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Now, forgive me if no-one knows what I'm on about but I wanted to ask a few questions about (other) peoples witch ladders.

Quick run down: these are used in spell casting and chanting to help count the number of repititons and are used in house protection spells to be huing over the doorway, as a symbol the house has been 'bound'. As long as you aren't casting a protection spell with the ladder, you may use it an infinite number of times. With a protction spell, it is *more* the physical embodyment(sp) and is placed above the door of the house protected or carried on the person of the one for whom the rite was cast. bit like a talisman, really.. but I digress…

Now, traditionally these are pretty boring, consiting of 40 knots on a piece of string… NOW my questions are

a ) would you say the 'traditional' way is best , and the string with the 40 knots is the way it *should* be done?
b ) or would you say that as this is personal to your paticular rules of the craft, it should greater reflect your personality…?
c ) if so, should you embelish them, to reflect your chosen gods/goddesses, and, what would you say you *should* use? Natural materials, to reflect mother earth? Anything you feel like as a true expression of your interpretation of the craft, or symbols of the craft (pentacles etc)?

???

Welcoming your thoughts.. Tam  smile

I never really use tools in my magic. My thoughts are that the more personal it is to you, the better. If the the 'rules' make sense to you and feel right, then by all means go with that, but if you find yourself having to strain to remember them mid-working, or if they feel awkward or restrictive then that is going to dilute your focus.
Also, I would always say that if you are going to ue tools, ones you have found and/or mae yourself out of natural materials are always going to be superior to ones you may have bought or that are made out of materials not appropriate to who you are and where you are.
I would always be suspicious of someone telling me how things are 'supposed' to be. Why are they supposed to be like that? Who said so and on what authority? Quite often when you look into these things, they are fairly dubious. The main power of magic comes from within you, I believe, so it really has to resonate with you. Any talisman should be very personal to you. I wouldn't ever use a witches ladder for house protection, for example. If you are going to use a physical item to contain the spell, it ideally should be something old and connected to both you and the house.
I hope that is helpful? Obviously, this is only my view, and you should regard it with equal suspicion as other people's pronouncements!

Liz grin x

Druid, boat-dwelling, home educating mum of DD1 (11), Aspie DS (9) and baby DD2 (2), & part-time step-mum to 2 stepdaughters, 9 and 7.

Thanks JS - I've already got some glass and wooden beads, and a goddess charm for the bottom and autumn leaf for the top. Amazing what you can find on Ebay!

So now I've got all the materials….  smile

I've always used the 'traditional' 40 knots in twine, but have suddenly been thinking about making my own, which will be used for all rituals (except protection, I'll use twine for that, as these ladders - I think - shouldn't be used again. I don't see the point in embodying a spell, to then write over it, like you would a video cassette.)

Not sure If it's the season (and mabon/equinox) showing some effect on my choices of materials and colours, or the fact I'm a hearth/earthy pagan, who likes earth tones and connects with the land. I'm more of a gaea/gaia than a triple goddess, or a sedna etc.

Off on a bit of a tangent, I know, but would you say your paganism is elemental?

Hmm, yes I suppose I would say my faith is elemental in some ways. I'm a very 'down-to-earth' person in a literal way, and yet also very fiery and these are the elements I'm drawn to and most things I do embody these in some way. My magic tends to focus on very practical things such as gardening, cooking, teaching and parenting. I've found salt to be helpful in household protection spells, and have you meditated to try and find a genuis loci? It may be interesting to see what protection already exists for the land your house is built on.

Liz grin x

Druid, boat-dwelling, home educating mum of DD1 (11), Aspie DS (9) and baby DD2 (2), & part-time step-mum to 2 stepdaughters, 9 and 7.

I'm thinking more for basic rituals than protection, JS. It's just thats a 'rule' I can understand iynwim.I said before, I don't see the point in embodying a spell, then writing over it. I'm not wanting to cast a protection spell, more wanting something 'nice' in my practise of the craft for incantations and the like.

:-*

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