little bit of broken glass, rusty nails, hair and fingernail clippings placed
inside of a glass or ceramic bottle. Sounds
rather interesting don't it, but why would you do that? What purpose does it serve?
symbolism is trying to be conveyed?
What was just described is what is generally referred to as a Witch
Bottle. It is used mostly for
protection and banishing, though I have personally used them for drawing and
wish magick as well with great success. Bottles
such as these have been found in rivers and lakes dating from the Middle Ages,
and closed up in walls into the present day. The size and contents vary, but the purpose is the same, to banish evil,
keep bad luck away, and to protect the home.
The rusty metal, such as nails, razor blades and wire, broken bits of
glass and pottery, thorns from various plants, and anything else sharp and/or
rusty are placed into the bottle to "keep away" whatever it is that
you are trying to banish. You want
to make it as uncomfortable seeming as possible. Add to that a lock of hair, fingernail clippings, a picture, or at the
least a name on a piece of paper to that. This
now gives a connection to what you are banishing, be it a person or just bad
luck. Many instructions for making
witch bottles say to use urine to fill the bottle, giving a bit of yourself to
the power of it. I feel this is
entirely up to the person creating it. If
they are uncomfortable doing that, how effective will the overall spell be?
If they are worried about that and concentrating on that
aspect, will it weaken the overall ritual? Using water is just as effective, and much safer.
Also, some people feel it's necessary to use their own blood in the
creation of these bottles. Menstrual blood especially, is considered very powerful.
Again, I believe that is up to the person doing the ritual. Be aware of
the dangers of using blood these days. Never
Share Blood!! Hepatitis, AIDS, and
various other lethal, preventable diseases can be spread by not thinking and
being cautious. Personally, I do
not use blood, but mention it here because it is considered a traditional witch
bottle ingredient. If you do decide
to use blood, be careful!
Now for the bottle.
anything I can get my hands on; glass bottles in my area are rather cheap, so I
use them. I can get a small bottle that is perfectly sized for witch
bottles at a local discount store for $1.00 US so that is what I use. You could use any type of container that you like, as long as it'll hold
liquid and can be sealed tightly. Expensive
bottles or ingredients are not needed or practical. I wouldn't suggest using a bottle or jar that you are too attached to,
unless it's a spell for household protection in general and plan to keep it as
such forever. And if the bottle/jar
doesn't have a cork, you will need to seal it somehow. Most use wax to seal it, which is good, but not permanent.
So I would suggest finding, at the local craft store, a cork
that will fit it. Then seal the
cork with wax. The wax can
then be inscribed with a symbol that is appropriate for the ritual. Sometimes I put my thumbprint into the wax, sealing it with
the symbol only I have. This will
add a personal touch to the ritual, which can only help, not hurt.
As for the ritual...I think something solemn and meaningful to you is
best. Personally, my rituals are
made up on the spot, quiet, full of movements and meditation. I tend to do "mental picture" rituals rather than the more
popular spoken ones. Not to say my
way is better, just different. It
also helps when you live in a Christian household where you are still in the
"broom closet". Use
whatever ritual you wish to, but I do feel it is necessary to create sacred
space where the ritual is planned. Not
only does it help put you into a frame of mind to do a ritual, it also helps
charge the bottle. As for the
charging of the bottle, hold it in your hands, chant, sing, or even dance,
concentrating on the desired outcome of the spell. Feel the energy grow, filling the bottle, making it glow with that power.
When you feel you can do that no more, set the bottle down
and release the remaining power, saying something to designate the end of the
ritual such as "so mote it be".
Now you need to make a decision.
you keep the bottle where you can see it and continue to put energy into it?
Maybe place it in the attic or inside of the wall? Or perhaps bury it outside, somewhere it will not be disturbed, for a
very long time? It really all
depends on the type of spell performed, and again, the person performing it.
If you were protecting a house, you would want to keep it somewhere
inside of the home, the closer to the center, the better. But if you are trying to get rid of something such as bad luck, burying
it away from the house is best. You
don't want that anywhere near you, right? I
tend to keep the bottles for a while in my house till I feel they are
"ready" for the ground, usually when they banish the bad luck, or have
begun to take effect. You will know
what is right, just look into yourself, feel it. Your spirit will let you know what you should do.
I feel I need to mention this before I leave you.
Please, do not use this to harm another person. To keep them from harming you, yes...but not to harm them.
If you feel that threatened then you should get the police involved. They are there to defend you, use them.
The person performing magick of any kind generally follows the three-fold
law and the Wiccan rede, but I'll restate them anyways. The Rede goes traditionally as "An it harm none, do as thou
wilt" meaning do as you like, save that it does NOT harm anyone, including
yourself. That means no harm
mentally, emotionally, physically...you get the idea. It is up to every witch/pagan to interpret this law.
The Three-fold law states that everything you send out comes back to you
times three, whether it's good or bad. It
might not come back right away, but it will. I think it's better to play it safe than have to worry when it's coming
back on you. Why put yourself
Witch Bottles are easy to use, but powerful.
So remember to respect what you do with them. Don't do it "just for kicks".
Blessings to you, my brothers and sisters.
© Morag of the Shadows 1999
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