Here is a fun crafting idea that would make a nice gift, decoration for the house, and a fun project to do with kids – a witch ball. Full of swirling colors, witch balls in one form or another were hung in the windows for at least 600 years to protect the home and the occupants from evil spirits, negative energy, and ill fortune. The ones dating back to medieval times were not as polished and beautiful as later ones from the Victorian era. They were also suspeneded from a cord and hung from rafters or the mantelpiece, and can be as large as 7 inches in diameter. They were usually made from glass, but some were made from wood, grass, or twigs. Variations of the witch ball can be found in many cultures (witches were considered a blessing and would “enchant” the balls to enhance the protection against evils). The traditional colors were blue and green and usually hung in the eastern part of the house. They were also decorated with enameled swirls and bright strips of various colors. According to folk tales, witch balls would entice evil spirits with their bright colors; the strands inside the ball would then capture the spirit and prevent it from escaping. The term “witch ball” may actually come fom the term “watch ball” because the ball was watching and guarding the home.
eHow to Make Witch Balls – Materials: clear glass or plastic Christmas ornaments, bottles of liquid gold and silver metallic craft paints (and any colors you like), clear drying craft glue, ribbon or fishing line. Remove the wire loop at the top of the ornament. Squeeze a small amount of metallic paint (approx. 1 tsp. onto the interior sides of the ornament, then swirl the ornament so the paint creates a swirled pattern, allow to dry a few minutes and repeat with another color or two until the interior is covered. Set upside down in an empty egg carton so the excess paint drains out, then set upright and allow the paint to dry overnight. Herbs can be placed inside the ornament that compliment your magical intent: for example: a crushed cinnamon stick for protection, dried lavender for happiness, dried rose petals for luck. You can also add a drop or two of essential oils to the dried herbs. Then fill the ball with silver tree tinsel that has been cut into various lengths (the reflective silver tinsel and paint reflects bad energy back to the sender and the strands of tinsel entangle evil spirits.) Replace the wire loops at the top of the ornament (add a drop of glue to keep it secure) and charge the ornament with your magical intent. Add a long loop of fishing line or ribbon. Hang the ornament where you like (i.e. window, doorway, garden, rafters, mantel) or place on top of a tall vase (with an opening that is the right size to securely hold the ornament but it doesn’t fall inside the vase).
To read more see Witch Ball Legends.
Next year if we rent a house again down the shore for Thanksgiving with the whole family, I plan on bringing materials to make these with the kids. Some where in the house I have a huge box full of clear, plastic ornaments that would be perfect to use.
Bright Blessings, Lady Rose