Monday, July 18, 2016

Witch Ball

Witch Balls, a.k.a. glass floats, originally were hollow spheres of glass that were used by fishermen to keep their nets afloat. In the 1700s such devices began to be re-purposed as charms that were believed to protect against witches, spirits, curses, and general evil. With time spheres of glass were being deliberately made for use as witch balls. Most were traditionally blue, the color of protection and especially protection against the evil eye, and possessed strands or webbing inside which were believed to trap any witch or evil spirit that ventured too close. Witch balls were often hung in eastern windows where it was believed that the rays of the rising sun would kill or destroy any trapped spirit within.

Today, witch balls are made in a variety of colors, designs, and sizes. Many people are attracted to them for their artistic appeal. Popular also are the gazing balls, close cousins of the witch ball, being large spheres of glass that were generally displayed in gardens to catch the light and dazzle the eye.

I picked mine up last year from Iron Elegance. I stumbled upon their website after purchasing a blue witch ball from another website and being horribly disappointed with it. It was such terrible, shoddy work that I can't believe the company really had the nerve to sell it. It contained massive air bubbles in the glass and large cracks that were not part of the design. The top part of the sphere, where one would hang it, was not attached properly and at a weird angle, making it impossible to hang . I seriously don't understand why they just didn't recycle this piece. Even the blue color seemed fake, as if it was painted on and not genuinely tinted glass. So when I found Iron Elegance I was entranced. Their witch balls are very beautiful and professionally made. You can tell they truly care about their products. Too bad I didn't discover their website first. If you are looking for a place to purchase a witch ball for yourself then I strongly recommend them.

As far as my personal opinions on witch balls, I believe they became so very popular in the 1700s as this was the time that most prosecution of alleged witches were coming to an end. However, the belief in witches was still widespread. As such, people invented all sorts of rituals, devices and apotropaic charms to keep witches at bay. Witch bottles also developed and became popular at this time as well.

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