One of the first things a person who is beginning their path upon the “Craft” is to set up protections.
It may seem superstitious but we are working with energies; thoughts both good and bad are energies, and a person who opens themselves up to the “Craft” opens their personal energy to others.
I often refer to this as a Neon Sign, with a blinking arrow pointing to one’s self. This is true when you open yourself to tapping into Spirit, whether to do card readings, or being a spiritualist or trying to sense ghosts, but it is especially important to protect yourself when “walking between the planes” when you start on the path of the “Craft”.
So before you even learn the moon phases, color correspondences, oils, incense, spells, etc. We are going to start you with protections.
And you are going to be doing A LOT of them.
First we are going to start with what is called a “Witch Bottle”.
O.K. so what is a “Witch Bottle”?
Wikipedia has a nice short explanation of the witch bottle and it states that it goes back as far as the 1500 hundreds or 14th century, but then the bottles were made out of clay or what was called “salt glazed” pottery.
My Granny said that it’s older than that, and that it was originally made out of cloth or large nut shells hollowed out and then filled up with what it was suppose to have and then resealed with wax from honey bee combs or some sort of straw that could be tied, because way back then it would disintegrate being buried in the ground so it had to be renewed every year, but now with glass and pottery one does not have to do it every year, unless it gets broken somehow.
The idea around a witch bottle is that any energies/thoughts/entities that set out to do you harm or those entities that become interested in your “Light” because you are opening up to the path, will become “entangled” with the ingredients in a witch bottle and will have it sent back to the originator, leaving you free and clear from harm.
In the old days it would be sealed underneath the hearth or fireplace where one does cooking, because that usually was the center of the household and if a house should ever fall down, the fireplace would be the very last place to deteriorate.
In modern times it would be buried underneath a house or up in the rafters of the attic or in the farthest corner of one’s property. If one lived in an apartment then it would be buried in a remote location far away from any development, but almost always it would have to be renewed every year for apartment dwellers, because one could never be sure if it was found or broken.
From time to time I would see my Granny make a witch bottle for one of the neighbor ladies or their friends….
These were the ingredients
1 mayonnaise jar or a glass jar 6 to 8 ozs in size, with a metal screw-on top.
Pieces of thread in black and red, not much over 3 inches long, if it’s thread that you’ve trimmed from clothing you have worn even better.
Your own hair trimmings and nail clippings.
Rusty nails, coffin nails are best you can order them on line or buy them from a new age shop or botanica. But rusty nails that you find at a site were a place was torn down works just as well.
Rusty razor blades, rose thorns or any thorns from a prickly plant, even cactus thorns, bits of broken glass or mirror, pine needles, bent pins, open safety pins any or all of these things.
Plus these herbs
Rosemary, rue, basil, mint, sage, garlic (in larger grocery i.e. Safeway, Lucky stores that have a Hispanic population, if you go to the ethnic dried spices you’ll find Rue as Ruda) the rest you can buy fresh.
Plus sea or kosher salt, not iodized.
Then from a new age store you’ll need to get frankincense, sandalwood, rowan berries or powder wood, mistletoe, yarrow, myrrh, you don’t need to get much of each, and you don’t need every item, but Frankincense is very important.
One candle either red, black or white that drips when burning or sealing wax, plus some tape.
Then some gross stuff, a bit of your urine, a few drops of your blood, you can put it on toilet paper if you want but if you’re willing to go for it, you can pee into the jar at least half way.
Now in some cases a photo of yourself is fine, but Granny would have the ladies write out their full name, first, middle, maiden and married name on a piece of brown paper bag in place of a photo.
Put into the jar, three each of the solid items, 3 threads or have the threads in a ball, 3 leaves of each of the herbs, 3 pinches of salt, three pinches of each of the stuff from the new age store, the paper with your name or a photo of you, a few drops of your blood and some of your urine, if the idea of urine turns you off you can use wine, it is nearly effective, but my Granny said that to be most effective it had to come from the person the bottle is intended for. Add 3 coffin or rusty nails, rusty razor blades, broken mirror, thorns, bent pins, needles etc. Don’t worry if you don’t have everything here that is listed, what is important is the herbs, threads, rusty nails, bent pins, urine and blood and the paper with your name and hair and nail clippings, I’ve known people to use (and this is a bit gross) public hair and belly-button lint as well. But that is a preference.
Now the time to make the bottle needs to be on the evening of the full moon before All Hallow’s eve, for 2010 it will be 1:38 a.m. Saturday, October 23rd.
Make sure that your phone is off, no radio, no television and make sure no one is going to bother you, just say you need some alone time and don’t want to be bothered.
Have all of your ingredients ready on a table in the area you will be working, carefully light 4 glass encased candles, place them one in each direction, sprinkle a light sprinkle of sea salt, in a circle around the area you will be working, making sure that the circle will enclose your working table, light some frankincense (make sure that everything is safely away from catching anything on fire, create a circle of protection by walking in a clock wise direction in a circle using your index finger of your right hand to outline the circle that you’ve already formed with the salt , call upon the arch angles, Michael, Uriel, Gabriel, Raphael, to protect you from the 4 directions (north, south, east, west), call upon the 4 elements Air, Earth, Fire, Water to protect you from all elements, call upon the Cherubim and Seraphim to protect you from above and from below.
Inform the angles and elements that you call upon them to observe the witch bottle that you are making and ask them to infuse the bottle and it’s contents with their spiritual protection, then as each item is put into the bottle you need to say, “I call upon you to protect me and mine, from all harm, for all time, as I will it so will it be, to protect me and mine from all enemies”
After you put in the last item whether it’s an object or liquid, seal the bottle with the metal screw-on cap, shake it 9 times, then seal it further first with tape then light the candle and drip the wax all around the metal cap and glass to seal it further.
The location of the bottle now becomes important, if you want to bury it, and you own a home, then in the farthest corner of your property, near a tree or a rose bush, or up in the rafters of your attic away from where you have things stored and where it can’t be seen by inquisitive children.
If you live in an apartment, then put the bottle into a box temporarily behind your front door, until you can decide on a remote location to bury it although what some apartment dwellers do now a days is put it into a sealed decorative box behind the front door and leave it there or buy a large potted plant and bury the bottle with the plant.
Now if you move from your old house or apartment retrieve the bottle, then hide it at the new place for a while until it’s the full moon on or before All Hallows, then you can make a new one and destroy the old one, what some people do is take the old bottle to some place remote, have it in a plastic bag and then smash it with a hammer with the pieces inside the bag and then throw it away. But this can only be done after you have made a new witches bottle.
This is the first of what will be many protections needed to protect you on your journey.
Brightest of Blessings.