For our lesson this week, we’re going to be covering witch bottles/bottle spells. Because I am teaching my sister — and my friend, S, too — basic and very self-oriented magicks, like protections and so on, my plan for this lesson is to create a protection witch bottle. Usually a “witch bottle” means a protective spell, while a “bottle spell” refers to any other kind of spell made using a bottle.

Historically witch bottles have been used in Europe to protect from witches, the evil eye, or those with foul intent. Witch bottles have been found that date back to the 1600s. “Some of the ancient witch bottles found sealed by archaeologists in England have been opened and all of them that still contained liquids tested positive for the presence of urine,” writes Cat Yronwode. In Latin America, they have been used as luck charms or amulets as well.

Bottle spells come in all kinds of sizes and shapes — for our lesson, we’re going to be using mason jars — and are in use by many kinds of people. For example, there is a shop here in my city that sells tiny lucky patron saint bottle charms from Latin America. They can be filled with a variety of things, depending on the person’s intent for the spell.

For our purpose, we’re going to use pins, needles, or whatever other sharp objects we can come up with, protective herbs, a piece of hair, and urine. Things like urine, blood, and semen are common ingredients in folk magic things. Urine is used by animals to mark their territory. I think also that part of the reason for using bodily fluids is that these materials are unique to each individual, and are therefore the best ingredient to use. Urine often appears in spells to break jinxes or in love spells to tie someone to only one other person.

Now that that’s out of the way — we’ll talk about how we’re going to make them. To start with, I’m going to have nails, pins, and some protective herbs on hand for the lesson.

Herbs we will use:

  • sage – protective from all things
  • hyssop – cleansing and protective
  • red pepper – to keep the evil away
  • salt – purification and protection
  • rosemary – to protect the individual
  • camphor – to protect from disease

We’re going to put the sharp objects in first, focusing on their use for trapping up evil and keeping evil away. The protective herbs will be added while discussing their qualities, and the hair and urine while focusing on the self and making it clear who is being protected. When we’re finished, the bottles will be buried on the property where we live. In my sister’s case, she lives in an apartment building, however there are little strips of dirt along the parking lot — we will bury it in the one closest to her apartment.

source: Cat Yronwode’s Hoodoo in Theory & Practice.

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Goddess Bath Oil & Pagan Rosary
Originally uploaded by caitrionaoconaill

This is my first attempt at a couple of things:

A) making a rosary
B) making anything with beads
C) not stabbing myself with the needle attached to the silk thread.

I did okay! It’s a bit messy, but it’s just for me, so I think that’s okay. I chose red beads and bone skull carved beads for a reason — I intend to use this rosary specifically to honor and focus on the Noble Dead, the Ancestors.

Because I work in a hospital where there are always people dying, death is often on my mind. I honor always the Dead before even the Gods; it feels right to me. The bottom charm is a heavy metal spiral Goddess figure — to me this charm is representative of the cycle of reincarnation, although I don’t honor the “spiral goddess”.

Goddess Bath Oil — I use this oil when I take what I affectionately call my “goddess baths”, or, the baths where I just get in and have a good, long, rose-and-gardenia scented soak. I usually also meditate with a votive candle and affirm my femininity and what it means to me. This oil contains pink & red rose petals and buds among other things. The base is sweet almond, an oil for love. I thought it more appropriate as I use this bath oil with the intention of loving and accepting myself.

To use: I typically start the bath water and then use a small muslin pouch to pour the oil through. This is only because I dislike plant matter in my bath water; it always brushes against me and makes me afraid there is a bug in the bath with me.

I pour a generous amount of oil into the muslin bag, letting it catch the plant matter. I then tie the strings so that it hangs upon the faucet and the water runs through it as the tub fills. When the tub is full I will take the bag off, tie it closed, and drop it in the water with me. I usually also place a rose quartz inside.