One magical art that is not widely used is that of cord magic. Cords or ribbons of various colors are braided together while concentrating on a desired end. Then the cord is consecrated, blessed, and worn. Many magical traditions use cords of various colors to designate attainment of degrees. This varies by tradition and region.


Cord magick is widely adaptable. One very basic use is for protection. A cord can be made with the intent to protect the wearer from harm by psychic or magickal energies. Then, when worn, the cord protects from specific types of harm as the need arises. One caution: these protective cords should only be used when needed, not casually worn day in and day out. They work well when sleeping in an unfamiliar place, or visiting somewhere the wearer is uncertain about.

Another use for cords can be to help performance on the job. Weave them with the intent that you will do your job better, be more professional, make fewer mistakes, make a good impression on others, etc., then wear them under your clothes to work. You could wear them every day (taking them off after work), or maybe only on Monday, or the toughest day of your week. Eventually you will no longer need them, as you will have internalized the message.

Cord magic adapts well to helping others who may not use magick themselves. You weave the intent into the cords, and the person wears them knowing what spell you used and what the desired outcome is. You cannot give a person a cord and expect it to work without their knowledge and cooperation. The person wearing the cord must know what it is about and be a willing participant in the magickal intent.

Some people use cords to invoke certain gods or goddess energies. As deity has many aspects, you can use cords to symbolize a certain aspect of deity, and when woven with that in mind the cord acts as a link to that manifestation. These can also be used to invoke protection as aid from that particular god-form when worn. A cord can also be used as a portable magickal circle. Weave the cord inside the circle with the intent of producing the circle when worn. Then all you need to do is put the cord on, and you are in that circle. This works well when you are in a place you cannot cast a full circle, or you need a circle but lack the time or equipment necessary. This type of cord needs to be recharged every so often to retain its potency and effectiveness.


The materials used for a cord vary. I like the round silk cord (called rattail, mousetail, bugtail or other names), dyed various colors, and usually available by the yard or foot at craft, yarn, or fabric stores. It comes in varying widths and many colors. It braids easily, and looks nice when finished. Yarn can also be used. Thicker yarn is better as it stands up to wear, and wool is best. Natural fibers work best in cords. Colored ribbons can also be used, found in decorating stores for trim (not the ribbon used for decorating packages. Often they can be bought by the spool for a good price.

Use a new piece of cord, string or twine, or a piece which has been specifically set a aside specifically for a magical purpose. Avoid plastic or synthetic based products, if possible. Use a length ideal for the task. If it is to be put in a neck pouch a 3 foot piece of cord will be a bit impractical, yet if it is to be worn as a girdle a 1 inch piece is hardly likely to fit.

The colour of the cord may reflect the form of magic required. Otherwise a natural or neutral colour will service. The spell should be performed alone and working by moonlight or candle light. But you can use an appropriate hour of the day as the situations demands. Incense can also be burned to assist in creating the right atmosphere and to ’seal’ the cord, if you wish.

When planning for a specific cord, I go and buy the materials, usually all at once. It’s easier to braid if you use the same material throughout, all silk or wool yarn, or ribbons. If the materials are bought in lengths, I measure the length desired. The standard is three yards (nine feet) per strand. Longer lengths become difficult to work with, and shorter lengths make a less adaptable cord (unless you plan on placing the cord in a pouch or your pocket). When I get it all home, I coat the ends with melted wax (usually by running them into the melted at the base of a
lighted candle) to seal the ends and prevent fraying. If you stick the cords in below the flame you can get the ends waxed and not burn the cord at all. After the wax hardens, I either start the braiding or I put the materials away until the time I have chosen to work on the cords.


Get very clear in your mind what is being sought or wished for or the intent of the spell your are about to performed. Concentrate on this image or thought, banish all other images and thoughts from your mind.

When braiding, a tighter weave will make a shorter cord. A more elaborate weave will also probably end up shorter if you start with the same length cord. The more strands used and the thicker strands used, generally the shorter the finished cord will be. You can secure the cord with a ring (it loops through to tie more easily with a ring), or you can just know the ends together and braid if you don’t want to use any metal.

When braiding, I place enough time to finish the cord in one session. A simple three-strand braid can take twenty to forty minutes. With a seven or more strand braid it can take hours. As I braid, I recite the reasons for making this cord, perhaps making a rhyme or chant. I vary the words, using more than one rhyme or chant. I visualize the outcome desired; not how the outcome will happen, but just the end desired. If making the cord for another, I talk about the person and why this cord is being made and what I want it to do.

Once finished, I bless and consecrate the cord, then put it away until it is to be used. Cords make nice respositories for portable spells, and travel easily. You can wear them under your clothes or even as a belt, and they will do what you want, and be unobtrusive. You can carry them in a purse or pocket, ready to use when needed. Placed under a pillow, they offer protection at night while sleeping. Cord magick is simple and effective, and adapts well to many purposes.

Pass the card through the candle flame or incense smoke, back and forth whilst you whisper the words of your spell and to cleanse and seal the cord to it’s task.

Then begin to tie the knots whilst repeating the ’spell of the cord’

It is best to tie the knots as follows, starting from the middle

Items can be tied into the knots as you go to strengthen the spell, such as hair, resins, wood, etc.

Spell of the Cord

By the knot of one The spells began
By the knot of two It will come true
By the knot of three So shall it be
By the knot of four It is strengthened more
By the knot of five So may it thrive
By the knot of six This spell is fixed
By the knot of seven Be it powered by the heavens
By the knot of eight Guide the hand of fate
By the knot of nine The thing is mine

Once completed, pass the knotted cord through the incense or candle flame again. Then extinguish the candle and incense and go to bed. Put the cord in a pre-prepared place or if for personal empowerment, under your pillow. Carry the knotted cord with you as a talisman, keeping it hidden from sight if necessary. Or dispose of as appropriate to the spell Do not tell any one of the spell working, if you must only those you can trust and only if you really need to. Above all else believe in what you are doing and it will work.

This is only a skeleton of the magic – one can invoke God or Goddess forms, animals or guide spirits to assist in the magic being worked, as you feel comfortable or appropriate with. Also this is not ’safe magic’ for it does not come with a “and harm none” clause. Cord magic is what I call grey magic, you can use it to give yourself confidence or to curse another and bind them to ill fortune, which ever you do and however you use the magic is your own responsibility and you will take the full consequences of the magic you cast, be that good or bad consequences Only you and your karmic conscious are the guardians of application of this form of magic.












by Estelle Daniels


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