protection, fertility, prosperity, and so on.
To make a Witches' Ladder, first cut a length of stout cord. Colored
silk cords are attractive, but leather strips or macram?? can also be
used. Be sure to pick a color that corresponds to your goal, such as
green for prosperity, blue for healing, and white for protection. I
prefer to keep things manageable, so I recommend that you cut the cord
at about eighteen inches or thereabouts. Cut as many lengths as you
plan to make your ladders with. If you are planning on braiding your
ladder, you'll need as many lengths as you care to braid together.
Whether you want three, five, seven or more is up to you, though I'd
stick with three or five. You might want to seal the ends with candle
Loosely roll up each length of your cord and use a small piece of
scrap cord to tie into a bundle. Fumigate the little bundles with
incense smoke and ritually cleanse them with the elements. Then place
each set of cords into a black fabric sack, or wrap them in a square
of cloth or handkerchief. If you like, you can add a few pieces of
gemstone, some herbs, or whatever other purification or blessing
materials you care to include at this time. Store the unifinished
ladder components in this bag, a cloth, or somewhere dark and safe
until it's time to work on the ladder.
When the time is right, take your packet of cords into sacred space
and begin tying them onto rings or tie a loop into the top part.
Select the objects you intend to incorporate into your ladder -
feathers, shells, beads, crystals, etc. Be sure to pick objects that
relate best to your goals, like tiny brass bells for a ladder of
protection or small scraps of hand-made paper on which you've sketched
a sigil or set of runes, rolled up and tied into the ladder. You might
like to try using feathers that you braid into the ladder; much like
is done for a prayer stick. Use your imagination and creativity.
Tie one object - such as a feather or a piece of rock crystal - into
the cord, or braid the cord a bit, and then insert the object. As you
do this, you may wish to use a chant of visualize your intentions as
vividly as possible and thus embed them to seal in the power. If
working with a group, you could have the group raise power to charge
the ladder and then complete the whole piece in one session. If you're
on your own, you'll probably want to do a section at a time. There's
something to be said for slowly accumulating power and letting
something like this develop and grow over a period of time.
If you are doing the ladder in stages, be sure to clamp or twist-tie
the braid and return it to the bag or cloth. Repeat this every night
for a month, or whenever the timing is right, whether that's once a
month, once a year, ot every odd numbered day - select the scheme that
worked best for you and stick with it.
Basic Witches' Ladder Chant
By knot of ONE, the spell's begun *--------
By knot of TWO, it cometh true *-------*
By knot of THREE, so mote it be *---*---*
By knot of FOUR, this power I store *-*-*---*
By knot of FIVE, the spell's alive *-*-*-*-*
By knot of SIX, this spell I fix ***-*-*-*
By knot of SEVEN, events I'll leaven ***-*-***
By knot of EIGHT, it will be Fate *****-***
By knot of NINE, what's done is mine *********
At the tying of the last (ninth) knot, all the energy is directed into
the cord and its knots, with a final visualization of the object of
the work. The power has been raised and is now "stored" in these
knots in the cord.
Why would you want to store a spell? For some magick, the time for it
to happen is important. Suppose, for example, that you want something
constructive to happen but the most propitious time for it to do so
happens to be close to the New Moon. Do you do your constructive
magick during the Waxing Moon? No. You do it early on, at the Full
Moon, using a cord. Now the power is there, properly raised, but
stored for use.
You have nine knots. Although they are all tied in one ritual, these
must be released one at a time - one a day - for nine consecutive
days. Release them in the same order in which they were tied, NOT the
reverse order. In other words, on the first day untie the knot that
was first tied (to know which end you started with, when making the
cord, braid in a small wooden bead at one end and always start with
this end); on the second day, the second knot tied; and so on. In
this fashion, the last knot untied, on the ninth day, is the ninth
knot that was tied at the climax of the tying ritual - the time of
greatest power. Each day, before you actually untie, do your
concentration on what is to happen, rocking and again building power.
Then, as you release the knot, release the power also with a shout.
Witches Ladder for Comfort and Blessing
If you want to do a spell to comfort [a sick friend] , try making a
witch's ladder. Take a long blue cord or ribbon, and collect 7
symbols to hang from it -- things like Grey feathers for protection
during sleep, sprigs of healing herbs, garlic for healing and
protection, small talismans, conjure bags, charms you get the idea.
The important thing is that the symbols should represent comfort,
protection, and healing. Tie them to the cord and charge it with
Posted to: Massachusetts Pagans Yahoo Group
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