From Ancient Times to Modern Practices: The History of Witch Bottles and Spell Jars

If you are visiting here, you probably felt a calling toward witchcraft, magick - specifically spell jars or witch bottles.

Witch bottles and spell jars have been used in various forms of witchcraft throughout history. These powerful tools are utilized by both experienced witches and those new to the practice of magick. Whether it be for protection, manifestation, or other purposes, witch bottles and spell jars hold a significant role in the craft.

Where did the concept originate?


A History of Witch Bottles and Spell Jars

Witch bottles often referred to by modern witches spell jars have a long history in the practice of witchcraft. The concept of imbuing a spell into a physical container and placing it in a specific location dates back to ancient times. Our ancestors believed that these vessels could protect their homes and properties from negative energies and spirits. Today, modern witches continue to use spell jars and witch bottles as a tool for manifestation and protection.

Throughout history and across cultures, people have used various objects and containers to hold and amplify their intentions and spells. From ancient Greece and Egypt to the Middle Ages in Britain, and even in modern-day traditions like Hoodoo and Appalachian folk magic, these objects have taken many forms, including spell jars, witch bottles, amulets, and juju bags. The common thread is the belief that these objects can harness and focus energy to bring about desired outcomes.

Witch bottles - Courtesy of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Witch bottles - Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Origin of Witch Bottles

Witch Bottles and spell jars have a long history, with their origins dating back to ancient times when people used witch bottles for protection. These bottles were typically made of stone and contained personal items from the person the spell was intended to protect, such as hair, nail clippings, blood, menstrual blood, or urine.

Originally made with small bones, wood, wine, and rusty nails or glass, these containers evolved over time. In Europe, stone or clay bottles were used until the 17th century when they were replaced with salt-glazed stoneware jugs. These jugs, often engraved with a bearded man, became popular for their ability to counteract acts of witchcraft and protect against negative energies.

Bellarmine Stoneware Witch Bottle - Public Domain image
Bellarmine Stoneware Witch Bottle - Public Domain image

Over time, these beliefs evolved and became more complex, with the creation of specialized containers like the Bellarmines jugs, named after the infamous Cardinal Bellarmine who persecuted and executed Giordano Bruno for his cosmological theories.

Spell jars and witch bottles continue to be utilized by contemporary witches and practitioners as a means of tapping into the energy of nature and the universe to manifest their desires and shield themselves from harm. These containers are typically filled with a combination of herbs, crystals, feathers, earth, sand, and other items, and are employed to focus and amplify specific intentions, as well as to provide protection against curses and malevolent spells.

Witch Bottles and Hermetics

Small ripples create big change. 

The concept of 'correspondence' is a fundamental principle in witchcraft and other spiritual practices. It suggests that the universe is interconnected and that everything in it is a reflection of everything else.

This idea is often used in spell jars and witch bottles, which are containers filled with herbs, crystals, and other objects that correspond to a specific intention or desired outcome.

By harnessing the power of these correspondences, practitioners believe they can influence the world around them and manifest their desires. Whether it's through astrology, numerology, or other forms of divination, the principle of correspondence is a powerful tool for those seeking to connect with the spiritual realm.

Origins of Hermetics

The Corpus Hermeticum is a collection of mystical texts believed to have been written in the 1st century CE to convey the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus. One of the most famous texts within this collection is the Emerald Tablet, which dates back to the 7th century CE and is attributed to Hermes Trismegistus.

The Emerald Tablet has been used by alchemists, occultists, and magicians for over a thousand years and is associated with the philosophers' stone and the ability to turn other elements into gold. However, the versions of these texts that have reached us are translations of translations, from Arabic to Latin and then to English, starting from the 7th century CE.

Enhance Your Witch Bottle Spells with Correspondence Magick for Magickal Results

Correspondence Magick

Discover the power of correspondence magick and how it can enhance your witch bottle spells. 

The principle of "correspondence," which states 'As Above, So Below,' is one of the seven fundamental principles of Hermeticism.

This principle suggests that there is a connection between the physical and spiritual realms, and that what happens in one realm can affect the other.

This principle is often invoked in the creation of spell jars and witch bottles, which are used in various forms of magic to manifest desired outcomes.

By aligning the physical contents of the jar or bottle with the desired outcome in the spiritual realm, practitioners believe they can bring about the desired result.

Unlocking the secrets of correspondence magick will amplify the effectiveness of your witch bottle spells. 

Blessed Be,

Bec Black⁠



Museum of London - Witch Bottles

The Kybalion

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