Spell Bottles, also called Witch Bottles, are an old form of magic that dates back to the 17th Century. The bottles were first made for protection, and were believed to counteract spells, protect against magical attack, or draw in and trap harmful intentions directed toward their owners. Although they were first used predominantly in England, a number of Witch Bottles have been discovered in America as well. The bottles were filled with sharp objects, such as broken glass, rusty nails, thorns, poisonous herbs, pins, needles, knotted threads, bits of bone, sand, magnets, lodestone and other protective items. They often also contained urine or menstrual blood. The bottles were then sealed and buried somewhere on the owner’s property, under the hearth, or under the home where it would absorb harmful energy to be destroyed by the contents inside. As long as the bottle remained sealed and intact, the owner would be protected. Others chose to throw their bottles into the fire. When the bottle exploded, it was believed that any curses cast on the owner had lifted and that the person who intended harm was no longer a threat. Even though this practice of making Spell Bottles is centuries old, there are many modern witches and druids who still make them today, not only for protection but also for healing and well wishes. Modern Spell Bottles for protection may still contain the same sharp ingredients mentioned above, though not all will choose to add urine or blood. They may also attach a written spell or incantation to the outside of the bottle, and then place it on a windowsill or somewhere in full view.
Spell Bottles for healing or well-wishes are made in beautifully decorated bottles of various colors, with herbs such as lavender, rose petals or eucalyptus placed inside, along with crystals, glitter, oatmeal, seeds, flower buds or other items to symbolize health, growth and well-being. A few drops of essential oils may be added and written spells for health and happiness are often placed inside the bottle. It is then sealed with a cork, colorful ribbons, pins or wax before it is given to the recipient. Decorative items are attached to the outside of the bottle, such as shells, crystals or charms. Healing Spell Bottles can be placed on a windowsill, a shelf, a bedside table or anywhere the recipient will see it on a daily basis.
The magic of spell bottles is activated through energy, intention and vibration. The very act of preparing the bottle: gathering the ingredients, choosing the bottle itself, deciding how you will decorate it, focusing on the intended recipient, writing the spell or incantation, how you will seal it…all of this activity infuses the bottle with magic. The bottle acts as a container for the spell, drawing in and attracting the energy it needs to manifest the intention (healing, prosperity, etc) into physical reality. Reiki practitioners can infuse the bottle with Reiki energy, or make a special ‘Reiki Bottle’ for those that need healing. If I write a spell to be placed inside, at the end I will usually add:
If this bottle be broken, the spell is released
If this bottle be stolen, a curse on the thief
Your Spell Bottles do not have to be large, many people prefer smaller bottles, however, the larger bottles require more time and attention and will carry more power. You can find bottles at craft stores, antique stores or thrift shops. Before you work on them, wash them if possible and magically cleanse them of any previous energy they may have held. Spell Bottles are a fun, creative way to use Old World magic for healing and protection, whether for yourself or for others.