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.
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.
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.
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.