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Monday, December 13, 2010

The Magic of Christmas Bells

 Tis the season for bells: solstice bells; jingle bells; sleigh bells.

Bells have long been thought to posses special magical abilities in their sound vibrations, which symbolize creative power. The curved and rounded shape of a bell is a symbol of the female force and the celestial vault.

Bells have often been used in religious rites. Practitioners of Wicca use small hand bells to enhance harmony and augment power. In African and Caribbean vodun, dancers use bells to call upon their loa, spirits who connect to the gods. Shamans have favored bells to drive away evil spirits. Since the 5th c., Christian church bells have warded off evil and wicked spirits customarily lurking on church thresholds.

At a person’s death, church bells were tolled to help the departing soul on its way to heaven and prevent evil agents from impeding that journey. Shopkeepers began hanging bells on their thresholds, not to announce the entries of customers, but to keep evil spirits from entering their premises.

Although bells typically repel witches and demons, they have also been used to summon the dead. A well-known example of this is with the Giradius Bell in 18th c. France. Cast of a specific alloy at the exact hour on the day and hour of the birth of its intended user, it was inscribed with astrological symbols and magical words. To be properly “cured” or imbued with magical connection to the dead, it was wrapped in green taffeta and left on a grave for seven days to absorb vibrations and emanations.

Enjoy the magical music of the season!

Art References: Yellowcaseartist (top); Cryingdragon21 (bottom)
Reference: The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft & Wicca; Rosemary Ellen Guiley; 2008.


Rebecca said...

This is great information, and you just gave me an idea for my work in progress. Thanks so much! :)

Marsha A. Moore said...

Finding writing ideas is what leads me to poke around in magical lore.

Thanks for stopping by!

Roseanne Dowell said...

I love bells. In fact, I collected them for a while - mostly glass, porcelain, or ceramic. I had no idea the connection bells had to magic or warding off evil spirits. This is fascinating information. Thanks for sharing.

Marsha A. Moore said...

It is fascinating stuff. Glad you liked it Roseanne!