I'm putting this out there for all of you who want to know how to make your own witch bottle.
Not. I'm sure you all know how to do this already.
No. I've writing this to pass the time between making my witch bottle, and burying it in a suitable location.
There are a lot of 'recipes' for lack of a better word on how to make your own witch bottle, often including yukky ingredients like semen, menstrual fluid, drops of your own blood, urine ... and I think I've said enough.
Now Vivienne (the witch - obvs) suggested strongly for me to make a witch bottle, to help keep the nasties at bay when I scry and being as I'm seeing all sorts of unplesant things, I followed her advice.
And tonight, in front of a fire with a black cat curled comfortably nose pointed towards the coals, I made one, and at midnight, it will be buried. The witch bottle, not the cat, who is alive and well. If he doesn't move out soon he will need a name. By the way, the coal fire isn't for dramatic effect, but rather the flat I live in doesn't have functioning heating at this precise point in time. I'm in dispute with one of the big six.
The black cat isn't for effect either. He (or maybe she) just moved in and took over some weeks ago.
And for you clever people, who notice that I've made only one witch bottle, and maybe have more than one point of access (the hearth open to the sky, and various doors), I've know I need to make more.
According to V, when I grossed out over the ingredients, and had a minor tantrum, you can take liberties with the ingredients in certain situations. Like mine.
Or maybe she was just saying that to extract a promise from me to make the bottles.
But there are two core physical ingredients that must always go into a general purpose witch bottle: sharp objects and iron.
And one which is more difficult to quantify, and is as you may have guessed, intent.
I wondered how much 'intent' would be sufficient, and so I texted V.
"Sup V? How much intent is needed? Lots? LoL X"
The response was quick and not what I'd call text speak:
"imagine you were being chased by a large pack of black snarling wolves through a dark forest with very large white fangs what intent would you have?"
And she didn't even include punctiation. At times I wonder where V. is from. Her accent is east european, and she was either brought up on Brothers Grimm fairy tales or had a seriously hard-core childhood.
And then my phone chirped at me again. FFS. I thought I'd changed that stupid tone.
"Think about the beings you see scrying getting into your flat if you lack intent."
Now that was brutal.
I had put the nails (easily available), and iron filings (thanks V) into my bottle, and it looked a bit lame. No-one discusses the messy parts of dabbling with magic, and I had no intention of putting any of my bodily fluids in the bottle to spruce it up.
Still, I wanted the bottle to look a bit more menacing.
And was casting around wondering what to put in it, having used all the nails, when the up until now oh so tranquil black cat, stood up suddenly, hackles up and gave the most unearthly miow.
A quick panicked leap in the air (me not black cat), banging into the table, knocking my wine glass onto the cold floor, and the extra sharp bits for my bottle were there for the taking.
And included my blood. I cut myself in the fracas. Not badly. But enough to stain the glass. Crimson. Claret. Blood. I could see the embers flickering, in the shards, and something else - moving - turning towards me. I looked closer. No. Stop. Pull back. I am a scientist. I scry reluctantly.
Deep breath. Brandy. Quick gulp and focus.
Should I use blood in a witch botle?
I didn't know so texted V.
"In days of yore, blood magic was more widely practised, especially in remote villages and hinterlands where it would fall bright on the snow, and repel the darkness"
"And don't forget to add salt which is used for purifcation"
Like I said, I do wonder about her formative years, but at least the answer was clear, and accordingly I carefully scooped up the blood-stained pieces of glass, and dropped them one by one into the bottle ...
There, or so I believe, as many ways to make witch bottles as there are to er, skin a cat, that is to say a lot, no offence meant to my feline friend, but perhaps not so many ways to bury them.
Once made, you have to decide where to bury your witch bottle, and as usual this is kind off skimmed over in the internet, which makes me question how many of the how to articles are for real. How many of these people actually made and then buried their witch bottles?
It's not as simple as popping out and burying the bottle (in a deep out of the way hole).
Consider my situation. I have recently moved and live in a flat on the ground floor of a converted house in a row of terraces in the north of London.
The building has six flats. It has a garden of sorts which backs onto a railway line (as did my last place - these are often cheaper), and a door to the garden at the end of the kitchen. I have the garden flat, lucky if you want to dig holes and bury things. There are often lights on in the other houses, and people come and go at all hours. Shift work. Drug dealing. Police. Nurses. Clubs. The reasons are legion.
On top of this, there are various curtain twitchers who can't help but observe anything and everything that happens in the neighbourhood.
“Why are you leaving so early/coming back so late?”
Take your pick as to whether this is friendly, neighbourly or nosey and intrusive. Personally, it depends on my mood, and what I am up to, but for nefarious activities and general skulking around these are not good attributes for neighbours to have.
Sneaking about at night burying bottles is unlikely to go unnoticed without a certain level of planning and misdirection. Cassandra used to say that I couldn't plan (unlike her new oh so perfect rich over achieving husband), but how wrong she was, and here we have the proof. Burying a witch bottle in full sight requires planning, foresight and misdirection.
So, the question that had to be answered was ‘how can I bury a witch bottle at midnight without someone calling the cops?’, and the answer I hit upon is by digging the hole earlier in the day under the pretence of gardening.
I dug two holes, and in one I placed some sort of vaguely edible plant, told my most nosy neighbour, and also indicated that I would be checking late at night for slugs.
Late at night, I nochalantly de-flatted, witch bottle concealed under a large coat, waved at the neighbours who might or might not have been out there, slipped the witch bottle into the second hole, and while shining my torch on the plant paused and looked closely.
It's true slugs come out at night.
Thanking my lucky stars that I'm not a gardener by trade or inclination, I scuffed enough earth over the witch bottle, to hide it from prying eyes, ready to be fully covered in the fullness of time. Tomorrow.
BTW black cat disappeared for the rest of the evening, only re-appearing early next morning ready for breakfast. I don’t know why I am feeding a cat who has nothing to do with me, but sometimes a little charity doesn’t hurt.