Even if you are not familiar with the workings of the occult, you may already be somewhat familiar with the concept of the hex bag, also known as mojo bags, charm bags, grisgris bags, trick bags, conjure bags, medicine bags, wish bags, and prayer pouches. They have, in some form or another, appeared in many popular T.V. shows, such as Supernatural, Charmed, and The Secret Circle, and can also be seen in movies like The Craft, Dances With Wolves, and even The Princess and the Frog.
These items have interested me since I was a small child and was shown how to make one while attending a Native American Powwow. They called it a medicine bag, but as I will will explain, regardless of the name they go by in varying cultures, they are tools use to accomplish desired tasks. The only real difference with them that you will find in varying cultures are if they are used to achieve negative goals as well as positive.
Hex bags, to someone other than the maker, or who it is made for, will appear to contain a random assortment of items, both natural and man made. Many even contain bones, sticks, and herbs. These items, though unimportant to a random observer, hold great symbolism and importance to the one it was made for. Their power and effectiveness also grows the longer they are in the possession of the one they were made for, making them valued personal possessions. Every person that I know, who owns one, carries it with them as regularly as they do their wallet or purse.
Hex Bag Uses
To get an idea on the many different uses hex bags can have, you only need to look at the various names they have. I like to use the name "hex bag" due to the meaning of hex, which comes from the German word "hex", which means "to bewitch" or "to cast a spell", so that makes a hex bag, a bag empowered with a spell. (As a side note, a witch in German is called a "Hexen" which translates to "one who bewitches" or "one who casts spells.")
Hex bag uses can be really filed into four categories, those that heal, those that protect, those that empower, and those that curse. Healing and protection hex bags are by far the most common types.
Heal- Typical medicine hex bags, help maintain, encourage, and improve health.
Protection- Can be made to protect from a variety of threats, like nightmares, malicious entities, or the ill will or magick of others.
Empower- To provide some benefit or gain, like meditation focus, wealth and luck.
Curse- Made with the intention of meaning the possessor ill will and misfortune. (Powerful, yet difficult to implement as it still needs to be in regular possession of the intended victim, as well as contain items of symbolic importance to the victim.)
Hex Bag Ingredients
So what goes into the making of a hex bag? Well before I provide a list of common items, I want to first explain what symbolism is important and how to decide what items fit this for you.
-Intent-You always need to have at least one item that in someway represents the purpose of the hex bag to you, and if it is meant for someone else, then you will also need another item to represent the purpose of the bag for them. After the bags creation you can "feed" more of these items to it to strengthen its effects.
-Spirit-You will want to have one item that belongs to the possessor of the hex bag, something that won't need to be removed or used for mundane means afterwards, and something that has belonged to them, or been in their possession, for at least one full seven day period.
-Life-You will want some plant, herb, seed, or natural oil, that represents the intended purpose of the hex bag.
-Sacrifice- You, or the intended possessor, will need to include an item representing what you are willing to offer for the blessings that come from the bag. This shows your will and desire for the hex bag blessings.
You never want to choose item ingredients that have been in the possession of another person other than the hex bag possessor. Doing so greatly undermines the entire hex bag, and often renders the entire bag useless. The items should have been in the possession of the bags possessor for at least seven days, or been gathered in nature.
The importance of plants, herbs, seeds, or natural oils is that they bring a spark of "life" to the hex bag. As for other once living ingredients, like bone, you can also use other parts of the animal that include, hair, fur, antlers, claws, or snake skins.
Stones that are chosen should represent to the hex bag possessor the role and intent it is meant to serve. A common thing I have seen to do for both wood, bones, and stones, is to paint or carve runes into them, the runes being the item, while the material is simply the canvas for it.
(There are additional ingredient requirements for curse hex bags, however I will not go into such topics in a public forum.)
Once you have gathered the ingredients for your hex bag, the next thing that you need to do is to consecrate each of the items, purifying them for their intended purpose. You can do this as you would consecrate any alter tool.
With the items consecrated, the next, and final step is the ritual that will then bind all of the items together into one single item of power, the hex bag. This ritual has some variations among different cultures and traditions, but the end result is the same.
The process listed above is only one method gathered from the authors personal research and experiences, and like most things in the occult, is not the only method.