What is a Heptagram and why is it important to Witches? 

​And now we move on to the heptagram , also referred to as the Septagram. Again, this isn’t a symbol of Witchcraft persay but it is an image that the modern practitioner may encounter on their journey and I decided that I wanted to include it as an opportunity to research something a little outside my comfort zone. As a hinted at last week my only use of the heptagram has been in relation to planetary magic, which I will cover here, but there are other contexts for both the acute and obtuse heptagrams which the reader may be interested in. 



Planetary Ritual

Seven is a magical number; there are seven days of the week, seven colours within white light, seven notes in the scale and seven deathless stars in the night sky. Modern technology and knowledge of the solar system makes it hard for the neophyte to come to terms with the ancient concept of the order of the heavens. Where as we know there to be nine planets  (I refuse to demote dear Pluto) the ancient could only observe what they could see with the naked eye which were Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. They also included the Sun and Moon in their observable Universe? Giving the seven classical planets of the Sumerians, Babylonians, Greeks and pretty much any ancient civilisation that looked up at wondered. 

These seven planets became associated with God’s and Goddess, notes, colours  and eventually the days of the week and because important in western occultism which makes use astrological correspondences.  

Some modern occultist use the heptagram to work with planetary energies in preference to the Hexagram. There are a variety of differ styles of ritual so for reference I’ve picked just two to give as an example here. Feel free to Google more. 

Example 1 

Example 2  


Just as the Unicursal hexagram can be used to represent the balance between all seven planets or the four classical elements around a balanced Sun and Moon, the heptagram can be used in the same fashion. The process of planetary ritual is the process of creating planetary balance but in addition to balancing the planetary energies the heptagram can also be used to represent the seven (yes I said seven) directions. That may sound stranger than it actually is as the drawing together of the cardinal directions of North, South, East, West and the spiritual directions of Above, Below and Within brings together a number of practices and beliefs found within modern Witchcraft and occultism. Usually the four classical elements are used to represent the directions of North, South, East and West whilst the Spirit represents the concept of Above, the Body comes to stand for Below and the Soul represents the realm of Within, as in the image below.

As with the pentagram direction is important. With three points upward the heptagram represents the spirit above physical matters. Inverting the image inverts the meaning, placing the physical above spiritual matters. 
Days of the Week

The heptagram can also represent the seven days of the week. In Judeo-Christian context, it comes to represent the seven days of creation and by extension the complete nature of the Universe. In a Pagan context this becomes becomes an extension of planetary associations. 

In all of this either the acute or obtuse heptagram can be used but the acute heptagram has another association within modern paganism.

Faery Path

Faery Path

Elven Star and the Otherkin

The acute heptagram is sometimes called the Elven Star and has been widely adopted by the Otherkin – people who believe they are supernatural beings such as elves, faeries or dragons (and trapped in human bodies. It is also used by various Faerie traditions to represent the seven principle powers/energies within the tradition as well as provided a guide to communicating with the beings of power, and their world, in this tradition. Sparting from the top the Faerie Star, as it is also called, represents

  • Sun
  • Forest (or Wood)
  • Sea
  • Magic
  • Moon
  • Wind
  • Connection (or Spirit)

As a gateway to the Faerie Realm the seven points, or Rays, represent the seven aspects of Higher Self which a practitioner needs to achieve in order to communication. These are;

1st point – Power, Personal Will and Determination

2nd point – Unconditional Love, Wisdom and Growth

3rd point – Knowledge and Intelligence

4th point – Harmony and Tranquility

5th point – Powers of Mind and Science

6th point – Devotion and Honesty

7th point – Magic

Enochian Angel Magic

Heptagrams and heptagons are central to the Sigillum Dei Aemeth (or Sigil of Aemeth) used by John Dee in his work with scryer Edward Kelly. The number seven  appears strongly through the system of Enochian angel magic, but this is most evident in the Sigillum Dei Aemeth, which was inscribed on wax tables and placed under the four corners of the table and the shew stone itself in order to protect the working by invoking the name and TRUTH of God.

Sigillum Dei Aemaeth

Sigillum Dei Aemaeth

Image Links


Faery Path

Sigillum Dei Aemaeth

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What is a Hexagram and why is it important to Witches? 

​The Hexagram is not generally perceived as a Pagan symbol but it does appear from time to time so is worth closer examination. 

occultum fiat manifestum et vice versa

The most commonly recognised expression of the hexagram is as the Star of David  the symbol of Judaism. The two interlocking triangles are sometimes referred to as the Shield of David and although it does appear as decoration in historical Jewish contexts it is more recognisable as a symbol of Zionism. This is not the extent of the appearance of the hexagram in Jewish culture, with the six pointed star appearing within the Kabbalah. 

The Hexagram is often taken as a symbol of unit, the union of male and female as represented by the two triangles used to draw the Star of David. The upward pointing triangle represents the male aspect whilst the downward triangle represents the female. The two triangles also represent the concept of As Above So Below, with consciousness ascending towards Godhead through one triangle and descending to the material and mundane through the other. 

The Hexagram can also be used to represent the four classical elements, in the form of the elemental triangles, as can the seven classical planets. When broken down into it’s two constituent triangles the elements of Fire, the upward triangle, and Water, the downward triangle, become apparent. When laid over each other than the element of Earth (downward triangle with line) and Air (upward triangle with line) appear within the Hexagram. The Planets and western Zodiac can be overlayed onto to the hexagram as illustrated below and is particularly used by the Golden Dawn as an entry to working with planetary energies;

Planetary Hexagram

The Planetary Ritual of the Hexagram is introduced after the Rituals of the Pentagram (which introduction elemental energies) and begin with working with solar forces before moving through the classical progression of the Planets.

The Unicursal Hexagram is the form of hexagram used in these  ituals because it can be drawn in a continuous line.

Unicursal Hexagram

This form of Hexagram can also be used to work with elemental energies as well as planetary, however the emphasis is on the balance between Sun and Moon.

Planetary Magic is not limited to the Golden Dawn and there are other rituals involving the Septagram which facilitate practitioners to work with Planetary Energies. This is a subject that will come up next week so don’t forget to check back.
Hexagrams and Curses 

The other thing that cropped up in my research phase was the association of the Hexagram with the practice of hexing. This was mentioned repeatedly on pagan websites with no context or reference. Now if you Google a variation on the theme “Hexagram Hexes” you will find quite a bit of antisemitic sentiment, which I have absolutely no time for and I which I doubt is the origin of the belief. More likely, I think, it is to do with an association with the so – called Dutch Hex Signs  and the beliefs that they are meant to protect the barn and it’s content from witchcraft (the Dutch word for Witchcraft being Hekserij and the German being Hexerei). My understand is that the designs used to decorate Pensilvanian barns are not related to a belief in witchcraft but have Pagan origins to do with the reverence of the Sun and solar cycle which, to God fearing American Christians, may equate to the same thing. 
Hexagrams and Me

As I noted at the outset, the Hexagram is not a common symbol with neo-Panagism and Witchcraft. It’s use is very much tied up with the practices of the Golden Dawn which apart from the LRP’s doesn’t appeal to me. Planetary Magic isn’t really a particular interest of mine though I have worked through rituals associated with the Septagram / Heptagram in the past. 

As a symbol I have always associated the regular hexagram with Jewish religion and with Israel and although the Kabbalah is linked to Judaism the practice itself has never appealed to me.  On the other hand the Unicursal Hexagram has always been linked to the GD  and Thelma’s Law as given by Alistair Crowly so neither have rung any of my bells.

Occultum fiat manifestum et vice versa

Planetary Hexagram

Unicursal Hexagram

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What is a Pentacle?

Four Seasons

After looking at the Pentagram last week it is time to turn to the Pentacle, sometimes called the Paten  In last week’s post I broke down the meaning of the word in detail so I am not going to do so again today. In brief, a Pentacle is a five-pointed star within a circle or drawn upon a disk as a tool. 
Pentacle as A Symbol of Faith and Tradition

The Pentacle is one of the defining symbols of modern paganism. If a produc can be linked to modern paganism then it usually has a pentacle somewhere on it. From books to chalices, candlesticks to tattoos they appear pretty much everywhere but most commonly they appear as items of jewellery. In some cases the pentacle is being used as an expression of counter culture, harking back to last week’s conversation. Quite often it appears as an after thought in fashion, without real reason or meaning, in the same way the Christian cross was used in the 70’s and 80’s. The symbol sells.

But the symbol can mean a great deal to those who recognise the symbol as having complex meaning. In addition to the symbolism of the pentagram as already discussed the Pentacle has some meanings which are specific to the combination of star and circle and tradition. 

For example the Pearl and Iron Pentacles for part of the Feri Tradition, as taught by Victor and Cora Anderson. Other variations exists within the tradition, including the Amythest, Lead and Blessing Pentagrams although not all streams of Feri use these variants.

The stations of the Iron Pentacle

  • Sex
  • Self
  • Passion
  • Pride
  • Power

The stations of the Pearl Pentacle are

  • Love
  • Wisdom 
  • Knowledge
  • Law
  • Power

The Iron and Pearl Pentacles are a meditative and ritual tool for reflecting on the individual, with the Iron Pentacle looking inward to the self and the Pearl Pentacle looking outward to interaction with the community. 

More generally the Pentacle can be used to represent a belief in the cycle of Life and Death, indicating a belief in reincarnation, a belief common in new age streams. The points of the Pentacle come to represent the five stages of life; Birth, Youth, Adult, Mature, Death. These life events are contained within the never ending circle of life and death.


Pentacle as a representation of deity 

This takes me neatly into the idea that the pentacle is a representation of deity.

Although I have presented the cycle of Life and Death as general life events some traditions replace Youth, Adult and Mature with the Jungian concept of Maid, Mother and Crone or its masculine counterpart of Warrior, Father and Sage. I myaelf am not a fan of the gender specific concepts as they are self limiting and can be very discriminatory but that is a post for another day. The point is that the pentacle can be used to represent these concepts so I mention it here. 

The pentagram can be used to represent the God and Goddess in a number of different ways, both singularly and in union. In its simplest form the lines of the pentagram are used to represent the phallic God whilst the Circle represents the Goddess enclosing Him. The alternate rendering of this relates back to the discussion last week around the Pentagram as a representation of the five forms of the God (Man, Ram, Stag, Bull, Goat). Again the circle of the Pentacle represents the Goddess. In both cases the God rests within the ‘Womb’ of the Goddess, reminding us that, within the modern Pagan etiological tale explaining the cycle of seasons, The Goddess nurtures the God as both Mother and Lover. 

More often than not the pentacle represents the Goddess, particularly Kore and Goddesses who carry this Maiden title. Pentagrams and Pentacles are particularly associated with Persephone and Aphrodite, two Greek maiden Goddesses. Apples and Roses, with their hidden pentacles, are as society with both these goddesses. It’s not surprising then that the planet Venus, named after the Goddess of Love Herself, dances through the heavens drawing a celestial petalled pentacle around the Sun. 

These hidden pentacles occur in Christian contexts as well as Pagan ones, with Rose motifs, sonetimes bearing Pentagrams, appear in church architecture. The date of a carving is important, especially given the explosion of rose ornamentation that occurred during the War of the Roses and under the ageis of the Tudor dynasty that followed. The older the icon the closer it is to a time when Pentagrams and Pentacles were an acceptable church symbol. 


Pentacle as Tool In Witchcraft

As an object of Witchcraft the Pentacle has a number of uses upon the Witches altar. Most commonly the Pentacle is used as a representation of the element of Earth and is placed in the Northern quadrant of the circle. At first this appears confusing, especially given that the pentagram is used to represent all five of the classical elements. The use of the Pentacle to represent Earth lies within Tarot and Golden Dawn system in which the tarot the suit associated with the element of Earth is Pentacles.

The Pentacle becomes a focal point, representing either the Northern element or any of the concepts that have been mentioned above. The image can be meditated upon and cycles understood though reflection and contemplation. 

As well as serving a representational purpose the Pentacle can serve a practical one as well, serving as a plate in ritual from which to serve shared meals and offerings. The technical term for a plate used in the context is a Paten and the designs inscribed upon these plates can be anything however the Pentacle is a very common theme. Obviously size plays a part here, with smaller pentacles not being suitable for use as a paten, but there is no reason that a paten cannot be used to represent deities or the Earth if altar space allows. When large enough a pentacle can also be used as a charging took and even as an altar within itself, particularly if the symbolism is understood as the five classical elements in balance contained within the sphere of creation/the Universe/The Divine.
What the Pentagram and Pentacle Mean to Me

This week is a good one to to take give a personal perspective of this tool and symbol. I generally don’t wear a pentacle as a Pagan. There are other symbols I identify with more clearly in my practice and whilst I am by no means in the Broom closet I prefer to express myself in other ways. 

As a tool of the mind I do use invoking pentagrams in my personal devotions to Hekate. By invoking the four classical elements using their invoking pentagram in conjunction with Orphic (epithehs) I work with Hekatean energies in my quest for understanding. As a tool of Witchcraft I use the Pentacle rarely, and only as a representation of Earth. I don’t use it as a representation of the Goddess though occasionally, when working with Pan, I use the inverted Pentagram to represent the five formed God.

Four Seasons

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What is a Pentagram and why is it important to Witches? 

​I mixed up the original order of this series moving the tool post of What is a Pentacle to follow on from this post about the symbol; the pentagram. 

Usually, when people blog, the two subjects are covered together and in some cases interchangeably and I was keen to pick the two things apart as much as possible because it can be a little confusing. So first,  a general rule of thumb


Penta– a combining form occurring in loanwords from Greek, meaning “five” ( Pentateuch ); on this model, used in the formation of compound words ( pentavalent ). Also, especially before a vowel, pent-.

Gram– a combining form occurring in loanwords from Greek, where it meant “something written,” “drawing” (epigram; diagram ); on this model, used in the formation of compound words ( oscillogram ).

Pentagram– [pen-tuh-gram] noun a five-pointed, star-shaped figure made by extending the sides of a regular pentagon until they meet, usedas an occult symbol by the Pythagoreans and later philosophers, by magicians, etc. Also called pentacle, pentangle, pentalpha.


Penta– a combining form occurring in loanwords from Greek, meaning “five” ( Pentateuch ); on this model, used in the formation of compound words ( pentavalent ). Also, especially before a vowel, pent-.

Cle– a suffix found in French loanwords of Latin origin, originally diminutive nouns, and later in adaptations of words borrowed directly from Latin or in Neo-Latin coinages: article; conventicle; corpuscle; particle. Origin: < French, Old French < Latin -culus, -cula, -culum, variant of -ulus -ule with nouns of the 3rd, 4th and 5thdeclensions, usually with the same gender as the base noun — suffix forming nouns indicating smallness: cubicle ; particle

Pentacle– [pen-tuh-kuh l] noun 1. pentagram. 2. a similar figure, as a hexagram. Origin: 1585–95; < Italian pentacolo five-cornered object. See penta-, -c

Otherwise put;

Pentagram – five pointed star *no circle*

Pentacle – five pointed star *in a circle*

History of the Pentagram 

The pentagram is an ancient symbol but it was not always a religious symbol by any means. The ancient Sumerians used it to represent concepts such as corner or angle whilst other cultures have used it to represent cosmology as they understood it. The most recognisable cosmological interpretation is the Greek Pythagorean interpretation. 

Pythagorean Pentagram

The pentagram is used in part because its shape lends itself to represent the body of man, arms and legs extended with the head representing the fifth point but also because it can map the five components of all creation as understood by the Greeks; that being Earth (matter), Air (breath), Fire (energy), Water (fluids) and Aether (the psyche or soul; referred to as Spirit in modern equivalents). This concept was so important to the Pythagoreans that it became their secret sign when they were eventually forced underground. 
Video – Donald Duck and Pythagoras
The pentagram isn’t just limited to polytheistic or non-Abrahamic cultures ad it makes its appearance in Judaism and Early Christianity. In Judaism the five pointed start representations the upper section of the Tree of Life as well as the five books of the Torah (also referred to as the Pentateuch) and the seal bearing the secret name of God. Early Christians, even into the early medieval times, saw the pentagram as representing the five wounds of Christ and was often used as a protective symbol until it was eventually taken up in Arthurian legend as a symbol representing the five knightly virtues of friendship, generosity, chastity, courtesy and peity.

As we move into the 14th and 15th century there is a rise in the interest of Judeo-Christian mysticism and occultism amongst the upper echelons of society, particularly those with knowledge of Latin and Greek. This led the Ceremonial Magician to ‘pagan’ writings as well as those associated with the heretical Gnostics. So it is no surprise that they were viewed as heritics.  Given that heresy is the bedfellow of Satanic Worship and Witchcraft at this time everything associated with Ceremonial Magic was tarred with the same brush. It wasn’t until the Victorians began their revival of mysticism and occultism that people looked back to when the pentagram was a popular Christian symbol and began to recognise it as am ancient symbol with many positive and non religious contexts. 

The fortunes of the pentagram changed further with Pagan Revival and creation of modern paganism and Witchcraft practices. Even as the ancient connotations of the pentagram revitalised and weaved into the modern reconstruction of the so – called “Old Ways” the negative connotations remained, sonetimes with a (literal) twist. 

Hollywood has well and truly adopted the Pentagram as a symbol for Witchcraft and magic and like the Ouija board (link) they represent it in the worst way possible to improve shock value and ratings. Pentagrams daubed in blood or carved into trees speak to the common fear of evil incarnate, of Satanic rituals and death but it has little to do with most modern Witchcraft taditions. The exception to this statement would be Satanism and some God-centric practices. 

Inverted Pentagram

The inverted pentagram (point down) is often used to represent the Goat Headed God, sometimes called the Witchfather, (link) because in it’s inverted form the image of a horned goat can be mapped over the points. More often it is a symbol associated with Satanism but the movement has far less connection with “evil practices” and  anti-Christian opinion and more to do with a focus on the self as a manifestation of deity and acceptance of the shadow aspects of human nature. This group rejects God and, more importantly, the Biblical Satan as myths and is focused on the self and ego in spiritual practice. These are points missed by many, including many modern Pagans and there are as many hangups about the inverted pentagram as there are about the upwards pointing pentagram when one simple, even rational, interpretation could be the representation of the descent of spirit into matter or primacy of the material/ego over the spirit.

Just as the pentagram has a long history, covering many cultures and religions both monotheistic and polytheistic  it is an evolving symbol without a single meaning. It doesn’t belong to a single group and can be altered in particlar ways to influence it’s meaning without showing disrespect to one group or another (although this is dependent on context). It represents spiritual and religious concepts as well as mathematical and materials ones, whilst at the same time being simple in design and versatile in its meaning.

Focusing on the umbrella of Paganism, there are numerous concepts depicted in the Pentagram which Pagans identify with depending on their Path or Tradition. 

Levi’s Pentagram

SymbolismThe most recognisable use of the pentagram in pagan circles is when it is used to represent the four classical elements and the quintessence, or fifth element. As mentioned above this is a Pythagorean concept of five elements which make up man and all creation is a classical concept which remains central to many modern Pagan streams. Also mapped onto this concept are the Five Pagan Virtues which relies on the ancient belief that when all four of the material elements are in balance the fifth can be achieved. The symbol is also used to represent the five senses with the sixth sense represent in the centre of the star. 

Other concepts that are projected onto the image of the pentagram include those associated with deities. One particularly popular version, using the pentagram alone, is the representation of the three fold Goddess and Her Consorts the Holly King and Oak King. In this the upper most points represent the Goddess as Maid Mother and Crone  (usually from left to right) with the bottom two representing the Oak and Holly Kings respectively. The pentagram is also used to represent the God in His 5 traditional Manifestations of Man, Goat, Stag, Bull and Ram.
Invoking and Banishing Pentagrams

The Pentagram isn’t just a symbol but it is a function with some traditions of Witchcraft, uses in working with elemental energies as well as spiritual energies in general. Banishing and Invoking Pentagrams are often used in the processed or summoning and banishing the four Quarters during the establishment of the ritual circles. In this instance the pentagram appropriate to the element being called or banished is drawn and visualised in the air on the compass.

Invoking and Banishing Pentagrams

Banishing Pentagrams, particularly the Banishing Pentagram of Earth, are used to remove unwanted or negative from a given environment. The process is similar to when a Christian crosses themselves in order to protect themselves from bad luck or negative influences or to draw blessings towards them. This action is by no means universal to all Pagans and without visualisation the gesture is without great effect. 

The most recognisable use of the pentagram in witchcraft is in the Golden Dawns Rituals of the Lesser Pentagram. These two rituals for banishing and invoking the elemental powers allow the practitioner to work in balance with these energies.

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram allows the practitioner to centre and prepare themselves for a coming ritual by banishing from themselves and immediate, personal environment anything negative. In comparison the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram draws the power of the element to the practitioner, energising them for magical workings. 

Of the two the Invoking Pentagram is far less used by the genera community. It is, in comparison to the banishing ritual, quite complicated in its execution. Whilst the effect of the ritual is something eminently useful to a magical practitioner who is not submerged in the Golden Dawn it may appear a trifle excessive considering other energising techniques avalible. Still, that’s not reason not to try something if your drawn to it, I suspect it would be a bit of an eye opener. 

So Why is the Pentagram Important to Witches? 

The Pentagram is a symbol with a variety of meanings making it a versatile symbol for Paganism. It can be used to represent concepts such as the cycle of Life and Death and important virtues or even Gods and Goddesses. This means that it is versatile teaching tool on which to map important practices as well as being a discreet expression of belief. 

Image Credits

Pythagorean Pentagram 

Levi’s Pentagram 

Invoking and Banishing Pentagrams 

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What are Spell Boxes?

​Apparently I’ve been missing a trick all these years in the form of spell boxes. I’d honestly never heard of the term before picking up Robert Skeleton’s book but it makes soooo much sense. I’ve always been one of those people who liked to buy boxes and generally used them for storing Craft related materials in them. Divination tools, herbs, candles etc, the concept of using boxes in the craft centre around storage but the idea that they could be used to store spells themselves never occurred to me before now. So this is going to be one of those posts where I have learnt much by thinking and researching about the subject. There is a good chance that I will have missed some possible, magical uses so if you think I’ve missed something blindingly obvious and you are willing / able to share please drop me a comment. As it is I have come up with these three possible applications. 
Single Purpose Spell Boxes

The most straight forward example of a spell box is exactly that, a spell in a box. Think of a Witch Bottle in a box; a pinch of this a dash of that, components chosen for their correspondence associated with a single purposes. As with witch bottles this kind of spell box is often hidden, even for long term preservation or for slow decay, or dismantled after its function has come to an end buy in some rare cases they are destroyed. For these reason this kind of spell box are often constructed from biodegradable material. 

For example, you could make a small box to attract money in your life by placing cinnamon, basil and thyme in a box with a magnet, a selection of small coins, maybe some tigers eye and a sigil made using the planetary square of Mercury or similar symbol. Once all of these items are placed within your chosen box the box is ready to be enacted as a spell within its own rite (sic)  and either hidden with preservation or (destruction) in mind.

The alternative would be to keep the box close to hand, ready to remove the contents once a spell has come to fruition or run its course so it is ready to accept the next spell. Alternatively the box could be for containing any spell as it works towards its end and that brings me to my next example…
General Purpose Development Box

This spell box is for the development of different kinds of spells with the intention that once a spell has come to fruition the items stored within it  would be removed and disposedof whilst the box can be re-purposed and used again for a different spell.

Example Spell - Attract Money Spell

Example Spell – Attract Money Spell

This is the type of box I have decided to prepare for myself, using the photo memory box pictured above. I settled on this box because the picture frame would allow me to include pictures, photos, sigils etc easily. For a more permanent indication of the purpose of the box I burned a variation of Psalm 20 Verse 4 in Theban Script around the edges. 

May you have the desires of your heart and may all your plans succeed.

Psalm 20:4 adapted

When the box is not in use it will contain a light dusting of my nine herbs blend but nothing more. When spell components are being stored other items to strengthen the goal, such as crystals, herbs etc, will be added to lend a helping hand. 

The only exception, I feel, is baneful magics such as hexes and curses. This kind of work should have a box of its own, where things can fester and rot, kind of like the Chokie in Matilda. Curse boxes are probably a conversation in themselves so I will move on to the third type of ‘spell’ box.

This Instructables guide to Charging Boxes reads a little too much like a D&D instructional for my personal comfort but there is an idea here too good to pass up on. 

In this instance objects which have been charmed or empowered by a deity, entity or in some other way can be recharged by being placed within an appropriately sized container. It may accompany (dry) offerings to deities/entities such as coins and grains and items designed to further empower the object included, such as spelled items, crystals etc.

I realised that, so far, this seems very similar to the General Purpose Development Box I outlined above but I think the key difference is in the reuse of the box and timescales involved. Unlike the general purpose spell box, which can be used to house different spells on a one off basis the charging box can be used many times for the storing / charging of one item. The charging box is, for lack of a better term, is the home of the given magical object. It is the place the object goes to rest and recharge between uses or after a long period of use. Where a spirit is involved it is the space in which the spirit can rest, be honoured and it’s services paid for. You may leave your object to charge between rituals or for a set period of time as decided as part of your creation of your magical item. 

There are other ways to recharge magical items, if you choose this method I suggest you start it from the inception of the charmed item. This way you have a box chosen to fit the object. At the same time you can make decisions about recharged and rest periods.
General Observations

Size, as they say, mattered. You don’t want settle on a big box for a spell box you want to hide or try and use a small box for storing tones of spell remains. You can use any box or container, from a locket and trinket box to a large keep safe box but it should fit your use.

As a general rule of thumb single purposes spell boxes should be relatively small and unobtrusive where as general purpose box should be of a size which is able to take most items but isn’t too obvious on your altar or sideboard. On the other hand charging boxes will depend on your praxis and process. It may require nothing more than a small trinket box to contain a piece of paper with your servitor sigil upon it, or it may require more space for offerings and gifts. That decision is up to you. 

I will be having an experiment with spell boxes from here on out, as I said at the outset I have never used them as part of my spell work. Watch this space. 
Example Spell

So the box used here is a little bit big for my regular ‘keeping me solvent’ spell involving a green candle, small chance, a magnet and a Charm to Chase Away Poverty but the principle still remains.

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Do Witches have a Secret Alphabet? 

​Occult knowledge can only remain secret if care is taken to obscure teachings. The best way to preserve secrecy is through initiatory and/or oral traditions. As with the Eleuisian Mysteries the secrets are never written down, only shared with those who had attained initiation and were worthy and only through personal interaction but this is not an overly effective way to share your message and teachings with a wider audience. In a time where travel from one end of the Mediterranean to the other may take a year or more and could be very dangerous (for example) the written word becomes the best method of communication. So long as the sender and reader both know what language is being used meaning is transmitted, adding a layer to any riddle,  mythology or similarly being used. Those with the knowledge and eyes to see and all that.
Ciphers and secret codes/alphabets have been used throughout history in order to obscure important writings. Most often we think of spies and the secret service when discussing this but the same need for secrecy exists in occult circles, particularly in the centuries where Christianity sought to control the beliefs of the people of Europe absolutely.
The 16th century was a golden time for secret alphabets and a number appear at this time. This is consistent with the context of the age, where spy networks were flourishing and religious tensions global but it also reflects the Renaissance of Occult study and how people sought to communicate with a higher power. 
Types of Magical Alphabets

There are a number of different writing systems, alphabetical, pictographic and logographic  that a Witch may choose to use as part of their Craft. It won’t be possible to cover them all today so I have picked out the to look at in a little more detail; the so called ‘Witches Alphabet’ or Theban Script, the Runic Language and Enochian Script. Theban and Runic and possibly the more commonly used languages, particularly in Western traditions whilst Enochian lends itself more towards a ceremonial practice.
Let’s look at them in turn.

Theban Script 

Theban Script first appears in the 16th century in the writings of Johannes Trithemius. Trithemius was a Benedictine Abbott from Germany who studied both theology and occultism, publishing many tracts on these subjects. Trithemius attributes Theban Script to Honorius of Thebes  the mythical occultist of the middle ages, but it does not appear in the surviving writings of Honorius and according to a composite manuscript held in the British Museum Agrippa is more likely to be the author of the Theban cypher. 

Theban Script

Theban Script

This hasn’t stopped this writing system being called Honorian Alphabet or the Runes of Honorius (even though it is not an actual Runic system) and more recently the Witches Alphabet. Though many assume that the system hss been used by historical Witches this is a false assumption. Access to the writings containing this system would have been limited and we don’t have record of its use outside of the refrrences. It isn’t until the modern Witchcraft movement that we see a wide spread use of this latin based script, predominantly in writings that need to be obscured. It is important to note that Theban Script contains no variations for capital letters; although the size can be varied the character remains the same. Also, the system is based on an older form of latin where the letters  J, V and W are not represented. Characters are substituted however, I for J and U for both V and W. 

The Runes

Runic Scripts, of which there are many variants, is a Germanic associated with the most northern cultures such as the Norse and Anglo-Saxons. The Norse variants are also known as futhark or fuþark. This name is derived from their first six letters of the alphabet: F, U, Þ, A, R, and K. The Anglo-Saxon variant is futhorc or fuþorc (different due to the sound changes undergone to the same six letters in Old English). These Runic Scripts were specifically designed for carving into solid surfaces such as wood and stone and consist of straight lines which are easier to chisel or carve into these surfaces.
The Runes were no mere writing system, used to record the thoughts, feelings and transactions of mere men. Mythology tells us that the Runes were obtained through the sacrifice of Odin A

Elder Futhark

Elder Futhark

ll Father, who received the Runes after hanging for 9 days from the World Tree. The deeds of hero’s and gods were recorded using runes, heroics marked and deaths recorded. It was also a magical system, used in divination and in the naming of objects and intent. various sagas and mythologies make reference to runes being used in spells and staves, each Rune being chosen for its associations and meanings. 

Modern pagans use Runes for many of the same reasons however modern practitioners are just as likely to use the Runes to obscure writings as anything else. Different Runic Scripts contain different characters in comparison to each other as well as modern English; in fact many rune systems contain sounds as well as letters so it can be hard to make direct comparison with modern language. My advice, pick your variation and stick woth it and decide your convention before you start.


Enochian script is first recorded in the writings of Dr John Dee in which he cites it as the first language, spoken by God and all his Angels. Dee revived it via his scryer Edward Kelly during their many sessions before the shew stone and he believed it to be the language used by God to bring creation into being and used by Adam before the Fall to name all things. One Adam Fell he lost all knowledge of the language but his vague recollections, says Dee, lead him to develop the earliest forms of Hebrew.

Enochian Script

Enochian Script

Given it’s connection with God and his Angels Dee and Kelly used Enochian in thier search of occult knowledge, including information about the Philosophers Stone. Dee believed that, through Kelly, he was in communication with “Good Angels” who would reveal this information to him. Dee therefore used the language Kelly had received in his rituals in order to make it easier for his Angelic counterparts to understand his requests and rituals. Modern ceremonial practitioners working with Angelic forces will also use Enochian (as well as other systems) to similar ends.

Enochian was originally called” the Angelic Language” by Dee. The term Enochian comes from Dee’s assertion that the Angelic Language was only revealed to one other man, the Prophet Enoch only to be lost again on the Flood of Noha. The script consists of 21/22 letters depending on which of Dee’ books you are referring to and there are discrepancies between the two published examples however the later and longer example is most commonly used. Modern letters K, J, and U are not represented however substitutions are made. Veh is used to represent both C and K, Ged represent G and J and finally Van for U and V. W does not appear at all in the cypher however Van can also be used to represent this letter.

Why Use a Secret Alphabet? 

The primary reason for using any secret alphabet can be found in that operative word; it will allow you to keep things secret. Maybe I only speak for myself but I suspect that very few Witches are fluent in any of these languages. I know one person who is fluent in a number of different types of Runic but that has less to do with Paganism and more to do with their interest in its historical context. 

Whilst other Witches may recognise the script used at a glance the exact words will be obscured. This means that it can be used in plain sight and no one will know your meaning or intent. Runic in particular is often used in aesthetic contexts, appearing on rings, pendents, ornaments ect (Thank you Tolkin)

I rarely use this type of alphabet for full writing, using runes on occasion to create bindrunes which is a differ process altogether. The last time I did was in the process of creating a particular spell box and I used Theban to obscure a particular psalm which would give the nature of the box away pretty quickly.

(Sorry, no picture. The box in question is in use at the moment and therefore I don’t want to circulate it’s intent at this time. I will be making one for public consumption for the Spell Box Post and I am planning to use Theban again.)

I cheated. I download a Theban font and I typed my passage in English before ‘translating’ it. I then printed it off and copied it on to the surface of my box. Similar fonts exist for Enochian  and some variations of Runic, and here are also websites which translate Runic for you. My personal rule is that if I translate sonething electronically I must rewrite everything in my own hand for magical use, speaking the words in English as I do.
Interesting Links

Urnordiska Runor Font

Write in Runes Jarva based translator

Runes Font

Floki Font

Enochian Writing (Not Free! Source Unverified)

Enochian Regular (Free! Source Unverified)

Inga Stone Signs Font

Various Magical Scripts (Free! Source Unverified)

How Would You Write a Request to an Archaengel?

Theban Script
Elder Futhark 
Enochian Script 

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Modern Nine Herbs Charm

​Todays blog is another break from the Defining My Craft series as I have already covered Chalices previously. 

The school Summer Holidays are a flaky time of year and all my normal writing routines have been thrown out of wack. I’m chuffed that I’ve managed to keep up to the blog and not given into skipping weeks. Today I am skipping the subject but life and the series have thrown up interesting lines of enquiry and research to bridge the gaps, as with today’s post about the Nine Herbs Charm. In case you’ve never heard of this Anglo Saxon poem you can read it in full here and learn more about the Nine Herbs here.

Okay so this post isn’t going to be as poetic as the original Charm, rather it was born from some inspiration I had whilst writing a blog on spell boxes ( link to follow ) 
As I was writing and developing a general purpose spell box for all spell types I recalled the Nine Herb Charm and wondered if there was a modern equivalent. The number of herbs fit nicely with the subject and I could half remember reading something more modern used for teaching herb associations. Unfortunately after much searching I was unable to track anything down, if it indeed ever existed, and I decided I wouldn’t assault everyone’s sensibilities by trying to write my own. But the seeds were sown and the idea of a blend of nine kitchen herbs for my spell box stuck. 

After much Web surfing I came up with nine herbs which are easily found in the kitchen or supermarket which can be used singularly or in combination in most common craft operations, such as those relating to finances, relationships, protection etc. For my purpose I wanted  to use in my general purpose ‘development box’, to subtly aid my magical workings as they work on my behalf.

Spice Rack


Money, Luck, Healing, Compassion, Communication, Determination, Energy  Fertility, Gain, Love, Renewal  Aphrodisiac.

Bay Leaf 

Protection, Clairvoyancy, Wisdom, Exorcism, Cleansing, Psychic Powers, Healing, Purification, Strength.


Success,  Healing, Clairvoyancy,  Protection, Love, Money, Lust, Mental Focus.


Protection, exorcism, love, money, good luck, Visions, cleansing


Love, lust, sex, money, success, personal power.

Marjoram (aka Oragarno)

Happiness, love, money, protection, Clairvoyancy, psychic protection, tranquility, cleansing, courage, dreams (of love), harmony, success


Protection, love, fedelity, mental powers, exorcism, purification, healing, sleep, youth. Burn to purify and cleanse.


Healing, wisdom, protection, prosperity, money


Love, Lust, mental focus, money, healing, Luck,  sleep and dreaming.
Why Nine Herbs?

Numerology is a concept that often crops up in the creation of magical concoctions, at least in mine. In numerology numbets have numerous meaning and such things can be incorporated into your spells by using a particular number of components.  Personally the I work on the principles that three, and multiple of three within the master numbers (0-9) are divine numbers.

Three represents the Goddess as triform.

Six (3×2) represents the Sun and by extension the God Head. 

Nine (3×3) is Goddess energy made manifest. 

I’ll give you a quick overview of the associations of the Master Numbers (except 0) 

1: A grounding number, representing the self and immediate environment. Also represents the Universal Life Force which unites us all.

2: Polarity and duality, representing balance and relationships between people. 

3: The magic number, represents triplicates such as the triple Goddess; Earth, Sea and Sky; Physical, Mental and Spiritual etc.  

4: Relates to the four elements – earth, air, fire and water and the four cardinal directions. A number of balance linked to creativity and emotion. 

5: The pentagram; represents the four elements and the quintessence amongst other meanings. Represents the physical world as we experience it through our five senses. Often related to struggles. 

6: Related to sun energy and the masculine. Associated with security and responsibility. Sometimes associated with the God. 

7: Related to lunar energy (visible lunar cycle), femininity, and workings related to intuition and wisdom. Sometimes associated with the Goddess.

8: Divine message and communication in general. On its side the number 8 becomes the infinity symbol.

9: Nine is three times three, which makes it a triply powerful number. Associated with goddess energy, growth, increase and completion.
So why did I chose nine herbs?

Well although my spell box is not immediately associated with any deity it is designed to increase and multiply the blessings contained within and the numerology of nine fits with this purpose. Also, it never hurts to refer to Goddess energies, especially when I am the devotee of a Goddess associated with the numbers three and nine. 
Making The Blend

The ratio should be 1:1 across the board so your measurements will reflect the amount you want at the end of the day. In my case a ‘goodly pinch’ was sufficient to create a small pot. 

Handle each herb individuall, focusing on its properties and charging it before adding it to the blend. Once they are all combined stir it with your dominant hand in a clockwise direction to further charge the mix.

Now its ready to use and sprinkle as appropriate. 


There are tons of websites and books with comprehensive herb lists. If you’re interested in learning more about herbs and their magical uses check out Herbal Riot or pick up a copy of Culpepper’s Complete Herbal or Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs   Similarly there is a lot of information on Numerology out there but I particularly recommend Patti’s post at About.com


Spice Rack

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