Witches ladders are incredibly versatile and customizable, so you can use them as a focal point for a variety of purposes. Traditionally, they were used to curse, but can be applied to a number of different areas, such as warding out negative energies, protecting certain people, or binding and banishing certain behaviors.
I made mine with the intent of a good lucky/prosperity spell in relation to getting a job for 3 different people in my life.
You can find some more info on Witches Ladders here.
To do this spell/craft, you’ll need the following.
Basic Witches Ladder
- Cooking Twine or String (wool can be used, but natural fibers are traditional.)
- 9 items that mean something to your purpose. (Feathers are traditional but beads, sticks, bones, hag-stones, shells, buttons and any number of other items can be used.)
Extended Witches Ladder
The items listed above, plus any combination of the following;
- Hard paper or cardboard.
- A personal item or piece of memorabilia that is distinctly yours, or that of the person who the spell is for, such as hair, jewelry, etc.
- Fabric/organza bags.
- Herbs, Crystals.
Step 1: Collect your 9 things!
In my case, I used feathers I had collected in my walks too and from work. However, like it was said above, you can use any number of things. If you’re using something you’ve collected out in nature, make sure to think about if you need to clean or cleanse it in any way, especially if it comes from an animal.
Step 2: Measure, cut, tie and secure!
When I cut my twine, I did a very rough estimate, stretching it out the length of one hand to the other, arms out wide. You will be braiding the string, so it will get shorter, but it shouldn’t get too much shorter. The length doesn’t have to be perfect.
You’re going to want 3 identical lengths of your string.
Once you’ve got them all measured and pretty, grab one end of all three and tie them together. I left a bit of twine at the top of mine, and then trimmed the middle string. I then tied the two remaining pieces together, giving me a nice loop to hang it up with.
Once that’s all prepared, you’re going to want to secure it somewhere. If you opted for the loop, and can hook it somewhere, you won’t need to use sticky-tape. I did, because of space, but I’m sure you guys can find somewhere easy enough.
Step 3: Begin the braid!
If you’ve done a braid before, this will be simple for you. However, if you have not, have a look at this little picture below, as well as this link to youtube. Braids can be complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s very easy.
When making a witches ladder, there is a poem/spoken spell that often accompanies it. There are two ways to do this. The first is to say each line as you put in one of your feathers or items, as there will be nine of them.
The second way is to say a line of the poem/spell each time you cross your braid over.
If you do the first, I would suggest counting the knots as you go, and trying to achieve 9 each time, to keep it even.
If you follow the second way, I suggest having the spell written out in front of you, or memories it ahead of time, as you’re going to be trying to focus on what you want to bring in as you braid, and trying to juggle braiding, focusing on your intent, and speaking a spell at the same time can be confusing/hard.
If you do end up with the second braid, you will find that your items will be fairly evenly spaced, especially if you’ve built up a tempo with the speed of your braiding and how you say the spell.
By knot of one, the spell’s begun.
By knot of two, the magic comes true.
By knot of three, so it shall be.
By knot of four, this power is stored.
By knot of five, my will shall drive.
By knot of six, the spell I fix.
By knot of seven, the future I leaven.
By knot of eight, my will be fate.
By knot of nine, what is done is mine.
Step 4: Weave the items in!
It can be somewhat fiddly to try and braid in the items, but all you really need to do is stick one part of the item between the cords as you braid, and it will stay.
You may need to move further back to keep the string taut, just work with what feels right.
As you go down the ladder, try and put the items in on either side of the twine. That will keep it looking even and not lopsided.
Step 5: Tie it off!
I chose to add a little wooden bead at the bottom, but this is not necessary. Once you have tied in all 9 items, you can tie it off at the bottom and hang it up. Your witches ladder will be complete!
I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial, and if you’d like it to come out similar/identical to mine above, there are extended ladder instructions in the read more below.
Until next time, be well,
If you want to make it longer, or tie in more things, feel free. If you feel that working in solid numbers, like 10’s works better, do that. If you feel that you want to make it ceiling to floor, with a new thing tied in every 3 braids, do that!
Just remember that the more symbolism that is tied into the spell, the more vibration is has, and thus, the more power. Use colors, items and even smells that relate to your intent.
Step 6: Make yourself a charm to boost the spells power!
I decided to use some paper and draw sigils, with the meaning corresponding to a person in my life that needed a job, and the field they wanted to work in.
After writing the sigils (or having the person it relates to write it) I threaded three beads onto the string, then cut a little hole in the top of the paper. I then strung the paper onto the remaining string, and tied it off.
There are several other ways you could customize this bottom section, including tying on items that relate to the person the spell is about.
Fabric bags can be tied on, with jewelry, hair, or even a piece of paper with some blood from the person.
Please make sure to be safe with blood! Always use antiseptic wipes, clean pins or blood testing pricks, and use gloves!
You could make a charm bag, with herbs and crystals in it. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination!