A couple of years ago, a friend who did a witchy podcast and I were talking about me being on her show to discuss how fiber arts have played a role in religious and occult traditions over the centuries. Folk magic has always fascinated me, and I was excited to do it. The friend has put her podcast on hold, because all her energy goes into her job right now. Maybe someday I’ll get to talk about it. But something I was reading today reminded me that I still have my notes on the topic, and I thought I’d share them.

(For the record, at this point in my life I consider magic to be interesting theoretically but don’t actively practice. I still read some as a scholarly pursuit, though. Right now I’m reading a history of grimoires and it’s fascinating. Expect a future blog post about it.)


See my previous posts on history and symbolism, and the red string skirt

Dressing idols in Mesopotamia, Greece (usually woven by priestesses)

Catholic nuns and vestments

Symbology: still found in knitted Latvian mittens, for example — symbols for protection against the evil eye, blessings for fertility

Goddesses who spun/wove, everywhere from Greece to Germany to Aztec to Chinese

Also goddesses whose domain included spinning, like Athena

The Fates and the Norns, both sets of three women who spun, wove, and cut the threads of fate/life

Modern Magic

Color and number correspondences (like using a green string for financial concerns)


  • Techniques:
    • simple piece of string
    • friendship bracelets
    • macrame
    • French knots in embroidery
  • Uses:
    • binding things to you (prosperity, luck)
    • binding people/curses

Embedding intention into the fabric, whether weaving or knitting or whatever

  • Prayer shawls are a thing in religious traditions
  • Correspondences
  • Symbolism: look up symbols from preferred traditions (Greek, runes, etc)

Working with deities: they like the attention/effort

  • Altar cloths
  • Wall hangings for above altar
  • Gifts for the deity
  • Accessories for rituals, like the stoles of priests


  • cross stitch runes or symbols
  • choose a knitting/crochet/etc. pattern reflecting a sacred number of deity
  • sigils

Perfection not necessary — effort is important part

By the way, the whole thing about non-Western cultures saying “making item perfect except for one flaw because of god” is a myth and not true in any known culture

Categories: Textiles


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.