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Archive for June, 2012

The Spirit Bottle

Blue Fairy Bottles by Sara StarThe spirit bottle is an enchanted object of age old relevance. From djinns in lamps, Biddy Early’s blue fairy bottle, to the witch’s bottle, bottles are a consistent and traditional craft.

The witch who makes a spirit bottle makes it as an ally and helper. Whether the witch stores a bit of herself in it as a servitor, or houses a familiar spirit (fairy, djinn or demon) in there, it is a fruitful project to undertake.

Witch’s bottles are all too common, but today I am interested in Biddy Early’s fae bottle.  And I am going to start to make one myself.

Firstly, we build a relationship with a familiar spirit. The purpose of Biddy Early’s bottle was scrying and healing, so it must be an oracular and healing spirit. Perhaps the waters of a mirror pond, or of a sacred healing well. The plant ally of a divining spirit like mugwort or chamomile, one you grew just for this purpose, maybe. Chant to you plant, or sing to it, and make sure it wants to be your familiar. Giving the herb a bit of your own blood in water when you water and feed it helps bond you together.

Secondly, you need a bottle. I have no doubt you can track down a lovlerly blue bottle.  I got mine at a brewing store. Sometimes spring water is sold in blue bottles in neat shapes.  You can even make your bottle from clay, fire and glaze it your perfect shade of blue.

Then try and find a Monday or Saturday night during a blue moon to bottle the spirit. In the case of a special watering hole, go down to the the place and gather some water where you see the new moon sliver reflecting in it.

You will have to preserve the water (and herb) with some vodka or perfumers alcohol to keep it from going bad. Make a special ritual out of the whole thing. Talk to the undines and the plant ally as you are preparing the potion. Give it an offering or even play a game with it.

The idea is not to trap a spirit in your bottle, its more like you are making a guest room for it because it lives nearby and visits all the time.

Then when the potion is complete, and preserved with alcohol, cork it or otherwise seal the top. Then wrap it in some red wool, cotton or silk.

Mark your bottle with sigils and symbols or keep it plain. To scry in it, either uncork it and gaze down the neck while breathing very shallowly in your nose and out your mouth, or shine the side of the bottle and glaze into the reflective surface until images start to form.

Irish legend suggest that you never thank your fairy helpers because that is tantamount to saying goodbye. However, you should praise it and give it gifts.

Biddy Early spoke with the fae since she was little and she even spoke a strange language to them (Maybe travelers?) Legend tells us that her son Paddy won the bottle for her in a hurling match with mysterious disappearing strangers. After her death, her preacher tossed the bottle back into the lake and likewise it was never seen again.

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