The Magic of Iron

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,

Iron is strength.  It is the power of deep places in the earth which the secret creatures like snakes and worms are born to know but humans have only discovered through our inquisitive nature.  It is the nobility of refinement, the bravery to face trials and come back transformed.  It's the balance of fire and water and the experience of a master to know how to apply them.

Iron's use in magic is a long one.  In every culture where iron has been dug, forged, and worked, it has been used in magic.  And why not?  Iron weapons defended the innocent, iron locks prevented theft, iron nails built the houses that kept people safe and warm, iron cauldrons fed us and even kept us strong by adding the mineral to our diet, iron shoes guarded the hooves the the all-important horses and helped make journeys from home ever longer.  Soon the workable metal was shaped into talismans in its own right--images of eyes and genitals, sacred symbols of Gods and Goddesses, and powerful animals.  It was the magic of master craftsmen but available every day to everyone.  How much of modern magic can claim that?

Though steel has replaced much of iron's old uses, rust is considered "dirty" and not the sharing of iron's power, and horseshoes are rarely found discarded along the roadside, iron's magic has not diminished.  Modern withes use iron in spells granting physical and spiritual protection, purification, prosperity, and luck.  Horseshoes and horseshoe nails are not only used in magic to bring good fortune, but even finding one is an omen of luck to come.  Iron coffin nails are protective, as are square cut nails.  Iron swords and knives are the traditional means of dispatching unwanted spirits, malicious magic-users, and destructive fairies.

There are a variety of ways this metal can be worked into your magic no matter what kinds of spells you prefer.  Whole iron is posted above the front door, added to mojo bags, wound in colored thread and lucky images, made into jewelry, or driven into a specific place to exert its influence.  "Iron shot" (also called magnetic sand or fine iron filings) are the powder formula of iron.  Added to herbal powders it's used for drawing, sprinkled over lodestones, it feeds and activates them.  Rust is the liquid formula of iron.  "War Water" is a well-known potion often made exclusively of rust water.  Special protection is gained from forge water, the water used by smith's to cool hot iron after it's been worked.  A replica of this can be made at home by heating a piece of iron red hot, using tongs to drop it in water, and then sprinkling the cooled water.  Healing and blessing baths are easily made by hanging a cloth bag of iron nails under the spigot as the bathtub fills so the water flows over them.

Iron talismans are fairly easy to find for a modern witch, but don't forget that any piece of iron contains the power of all.  That is why rust continues to be used and why even saying the word "iron" can put evil to flight.  If I may shamelessly plug my shop a moment, Quill's Occult Supply now carries cut iron nails ready to add their magic to your work! 

If you'd like to go that one (or more) step further, check out these links about simple, ancient methods of smelting your own raw iron ore and pouring liquid iron in a makeshift furnace:

Smelting Video by the Blacksmiths of Colonial Williamsburg 

Start-to-Finish Video of Historically-Correct Ancient Viking Smelting Methods

Iron Crucible Instructions Using Household Items

And here's a great article about the magic of iron and horseshoes


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About Me

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My name is Quill and I've been practicing witchcraft for the past 17 years. 10 of those years I've been reading tarot and teaching.  I own a shop on Etsy called Quill's Occult Supply (check it out at full of handmade ritual and decorative items, spell components, and wild picked herbs.

I love to work with my hands.  Magic is a tool to shape our lives, and I'm using magic to shape tools to shape magic.  Cosmic! 

I use a lot of my favorite things in my shop: herbs, candles, wood, fabric, paint, clay.  And I get to carve, burn, grind, mold, think, dream ... I'm in the perfect business!

I've written 3 manuscripts for publication (2 non-fiction and 1 fiction) and am an avid NaNo-er!  I and my husband run a local coven called Orbis Prosapia, and our children are growing up surrounded by magic, mythology, fairy tales, Earth worship, art, open discussion, music, and humor. 

In addition to working on Ex Penna about my experiences as a professional witch, I also write for Scenes from the Circle about being a coven leader. 

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