Spell Crafts: Creating Magical Objects by Scott Cunningham, David Harrington, Scott Harri |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Spell Crafts: Creating Magical Objects

Spell Crafts: Creating Magical Objects

by Scott Cunningham, David Harrington, Scott Harri

Feel the energy that flows through everything you do. Tap into that power! Carve a symbol, dip a candle, mix fragrant herbs, sculpt clay, and make your life all that you want it to be. When crafts are used to create objects intended for ritual or to symbolize the divine, the connection between the craftsperson and divinity grows more intense.

This second edition


Feel the energy that flows through everything you do. Tap into that power! Carve a symbol, dip a candle, mix fragrant herbs, sculpt clay, and make your life all that you want it to be. When crafts are used to create objects intended for ritual or to symbolize the divine, the connection between the craftsperson and divinity grows more intense.

This second edition of Spell Crafts, the much-loved and oft-read guide to magical handwork, features new illustrations and a new preface by David Harrington. Learn how to create and use all of the following:

  • Magical simmering potpourris
  • A beaded psychic mandala
  • Clay pentacles, plaques, and runic dice
  • A shaman's arrow
  • Sand paintings
  • Corn Mother
  • A magical spell broom
  • Protective hex sign
  • Witch bottles
  • Flower garlands
  • Spell banner
  • Magic mirror
  • Prosperity trivet
  • Wheat weaving

Product Details

Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Publication date:
Llewellyn's Practical Magick Series
Edition description:
1st ed
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.26(w) x 8.92(h) x 0.56(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

part one
beginnings chapter one
The Magic of Hands
Hands were the first magical tools. Long before the earliest spell books were written, humans saw their hands as tools of power. With them they changed their world, and change is the essence of magic.
In the earliest days of our species,* hands were used to gather and to prepare food, to create shelter, for making simple garments,
and to fashion tools of wood, bone, stone, and shell. Hands clasped together during the beginnings of life, assisted during birth, struck against flesh in combat, and laid the deceased to rest. Finally,
humans discovered they could use their hands to create fire. These quite real changes were probably viewed as the products of what we would term magic, for many of them were the sole province of humans.
* We can only speculate concerning the earliest spiritual and magical beliefs and practices, for there certainly are no written records. Speculation is based on a study of symbolism and a comparison with early historic civilizations, as well as with pretechnological peoples of more recent times.
Hands had other uses as well. Though some now speculate that early humans first communicated by telepathy, it seems possible that hand signals were also used. Apart from their value in everyday life (warning of danger, giving directions during hunts, passing on rudimentary knowledge), the language of gestures probably evolved specific signs reserved for religious and magical purposes.
Certain shapes created with the fingers may have promoted union with spirit. Some were most probably magical in nature.
Thousands of years later, some of these early forms of communication were specifically associated with religion. Some of these ritual gestures have been preserved and are still used in religions found throughout the world*.
The miraculous changes that could be created with hands drove humans to regard them as one of the most spiritual parts of the body. In the first great civilizations (Sumer, Egypt, Greece, and
Rome), hands enjoyed both a secular and a sacred aura of power,
and played important roles in religion.
Sumerian images of worshippers were often carved with their hands held upward in supplication or clasped in humility. Wall paintings in Egyptian tombs depict deities holding ankhs—symbols of life—in their hands. In reliefs of Ra (an Egyptian sun deity), the rays stemming from the solar orb terminate in small hands.
Pagan deities from around the world are often depicted holding or clutching symbols of their powers (which are dispensed through their hands). Some Hindu deities are equipped with multiple arms and hands to symbolize the many powers and influences that these deities possess.
Even while hands were being used in religious capacities, they never lost their magical qualities. Hand-to-hand combat fostered the idea that hands were protective. Eventually, hands created symbols in their own images. Figures of hands were painted or carved and worn for protective purposes in ancient Egypt, Greece,
*All scuba divers are aware of the importance of gestures as a means of communication.
Rome, Asia, and possibly South America. The powers of hands were transferred from flesh to bronze, stone, wood, clay, silver, and gold. For example, protective door knockers from ancient Pompeii were fashioned in the form of a hand grasping a ball. (Representations of hands are still worn today throughout the Middle East,
Europe, and Latin America, as they have been since ancient Greek times.)
As systems of magic evolved, hands became increasingly important:
specific figures were drawn or traced, the hands were placed in certain postures, and ritual tools were carried and moved.
Though many inner processes were at work during magical rituals,
hands were viewed as the channels through which magical energy was released.
Even today, hands haven’t lost their power. “Laying on of hands”
is a popular form of healing, in which the hands are used to transport energy into the sick. The age-old art of palmistry hasn’t died out. Gestures of love (holding hands) and hate (in the United
States, the upraised middle finger) still evoke powerful emotions.
To symbolize the depth of our sincerity while swearing oaths,
we raise a hand. Clasping hands upon meeting a friend is a social ritual in the West today, and is a survivor of the ancient ritual demonstration of exhibiting weapon-free hands (and thus, of friendly intentions).
We still wear betrothal, healing, and luck rings on our fingers,
perhaps with the unconscious hope that placing such special objects on our fingers will strengthen their effectiveness. Some of us shake hands with famous persons, hoping that “luck” will rub off. Business transactions are often sealed with a ritual handshake. Semisecret groups continue to utilize ritual handclaspings as a means of recognition,
and, throughout the world, most of us earn our living by using our hands.
Religious use of the hands is also with us. Catholics trace the sign of the cross on their bodies during prayer, priests and ministers often lift a hand during prayer and supplication (as religious persons have been doing since ancient Sumer), and Asians clap before images of their deities during religious ritual.
The wide range of unusual rituals and customs that we still perform with our hands hints at the magical potential contained within them. Our hands are far more than utilitarian objects: our palms and fingers are potent magical tools. Even several millennia of cultural and technological progress hasn’t been able to fully exorcise this knowledge, as demonstrated by the above four paragraphs.
Knowingly or unknowingly, we still affirm that hands are magical objects.
Magicians (those conversant with natural but little understood transformative techniques) know that the human body produces energy that can be used in magic. The hands are seen as conduits through which this energy is sent from the body during magical rites.
And so, hands are truly magical tools. With their help we can change our lives. Any creative act performed with the hands (writing a letter, weaving a rug, building a house, or knitting a sweater)
can be an act of magic, if it’s done with the proper intent.
So, what, exactly, is magic? We discuss this subject at length in chapter 3, but a few words are appropriate here. Magic is the movement of natural (yet subtle) energies to create positive change. It’s an ancient art, rich with centuries of history and practice.
It isn’t supernatural, evil, or dangerous.
Many have found magic to be a technique that allows them to gain control over their lives; to transform them into happier, more positive experiences.
Spell craft is a special category of magic. It consists of the magical creation of, and ritual use of, magical objects. When we make such objects, we’re performing acts of magic, for we’re causing transformations (the raw materials and energies within them) with our hands.
Magic can be a purely mental process, using no tools other than a trained mind. More often, though, it involves the use of specific objects as focal points for concentration, such as candles, brooms,
and herbs. These objects are usually handled in ritual ways while energy from within the body is sent into or through them.
This book describes many of these tools. Such objects, specifically made for a specific magical act, can be quite effective. The tools described in this book are rarely available in stores, but you can make them—with your hands.
All hand-made objects contain a bit of energy. The process that creates these objects is more than a simple repetition of techniques.
During the creation process the craftsperson, through concentration and the physical activity involved, moves energy from within the body, through the hands, and into the material being worked.
This is what sets it apart from other objects, and what readies it for use in magic.
In magic, we have the opportunity to imbue our crafts with specific energies: a loving relationship, increased money, protection against harm, enhanced spirituality, a sense of peace, physical and emotional purification, and psychic awareness. Today, many are seeking the spiritual dimension of our physical world. Though some of us enjoy the increasingly complex manifestations of applied technology,
we’re also searching for subtle explanations of the ways in which we interact with nature.
We’re also eager to take control of our lives, to fill them with positive energy, to wash them clean of doubt, guilt, depression, poverty,
and pain. Magic is a tool that can be used to do this, and the magic starts in our own hands.
The aim of magic isn’t the domination of nature; it’s the domination of ourselves. We can clasp magic as a tool of positive selftransformation.
Spell craft is one aspect of this tool. Sewing beads,
weaving wheat, and creating magical brooms affirms, through simple techniques and rituals, the powers within our hands and their ability to shape our lives into nurturing, evolving experiences.
Look at your hands as they really are. See them as wondrous vehicles of power, of the energy that flows through everything you do. Tap into that power! Carve a symbol, dip a candle, mix fragrant herbs, sculpt clay, and make your life all that you want it to be.
Create objects of magic and use them to transform your life into a positive experience. In doing so you’ll celebrate nature, your hands and, ultimately, yourself.

Meet the Author

Scott Cunningham practiced magic actively for over twenty years. He was the author of more than fifty books covering both fiction and non-fiction subject matter; sixteen of his titles are published by Llewellyn Publications. Scott's books reflect a broad range of interests within the New Age sphere, where he was very highly regarded. He passed from this life on March 28, 1993, after a long illness.
David Harrington lives in Chula Vista, California and has a long-term interest in the mysteries of household magic. ~

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