On the Use of Cords
Cord Magick is described in The Witches' Bible (by Janet and Stewart Farrar), and is highly effective in it's own right. It is some of the simplest magick to do, and only requires some cords or rope. Theoretically, one's initiation cords can be used for working magick, but is generally not practiced in that way, especially when doing cord magick for someone other than yourself. The coven keeps a set of cords for magickal purposes, and are the same length as initiation cords: 9 ft long, and secured at the ends to keep from fraying.
Colors vary from coven to coven. Some have multiple colors for different purposes, some have several cords of the same color. Choice of color would be up to you. In our tradition there are only a few colors that have specific purposes:
- White: The color of the 1st degree cord, generally symbolizing the Maiden.
- Red: The color of the 2nd degree cord, and the color of the cords used to bind the candidate for initiation. They generally symbolize the Mother.
- Black: The color of the 3rd Degree cord, generally symbolizing the Crone.
Outside of these colors, the typical correspondences of color magick can apply. The coven has a set of cords kept for use by the coven when doing cord magick which are purple. We've found that, generally, with the type of cord magick that we do, it is the intent, not the color that matters.
Cord magick can be done by oneself, with modifications, or with a group. Cord magick is usually done on a full moon, and the cords are kept knotted until the next full moon, where it is un-knotted and put away, or used for a new working. It's best to wrap the cords for safe keeping in a piece of cloth, and put under the altar (if you have one that stays up), or in a special place away from curious kids and pets.
Basic Cord Magick
Open the circle in the usual way, through the calling of the Gods and Goddesses.
The Priest leads the group in building energy. This can be done through chanting and moving around the circle, or toning together, or even with the Willow Tree Meditation (or a combination). The Priest builds the energy for a short time, then picks up the cords. The cords should be arranged such that there are enough ends for each person in the room. For example, for 6 people, you would need three cords. The cords are knotted in the center, and each end is held by each person. It's usually best to hold it taught so that the center knot is in the middle of the circle/room, but things can always be adjusted for the size of the space you are in.
When each person has their end of the cords, the Priest asks everyone to think of something they wish for or want to bring into their lives for the coming moon. The priest allows a little time for people to think of what they wish. Then, the Priest starts by tying a knot near the top of her section of cord and speaking her wish to the room. The rest of the coven also make a knot and speak the Priest's wish. The next person (deosil) makes a second knot in their cord and speaks their wish, with the rest of the coven making a knot and repeating the wish. This continues deosil until all coven members have made their wishes. If there has been any requests made of the coven for magick directed for a specific person or purpose, then additional knots can be made after everyone has made their wish.
Once all knots are made, the members hold the ends of the cords, and the Priest leads the chanting once more, starting slowly, and building up to create a Cone of Power. Moving deosil, the Priest starts to move with the cords around the circle. The chanting and moving/dancing continues until it gets to a frenzied/ecstatic state. There will be a natural point where everyone will know to stop and release the energy to do the work that was wished for. At this point, the Priest takes up the cords from the center, bundles them up, and wraps the bundle with the cloth. It is then put away until the next moon. The Priest then allows some time for people to come down from the ecstatic state.
The circle is finished with Cakes and Wine, and then the usual closing. It is usually good to do some extra grounding before closing the circle, especially if the chanting and dancing was particularly energetic.