Magical, mojo, gris gris, medicine, juju,Hoodoo, rootwork, or any other kind of bags are useful for many purposes, as well as popular in many cultures. They have been part of witchcraft and other spiritual paths for as long as magic was part of this plane. There are many traditions using the bag for a wide range of purposes. You can create one for cleansing newly bought store items, for manifesting, or for protection, attracting love, or negative workings; the list is only exhausted by your own creativity and skills.
Now, many people purchase premade, store bought pouches and bags, or use a circular pattern to gather materials in and bind at the top; those are both fine. However, for me I have been taught and feel through my own experiences, that sewing your own bag, laying the intentions and spell work directly into each stitch makes a far superior product. The intent is clear and strong, as are the spells woven into the material. Even adding things like knotting or beading strengthens the overall magical workings. I recommend trying your own, even if it is very small and primitive in the beginning; I can assure you that it will be quite powerful.
The basis of many other projects like dream pillows, healing cloths, or cloaks, derives from the same principles of intent as sewing a simple magical type of bag. I even have a special magical pouch for my favorite crystal to keep it safe and charged; crystals like the dark you know. Whatever it is that you are considering creating, it is easy to expand on these basic starting instructions.
The first step for any project is acquiring your materials. In this case as with all others, whether you are purchasing your base materials such as cloth, needles, thread, pins, beads or anything else you might use, or if you have the materials handy already, you must cleanse them and charge them with the intent of your purpose. This is important in creating magical tools. So, when I say cleanse, I am talking about spiritual cleansing not throwing the material in a washing machine. Although, actual washing may be an added step before cleansing spiritually if you have new material.
Once you have cleansed and dedicated your materials you need to have a purified space where you can keep all of your materials while you are not working on them. This can be a box of some type, a basket, or other place where you keep projects. However, for this type of work and to maintain a strong energy tie and the dedicated connections without contamination, it also needs to be a cleansed container and you must keep all other projects out of it. This is only for this project and to maintain the integrity of the energy.
Now I want to add that before you start any cleansing of objects and intention dedication, it is important that you spiritually cleanse yourself. If you omit this step you are only contaminating the entire project. Additionally, every time you want to begin working on the project after a break, you need to re-cleanse yourself. We are constantly bombarded with entities and all sorts of energies daily. It is important for good spiritual hygiene and to maintain the purest project energetically as possible to cleanse daily.
You can use whatever pattern you like. For a basic rectangular bag I like to fold over the material inside out and stitch up the two sides, hem the top, and make a draw string compartment in the hem. Simple, basic design; you can use what suits the needs of your purpose or skill level. The key is in the stitching more than the design necessarily, however that too can play a role in the overall working of the bag.
I was taught that whenever we start magic or energy work to always begin on the left, “lead with your heart,” is the phrase used. So I always start my projects on the left side. With your thread as you make your first knot; focus on your intent for the project. This is your foundational energy. Then, begin your sewing in stitches in sets of three, all the time weaving your intent and spell work. If you are adding beading with each stitch, do that in threes as well. That also becomes part of the working and anchors the overall intent and spell.
Continue to work along your project in sections of three, all the time weaving intent and spells into the fabric and thread. The tricky part of this is maintaining your intent. This is dedicated energy work, spell work, and takes time and patience, but will yield the greatest results for you. You cannot get this kind of intention with store bought items, in my opinion. Continue to work around the bag until it is complete.
To finish your bag, you simply do your final knotting and complete your spell work. I always end with, “so mote it be.” However, you can complete your workings in what ever your tradition is.
After that what you fill the bags with is entirely up to you and the intentions with the spell work that was done on the bag. Some bags, like a cleansing bag is meant to be left empty and filled only to cleanse spiritual items like a deck of tarot or oracle cards, or other items that you have purchased. Other bags will have herbs, oils, bones, or other significant items in them. Again it is entirely up to the person making the bag, their path, and intentions.
You can add symbols sewn into the fabric or do bindings at the end. If you are crocheting a bag, each stitch is also focused on in sets of three just like you would if you were sewing it with thread.
For leather or suede medicine bags, the stitching and intent is just as if you were using cloth. It does not matter what the material is. However, when using animal products such as skins, horns, tusks, feathers, shells, whatever, even plant materials such as nuts or wood, or crystals for that matter, I ask permission of the spirit within to be used for these purposes. I never force something that is unwilling to be part of spell work; it will always taint the overall project and can lead to unknown outcomes. I find it best to ask for partnerships in energy work with the universe. If I use elk hide, I ask the elk for permission of the intent of the bag and ask that elk medicine be included in those workings. It makes for another layer of energy and if done properly can enhance greatly the overall project.
So that is the basic premise of making a magical bag. You can add your variations based on need or traditions. The intent of this is a jumping off point, not the end all, be all. As with any type of spiritual work, my belief is that you make it your own. Risk something new; what do you have to lose?
2016 copyright by Katie Pifer available at http://www.witchpetals.wordpress.com