You know For Whom the Bells Toll... but do you know why?
Bells have been used all over the world for centuries. Bells vibrate deep into your body and resonate in your soul. The sound affects us on many levels and will trigger mental and emotional responses many times on a subconscious level. Bells have also been used for centuries as a way of time keeping, warning and signaling. For centuries, bells have affected many cultures. Here are some interesting bell uses from some of those cultures.
Gypsies were forced to wear bells as their kind were known for stealing, this way anyone with valuables could hear them coming and be forewarned. Since this tradition was forced upon them, they mocked the enforcers and wore as many bells as possible adorning bags, clothing, wrists, ankles, hats, belts and anything they could possibly display a bell. They adopted this mockery and made it tradition and embraced it as their own. They used bells to ward off evil and protect themselves. They wore bells and you would not find a Gypsy without a bell or bells of some type. Gypsies also used bells for spiritual cleansing.
In Japan, bells have been used to bring good luck, in ceremonies and communicating with past ancestors. Bells were believed to ward off the mischievous fairies. Bells rung in the home would bring prosperity.
Bells can ward off negativity and unwanted visitors, which created the funeral toll. The vibrations from bells can break up negative energy left hanging in the air. They can jolt to life when one has stagnant energy, and can lift the spirits. The louder bells are rung, the more powerful the reaction. The Shamans drums and the Buddhist’s singing bowl have been used in similar fashion. If there has been a conflict in a room, try ringing a bell and see if you can feel the change in atmosphere. Ringing a bell around your own aura for a clearer head.
Many hang bells by the front door to renew the energy in the area when someone comes or leaves your home.
In Wicca, bells have been used as an altar tool. They will banish unwanted spirits or negative energies, summon energetic influences or simply clear stale energy in any space needed. Sound is energy and in Wicca the bell is a symbolic and physical tool in the practice.
In ancient Scandinavia, the Vikings used bells as protection against evil forces and would give them to their children as toys to protect them without their knowledge. Viking folklore findings show that bells were also buried with the dead to continue to protect them in the afterlife.
There is much folklore about church bells, but we will save that mess for another day.