For many people, being an effective practitioner of magic includes the ability to think outside the box. By being a creative and imaginative thinker, you can find magical uses for non-magical items. In 2008, About Pagan/Wiccan featured a weekly series in which readers were challenged to find ways of using regular household items as magical tools. For eighteen weeks, our readers came up with unconventional ways to turn regular items around the house into components in magical workings. Let's take a look at some of the mundane items that we offered, and some of the clever and creative ideas our readers had.
Spellcaster: String or twine or even yarn can be used to cast a circle if at first it has been soaked in salt water and then dried. Another magickal working for string or actually yarn is knot magick tying knots for each desire or working to be achieved. I do have a self composed yarn spell using seven strands of colored yarn. It is a braid of life blessing for newborn or young children.
Eve Phoenix: I’ll use string to make hair for my poppet!
DB: I sometimes us strings or cords in binding spells. This does not hurt anyone or anything but does stop any nastiness. You can also bind happiness, prosperity or good health to you and your family.
Di: In the spring I go out in the woods and cut wild grape vine and make it into round forms and dry it. When the forms are dry I use string and either beads or stones with holes drilled into them and weave ‘dream catchers’ adding the beads as I go.The feathers I use are either feathers that I’ve picked up over the year (wild) like when the wild birds molt or my own birds when they molt. Dream Catchers are from the Native American Tribes and are used to ward off ‘bad dreams’ or nightmares. They are hung over the bed and ‘catch’ the bad dreams, the sun then burns them away.Legend has it that ‘Mother Spider’ gave them as a gift to the people (feathers are hung by the string or leather strips on the bottom of the dream catcher that allow the ‘good dreams’ to flow into the dreamer).
Kat: I have a special jar that I fill with all manner of string, ribbon and twine, etc. I’ve used string to “remove,” things ... letting the wind blow it away; the birds always find it for their nest building!
Michael: I consecrate the string and then wrap some of it around my rifle, sidearm and the .50 cal on our Humvee for protection against stoppage, mis-fires or damage to keep me and my fellow Marines safe on our next tour back to Iraq. Wrapping the Blessed string around my wrist and ankle also helped prevent against injuries and enabled healing. A Wiccan Warrior needs all the help he can get.
Lynn: I use string to cut the negativity from a situation. The string represents “me” or my Chakra self. I cut the string into small pieces as I say what it is that I want removed, the negative things. I visualize the string being a black color (all the negativity) and as I cut the small pieces off, I visualize it turning a pure white.
Meadowhawk: I have used string knotted and wrapped into a tangled ball to represent issues in my life that are a “tangled mess”. I then place it on my pentacle during the waning moon cycle for “composting”. At the end of my spell I cut it into tiny pieces and ritually bury the little shreds to let the earth finish the job.
Anavrin: I would use red string to “bind” two people together in a loving relationship (with their full permission of course!) either actually binding their hands or binding two poppets together that had been made in their likeness. If the latter, I’d then give them the poppets so they could renew their commitment whenever they wanted or, remove the binding if they are no longer going to be together.
Kate: Braided string or hair can be used to “hold” a spell in stasis until the right time to release it. Traditionally used with weather spells that is not their only uses. Protection spells can work with this medium. This would be more than a general protection spell. The type of spell for this is when you perceive immanent danger and it brings to focus a whole ritual that was used to charge it in a few seconds.
Marbles: Finding a bit of red string or thread is a good omen, and tying it to yourself or one of your belongings will bind that good fortune to you.