Fall has come, and the copious chestnut trees on my property have started dropping their abundance. I bought the house too late to make use of the hulls, but I immediately started having ideas for them. This year, I had a bountiful harvest, some sixty gallons or so of just hulls, and about ten gallons of (mostly grub-ridden lol) chestnuts. And more ideas came to mind.
What's more, this is an entirely natural item which biodegrades, so there is no real risk of any harm if it is left in nature or buried (as long as there's no risk on stepping on it lol).
I thought it would be best to frame this in terms of improvisational witchcraft, as none of this is part of any formalized method or tradition as far as I am aware. So here goes:
Something to know about chestnut hulls, since I never knew until I first encountered some at a rest stop on a road trip with my family when I was a kid: They're spiky as all get-out! They're worth a web search if you're not aware, and a lot of this revolves around their spikiness!
One of the first things I noticed about the hulls from the chestnuts is that they split into quarters when they open -- at least most of them do. And the hulls contain a nut; they are a container, and remain as such in principle, even when split! So, it immediately occurred to me that anything enclosed within the four quarters of the hull could be considered being within it. Spikes facing outward, this is amazingly symbolic of protection for a home.
So, first item: Place a quarter of the same hull at the four corners of a room, an apartment, a home, or a property for protection magic.
Additionally , these are spiky, all over. That makes them a good candidate as a component in a witch jar. Simply break them up into the jar for some spiky repellant against potential aggressors.
But then it occurred to me: The hull itself is a container. It can be enclosed around a tag lock or any other kind of representation for sympathetic protection. Say, write your name on a small piece of paper, and close the hull around it. Wrap it in a little jute twine to hold it together, and boom! A representation of yourself is completely surrounded by protective spikes!
While I was collecting chestnuts , I realized some of the hulls don't open completely to release their contents, and I also didn't know some of them held more than one nut. More ideas came to mind:
One Nut inside immediately seemed to me like representing someone opening up to someone else. So, say you've got a strained relationship with someone who seems to be holding back. With one of these hulls, a nut inside, you've got a representation of the potential growth (the nut is a seed, after all!) coming out of its protective bounds.
Two Nuts within seem like a good way to represent protecting a couple! Yes, it's back to protection magic, but it's such a common topic.
Three or more nuts within a hull can easily represent a family.
And never forget the potential growth of the nuts, offense of the spikes, defense within the hulls, the nuts themselves, and more! The possibilities are limited by human imagination. If you happen to have access to such things, it can be such a useful tool!