Want more cowbell? Not me. I want more witches bells! These pretty little decorations are much more than simple décor for a witch’s home. They are powerful protective wards. In this article, we define witches bells, discover their centuries-old origins, PLUS learn how to use them in your home to ward off negative energy and spirits.
Put simply, witches bells are a handheld-size set of magical bells hung from a doorknob or a nail in their home. Witches mostly use these bells to ward off negativity in a home, but they are also pretty to look at and listen to! This magical ringing device has ages-old origins, and I can’t help but notice the correlation to the modern doorbell and musical instruments. Where did these jingly little charms come from? And why do witches use them today?
Bells have been used for centuries for spiritual and mundane reasons. First, let’s look at the physical aspects of the bell and its uses through time. Bells are typically made of metal and consist of a hollowed out vessel with a dangling piece inside called a clapper or uvula. The clapper hits the walls inside and produces a ringing sound upon movement. The word bell literally translates to mean “to roar” or “to make a loud noise” (think bellow). The first bell was invented in the 3rd millennium BC in Neolithic China, as archaeological evidence suggests (Wikipedia). By Medieval Times, bells were a prominent tool used by churches, farms, and business owners.
According to Judika Iles in the Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, “bells derive from ancient sacred images of human genitalia. The bell’s body represents the vulva, while the clapper represents the penis. Sometimes the bell’s body represents the womb while the clapper represents a child within.”
So why did our ancestors use bells? Bells were a means of sounding an alarm, so to speak, to gain attention to a situation. For example, soldiers at city gates might ring a large bell to let everyone know there were invaders on the horizon. Farmers hung bells from the necks of their cattle and dogs to alert them to their animals’ whereabouts. Attaching a bell to the door of a business allows its owner to know someone has entered the shop.
And what about churches? Churches have used large bells for centuries to announce the commencement of service OR in celebration of special holy-days like Christmas, Easter, etc. They have also been used as musical instruments over the centuries. From the church also comes the custom of wedding bells – when a couple is married, the church rings its bells to scare away evil spirits and welcome prosperity to the newlyweds.
After 1000 AD, people made bells from iron. And, according to European lore, iron scares off or, at the very least, agitates faeries. So much so that folks kept iron horseshoes above the doorway to ward off the fae and evil spirits and employed iron bells as protection in various ways. In addition, church bells scared off trickster spirits. And traditionally loud sounds, like those from bells or chimes, scare off ghosts and demonic entities. Is it the iron the bells are traditionally made of that has a cleansing, protective effect OR is it the purifying sound waves sent through the air that wards off the evil? Truly, I believe it is both of these things.
Truly you can make your own witch’s bells using any items you’d like. But here’s a few necessary items you’ll need:
Listen, we can’t all be artistic and crafty. So if you don’t want to make your own set of witches bells, you can always have Melissa with Stamp It Out Loud make them for you. And I couldn’t be happier! I use them as a magical “lock” or warding device on my witchy cabinet. The mirrors act as portals and so I needed some kind of ward to keep spirits at bay. Mel’s bells have been powerful and protective for this need. And I couldn’t have added the special touch that she did.
Bells in general have magical properties of protection, purification, joy, alarm and celebration. Use your set of bells in whatever way resonates with you; however, there are a few ways I recommend trying. Keep in mind, you can use your set of witch’s bells for any ritual that requires a bell in general.
I’d like to put a lot of buzz words here but that would be too …September 15, 2023