Recently I have been bombarded by questions about those lovely pieces of glass known as Witch Balls, so I thought I would give a bit of history on them and what they were originally intended for. This of course is just my opinion and whatever I write here is written after much research and consideration.
Witch Balls are believed to have been around since medieval times when they were not perfect spherical bodies but sloppy one-sided orb-like structures; it is thought they were used to ward off goblins, evil spirits and of course witches. Later in Victorian times the Witch Ball became fashionable and was then constructed of much higher quality glass, displaying one in your home was said to be a symbol of wealth and prestige while the old reason for witch balls was regarded as superstitious twattle.
So historically what was the reason for a Witches Ball? It was thought that having a witch ball hanging in your east facing window would ward off all negativity, curses, sickness, witches and just plain old bad luck. Later it was noticed that you did not have to have the witch ball in an east facing window but could hang it from the porch or even set it on a table and it would have the same effect. This depends on who you speak to, some believe the only way for the witch ball to work effectively is to have it in an east facing window; you will have to be your own judge on that score. Also noted is that it was believed that urine, and blood were just two items that may be placed inside a witch ball to protect the person who put it there, how this is done I don’t know as all the witches balls I have had the pleasure to view are solid.
What is the magick behind the witches’ ball you may ask, well it seems this varies from person to person also so here we will put a few of the theories out there and you can choose the one that sounds right to you:
The number one theory seems to be that evil spirits are attracted to the witch balls beauty and perfection with its mass of swirling color, it somehow enchants any evil or negativity that wants to do harm upon the home. It is believed that once this evil or negative spirit touches the witch ball it will be forever trapped inside the ball. Apparently it was believed that the web like strands of glass inside the ball would snare and hold the evil, apparently indefinitely.
Theory two is that the witch balls themselves are a magnet for negative energy and that it will draw the negativity from the area it is placed in. It was once thought that if you were ill being close to the witch ball would soon alleviate your sickness as the ball drew in the negative vibes emanating from the sick. It was also told that in order to “clean” the evil from inside the ball all that had to be done was to wipe the dust from the ball and all the negativity inside would be exorcised.
Theory three concerns witches themselves, it seems that the witch ball enchants a witch and being overcome with its beauty, willingly allows themselves to be taken into the ball where they become trapped for all eternity. On the other side of the coin it was also thought that witches enchanted the balls to capture evil and negativity from doing harm to people inside a home with one displayed in a window.
It seems the only thing that can be agreed upon is that they are meant to ward off negativity or any evil doings. As an interesting side note: it was thought that the round Christmas tree ornaments descended from the witch ball as a way to ward off the evil eye from those who wished to covet the gifts under the tree.
However you wish to think of the witch ball, it has many uses and is still used quite commonly today, the gazing ball that many put in their back gardens is a form of witch ball whether the user knows it or not.
More Witchy Reading....
- The Witch Trials Chronicled Part 1
The witch trials started long before Salem, find out when they really started. Part 1
- The Witch Trials Chronicled Part 2
Part 2, but is it the end?
- Legend of the Bell Witch
The Bell Witch is a legend in Tennessee and is thought to have been witnessed and heard by many. What do you think?
- Bamberg Witches Prison
Bamberg was a prison specifically built to house and torture people accused of witchcraft in the 1600's.