Container magic using bottles is an especially effective and thoughtful method of folk magic that crosses over many different traditions. It was common in the Appalachian Granny Magic in which I was raised and came back onto my radar when I was learning HooDoo and then later as a Brujería apprentice.
There is some minor disagreement as to the minor points of jar and bottle work. In all three circumstances with different mentors and in different cultures, I was taught that jar work is generally punitive (as in a “Witch’s jar” to curse) and bottle work is constructive (a “Witch’s bottle” to bless). My editor at Llewellyn disagreed with that teaching and people who responded to previous blog posts disagreed. This is how my mentors taught me.
The following ingredients are for a 2021 Blessing Bottle. I just restocked our store with these and people seem to enjoy them. I use whatever pretty bottle I have on hand. The bottle should seal, although the method of sealing is irrelevant. My most recent ones were cork-sealed. The ones before that had the clamp down tops. In theory, you should be able to access the ingredients to add to them as desired.
How to make the bottles
Sit with the bottle for a few minutes and ask it to receive the tokens of your blessing goals for the coming year. When the bottle feels ready, you can begin to add the items, taking time to infuse each ingredient with your own energy. Tap also into the specific energy inherent to the item and channel down Universal energy from whatever Divine Power you honor. This gives you the perfect trifecta of power: personal energy, natural energy, and divine energy. When each ingredient feels as if it is bursting with energy, you drop it into the bottle.
Once you have placed all of your items into the bottle, hold the bottle between your two hands, against your heart. Ask that the bottle fill with opportunity, love, and luck. Take in a gentle breath, hold it, and then breathe the exhalation into the bottle to capture your own breath, then close the bottle.
These are the ingredients I add to my 2021 Blessing Bottles. This acts as a starter for whatever the user might want to put into the bottle themselves. No doubt, you will have favorite tokens, herbs, and oils that you can add. A person can use some, none, or all of these, plus their own additions. All of the following will play well with other components:
- A bay leaf for luck and prosperity
- Rosemary for protection
- St. John’s Wort (Hypericum) for mental and emotional stability
- Lavender for peace and restorative sleep
- Calendula (Marigold) for prosperity and luck
- Snake skin for gentle rebirth and rites of passage
- Red stones for passion and creativity
- Blue stones for peace, truth, and healthy communication
- Yellow stones for joy and happiness
- Orange stones for health
- Green stones for prosperity and healing
- Pink stones for love and self-appreciation
- White stones for spiritual growth
- Black stones for protection from negativity
- Oils to promote your goals (I use our 5 Blessings Oil, Showers of Gold Oil, and Road Opener Oil)
- Charms/Amulets (I use a 4-leaf clover for luck, a heart for love, a key to open closed doors, and money bag for prosperity)
- A sliver of selenite to tie it all together
Aftercare of the Bottles
You may want to add small hair cuttings from the people who live in your home or even fur cuttings for the pets to extend the blessings to everyone. Small trimming from your mortgage paperwork or rental agreement to personalizes the energy to the house. If you wish, you can feed the bottle with new stones, charms, tokens, herbs, oils, or other blessings throughout the year. Each time you feed the bottle, you should breathe into the bottle again to re-personalize it to you.
I recommend keeping the bottle in a prominent location, such as on your mantle or hearth, near your front door, on your altar, or close to whatever you perceive the heart of your home to be. The bottle draws in opportunity, blessings, protection, and prosperity throughout the coming year.