Spell Kits and Casting a Witch's Ladder
One of our goals with Crones & Stones is to be a resource for ritual and craft needs, so I spend a lot of time thinking about what we can offer that isn't always readily available to people. Being an online store, this isn't always the easiest task, #thanksamazon.
Recently I was thinking about spell and ritual kits. There are retailers out there that offer these, and in the name of research I ordered a couple to check them out. And was not impressed. Even these kits that were put together by hand by a small business owner had a mass-produced, little attention/no intention given feel. Some were just dime bags of herb with some instructions printed on paper to burn the herb. Really? Someone is charging $10 for that?
That isn't us. That will never be us.
Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of a spell kit, and I have the feeling what we will decide on will be more of a custom, service-based offering. But that's a post for another day.
A Witch's Ladder would be a perfect kit to put together for someone, but they're so personal that really, if you have the means, you're better off gathering the ingredients yourself. Everything that goes into a Witch's Ladder is symbolic of the intention behind it, so there is no one-size-fits-all kit that could be offered.
What we can do, though, is educate! At this point you might be wondering what a Witch's Ladder is. If you are, keep reading! If you're not, that's great! This probably isn't for you. But it might be -- there are different ways to cast them, after all.
First a little history:
Casting a witch's ladder is a folk magic practice. In their most basic form they're just a piece of rope with some feathers tied on, but they can be as elaborate as their creator wishes them to be. Often the intention of the ladder is amplified by charms, hair, plants, beads, crystals, bones, stones, etc., that are sewn or tied into the rope as well.
Now, back in the day (the first recorded witch's ladder was found in the walls of a house in 1878...or maybe in the attic, I don't remember, and it isn't important), these were often used in malefic magic to cause harm or illness to the witch's victim. They were also known as "witch's garland" and they would be hidden in their victim's home, beneath their mattresses--essentially placed somewhere in the target's vicinity where the magic would affect them but remain unseen.
Now days we're all about love and light, so this sort of thing is frowned upon.
To create one for more beneficial purposes, you've probably got everything you need on h
and. That's one of the reasons they are so popular, really. Creating a witch's ladder doesn't require any weird components or tools. For the ladder I created for this post I essentially just raided my daughter's craft supplies (I'm allowed, I bought them).
This particular ladder is going to focus on business prosperity (obviously), so I started by gathering some color-appropriate materials, namely orange, brown, and green ribbon (you typically want at least three so you can braid them), some matching wooden beads, feathers, and thread. Citrine is great for abundance and manifestation, and clear quartz is a great intention amplifier, so I went ahead and strung some of that on as well.
It isn't just tying things on a ribbon and calling it good, though. As with anything magical, intention is the main ingredient.
First, cleanse your materials' energy in whatever way you normally do, then tie the ribbons together at the top. This knot is what ties your intention to your ladder. (Ignore my poor braiding skills in the photo; I have large fingers and little patience.) From here you continue to braid down your ribbon, stopping every so often to tie another knot, add some of the items you've selected for your ladder, and continue to braid.
This is perhaps the most important point, even if your ladder is simply feathers and rope: The entire time you work on the ladder you want to focus on your intention being complete, not something you desire. For instance, braiding down my ladder my intention is that my business is successful, we are providing great service to our clients in our readings, our retail is bettering people's lives and spiritual health, our perfect brick and mortar location is available, and (why not) our bank account balance says a million dollars.
It is all stated as fact.
I am not asking for success, or phrasing in my intent that we will be successful. If desire is woven into the ladder, the magic of this charm would keep me in a cycle of desire, never reaching the end I wish to reach.
As each knot is tied typically you'd recite some words, chant, or song. I tied nine knots, and used this common recitation, though you can do whatever feels right to you:
By knot of one, this spell has begun.
By knot of two, this magic comes true.
By knot of three, so shall it be.
By knot of four, this power is stored.
By knot of five, my will shall drive.
By knot of six, this spell I fix.
By knot of seven, the future I leaven.
By knot of eight, my will is fate.
By knot of nine, what is done is mine.
Once you are finished you want to place your ladder somewhere that you will see it, but that it won't be on display. As you see it, remember your intention and meditate upon it.
Another way I've seen to use a witch's ladder is aimed more at personal or magical development over a longer time period. Essentially one knot is tied and one feather attached to the cord every full moon, until you've reached 13 (approximately a lunar year). At each knot you spend your time reflecting upon your original intention, how far you've come and grown since the last knot, and how far until you manifest your intention.
And that's a witch's ladder! Much more useful than selling you a kit, right? Let me know in the comments if you create one, how it goes, if you have questions, or whatever else!