I’ve recently become addicted to braiding my hair. It took me years to break down and finally even learn how to French braid but now I’m fishtailing all over the place! It occurred to me that braiding is a rather ritualistic process (as are many mundane things when paid the proper attention.)
Traditional Knot Magick
In many ways, braiding on a magickal level is related to knot magick, a very simple and very traditional form of witchcraft. It’s often used for binding and protection spells but can also be very useful for setting intentions of other kinds. The most traditional form of knot magick is a spell of nine, where the spellcaster ties a series of seven knots, speaking these words with each one:
By the knot of one, the spells begun
By the knot of two, it will come true
By the knot of three, so shall it be
By the knot of four, it is strengthened more
By the knot of five, so may it thrive
By the knot of six, this spell is fixed
By the knot of seven, be it powered by the heavens
By the knot of eight, guide the hand of fate
By the knot of nine, the thing is mine
It is especially useful to use cords of colors suited for the type of spell you are casting, such as yellow for happiness or black for banishing.
Knot magick can be made somewhat more complicated and personal by using braids, however, which is really one of my favorite type of spells. Oftentimes, one color of cord simply doesn’t get at the heart of the matter, while three colors braided together can help you narrow down your specific intentions. It is up to the spellcaster whether you simply braid the cords as your spell or braid them tightly and then complete the series of nine knots, as though the braided cord is one piece.
Braiding makes for a powerful spell because it requires concentration and offers lots of opportunity to pour your intentions into a physical object. And it doesn’t even have to be done with cords! Frankly, any kind of ribbon, string or other item can be braided into a spell, including hair.
Turn Your Morning Routine Into a Ritual
For those of you that braid your hair, what if you made that small piece of your morning routine into a purposeful ritual or wove a bit of magick into a special occasion? Here are a few ideas for spells to cast with hair braids:
- Tie a piece of ribbon in a magickal color into your hair and complete a three-strand or Dutch braid, using two strands of hair and the ribbon. Alternatively, use three strands of hair and simply tie off the braid with a colored ribbon.
- Fishtail braids are great for water-related spells. Use the time it takes to complete the braid to focus on your intuition or reflect on your dreams. This is also a wonderful way to begin a period of divination or lucid dreaming.
- Write a chant, mantra or poem to repeat while braiding, pouring your intention into each crossed strand.
- Pull your hair back into a high ponytail and separate out several pieces. Braid each piece in a different style for complex protection spells or to help you choose between a variety of options. Use this time as meditation to discover what it is you truly need.
Do you have any morning or seemingly mundane routines you think would make a great simple ritual?