The unicorn is one of the most famous and endearing of mystical creatures associated with fantasy, mythology, and magic. Images of the unicorn have fascinated people all over the world for centuries. Such a powerful and easily recognized symbol can have an important place in magical practice.
Symbols are integral to our lives, especially for magic and visualization. Often the success of a spell relies heavily on the symbolism that is chosen and how deeply it affects the user. Many people are drawn to magical creatures and have an affinity for certain ones, collecting various images of that particular creature. Since unicorns are among the most popular, here are some ways you can incorporate unicorn symbolism into magical practice.
Even if you have never been particularly fascinated with magical creatures, getting to know them by investigating their characteristics can add a new dimension to your personal power.
First, consider what the creature symbolizes to you. Unicorns have many standard associations, but we can build on this by adding our own personal characteristics or feelings.
For example, I first fell in love with unicorns as a child, so to me they represent not merely innocence, but a playfulness and lightness of spirit, a carefree time. As I grew older, that sense of joy and happiness was tinged with the melancholy moments of adolescence and the unicorn matured with me to become an escape from the sometimes painful events of growing up. But more than anything else, I associate the unicorn with imagination and purity—and the beautiful free spirit we need to recapture to avoid becoming jaded by the sometimes harsh realities of life. In short, the unicorn is hope and possibility.
But you may have different associations and feelings when you look at an image of the unicorn. That’s fine—the point is to use the symbolism for something meaningful to you and to focus on these feelings in your magical practice. Unicorn imagery can be used in spells for healing, peace, comfort, and inspiration. Still others may associate the unicorn with love, or to some they may represent bravery or strength. Choose what the unicorn means to you and incorporate that image into your spells and meditations.
Begin by collecting a variety of images. Or, if you already have a substantial collection, take inventory to see what you have and think of ways you can use them. These items may be statues, drawings, jewelry, clothing, or anything else you can find.
The most basic way to get started is to place a unicorn statue or other type of image on your altar or use it to represent deity. Unicorns have a long history of being associated with spirituality. And of course, statues and images can be placed in other special places in your living and working environment. Wear unicorn jewelry when you need to get in touch with the qualities the unicorn possesses. Place drawings where they can remind you of your goal.
You can anoint statues for special purposes to be placed around your home, in various rooms or outside. This would be ideal for a protection spell. I have a unicorn in almost every room of my house. They’re usually tucked away in a subtle location, but they’re present to remind me of my goal of keeping a youthful spirit and remembering the time when I felt that first touch of magic.
There are other countless ways to incorporate unicorn imagery into your magical practice. Because of the healing associations with the horn, a unicorn image would be excellent in a healing spell or one simply for general health and well-being. Unicorns are often symbols of vitality and strength.
You can also create a unicorn altar with different styles of statues to represent each element. Imagine different encounters with the unicorn for whatever needs you have. If you feel the need for comfort or healing, visualize yourself being healed by the unicorn. Create a detailed scene in your mind and make it as vivid as possible. For strength and confidence, visualize yourself as a unicorn or try a visualization of yourself riding a unicorn to create a feeling of freedom or to relieve stress.
Read about unicorns—history, legends and stories for inspiration. Create unicorn art; even if you don’t have a talent for drawing or painting you can create collages of unicorn images or try sculpting with clay. Write some unicorns stories and poems of your own—create your own myths. If you have children, ask for their help and create a story together.
Cultures all over the world have claimed unicorn stories and legends of some kind. This creature is popular for a reason—it speaks to us on a symbolic level that can be very powerful. Tap into that power by discovering, or rediscovering, what the unicorn means to you.
In the hoodoo tradition, the reference to Bats or Bull bats refer to the following:
- Leatherwing Bats ~ night-flying insectivorous mammals.
- Bullbats ~ night-flying insectivourous birds, aka Goatsuckers, Nighthawks, or Whippoorwills.
Bats are under devastating ecological pressure from human beings who destroy their habitats, so no reputable spiritual supply house will carry Bat body parts, but Devil Pods (Bat Nuts) can be substituted. Bat’s Blood ink, used in pact-making, was once truly the blood of a Bat, but since the 1920’s, it has been a mere brand name for red ink scented with herbal essences. A recipe for Bat’s Blood Ink can be found here: Magickal Apothecary.
Old time gambling charms:
A bat heart, a whole dried bat, a bat wing, the wing-feathers of a Bullbat, or a drop of Bat blood kept in a vial of perfume are all considered lucky for gambling, especially when wrapped in red flannel or red silk and tied to the upper arm, or carried in a mojo in the arm-pit.
Omens and Signs:
The Bullbat is said by some to portend death if it flies into a house, but folks of European descent say that of all birds, not just Bullbats. Omens and signs associated with bats can be found here: Bat Symbolism, Mythology, and Lore. For information on Bats as an Animal Totem or Spirit Helper can be found here: The Bat.
The Four Bats of Happiness:
In China, the Bat is lucky because the Chinese word for Bat (“Fu”) sounds like the word for “Happiness.” Fortunate is the family that plays host to the four bats of long life, health, children, and wealth. Bat Nuts symbolize happy Bats in China.
Bat Wing Magick:
Bat wing is also the nickname for holly leaves, a plant of good fortune, doubly enhanced by its resemblance to the flying mammal’s wings. And even if the spell calls for an actual bat wing, holly leaves can be effectively substituted.
- Here is how to make a lucky conjure bag using “bat wings.”
Place a pair of bat wings (holly leaves) in a red conjure bag together with a High John the Conqueror root and a matched pair of lodestones. Sprinkle with lily pollen, if possible, and/or magnetic sand periodically for enhanced power.
In both ancient Greece and Rome, it was thought that sleep could be prevented either by placing the engraved figure of a bat under the pillow, or by tying the head of a bat in a black bag and keeping it near to the left arm. In Hesse, he who wears the heart of a bat bound to his arm with red thread will always be lucky at cards.
Many other beliefs suggest that bats have the power to make people invisible. In Trinidad there is an old belief that if you drank the blood of a bat, you would become invisible. Tyrolean gypsies have a similar belief, claiming that carrying the left eye of a bat will accomplish the feat. In Oklahoma carrying the right eye of a bat pierced with a brass pin will have the same effect, while in Brazil a person carrying the hearts of a bat, a frog, and a black hen will become invisible.
Bat magic can also be an antidote to sleepiness. In both ancient Greece and Rome, it was believed that you could prevent sleep either if you placed the engraved figure of a bat under your pillow, or if you tied the head of a bat in a black bag and laid it near your left arm. In many parts of Europe, a practice said to ensure not only wakefulness, but also to protect livestock and prevent misfortune is to nail live bats head down above doorways. Not for the faint of heart, this practice was reported as recently as 1922 in Sussex, England and may indeed continue today.
Canadian Indians relate that bat “medicine” can also bring about the opposite effect of staying awake; traditions claim that placing the head or dried intestines of a bat in an infant’s cradle will cause the baby to sleep all day. In a similar vein, Mescalero Apaches believe that the skin of a bat attached to the head of a cradle will protect a baby from becoming frightened.
Bats have also been said to induce love or desire. In Roman antiquity, Pliny maintained that a man could stimulate a woman’s desire by placing a clot of bat blood under her pillow. In Texas, one lovesick suitor was told to place a bat on an anthill until all its flesh was removed, wear its “wishbone” around his neck, pulverize the remaining bones, mix them with vodka, and give the drink to his beloved. A similar love potion from Europe recommends mixing dried, powdered bat in the woman’s beer.
Bat hearts or bones are often carried as good luck charms. Variations on a belief that apparently began in Germany, and have been repeated in the United States, predict that bats bring good luck at cards or lotteries. The prescription is to wrap a bat’s heart in a silk handkerchief or red ribbon and keep it in a wallet or pocket, or tie it to the hand used for dealing cards. Some also believe that tying a silk string around a bat’s heart will bring money.
Another superstition from Germany relates that bullets from a gun swabbed with a bat’s heart will always hit their target. According to the Egyptian Secrets, attributed to Albertus Magnus in the 13th century, mixing lead shot with the heart or liver of a bat will have the same result. Some American Ozark pioneers had another variation of this belief: they carried the dried, powdered hearts of bats to protect them from being shot and to keep wounded men from bleeding to death.
- Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic
- Sigils Symbols and Signs
Animal magic is use of an animal for its symbolism and energies. Animals can also be animal spirit guides. Similar to spirit guides, they are used for their strengths, skills, and guidance. Using animal symbols in your spell work can be very effective. They can be used to represent persons or situations, and/or to add strength and ability to what it is you are working to achieve.
Here is a listing of many common animals and the general properties associated with them. You can also use this list as an aid when deciphering dreams, omens, shapes in tea leaves, etc.
- Alligator : aggression, survival, adaptability
- Ant : team player, worker
- Armadillo : active, nocturnal, protection
- Bat : guardian of the night, cleaner
- Bear : power, adaptability
- Bear Paw : strength, mobility
- Beaver : builder, gatherer
- Bobcat : fierce, loner, intensity
- Buffalo : sacredness, life builder
- Bull : strength, warning
- Butterfly : metamorphosis, carefree, transformer
- Camel : weary, enduring
- Cat : independence, grace, healing
- Cougar : leadership, courage
- Cow : patience, stoicism
- Coyote : prankster, insight, playful
- Crane : solitude, independence
- Deer : love, gentleness, kindness
- Dog : loyalty, protection
- Dolphin : kindness, play, bridge man to ocean
- Dragonfly : flighty, carefree
- Eagle : divine spirit, connection to creator
- Elephant : long life, self : preservation
- Elk : strength, agility, freedom
- Fox : cunning, provider, intelligence
- Frog : connection with water element
- Giraffe : watchfulness, mobility
- Goat : stubborn, omnivorous
- Gorilla : brute strength, adaptibility
- Goose : faithful, communicative, traveler
- Grizzly Bear : hunter, nature’s pharmacist
- Hawk : messenger, stopper of time
- Hippo : linking water and earth, survival
- Horse : stamina, mobility, strength
- Hummingbird : messenger, stopper of time
- Kangaroo : feisty, funloving
- Lion : power, strength, respect
- Lizard : conservation, agility
- Loon : solitude, song, romance
- Manatee : peaceable, unassuming
- Monkey : playfulness, agility
- Moose : headstrong, unstoppable, longevity
- Mouse : timid, secretive, sneaky
- Orca : focus, power
- Ostrich : fickle, fast moving
- Otter : laughter, curiosity, truth, patience
- Owl : wisdom, perseverance
- Panda : playful, kindness
- Pelican : ever watchful, grace
- Penguin : playful, loving
- Pheasant : confidence, attraction, perseverance
- Pig : intelligence, hunger
- Polar Bear : fearlessness, power
- Quail : sacred spiral, ceremonial, Holy
- Rabbit : alertness, resourceful
- Raccoon : bandit, shy, determination
- Ram : new beginning, teacher, hoarder
- Raven : trickster, mischievous
- Rhino : durability, strength
- Road Runner : speed, agility, cleverness
- Salmon : instinct, persistence, determination
- Seahorse : confidence, grace
- Shark : hunter, survival
- Skunk : wary, conspicuous, intense
- Snake : shrewdness, transformation
- Spider : creative, pattern of life
- Squirrel : trusting, innocence
- Swan : grace, balance, festive
- Turkey : smart, elusive
- Turtle : self : contained creative source
- Water Buffalo : enormous strength, hard working
- Whale : wisdom, power, cleanser
- Wolf : loyalty, success, perseverance
- Wolf Paw : freedom, success, guidance
- Zebra : family : oriented, alert