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Witch's Ladder

Updated: Nov 14, 2019

Witch's ladders are an old form of magic that use braids and knots for protection, binding and augmenting powers, wish granting, and curses.

From "A Witch's Ladder" by Dr. Abraham Colles

Witch's ladders can take many forms - from simple strands of braided twine to elegantly woven silk thread with ornaments laced throughout. I mostly like to use witch's ladders for positive wish granting. I weave my wish into the ladder, and I unravel the the cord when I want the wish to be granted. I also use witch's ladders for protection and binding negative energies. These spells are active as long as the ladder remains intact.

Magical knots were used to store winds for sailors. When the knot was undone, wind would be released to aid the sailors in their journey.
One of the oldest witch's ladders was found in 1878 in a home in Wellington, Somerset in England. The ladder had interwoven feathers and was supposedly used for taking milk from the neighbor's cows and hexes.


  • 3 pieces of cord, twine, ribbon, or thread. Pieces should all be either 3 feet or 9 feet in length.

  • optional: trinkets, charms, or feathers to tie into the string (typically 3 to 40 items or a number with particular numerological significance)


  1. Make a knot or loop knot at the top of the cords to tie them together

  2. Braid the cords together, and add in knots along the way. There should either be 3 or 9 knots total. The initial knot that was used to tie the cords together should not be counted.

  3. Attach the charms or other items to the knots. It is not necessary to place a charm at every knot.

  4. Recite the following incantation as you form each knot. Alternatively, recite the incantation once the ladder is complete, and touch each knot as it is mentioned.

"By knot of one, the spell's begun

By knot of two, this magic is true

By knot of three, so it shall be

Be knot of four, this power is stored

By knot of five, my will shall thrive

By knot of six, this spell I fix

By knot of seven, the future I leven

By knot of eight, my will be fate

By knot of nine, what's done is mine"

*Note: For three knots, only recite the first three lines.


For wish granting spells, unravel the cord when you want the wish to be granted. They can be unbound over several days. Once unraveled, the cord can be buried in the earth or burnt. It is best to dispose of these items during the waning moon.

For protection and binding negative energies, keep the cord intact for as long as you need the spell to remain active.


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