Magickal Tool Care Series: Bells

Bright Blessings, Witches! Next up in our Magickal Tool Care Series we’re talking Bells. The worldwide over has been using bells for metaphysical purposes since the 3rd millennium BC. Magickal rites like warding off evil, worshipping deities, carrying messages to the Universe and more all have a history with bells.

They are hands down one of my most used tools in my craft. And while they are commonly utilized for those who follow the Wiccan path, I feel like bells are a highly underused implement by a lot of practitioners. Perhaps this is because people just aren’t educated about how powerful bells are. Let’s change that, shall we? In this post, we’ll discuss what you can use a bell for in your practice, plus what they represent.

ETYMOLOGY

the root word bell comes from the Middle English 'belle'

Where does the word ‘bell’ come from? The Middle English word ‘belle’ comes from Old English. It is though to be likened to the Old English word ‘bellan’ which means ‘to roar’.

WHAT IS A BELL?

bells used in witchcraft

From Merriam-Webster:

\ ˈbel

a hollow metallic device that gives off a reverberating sound when struck

Source

A bell is a common enough object for most folks to recognize. Usually equipped with a handle, a bell can be rang by swinging it back and forth. There are other types of bells that can be struck with hammers, pressed, or pulled with ropes. A bell used for witchcraft and magick are those that typically have a handle.

WHAT ARE BELLS USED FOR IN MAGICK

bells used in witchcraft

Also known as Witch Bells or Witch’s Bells, they are used for SO many things:

-Sound cleansing a space of ALL energy (the good, the bad, the ugly, etc.)
-A singular bell used to signal the beginning and end of a ritual
-Cleansing other magickal tools and items
-Keeping the Fae pleased (they love the sound of bells)
-Representing the element of Air in rituals
-Representing the element of Water in rituals
-Invoking specific Goddesses in rituals
-Warding off the Evil Eye when hung in the rearview window of a car
-Used during meditation as a way to balance the mind
-Used to signal the start of Sabbat feasts and other important meals
-Signaling customers entering a business and protect the establishment from negativity
-Raising energy when worn on the body during chanting and dancing
-Protecting altars/cabinets from spirits looking for energetic sustenance
-Warding off nightmares/astral entities/spiritual tricksters when hung in the bedroom window
-Protecting pets from negative energies when hung on their collars
-Used in fertility rites to represent genitalia of the female and male joining together
-Representing a baby in the womb during fertility spells
-Used to create a protection bubble after casting a circle, then rung again after dispersing the circle to release any energetic remnants
-Multiple bells strung together and hung from a nail or doorknob to ward off negative energies, grant wishes, and bring prosperity to the home
-Summoning spirits of specific people
-Banishing evil spirits
-Sealing in the work done during magickal rites
-Clearing energetic blockages
-Resetting and tuning your personal energetic vibration
-Blessing magickal tools (Tarot and oracle decks, crystals, altars, pendulums, etc.) with good energy
-Binding spirits (highly advanced magickal work)

HOW TO CHOOSE A BELL FOR YOUR PRACTICE

witch bells

As previously stated in the Athames and Cauldrons posts:

“Like everything else in magick and witchcraft, tools are very intimate to the practitioner. What works for one witch might not work for another.”

It is because of this that choosing a bell is a personal matter. If you subscribe to a particular tradition or path that requires a specific type of bell be used, then it’s best to follow that creed. On the other hand, if you’re a solitary practitioner or follow a path sans any requirements then it is advised to listen to your gut when choosing a bell.

It is best to shop in person if you can. It allows you to hold different bells to feel their weight, ring them, hear their sounds, and notice whether or not you vibe with them. If you’re unable to shop in person and are limited to online shopping, looks for sites with detailed descriptions featuring dimensions and measurements, lots of pictures taken from different angles, and reputable reviews.

HOW TO CLEANSE YOUR BELL

cleanse magickal tools like bells

As with ALL magickal tools, ensuring that they are first cleansed, then warded, and finally protected is of utmost importance. We do this because our tools used in our practice can not only do wondrous things, but also cause harm, too. We don’t want anything frightful or nasty to tap into or have access to that power.

Having said that, the term ‘cleanse’ refers to the energetic cleansing and physical care of your bell. What your bell is made of will determine how you should physically clean it. Things like the ability to withstand soap and water are among the issues needed to be considered. The last thing you want is your magickal tool to corrode or rust.

Energetically cleansing is imperative as well. Before the bell became yours, it’s seen countless auric footprints and most likely absorbed tons of unwanted energies. When you cleanse your bell you zero out all energetic footprints and create space for your specific intentions.

CHARGING YOUR BELL

you must charge your magickal tools including bells

When you fill an object with a specific type of energy, that’s called charging. Also known as enchanting or programming, you can charge both objects and spaces with a chosen intention. Pertaining to this situation, it’s like filling your bell with purpose.

The method you choose to charge your bell is up to you. You can use things like vocal charging, visualization, meditation, fire (be careful!) crystals, moonlight or sunlight – depending on what your tool is made of. The most important aspect is to focus your intent and concentrate it into your bell. It’s important to note that you should listen to your intuition as it will alert you when your tool is charged.

A NOTE ON CHARGING

From my Athames and Cauldrons posts:

Over time, objects that we imbue with specific intentions eventually lose energy. But how do you know WHEN to charge after the initial act?

  • Any time you cleanse an object or tool it needs to be charged
  • When energies feel “off”
  • When you wish to reprogram an object or space with a different energy/intent/purpose
  • When a tool begins to feel stagnant or stale or stops responding to your energy

HOW TO STORE YOUR BELL

The importance of honoring tools is a part of being a practitioner. This rings – pun intended – especially true when we rely on them for ritual work. Setting a spot on your altar or demarcating your space intentionally in conjunction with your beliefs is a fantastic way to show you have respect for the tools used to manifest your desires.

This can look like using a special mat, cushion, case, etc. When setting a space for your bell choose something that lines up with you – the practitioner – and feels right for your specific path.

IN CONCLUSION…

Another day, another magickal tool covered! Do you use bells in your practice? If so, are there other ways you utilize them that wasn’t mentioned? Let me know in the comments! Bright Blessings and Happy Crafting!

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