Witch/Spell Bottles


Since almost as long as Magick and witchcraft have been around, people have tried to find a way to cast it themselves or protect themselves from its use against them. This was certainly the thought process during Elizabethan England, where there are over 250 recorded findings of items called witch or spell bottles but what are they?

Well, a witch bottle is a device used to protect a property, establishment or home and the people in it from curses, and bad negativity sent their way from a wielder of magick. It does this by absorbing, trapping and banishing the magick cast against them. A spell bottle is much like a witch bottle but is used for the opposite, it is used to cast a spell or curse on a specific property, home or family. We often associate them more with the UK but some have been found in colonial America.The earliest known recording of a witch bottle comes from the book SADUCISMUS TRIUMPHITUS written by Joseph Glanvill in 1681, but the actual bottles go back to around the 1500’s the passage reads …

“He therefore advised him to take a Bottle, and put his Wives Urine into it, together with Pins and Needles and Nails, and Cork them up and set the Bottle to the Fire well corkt, which when it had felt a while the heat of the Fire began to move and joggle a little, but he for sureness took the Fire shovel, and held it hard upon the Cork, And as he thought, he felt something one while on this side, another while on that, shove the Fire shovel off, which he still quickly put on Again, but at last at one shoving the Cork bounced out, and the Urine, Pins, Nails and Needles all flew up, and gave a report like a Pistol, and his Wife continued in the same trouble and languishment still. Not long after, the Old Man came to the house again, and inquired of the Man of the house how his Wife did. Who answered, as ill as ever, if not worse. He askt him if he had followed his direction. Yes, says he, and told him the event as is above said. Ha, quoth he, it seems it was too nimble for you. But now I will put you in a way that will make the business sure. Take your Wive’s Urine as before, and Cork, it in a Bottle with Nails, Pins and Needles, and bury it in the Earth; and that will do the feat. The Man did accordingly. And his Wife began to mend sensibly and in a competent time was finely well recovered.”

So how where they made? As stated in the passage above they were bottles filled with a specific set of items depending on what is was going to be used for. Firstly the bottle, originally it was pottery, often salt glaze and one of either Baartman jugs, Bellarmine jugs or jugs known as Grey beards named for the bearded man embossed into it. Of course now we use glass jugs and bottles. The contents were often specific to the spell or protection needed but common items included

 

Sharp Objects or pins to trap the curse or negativity

A liquid of either consecrated wine or water or as stated in the passage urine to drown it

A banishing item usually a herb like rosemary to send the curse away

Any other warding items which could be charms artefacts or personal items like hair from the witch that cast the curse on you

Salt was also a common item to get rid of negativity, and spell bottles would be made of the same but would exclude sharp items as you want the spell to go without obstacle. Once either bottle had been made you needed to bury it in the corner of the property or if possible beneath the hearth, if neither was viable you could also hide it in a place in the property you wouldn't find it, in the dark and forgotten for it to do it’s job. When the time came to end the spell, like when moving house the way to dispose of the bottle was through fire and it is said that if the bottle popped, the person who cursed the property would die. If it was a spell bottle it would end the spell.

Below I am going to write my method for creating a spell bottle for you to use as basis for your own ritual when making your own Spell or Witch Bottle.

Before starting gather all the ingredients you want in the bottle and place those and the bottle on your Altar The first thing to do as with any ritual is prepare yourself, I do this by a simple 10 minute meditation. Start by breathing in and out, in and out, drawing all your attention to your breaths, notice you chest rising and falling as you do and begin to count your breaths, keeping them nice and slow and steady. Empty your head of all thoughts, feelings and emotions, and just be one with yourself . After 10 minutes you can then precede to gather what you need for the ritual. Set up your Altar to the north of where you will cast the circle, on it you will need any tools you need for your main ritual and 4 candles of red, green, blue, yellow, an athame, a bowl of water, a small bell, salt, a smudge stick and any incense you want to burn during this ritual. In the centre of where the circle will be (and if outside) you can place your fire or cauldron (if inside leave out the fire and or cauldron).
 
At this point I like to perform the lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram to cleanse the area of any negative energies. A traditional way would be to sweep the area with a besom (Witches Broom) to metaphorically sweep away the energies. At this point light any incense you will be using. Take up your athame and begin to draw a circle on the ground, around your central point, to the diameter you require and in a clockwise direction. As you do, imagine a blue energy coming from the end of the athame and creating a blue energy circle as you go. When visualising the circle you should know that its not just a flat circle but actually a sphere encasing the whole area with the line you have created as the circumference. Once completed I like to place candles at each of the cardinal points, green for north meaning earth, yellow for east meaning air, red or orange for south meaning fire and blue for west meaning water. don’t light them yet however.
 
Next take up the spring water and consecrate it, To consecrate water really easily, take a bowl of water, regular tap water is fine but you can use spring or bottled water. Fill a small bowl and pour in salt, being very generous as salt in magick is well known for being able to absorb magickal energies and as spiritual protection in rituals. In this instance it will clean away and absorb any residual energies, be it positive or negative leaving the area and items fully cleansed. Take your index and middle finger and hold them together just above the water. Start to breathe in slowly and deeply. On the in breath visualize a white energy gathering around you like a white aura. On the out breath let the white aura flow down through your body and fingers and into the water, whilst doing this resist the urge to push the aura out let it flow naturally out your fingertips, also try not to tense up, relax as much as possible. When you get the sense of a total peace, that is the time to stop and begin to sprinkle around the boundary 3 times. Finally consecrate the boundary using a candle to represent fire, a smudge or incense stick for air and salt for earth. Sprinkling or waving each one 3 times.
 
Now return to the centre, I usually also face the Altar or North. Speak aloud,
 
By the Elements
Fire, Earth, Air and Water
Three times Three
This Circle is purified
The castle has now been raised
Cast and Bound
So it Be
 
Move around to the east and light the candles, as you do speak the words

 
Black spirits and White
Grey Spirits and Red
Come forth
Come forth
Come forth
Throughout and about
Around and Around
The circle is drawn
The circle is hard
The Castle is Raised
All Good come in
All Bad Stay out
 
When you have lit all the candles, take the small bell from the altar and return back to the centre. Face North and speak the words
 
White spirits of the North
I summon you and call you forth
Arise you powers of Earth and Stone
To guard our circle
And all who stand within
 
Ring the small bell three times and move to face the east. Speak the words
 
Black spirits of the East
I summon you and call you forth
Arise you powers of Air and Wind
To guard our circle
And all who stand within
 
Ring the small bell three times and move to face south. Speak the words
 
Red spirits of the South
I summon you and call you forth
Arise you powers of Fire and Flame
To guard our circle
And all who stand within
 
Ring the small bell three times and move to face the west. Speak the words
 
Grey Spirits of the West
I summon you and call you forth
Arise you powers of Mist and Water
To guard our circle
And all who stand within
 
Ring the small bell three times and move to face back north. At this point ask for the old gods to attend the circle. The circle is now cast and you can proceed with whatever work you are doing.

Next you need to cleanse the objects by washing them in consecrated water to do this 
To consecrate water really easily, take a bowl of water, regular tap water is fine but you can use spring or bottled water. Fill a small bowl and pour in salt, being very generous as salt in magick is well known for being able to absorb magickal energies and as spiritual protection in rituals. In this instance it will clean away and absorb any residual energies, be it positive or negative leaving the area and items fully cleansed. Take your index and middle finger and hold them together just above the water. Start to breathe in slowly and deeply. On the in breath visualize a white energy gathering around you like a white aura. On the out breath let the white aura flow down through your body and fingers and into the water, whilst doing this resist the urge to push the aura out let it flow naturally out your fingertips, also try not to tense up, relax as much as possible. When you get the sense of a total peace, that is the time to stop and commence sprinkling it all around the area and tools you want to cleanse.Whilst doing this speak any banishment incantations you like like the one that follows or simply wish and will the entities and energies away.
 
Ashtu Malku Ta Dat Arkata
Astus Seckz Altamu Partu
Ire Tempal Krez Ta Felta
Vaskalla Regent Met Senturus
Ta Sastrus Estos Melta
Kelta Kelta Kelta Hine

This will also charge the objects for use giving them magickal energies. Now take all of those objects and place them in the bottle all the while focussing on your intent, if you like you can chant mantras or repeat your intent it’s all up to you. Take up the bottle cork it or seal it then seal it further with black or red wax. Finally you need to bury this in your garden or if you can under your house or property if not hide it in a place you wont disturb it and leave it there in the dark. I also wrap mine in black cloth as well.

So there it is remember if you need to end the spell place it in a fire.