Witch's Bottle

The first containers on record for “holding” magick come from an Egyptian document where names and incantations were copied onto papyrus, then sealed within a box or small pot, which was buried in a cemetery to entreat the dead for their assistance. This method of control seems to be a forerunner of the Islamic tradition of sealing a djinn in a bottle and is considered by modern scholars to fall under the category of defixiones. Other Egyptian pot magick included the Ritual of the Red Pot, where the pot is actually broken. In Australia, Aborigines made a small clay vessel, no longer than an inch in diameter, called a cous-cous. The magician whispers a spell into the bottle, then caps and buries it. A cous-cous handled in this manner is said to protect all secrets. The cous-cous also works as a timing device. A spell, regardless of intent, is placed in the small clay jar and hung by a thin piece of twine on a tree. When the twine breaks and the bottle crashes to the ground and breaks open, the spell will be released. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, English Witches used bellarmine jugs and bottles as magickal containers. These vessels took their names from the fierce faces molded into them at the time of kiln firing. They were used to banish energies as well as protect the Crafter’s home and property.

Witches today use bottles and jars of all shapes and sizes for a variety of magickal purposes. Although a few have faces and animals on them, and some are unique in design, most are plain, taken from cabinet or cupboard whenever the need arises. If the bottle surface is relatively flat, and you have a computer, you can scan any design you like onto a large label and then affix it to the bottle. If you don’t have a computer, you can always look through magazines, find a picture you feel fit’s the intent of your spell, and glue or tape it to the container.

Finally, the twenty-first century brought us food sealers — machines that vacuum-pack a variety of foods in different-sized bags as well as jars. Readily available at most inexpensive department stores, this unique tool can serve several magickal purposes, from protective your prized books, sealing ritual items, keeping herbs fresh, and for using quite effectively in lieu of the Witch’s bottle. The vacuum action can be used to remove negativity from an individual by placing their name in a bag and therefore becoming a protective device (so as you remove the air from the bag, so, too, is the negativity removed). If you suck the air out of them and then pop them in the freezer, they are as good as gone.

The number of ingredients (or things) in a Witch’s bottle can be chosen by the magickal significance of the number.

Ingredient Numbers and Their Significance


Meaning of the number: Unity in spirit; independence; creativity
Astrological symbol: Sun
Color: White


Meaning of the number: Balance; home life
Astrological symbol: Moon
Color: Silver


Meaning of the number: Creative power and growth; any trinity
Astrological symbol: Mars
Color: Red


Meaning of the number: Building; order; justice
Astrological symbol: Saturn
Color: Black


Meaning of the number: Change and insight; love; the Witch’s Pyramid
Astrological symbol: Venus
Color: Pink


Meaning of the number: Harmony and the work done to create it; fertility
Astrological symbol: Mercury
Color: Gold


Meaning of the number: Mysticism; safety; defensive magicks; protection
Astrological symbol: Neptune
Color: Purple


Meaning of the number: Transformation and renewal; the intellect
Astrological symbol: Pluto
Color: Orange


Meaning of the number: Triple triad; supreme spiritual power; healing
Astrological symbol: Jupiter
Color: Green


Meaning of the number: Turning point; ultimate manifestation; universal laws; fate
Astrological symbol: Uranus
Color: Blue


Meaning of the number: Self-mastery; success
Astrological symbol: All
Color: Aquamarine

The type of ingredient is up to you — herbs, oils, tiny gems, a magnet, spells written on parchment, small clay amulets or talismans, and a taglock are just a few ideas. Ingredients should be chosen to match your desire.

Once the ingredients are mixed in a magick circle and empowered for a specific purpose, they are dropped or poured into the bottle. The entire bottle is then “conjured” (empowered) and the contents mixed by a slow, swirling motion while visualizing your intent. Pass your wand, athame, or hands over the top of the bottle or jar, and say:
“In the name of Aradia,
Queen of the Witches,
I conjure thee, O magick bottle,
To be of service to me.”

Tap the side of the bottle the same number of times as the number of ingredients. If you put five things in, then tap the side of the bottle five times. Follow with your verbal statement of intent. Then say: “Thou will not fail. So mote it be!” Close the bottle or jar tightly with the cap. Seal with hot wax of the color that matches the magickal number of ingredients. Note: Matching the color with the number and intent also helps you to tell which spell is in what bottle, if you have several of the same type of bottles or jars working at once.

Once sealed, a Witch’s bottle is normally not reopened unless, for some reason, you wish to break the spell, you want to use the bottle for a magickal catalyst and therefore it will be broken, or if you want to renew a general (not specific) protection spell. If you are working to pull something toward you, you can keep the bottle on your altar and swish it every now and then to keep it activated. When the desire has been obtained, then bury on your property or stick under the eaves of the attic or in a cupboard in the basement to bring additional good luck. If you are absolutely sure that the bottle can no longer be of service, then you can throw it away. If you are working to push something away from you, bury off of your property or by a crossroads. Like the Egyptians, you can leave the bottle by a loved one’s grave, asking for their assistance, however, check the rules of the cemetery as to what can and cannot be placed within the cemetery environment. If the bottle has been designed to protect the home, such as the bellarmine jug mentioned earlier, place it just inside the front door, facing the door or on the porch step. Clean out and renew at the solstices and equinoxes. Finally, a Witch’s bottle can be thrown into a fire during the course of a spell to explode its power into the universe. It is suggested that you do this outdoors and with great caution.

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