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Witches Bells by Heather

Witches’ bells are so much more than just pretty little decorations, they are powerful wards for protection and good fortune.

Bells have been used since around 3000 BCE to give warnings or announcements.  Here are just a few ways they have been, and still are used – at doors (both homes and retail establishments), on animals – including on cat collars to warn birds of their arrival, town criers, places of worship, and monasteries, and on clothing.

I did see, on one site, that the term witch’s bells related to scold’s bridles, a type of iron muzzle. These were used to punish and humiliate women in England, Scotland, and Germany, who were accused of being witches or of being too talkative or quarrelsome, in the 16th and 17th century.  However, when I did some research into these, on museum and archaeological sites, none have bells attached to them.

In the Encyclopedia of Witchcraft - “bells derive from ancient sacred images of human genitalia. The bell’s body represents the vulva, while the clapper represents the penis. Sometimes the bell’s body represents the womb while the clapper represents a child within.”

Roman citizens would hang bells and wind chimes called tintinnabulum on the gates of their homes and altars to the gods of the home. These were often hung from the erect phallus of a male figure, as it was believed to magically ward off the evil eye.

You can make your own witch’s bells using any items you’d like, making them personal to you, and as elaborate or simple as feels right for your household. Here are a few things to stimulate your crafting ideas –

A ring, stick or a small wreath.

Cord, ribbon or yarn.

Bells - small to medium sized bells, these can be found in craft or thrift/charity shops.

Other items to consider adding to your witch bells could include beads, feathers, pendants, charms, crystals, runes, ogham, small bottles (to fill with herbs, crystal chips, petitions etc.), pine cones, twigs, in fact whatever you want to attach.

Herbs for protection include – ash, basil, birch, black pepper, blackthorn, caraway, cardamon, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, dill, dragon’s blood, elder, fennel, garlic, geranium, ginger, gorse, grass, hawthorn, hazel, heather, holly, hyssop, ivy, juniper, lavender, lilac, mandrake, marigold, marjoram, mint, mistletoe, mugwort, mustard, nettle, nutmeg, oak, parsley, patchouli, pine, plantain, rose, rosemary, rowan, rue, sage, self-heal, star anise, sunflower, tansy, thistle, tobacco, turmeric, valerian, violet, willow, wormwood, yarrow.

Crystals for protection include – agate, amber, amethyst, bloodstone, brass, orange calcite, carnelian, Citrine, copper, fluorite, garnet, goldstone, hematite, hag stone, iron, jade, jasper, labradorite, lapis lazuli, malachite, obsidian, pebble, pyrite, quartz, selenite, silver, sunstone, tiger’s eye, tourmaline, turquoise.

Create your protected space in whichever way you usually do, if you want, you can ask your house spirit, ancestors, or your deity of choice to join you.

Cleanse your supplies by whatever method you prefer, for this using sound, smoke or your voice and breath would work well.

Begin by laying out your items to get an idea of how you wish to put it all together, before stringing and tying your bells on your ring or stick. As you go along, charge your bells with energy by chanting, singing, praying, dancing, etc. Add your charms and other items to your witch bells.  As you do this, enchant your creation, talk to, or chant if you wish, telling it what its purpose is.

Thank the energies that joined you in making your witches bells for their help.

Hang your enchanted creation on your front door, or other door, a window, in your hallway, anywhere you feel drawn to.


You can watch a chat about this here


Sources and further reading –

Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World (Witchcraft & Spells) by Julika Iles

A Kitchen Witch’s World of Magical Plants & Herbs by Rachel Patterson

Kitchen Witchcraft: Crystal Magic by Rachel Patterson

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