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Hearth Folklore

For ancient cultures, the hearth was the center of the home. It was the provider of warmth through the harsh winter months, and also provided heat for cooking all meals. It was the gathering place of the household. Fire has a special attraction for all of us. Within its smoke and flame lie the origin of many religions. Fire, the element of transformation, causes change to occur. It can be destructive, but through destruction comes creation. The fire in the house was never allowed to die. It was considered unfortunate if the household fire went out during the night. If this occurred, hot coals would need to be borrowed from neighbors. If the coals died while being transported home, it was an omen that the family would have an unlucky future.

Today, the fireplace is viewed as the heart of the home, as well as an altar to natural forces that shape our work. Because the chimney is regarded as a "magical entrance" to the home, it has been magically guarded. Plants can be utilized for this. Olive branches hung on the chimney serve to ward against lightning strikes. Pine needles scattered in the fireplace work in a similar manner.

Crossing fireplace tools in front of the fireplace is said to prevent sparks from popping out onto the floor. A jar of salt on the hearth can be used during any period of argument or tension: throw a pinch on the flames, and its cleansing powers will bless your home.

Three circles drawn in white chalk on the hearth will ban evil from entering.

According to folklore, fire must have at least thirteen sticks in order to burn properly.
When the fireplace was cold, witches would rake the ashes into a circle, then cast spells within the circle.

A fire is useful for transformative spells, such as those utilizing rosemary or rose petals, which are cast into the flames. Combining this with the proper visualization would bring love to the spell-maker. Nettles thrown into the fire will conquer fear.

The type of wood being burned can affect your spells. Use oak for healing magic, for instance, when someone in the home is sick. This wood helps to draw off the illness and protects the rest of the household. Ash logs promote energy, while pine brings money into the home.