There is a mysticism surrounding the bell that far transcend ts mundance use as a wwway of getting attention in the schoolroom, for example. The sound of the bell is universally accepted as a way of communicating with the spirits, or as a herald for the arrival of a sueprnatural, holy power.
The analogy of the bell occurs in language too, used to symbolize something of sacred origin. In islam, the “reverberation of the bell” is used to describe the sound of the revelations of the Qu’ran, and in Buddhism, the “sound of the golden bell” is an analogy for heavenly voices. The sound of the bell is a reminder that, like the sound, the world may be experienced, but not possessed.
Pagoda roofs sometimes have hundreds of tiny bell hanging from them, symbolizing, in sound, the concepts of the Buddhist laws as well as frightening away any malicious entities. For the same reason, the church bells of Christian churches, at onetime, were peeled not only during processions or as a notice of a ceremony or service, but also during thunderstorms to chase away demons.
The bell is also a sacred object. In the form of the Buddhist Drilbu, or the Hindu Ghanta, it symbolizes the illusory world, because of the fleetingly resonant nature of its sound. It is the feminine principle paired up with masculine vajra.
The use of these oriental bells largely influenced their European symbolism and use. The sweet reverberation of a bell, rung three times on the silence of a large stone church or cathedral, has a quality of calming the atmosphere, attracting the attention of the worshippers, welcoming in the spirits, and setting the scen for the ritual that follows.
The power of the bell as a way of spiritual communications is carried one step further in the magical bell made of an amalgam of the seven sacred metals that are ruled by the planets. This bell, engraved with the Tetragrammaon and the planetary seals from alchemy, allegedly has the power to summon the spirits of the dead. However, this spell calls for the bell to be put into a grave for seven days and seven nights before it will work properly.