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there are many common ingredients that can be used to curse
a general area (premises, property, etc.). one item that is
common is the use of what is sometimes (especially outside
the hoodoo community) referred to as a "Witches' Bottle."
here is what catherine yronwode has already written in
reflection of what sources like Harry M. Hyatt and others
have described of these "bottles" (which can also be cans,
boxes, or any number of other types of containers):


   In the African-American hoodoo or conjure tradition, bottles
   filled with sharp objects such as pins, needles, or nails
   are [...] used in spells of malevolence and destruction.

   According to the oral histories collected by Harry M. Hyatt
   from 1,600 African-American informants in the South during
   the 1930s, these bottle spells are used to harm others or
   cause marital spats and break-ups. I don't have time now to
   transcribe a batch of Hyatt's informant's words verbatim,
   but here is a rough guideline to what he was told. The
   complete texts can be found in his 5-volime book "Hoodoo -
   Conjuration - Witchcraft - Rootwork" (Detailed information
   about this rare, out-of-print book is archived at ):

   Typical ingredients for a harmful bottle spell:
        * 9 pins
        * 9 needles
        * 9 coffin nails (or other rusty nails)

   plus one or more of the following subsidiary ingredients:

        * goofer dust and/or graveyard dirt (for recipes, see 
        * hot foot powder (for recipes, see 
        * assorted "evil" roots or herbs 
          (e.g. red pepper, black mustard seeds)
        * assorted "evil" minerals 
          (e.g. sulphur, blue vitriol)
        * whiskey

   plus one or more of the following items to personalize the spell:

        * urine of victim 
          (called "chamber lye" in old accounts)
        * hair of victim
        * menstrual blood of [female] victim 
          (from stolen panties or sanitary pad)
        * feces of victim
        * name of victim written on a piece of paper

   additionally, to cause a break-up in a target couple:

        * hair from a black cat and hair from a black dog, 
          mingled together (so they'll "fight like cats 
          and dogs")

   Methods of deployment:

        * bury the bottle where the victim will walk over it
          (foot track magic)
        * conceal the bottle in the victim's chimney-corner
        * wall the bottle up in the victim's house or basement
        * bury the bottle at the base of the chimney outside 
          victim's house
        * poke a tiny hole in the bottle cap, throw into running 
          water (e.g. tidal bay) so that as it sinks, victim's 
          vitality will ebb
        * if feces used, fill bottle tight and wedge it into 
          a hole in a tree where it cannot ever be found;
          (victim will experience stoppage of the bowels)
        * if urine used, fill bottle full and wedge it into 
          a hole in a tree where it cannot ever be found;
          (victim will experience stoppage of the bladder or 
          kideny disease)

       © 1998 catherine yronwode (


as you can see, there's a great deal of variability in the
construction of these bottle spells. in addition, sometimes
they, like most "crossing" materials, can also seen as
useful for PROTECTIVE spells and charms. some of Hyatt's
informants, for example, described ordinarily caustic
materials such as pepper and even lye as valuable protective
dressings for one's feet (pepper inside, diluted lye on the
bottom outside of the shoes).

burying one of these bottles on a particular property can be
a very effective means of cursing it in a permanent sense,
especially if that bottle [...] is provided encouragement 
through spells like black-candle-burning on the side.

an easier and less extravagant method of enacting such a
crossing or curse would be to "powder" the area with some
sort of negative formula like Crossing Sachet Powder, Hot
Foot Powder, or even Black Arts Sachet Powder. regular
sprinklings of these powders could contribute to a general
aura of cursedness for any venturing too near.

there are also non-bottled concoctions buried in people's
yards which informants in Hyatt's work mention. these include
such elements as Dirt Dauber's nests, sulphur, red and/or
black pepper, urine, feces, of course items like Goofer Dust
and Graveyard Dirt, and many of the various items listed by
catherine as regards to the caustic bottle spells above.

happy cursing!

© 2000 nagasiva yronwode, Lucky Mojo Curio Company


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