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Home > Article Library > Magick > The Magick of the Fan Search

The Magick of the Fan
by Bryanny FairRaven

Ah... the fan.... that wonderful, mysterious and oh-so sensual tool of magick and love. The hand fan has been long known in the Middle East and the Orient, as well as in the Americas, and the Hawaiian and Polynesian islands.

According to records, the hand fan was supposedly invented in Japan sometime in the 6th century. However, fan collectors and enthusiasts claim that the hand fan has a history of use in China which is well over 1,500 years old. Fans made of feathers are also associated with Shamanistic ritual. The hand fan was introduced to Europe sometime in the Middle Ages and very quickly became a favorit e among royals and courtesans.

But the true magick of the fan was not understood and soon it was forgotten. Sadly, it was eventually relegated to an unceremonious place as a simple prop or wall decoration, and a cooling device.

The hand fan is far more than this.

The Language of the Fan

Traditional hand fans are made of vellum or even delicate rice paper. Some of the most exquisite I've seen are made of silk. These are then decorated with detailed miniature paintings of animals, nature scenes, etc. The hand fan has a definite language and was very often employed to send messages. These ranged from the "come hither" flutter, to the demure "I am available" half drop toward the heart.

Fan Magicks

If you take a good look at the Fans made in the Orient, the Middle East, etc., you will see (especially with the more classical ones) a tradition of using magickal animals such as dragons, or sacred birds such as peacocks, cranes and ducks. Some depict warriors with great swords. There are also many who use water motifs....bridges and waterfalls are very popular. Mountains and hillsides are as equally popular. Others are laden with the romantic motifs of couples strolling in a park or beautiful maidens taking a leisurely stroll. Some show magnificent fields of bamboo, or players using bamboo flutes... or forests with enormous trees.

What do all of these have in common? They all represent the elements taught in the ancient art of Feng Shui: water, earth, fire, wood and metal.

By fusing the art of the hand fan and their delicate art work, we are seeing a system of magick being passed down from generation to generation. Whether this was done by design or accident is not really important to us at this moment. However, an interesting footnote for the purists among us is the belief that ancient Chinese magicians used the hand fan in order to cast spells, call spirits and a host of other magickal applications.

However, we can still use the delicious art and magick of the hand fan in many other ways.

Fan Correspondences

  • Fans that contain Water motifs are associated with the colors blue, gray and black. The quarter is North and it is auspicious for teachers, nurses and those who desire a career in travel or foreign places. It regulates wisdom and creativity. Animals associated with water: rat and pig. Season: Winter.
  • Fans that contain Earth motifs are associated with the colors yellow, brown or beige. The quarter is Northeast or Southwest and is auspicious for lawyers, accountants and those who work with the land or real estate. It regulates stability and strength. Animals associated with earth: ox, dragon, goat or dog. Season: January, April, July and October.
  • Fans that contain Wood motifs are associated with the color green. The quarters are East and Southeast and is auspicious for artists, models and those who work with fashion, modeling, designers, as well as those who work with pharmaceuticals and related fields. It regulates kindness and flexibility. Animals associated with wood: rabbit and tiger. Season: Spring.
  • Fans that contain Metal motifs are associated with the colors white, gold and silver. The quarters are North or Northwest and is auspicious for jewelers, financiers and those who work with metals. It regulates philosophy and analysis. Animals associated with metal: monkey and rooster. Season: Autumn.
  • Fans that contain Fire motifs are associated with the colors red, pink, orange and purple (bright purple). The quarter is South and is auspicious for entertainers, builders and those associated with the food industry. It regulates communication and passion. Animals associated with fire: horse and snake. Season: Summer.

Uses of the Magick of the Fan

The hand fan is so versatile. Knowing the correspondences above you can design and devise your own unique set to keep in your home, to use for healing and to give away as charged talismans.

The hand fan should not be propped onto a wall and left there to hang forlornly. In order to obtain the strongest energies from it, the fan should be blessed and charged in your usual method. Unless you plan it, a complicated ritual is not necessary. Since fan is of the element of Air, you may wish to pass the fan(s) you will be empowering through a good cleansing incense like sage.

Look for and obtain small stands which are used to prop designer plates. Any hardware store will have them. Once they are empowered and charged, place them in the correct quarter corresponding to their element.

Once you select a fan or fans you will using in your magicks, please remember to treat them with honor and respect.


  • Healing....a fan with a wood motif, placed in the East or Southeast section of your home or office. You can also take the wood motif fan and fan it over the ill person.
  • a fan with metal motif somewhere in the North or Northwest section.
  • Seduction.... for both men and women... place a fire motif fan in the South section of your bedroom. You can also remove it from its stand and fan the lover with it as a wonderful way to make foreplay a sensual and pleasurable delight!
  • Sabbats and Feast days... combine the fire motif for Beltaine and all the Fire Festivals. Celebrate Yule and Winter Solstice with water motif fans....
  • Animal energies... courting the mighty dragon? Light a yellow candle near or before the earth motif fan (watch that it does not burn!) can use the energies of these mighty animals associated with their corresponding element in petition magick. Some take the fan according to the animal they are honoring or petitioning from, write the wish on the fan and burn the fan. The ashes are then kept and placed inside a small porcelain jar with lid.
  • Wish Magick... select the appropriate fan depending on the magick you are seeking and write your need or spell on the fan. Burn the fan and place the ashes inside a small porcelain jar with lid.

These are some of the uses of the magick of an empowered hand fan. They are also wonderful gifts for any witch at any time.

Copyright © 2002 Bryanny FairRaven. All rights reserved.
Used here by permission of the author.

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