Blessed Strawberry Moon! Love and Light, Autumn
Merry Meet friends! Well Summer has hit here in Ohio with a loud HOT bang! We went from weeks of cool, stormy weather to 95* Hot and steamy days. That is just the way it is here in Ohio. The good thing about the hot weather though was that finally the ground dried up and we were able to get out and get dirty working in the yard! I got my herbs planted in pots and scattered around the yard. We re-did a whole bed in our backyard adding a Weeping crabapple tree and some red-pink knock -out roses. I planted patio pots with a red/white/blue theme this year that has the most gorgeous deep red geraniums. There are now rows of impatience in our front beds, with rosemary and lavender for protection and luck. We still have some space at the side of the porch we want to plant some holly bushes and a couple of hydrangea bushes..one of my favorites. I am trying to talk hubby into removing a few excess boxwood bushes in the backyard so I can plant a moon garden….white flowers and silvery greens that will glow in the light of the moon. He isn’t crazy about the idea but I’m working on him LOL ! I will talk him into it for sure! Here’s a few pictures…..
Litha or Midsummer is coming up fast now and I need to get busy getting ready. I’m on the search for the perfect altar cloth to get my altar ready. I also am starting to collect items I need to make my witch’s protection bottles. I do these every year at Litha. Because it is warm out and I can be out at night and be warm and comfortable, I think it’s the perfect time to set out new protection for my home and those I love who dwell within. If you haven’t ever done a witch’s bottle, you should seriously think about it. I feel part of my practice is to protect what is mine and what I love and as a Witch I have the capability of doing that. I like to think of myself as a Warrior Witch..ready to do battle to keep evil away from my door!
A bit of history….
Witch’s Bottles have been in use in England and the United States since at least the 1600’s. Spell bottles were originally created to destroy the power of an evil magician or witch thought to have cast a spell against the bottle’s creator. They were often ceramic vessels and some had a face on them. They were also walled up into new homes as magical guardians. Spell bottles of this type continued to be used well into the 19th century. These bottles were apparently of English origin. Still, one example made from a glass wine bottle dated at 1740-1750 was found in Pennsylvania in 1976. And so, such protective devices certainly found their way from England to the United States with the colonists. There are over 200 Witch’s Bottles in known museums and they continue to be dug up during construction or gardening projects. 🙂 I always hope I’ll come across one sometime! LOL! The ceramic type of bottle is not made anymore so now it consists of a container, usually glass, filled with various objects of magical potency.
Witch’s bottles are made for a variety of purposes, and are used in numerous ways. Some are buried or otherwise hidden, while others are placed in windows of the home or in other prominent spots. All are concentrations of energy, created and empowered for specific magical purposes. It is a very powerful means of protecting your space and is buried on your property in order to attract all negative things to it, where it traps them. If you move, by all means, then dig it up and either destroy it or bring it to your new home. Now I actually choose to leave mine in place and just put out a new one each year..I like to think of the future residents of this house, happily gardening and coming across my wonderful jars LOL Makes me laugh to think what they might be thinking. 🙂
This Witch Bottle ritual is really great to do on a Full Moon night..the one closest to the Solstice. The first thing you want to do is decide where you are going to bury it. I like to put one right at my front porch steps, and one by the back door steps. Some people will put them at the four corners of their property or at the entrance of their driveway. Live in a condo or an apartment? No problem. Just store it in a closet closest to your entry door…out of sight or bury it in a big pot of dirt with a houseplant in it in your entryway. Once you decide where you are going to put it, dig a hole big enough to sink a your jar into the ground and cover it up well enough that it isnt’ too obvious something is buried there. Now, get a jar or two…I use Ball canning jars. But you can use a snapple bottle, a mayo jar, olive jar..use what you have by all means. Now it’s time to start collecting your supplies. Put the items on a tray or something that you an keep them all together..don’t put them in the jar yet. Here is the ritual and what you’ll need……
-A Sturdy, clean, wide-mouthed bottle or jar with a tight lid.
-Soil or sand from the area surrounding your home.
-Something sparkly or shining like small tumbled crystals, beads, sea glass *I use small crystal pieces with protective qualities*
-A rusty bent nail or two
-Pieces of broken glass
-Dried herbs- Mint, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme
-A new penny or other coin
-Some loose hair from any pets in your home
-Some hair from all living in the home
-A magickal spell candle
Create and open sacred space. Light your working candle while you do your work. If you haven’t already dug your hole, Dig the hole in the earth, try to keep the top sod in good shape to replace over the hole. Sprinkle with salt. Ground and Center. When ready, say these words:
With the Goddess and God working for and through me
according to free will and for the good of all.
I now fill this bottle.
*As you say the words, put the items in the jar……
Earth anchors this magick in the ground.
This rusty nail, bent, now repels anything and anyone negative or life-denying.
The sparkling, shiny small pieces of crystals hold the light for me and my deities.
A broken piece of glass to deflect harm to anyone it is intended for.
These herbs infuse the bottle with their living properties;
Mint for money and protection
Parsley for protection
Sage for wisdom and protection
Rosemary for love, healing, and health
Thyme for health, love, and courage.
This new penny manifests abundance in my home.
Hair from my beloved pets to protect them.
Hair from my loved ones who dwell here, to protect and draw away negativity.
This home is divinely protected and effectively safe.
Nothing and no one can enter without my permission
Only those people and beings through whom the Goddess and God work
Can stay here, can visit, can touch this place.
Only Positive Magick lives in this place
In safety, protection, abundance, love, and joy
According to free will and for the good of all!
Put the lid on the jar tight. If you like, you can use old candle wax or sealing wax to seal the jar closed as well. Start to bury the bottle, and replace the sod you dug up before hand and then say:
I now bury this bottle
It is invisible to all but me
And its magick continues
And so mote it be!
By the time you have finished this spell, the bottle should be buried. Cover with leaves or something appropriate to make it truly invisible. Under the ground, it will continue to work until you choose to remove it.
I love this spell….on a Full Moon Night..burying a jar filled with lovely witchy items….it is magickal indeed! After I’m done with this ritual I spend time with the Moon Goddess while the candle burns down a bit. You can also draw a pentacle in the air over the burial spot with your wand, or protective runes for some added protection.
Now for some other ideas of what you can put in the jar. I throw some sea salt in my jar as well. I also like to put lots of little sharp things, like old pins or needles, used razor blades, rose thorns etc. For the dirt and nails, you can use graveyard dirt and coffin nails. Some people will add holy water or wine to the mix. You can use fingernails instead of hair. You can use your own urine in the bottle or even blood. I read in a book somewhere that you can use the broken glass to cut a finger a bit and drip some of your blood into the jar. You can write down on parchment using dragon’s blood ink, the names of those who are in your home often, to protect them as well. In my case, my sister and married daughter and grandchildren spend a lot of time here too, so of course I want them to be protected as well. Anything you want to put in there that you feel will add to the protection of your home or family is a good thing. 🙂
Another really simple Protection Jar Spell is this:
Gather rosemary, needles, pins and red wine. Fill a small jar with the first three, saying while you work:
Pins, needles, rosemary, wine;
In this witches bottle of mine.
Guard against harm and enmity;
This is my will, so mote it be!
Visualize these doing just that. Then pour in the red wine. Then cap or cork the jar and drip wax from a red or black candle to seal. Bury it at the farthest corner of your property or put it in an inconspicuous spot in your house. Draw the banishing pentagram in the dirt above it. The witches bottle destroys negativity and evil ; the pins and needles impale evil, the wine drowns it, and the rosemary sends it away from your property.
I hope you take the time to do this on this next Full Moon..right before the Solstice. You will love the ritual of it and you’ll feel great about the Power you have as a Witch to put out protection for those you love most and the home you care for. I will be out on that night ..right with you all….
Soon, I’ll post pics of my altar and I’ll post pics of my witches bottle items as well. Til then, Have a blessed weekend!
Love and Light, Autumn
*Sources: Scott Cunningham, my BOS, the internet and various other books I’ve read 🙂 I am not sure where the rituals came from I’m afraid..I’ve just had them for a long time 🙂
Merry Meet my friends! This last couple of days here in Ohio have been really wonderful! Very warm, rains coming and going, everything is so green, flowers are blooming…. it’s starting to feel like Summer! I actually had to turn on the A/C..yep…it was that warm 🙂 My ferns are now hanging on the porch and I’m pulling out the summer cushions and pillows tomorrow for the porch as well. My hubby has our new shed mostly painted..it’s sooo cute….and we will finally be planting our flowers this next weekend. This week I’ll buy my new patio pots..big ones!….and will transplant my herbs that I grew from seed outside as well. We are spending more time outside now that the two full weeks of rain is gone and I’m looking forward to getting Summer started!
The Summer Solstice..or Litha is June 21st this year. I love the Summer Solstice..the longest day of the year!
“Nights are warm, and stars shimmer in the sky like a blacktop road in the noonday sun. Roses spill over garden gates, heavy with bees and perfume; field and forest are lush and teeming with life. Faerie-folk gather in the woodland glades, and frolic beside moss-banked streams; the fires of summer burn green and gold, and everywhere there is high magick afoot!”…………………..Michele Morgan “Simple Wicca”
Isn’t that the most delicious description of Summer…I couldn’t improve on it so I quoted it.
Summer Solstice, Litha or Midsummer’s Eve..whatever you call it…. means that the Sun God is at his strongest, the height of his reign, but now He begins his decline, as the days give way in the coming months to darkness. The Goddess is now pregnant with His child. The Earth’s bounty is in full swing…gardens are growing, everything is green and lush, trees and shrubs are fully bloomed. Animals are scurrying, enjoying the warmth and Sun but at the same time..collecting food for the winter. Litha is a fire festival! It is also when the realm of the Fae is most astir. Faerie magick is about! It’s a time to romp with the faeries! Put out gifts of food and libations for the faeries. Fresh milk or cream, butter, wine, cakes, and honey are all much desired sustenance in the realm of Faerie. Gifts of coins, ribbon, or colorful stones are also fancied. Leave your offerings in the garden, near a stream or pond, or beneath a tree in your woods or yard.
In ancient Norse countries, the people celebrated the battle between the Oak King (God of the waxing year) and the Holly King (God of the waning year). Of course, the Holly King wins, for it is he who will reign until Yule, when he gives way to the rebirth of the Child of Light, the baby Oak King.
Handfastings, or Pagan marriage ceremonies, are commonly held at Midsummer. Hum..I wonder if that’s where the June Brides come from? Spells of transformation and purpose are often done on this Sabbat. Other customs include lighting a ritual bonfire, sprinkling it with magickal herbs, and dancing round the flames, asking for the blessings of health and prosperity. Harvest your magickal herbs on Midsummer morning, and hang them to dry for use in spellwork in the coming months. Catch a jar of fireflies, whose green glow represents faerie fire deep in the heart of the forest. Make wishes upon the tiny creatures, and then release them to carry your wishes to the Goddess.
*Symbolism-Crowning of the Sun God, death of the Oak King, assumption of the Holly King
*Symbols/Tools/Decorations-The Sun, oak, birch & fir branches, sun flowers, lilies, fire, seashells, summer fruits and flowers, sun wheel, sun dials, circle of stones, bird feathers, Witches’ ladder, love amulets.
*Herbs-Anise, mugwort, chamomile, rose, oak blossoms, lily, cinquefoil, lavender, fennel elder, Mistletoe, hemp, thyme, nettle, wisteria, vervain, St. Johnswort, rue, fern, wormwood, Pine, heather, yarrow, oak & holly trees.
*Incense/Oils-Heliotrope, saffron, orange, frankincense, myrrh, wisteria, cinnamon, mint, rose, lemon, lavender, sandalwood, pine.
*Colors-Blue, green, gold, yellow, red.
*Crystals/Stones-Lapis lazuli, diamond, tiger’s eye, all green gemstones.
*Customs/Activities- Bonfires, all night vigil, singing, feasting, herb gathering, handfastings, rededication to the Lord and Lady, beginning of the harvest, honoring the Sun God and the pregnant Goddess.
*Foods-Honey, fresh vegetables, lemons, oranges, summer fruits, summer squash, ale, mead, Pumpernickel bread
*Gods-Father Sun/Sky, Oak King, Holly King, Arthur, God is at peak power and strength.
*Goddesses-Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Venus, Aphrodite, Yemaya, Astarte, Freya, Hathor, Ishtar, All Goddesses of love, passion, beauty and the Sea, Green Forest Mother, Great One of the Stars
*Spellwork/Rituals-Nature spirit, fey communion, divination, love and protection, rededication of faith, rites of inspiration, nurturing, relationships, fire.
Every year, at Midsummer, I do two things. I re-dedicate myself to my faith. It is a ritual I look forward to and doing it outside, on the longest day of the year, when the night is warm, fireflies are about, faeries are flitting, the Moon is shining….it connects me to the Goddess in a most amazing way! The other thing I do is to make up a new witches protection bottle and my outdoor protection talismans, salt circle etc. I usually do this on the Full Moon in June. Again, it’s all about being outside and really connecting my magick to the Goddess. Of course a bonfire will be going at the same time and I’ll have something cool and fruity to drink 🙂 Then I will just sit under a tree, feel the warmth of the Earth beneath me, and just appreciate the humming of life going on all around me. It’s magick!
So it’s time to think about this wonderful Sabbat coming soon and really plan for a fun, outdoor celebration! Future posts will include recipes, my altar, ritual etc…just like I always do 🙂 If all you do is have a bonfire and have your family or friends over for a cook-out..you are celebrating! On the Solstice night, watch the Sun go down! Consider the re-dedication, I can’t tell you how great you’ll feel afterwards….it is so rewarding and emotional! Summer is coming and the Summer Solstice is a fabulous way to get the Summer fun started!
“Dirty hands, iced tea, garden fragrances thick in the air and a blanket of color before me,
who could ask for more?”
– Bev Adams, Mountain Gardening
Blessings and Light, Autumn
*Sources….internet pics, Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan, and my BOS!