I use several mediums to express my creativity as an artist — painting, writing, sculpting, crocheting, and I have just started sewing crafts (I had so much fun making poppets for my article on doll magick I decided to make a quilt!) Aside from painting, making magical crafts is one of my favourite ways to incorporate art and the Craft. Spell boxes are a nifty little way to perform magick, store sacred items, and express reverence for a deity or spirit. Today I will share with you a few ways to incorporate boxes into your magical practice. The first way is to use them for spells, another is to charge or empower objects, and the third is to store and protect works-in-progress projects, such as materials for poppets.
Contain your spell
A spell box is, well, a box that is intended for spells. It’s quite simple. You choose a box, put ingredients inside that correspond with your intent, put a lid on and voila! Your spell is contained and therefore will continue work until you disassemble the box. The ritual to set the spell into motion be as elaborate or simple as you wish. I like to write my intent on a little piece of parchment paper, which I then fold neatly, draw a sigil on the outside and place in the bottom of the box. Then I will add crystals and herbs, sometimes trinkets like bracelet charms or make clay discs or figures especially for the spell. I have two subcategories of spell boxes – a single purpose or theme.
A single purpose box would be one that contains spell ingredients and is then buried or disposed of once the spell is no longer needed. You would choose a small, biodegradable box (hopefully), along with biodegradable ingredients, so as not to leave behind anything that could harm or choke animals should they dig it up. You could opt for a box that may be recycled and then cleanse or burn the ingredients after.
Themed boxes are used for spells of the same theme, but are durable enough so that when one spell is no longer needed, you can clean and cleanse the box to use it again for another spell of a similar theme. I have a dream box, which I use to contain spells for dreaming. I have used it for a spell to help me remember my dreams, as I could not keep a dream journal when I’d forget the dream as soon as I grabbed my pen. If I wanted to seek answers or wisdom I would clear out the ingredients, cleanse the box with incense smoke and then put ingredients inside to encourage prophetic dreams – if I sought answers from, say, the Morrigan, my Matron deity, I would also include a note to Her along with offerings. Another theme is money or wealth. As with my dream box, I will clean and cleanse the box every time I change spells. Here is a sample spell for a money box:
- Step 1. Pick your box.
- Step 2. Choose your ingredients. (Possible ingredients: Money, moss agate, hematite, a magnet, mint, basil, cinnamon, bay leaf)
- Step 3. Prepare your items. I will put my box on my altar, with my ingrediants in a dish off to the side. I cleanse and bless my box with the elements (Waft incense smoke over it, wave it over a candle, sprinkle of salt, sprinkle of water) then hold it over the altar and state my intent. Repeat this process with the ingredients. (I don’t add the water or salt at this stage, I just visualize them being cleansed)
- Step 4. Place the items in the box and secure the lid. Decorate the box with colours and symbols associated with wealth and keep in a safe place.
One box, two box, red box, blue box
One of the most important steps in making spell boxes is choosing the boxes. The first thing to consider is size – I’m sure we have all heard the saying that ‘size doesn’t matter’ but in this case, it does. Your box should be small enough so that it can easily be stashed away to work the magick, but big enough to hold the contents. Storage boxes would need to be big enough to hold the items for your project. For example, I use a hat box (Round box with a lid and cord to carry it) for my poppets. Sometimes I’ll make the poppet in one sitting, but there have been numerous occasions where I feel it’s more important to take my time crafting the poppet and need somewhere to hold everything for the days or even weeks I spend on the doll. This box used to contain my scrapbook materials, but it called to me from the closet when I went looking for something to put my fabric, sewing kit and stuffing into. Like many other things in witchcraft, you want to aim for balance (think Goldie Locks – not too big, not too small, but just right).
Keep your lid on!
Like all your other magical supplies, there may be things that could be harmful to your babies – furry or human- so you want to make sure you have a way of securing the lid on the top. My dream spell box is cleared out and reused often – I will use it to dream about one thing or use it to bring wisdom from a deity, so I need to be able to secure the lid without damaging the box when I open it and clean it out. I got some elastic ribbon and made a little band that snaps around the box, keeping the lid from falling off. I usually put the boxes somewhere where my son cannot reach or access, but you can never be too cautious when curious little ones are around! The lid for the hat box containing my sewing material and poppet products is well fitting, so I don’t have to worry about my son prying it off. To make sure the box is secure, however, I drew a sigil on the inside of the lid that I normally reserve for my grimoires – one that protects it from prying eyes. If someone were to get curious and start poking around, they would suddenly be distracted by something else, or fail to remember what they saw.
Spell boxes are a powerful addition to a witchcraft or magical practice. They are cheaper, and often more easily recycled than glass jars. They may be used for quick, single-purpose spells, or you can get a sturdy box for bigger spells that will be added to over time. Boxes may be enchanted to hold special or sacred objects or be used to charge said objects. Finally, you can make them as ornate or plain as you like. It is your life, so you make the choices. Happy Crafting!
Image credits:Kerstin, Amanda Wilson