by Isabella @TheWandCarver
In long-ago times, healers or “cunning women” were sought out regularly by all, even the most devoutly God-fearing Christians, sought to be “helped” by one when some strange malady had befallen them or their families. Or perhaps some evil blight had made times hard for them…perhaps, even, they had reason to believe someone in particular wished ill-tidings upon them. When the cunning woman (or cunning man – although it was generally believed the Mister was the contact or go-between for his Missus and her clientèle) was contacted by the client, they were often in need of a charm – a witch bottle – or a potion to help them rid the evil from their lives and give them protection for a time to come. Depending upon whether the need was related to health or just general protection, the cunning folk would usually tell the client to come back in a few days, in which time she would concoct the necessary remedy for their ills.
For health-related problems, most often she would make a tincture, potion, or charm to rid the client of their illness. But for need of money, love, or to ward away evil, she would most often create what is now called a witch bottle filled with what would bring to, or ward off, depending upon the need. Most likely in those days they were just called charms as no one wanted to say the “witch” word too loudly, lest they be hanged, drowned, or burned!
Because it is so literal and so beautifully explained, I am copying and pasting an excerpt from Wikipedia:
One of the earliest descriptions of a witch bottle in Suffolk, England, appears in 1681 in Joseph Glanvill’s Saducismus Triumphatus, or Evidence concerning Witches and Apparitions:
“For an old Man that Travelled up and down the Country, and had some acquaintance at that house, calling in and asking the Man of the house how he did and his Wife; He told him that himself was well, but his Wife had been a long time in a languishing condition, and that she was haunted with a thing in the shape of a Bird that would flurr [sic] near to her face, and that she could not enjoy her natural rest well. The Old Man bid him and his Wife be of good courage. It was but a dead Spright, he said, and he would put him in a course to rid his Wife of this languishment and trouble, 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; But there came a Woman from a Town some miles off to their house, with a lamentable Out-cry, that they had killed her Husband. They askt her what she meant and thought her distracted, telling her they knew neither her nor her Husband. Yes, saith she, you have killed my Husband, he told me so on his Death-bed. But at last they understood by her, that her Husband was a Wizard, and had bewitched this Mans Wife and that this Counter-practice prescribed by the Old Man, which saved the Mans Wife from languishment, was the death of that Wizard that had bewitched her.”
The tale is supposedly true but gives me a chuckle to read it. However, witch bottles have been found with varying objects inside and through x-ray have been found to have needles and nails inside them in many cases. I should not doubt that someone’s urine may have once or still be inside a fair number of them. But truthfully, unless you simply want to create yours in this way, it’s not necessary.
Was a time you may have sought me out to fix you up with a witch bottle to protect you from harm. I do make them, but in a portable size and I promise no urine. But nowadays so many are finding their power and making their own charms and witch bottles. If this is something you feel you need to do, only be careful to stick to naming what you wish for with no harm toward others or yourself. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, it is best to leave it to someone who does, however, if you are just learning and wish to make an effective witch bottle for home protection then what you can do is either buy a witch bottle from us or make your own out of a discarded jar with a lid. Put inside it:
Your fingernail clippings
Earth from your land/garden/path to your front door
Three rusted nails
9 dress pins
A little red wine
As you put each item or object into the bottle or jar, tell it what you want it to do. Your fingernail clippings represent you, so you ask that the bottle protects you. The earth from around your home represents your home and you ask that your property is protected. The three rusty nails, 9 pins, Oak bark, salt, and Obsidian are all items of protection and the Oak bark is also for strength, so you ask of each to protect and defend you and your home/property. The rice is for protection, luck, and longevity; therefore, you ask for those of the rice before placing inside. Take a sip of the red wine and don’t swallow it, spit it into the bottle. This seals it to you so that it does your bidding. Hold the sealed bottle in both your hands and carry to a pre-determined place around your home. If you live in a house, you can bury it in the farthest corner of your property or, as I did when I lived in a maisonette, I buried mine to the left of my front door. It is best to have decided beforehand where you want to keep it and have the hole already dug. Make sure you make the hole at least a couple of feet deep so that nothing can break the bottle. As you carry the bottle simply say, “protect me, protect my home, protect my family (if they live with your), protect my pets” – basically whomever lives in your home. Just carry on repeating this until you feel it working, until you feel it is ready to be buried. Then, simply bury the bottle and say whatever you wish…”amen”, “so mote it be”, “this shall be done” – whatever it is you would say at the end of any spell or prayer. The best time to perform this ritual is on the waxing full moon, best still to perform it on one of the three days of the waxing full moon closest to the actual full moon. As long as the bottle stays intact it will keep you protected. You may even dig it up to move house and bury it again once you’re moved into your new home.
If you should live in a flat/apartment with no actual land at your disposal to bury your witch bottle you can keep it inside your home but you must place it in an area where it won’t be a conversation starter or where anyone, including pets, can get to it lest it be broken. In the corner of a cupboard or even inside a wall would be best.
So, there you are. Your first witch bottle! May it protect and keep you from harm always. So may it be.
Sources: Wikipedia and my Nana