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BOTTLE SPELLS
and SPELL BOTTLES

HISTORY AND DEFINITION OF BOTTLE SPELLS

A spell bottle is a bottle into which a magical spell has been cast in the form of physical items used to ensure that the spell results in the desired outcome.

A bottle spell is a magical spell that is contained within a bottle, and which, when finished, is expected to work for the ends one desires.

There are many types of bottle spells used in folk magic traditions from around the world. Almost every culture that uses bottles (or gourds, or animal horns) as containers also has developed ways to use those containers to hold works of magical spell craft.

The painted bottle spells shown here were made in America from small medical bottles. They come in both hoodoo and Catholic styles, as described below.

EUROPEAN, ENGLISH, AND ANGLO-AMERICAN WITCH BOTTLES

Among the earliest spell bottles known are those called "Witch Bottles." They are buried under the threshold or hidden up in a chimney to keep witches or evil-intentioned people away from your home. Examples of glazed clay witch bottles have been found in England that date back to the 1600s at least. A typical witch bottle contains sharp, jagged items like bent pins, shards of glass, nails, or even broken razor blades, a hair, and the urine of the person who wishes to be protected. 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.



In more recent times, the witch bottles of England and Anglo-America have been made from cobalt blue glass and they are often kept on a window sill "for pretty" as well as to keep away witches and the evil eye. Because they function as "fascinators" and spirit traps, they are typically filled with shiny and sparkly things. The empty cobalt blue glass bottle shown here is typical of the style used. It has a rolled rim and is stoppered with a cork, adding to its old-fashioned look and charm. Its shape has led folks to call it a "potion bottle," and of course it can also be used for storing magical liquids.

This is a small, short, squat style of jar made from very pale green recycled glass. The shape is what used to be called a "Cream Cup" in restaurants -- a tiny container for coffee cream. Made of glass and outfitted with a cork stopper, it serves beautifully as a Spice or Herb Jar, or a diminutive container for a special Bottle Spell.


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LATIN AMERICAN CHARM FLASKS

peruvian-charm-flask-lucky-mojo-curio-company

In Central and South America -- and especially in Peru -- spell bottles are created that are customarily filled with a variety of hand-made and natural botanical lucky and protective amulets and curios. Most of them contain a combination of native folk-magical charms and Catholic religious artifacts such as holy prints and small hand-painted soapstone patron saints for various conditions. The arrangement of the articles within the flasks is quite artful.

When used on the altar, the bottle is filled with oil and sealed. Prayers are said over it and it becomes a permanent part of the altar furnings as long as the spell is in effect or being worked on.

These bottle spells come in many sizes, from medical ampules to whiskey flasks. Some beautiful examples of such bottle spells from Peru, Bolivia, and Guatemala can be found on the page of charm vials and charm flasks.


Order Latin American Charm Vials and Charm Flasks from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.

HOODOO CROSSING, BREAK-UP, and VINEGAR BOTTLE SPELLS

One of the oldest bottle spells that is not a witch-bottle or protective spell is the Break Up bottle. These are most commonly found in African American hoodoo magic, but their contents are related to similar "divorce from demons" spells inscribed in bowls that are found in ancient Jewish ruins.

Break Up bottles typically are fixed with the names of the people whom one wishes to separate, and they contain the hair of a Black Dog and the hair of a Black Cat -- so the people you want to break up will "fight like cats and dogs."

To this is typically added a group of 9 needles, 9 pins, and 9 rusty coffin nails to cause them to hurt one another. red pepper flakes or whole red pepper pods to make then angry, and a selection of prepared Sachet Powders or Mineral Powders such as Break Up, Separation, or Hot Foot powders, or Goofer Dust, or Graveyard Dirt, depending on whether the intention is to drive a couple apart or drive away an unwanted person. A full account of one such a spell, with all ingredients listed, can be found on the page of Break Up supplies, under the heading "A Traditional Break Up Spell in a Bottle."

Not all harmful bottle spells are used to break up relationships, Similar bottles or jars may be prepared to ruin the life of a single individual or to drive him or her away. Generally, except for the absence of the Black Dog Hair and Black Cat Hair, and the use of a different array of prepared Sachet Powders or Mineral Powders, these bottles are indistinguishable from Break Up bottles. The ingredients used may include Crossing, Destruction, Jinx, D.U.M.E., Run Devil Run. powders, or Goofer Dust, or Graveyard Dirt,

Harmful bottle spells may be prepared with dry ingredients or, alternatively, after the combination of dry ingredients is placed in the container, the bottle may be filled with urine to dominate an individual or with Vinegar to sour a relationship between two people or to sour the life of one person. A sample vineagr jar spell is given on the page fir Four Thieves Vinegar.

A black candle inscribed with the people's names written back-to-back (to separate them) may be burned in the mouth of the bottle before it is sealed. After it is prepared it can be buried at their home where they will step over it or it can be shaken up daily as you name them and call down curses on their relationship. Because gasses may build up in a Vinegar jar, causing them to explode; it is customary to keep them wrapped up in a thick black cloth between times of working with them.

To lay the trick or deploy the fixed container, it may be shaken, thrown into running water, thrown into a crossroads, buried under the doorstep or walk-way path, thrown over their roof, broken, or, in the case of a lemon, cut and the juice squeezed behind the one you want to have get away.

Generally when one undertakes harmful spell work -- and a vinegar jar is always harmful -- it is a good idea to perform protection work to keep the space clear of incursions, and and to humbly perform a cleansing ritual afterward for the good of one's own soul. Protection is especially necessary when one is performing a coercive "Spill Your Guts" type of Compelling bottle spell

Remember also that when you do spell work on another person, they have every right, as a self-determining sentient creature, to fight back in whatever way they can, including reversing your curses back onto you. If the target of a harmful bottle spell decides to fight back or resist attempts at domination or control, you may tend to feel out of sorts or under attack. Hence it is the custom, even among those who are not concerned about the state of their souls, to do protection work before and cleansing work after all cursing spells.


HOODOO HONEY AND SUGAR JARS

Lucky Mojo honey jar mini spell kit with red candle for love love-herb-bottle-spell

Bottle spells may also be used for helpful magic. The round blue bottle shown here was made and photographed by my friend Lara Hopkins Rivera. Its purpose is to draw and hold true love. It is filled with a special combination of love herbs and sachet powders, plus some decorative metallic confetti hearts, then capped with a cork that has been dressed with ritual oils for love. A red thread has been wrapped around the neck 13 times and knotted, holding a heart-shaped charm. Prayed over and fixed in this way, the jar is a powerful bottle spell. To make it stronger, the practitioner can add personal concerns and a name-paper on which the names of the loving couple are written in criss-cross fashion. It can be worked as-is, or, it can be made into a honey jar or sweet jar spell by the addition of sugar or honey.

The honey jar or sweet jar spell -- in which in two people's names are written criss-cross and folded around some personal items and kept in a jar of honey to create sweet conditions between the two -- is among the most popular of the hoodoo bottle spells. Honey jar spells may be used for love magic, for court cases, to succeed on the job, to get a bank loan, or anywhere that you want someone to be sweet to you or those on whose behalf you are working. There are so many types of honey jar spell that they have their own page, and you may read more about them there.


HOODOO AMMONIA BOTTLE SPELL

buffalo-brand-ammonia

In 2009 a member of the Lucky Mojo Product Forum, writing under the screen-name Charminmuse, posted a spell that used Ammonia to "turn a situation around." This spell proved quite popular, and engendered many questions for clarificathion, so i am summarizing it here, along with my own comments.

Charminmuse wrote: "To turn a situation around or uncross something, write out the situation on a white slip of paper, which should be both wide enough to wrap on the inside of the jar, and short enough to soak in the Ammonia after you turn your jar upside down, that is, reaching about halfway down the side of the jar. The slip of paper is taped to the inside of the jar near the top, with the written side turned inward to hide your intentions from snoops. Pour in the Ammonia, until the jar is about half full. Screw the lid on really tight, to ensure the Ammonia won't leak. State your situation with strong emphasis, and turn the jar upside down. The Ammonia should now cover the slip of paper. Keep the jar in a dark place, such as a closet, and leave it be until the situation is as you want it. I used it when I had gotten into hot water at work, and was heading to a bad end; I was able to turn the situation around and save my job. I also used it when my father was having legal problems, to turn his legal situation around. It worked great!"

First, note that this is a spell to turn things around. It is neither a revenge spell nor a spell of harm. It is not directed against persons so much as against situations that need fixing.

Second, note that when Ammonia has been adequately diluted, it is safe for spiritual household cleansing and floor washing and even as an addition to mineral-based spiritual baths, but this spell employs Ammonia in undiluted form, and undiluted Ammonia is toxic, corrosive, and also gives off toxic and corrosive fumes. Do not breathe the fumes of undiluted Ammonia. If you spill undiluted Ammonia on objects, soak them with water, as mere wiping may not be sufficient to stop a chemical reactions between the item and the Ammonia. Be careful, when disposing of Ammonia, to thoroughly dilute it with water.


HOODOO PAINTED BOTTLE SPELLS

reconciliation-bottle-spell-lucky-mojo-curio-company

Specially painted or decorated hoodoo bottle spells are made for various conditions.

A Compelling bottle to make someone keep a promise may be made by writing their name on paper, crossed by your command, folding the paper with herbs such as Licorice and Calamus that are used to rule and control people, and inserting everything in the bottle. A small purple candle is then stuck in the neck of the bottle and burned. It may be dressed with Compelling brand dressing oil, or with all-purpose Special Oil No. 20.

A Fast Luck bottle spell to get luck in a hurry is made the same way -- only in this case one writes the command first and crosses it with one's own name written out 9 times. A red candle for a love spell or a green candle for money magic or gambling luck dressed with Fast Luck brand anointing oil is burned with this bottle.

Come To Me, Reconciliation (shown here), Peaceful Home, Lavender Love, Attraction, Prosperity, and other bottle spells are all created in a similar way:

If there are two people in the case, appropriate herbs and minerals are placed in the bottle and when the petition paper is written out, your name goes on top of the name of the other party, to rule them.

If there is only one party and the petition is for success, wealth, or luck, the petition is written first, crossed and covered by your name. Dress the candle with an appropriate formula oil or an all-purpose anointing oil such as Special Oil No. 20.


Order Painted Hoodoo Bottle Spells from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.

RELIGIOUS PAINTED BOTTLE SPELLS

Religious bottle spells are a special form of prayer-in-a-bottle. They are made to hold your wish or petition, written on paper, along with herbs and minerals deemed relevant to the case, such as Rose buds if calling upon the Virgin, two Balm of Gilead buds if petitioning to mend a broken relationship, or Frankincense and Myrrh in making a petition to the Infant Jesus. There are patron saints for almost every human occupation, location, or condition, and some of the popular saints who appear in painted bottle spells include Saint Expedite for fast results, Saint Christopher for the safety of travellers, the Seven African Powers (shown here) for devotion to the Orishas, and the Infant of Atocha for political prisoners and missing victims of kidnapping.

Once the relevant items are put in the spell bottle, a candle of the appropriate colour for that patron saint is inserted in the neck of the bottle and dressed with oil -- either a named Saint or Holy oil or simply pure Olive Oil -- and then lit.

One candle alone may be sufficient, but some people burn several, one per day, until they achieve satisfaction.


Order Painted Religious Bottle Spells from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.

HOW TO MAKE A "SHAKING BLOTTLE" SPELL

Sealing the bottle concludes the creation of your bottle spell, and it may be placed on your altar or deployed at once, but if your spell is ongoing, you may make a "shaking" bottle of it either before or after you seal it and work with it fuirther before deploying it.

For instance, if you burn a candle in the nexk of the bottle, then after the candle is burned out, you can add vinegar (for a harmful spell), Florida Water Cologne (for a blessing spell), or Hoyt's Cologne (for a luck spell) and seal the bottle. If you wish to create a disturbance in someone's mind -- either for love or for pain -- you can seal the bottle with a cork, then drive needles through the cork so that they stick down into the bottle.

In any case, once the bottle is sealed, you can shake it for a few minutes, either every day or once a week, as you call aloud your blessing, wish, prayer, or curse. To do this, hold the spell bottle between your thumb and middle finger and shake it rhythmically as you speak, as you would a rattle. Your words should be improvised and cadenced, like preaching, toasting, or rapping.

If you stuck needles down into the bottle, to cause pain or bring about separation, you want to shake shake the bottle in such a way that the person's name-paper and.or personal concerns is hit by the sharp needle points every time you shake the jar, giving him or her a mental jolt with each shake.

HOW TO DEPLOY OR DISPOSE OF A BOTTLE SPELL

Bottle spells are utilized in many ways. Once completed, a bottle spell or prayer bottle should be given ritual deployment or disposal in an appropriate manner. Depending on your intention, It may be buried under a doorstep, buried in a graveyard, thrown into a crossroads, have a hole punched into the cap before being made to sink in water, or kept on an altar. If your intention was to keep someone close but not let them know what you are doing, you may bury the spell bottle in your back yard.

Lucky Mojo honey jar mini spell kit with red candle for love Apotropaic witch bottles are generally hung around the home for protection. The blue glass ones are often kept in a kitchen window, or they may be hung from the rafter of the porch, or in a tree, to remain there until the string that holds them breaks, signifying that they have "taken the hit" of any evil magic that was intended to harm the inhabitants.

If the petition or prayer you made was performed for love, money, gambling luck, protection or religious reasons and you maintain an altar, then you should keep the spell bottle on the altar where it will continue to work for you. Spiritual prayer bottles, blessing and wishing bottles, charm vials and charm flasks, and honey jars kept on the home altar may continue to be shaken on special occasions, when it is important to "wake them up" and get them re-activated. Honey jars are often kept on the altar for weeks, months, or years, where they may serve as a base for the burning of small altar candles anointed with ritual oils.

Bottles fixed to make an enemy's, ex-lover's, or boss's power drain away are prepared with a combination of his or her personal concerns, a commanding name-paper, an assortment of domination herbs, hot sauce, and vinegar, and placed in a tall, narrow glass bottle such as a ketchup (catsup) or hot sauce bottle. A small pin hole is punched or driven through the bottle's cap or carved as a groove out of the side of the bottle's cork, and the bottle is buried upside down, preferably where the person will have to walk over it, or, failing that, at a country crossroads. As the liquid drip-drip-drips out of the bottle, the power and strength of the enemy likewise dribbles away.

If you live near a river or an estuary, you may a prepare a bottle like this and throw it into running water or into the ebbing tide, with an additional prayer that the person will be carried out of your life and that as the bottle eventually sinks, far from where you threw it in, so will the person against whom you are working be driven first away from you and then down to the depths.

Bottles for breaking up a relationship, crossing an enemy, or crippling someone with pain, are typically buried on their sides in the earth, where the victim may step on them and feel the effect of your jinx or curse as a result of foot-track magic.

There are no hard and fast rules, but generally speaking, if the spell or prayer was to rid yourself of some person or condition, then you will want to ritually dispose of the bottle. If you work the bottle by

then the spell-work is finished when the action of deployment or disposal is performed and you cannot re-open the bottle to add more ingredients to it-- but if you are working the bottle spell at your altar by shaking it, setting small altar lights in the bottle mouth, etc., then you may continue to add things to it, as it is still a "work in progress."

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