Witch bottle sketch by Rima
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Rowan and Oak Crosses
Either of these two woods are excellent apotrapaic powers. Forming their well-harvested branches into equal-armed crosses, bound by red thread, makes a time-honored charm against the encroachment of evil forces into a home in which they are hung. A ritual area can be protected with them, as well. I find that attaching bells to them adds a further element of protection.
"Well-harvested" in the context that I have used it means "gathered with honor done to the tree-weird at the proper time and with proper offerings, and taken in such a manner as to disallow the twig or branch to touch the ground." If you are aware of which current of power the tree-weird participates in, you will already know what day is needed to approach it for gathering some of its parts. The tying is the key- with the red thread dipped in a good boiling brew of oak shavings and leaves and a single solar herb- like cedar. It is to "HIM" that the Rowan or Oak crosses are devoted- the great and awe-full father-weird of the sky and ruler among spirits and weirds. A small cross like this can be made for personal wearing around the neck.
OAK BEAMS FOR A TIMBER WALL
OVER WHICH EVIL CANNOT CALL
OR SLINK OR LEAP OR FLY OR FALL
HARD WOOD AND WICKED BANE
HE WILL NOT BREAK NOR BLEED,
NOR GIVE NOR WANE,
AND HOLD THIS HOME HIS HOLY FANE
AND RED THREAD BINDS HIM TWO BY TWO
A CROSS OF THE SKY, GOODNESS TRUE
IN THE NAME OF HIM, UNSPEAKABLE.
NO WICKEDNESS SHALL ENDURE OR BIND
IN THE PRESENCE OF THIS FOURFOLD SIGN.
By far the most complicated and powerful of all anti-evil charms, particularly for the home. A complete treatment of the mystical botany and science of the Mandrake is found in my work "The Horn of Evenwood".
Fire Seed Water
Take a kettle of spring water, and into it add a few drops of water from a sacred spring. Failing this, natural, running water from a river or stream will suffice. Kindle a fire in the name of the great howling and raging spirit of the wilderness, overlooking the fire with an antlered skull or the horned skull of a cow or some large bovine. The fire has to be "red"- a bloody portion of meat has to be burned into it as an offering to the great raging and antlered spirit that protects wild places. Failing that, a bit of your own blood soaked into a ball of flour and water will have to do.
Make the fire with oak and holly wood, and make it rage. Ask the wild king, as the face of his skull glows golden in the fire light, to manifest the power of his fear and terror in the flames- so that any evil spirit or power would flee from it, or from anything touched by it. When the fire dies down, select three good sized coals, still glowing hot, and drop them one at a time into the kettle of water. The water, after this, is hallowed and powerful for protection, and for averting evil powers. Sprinkle it on yourself and around your home or places of ritual work.
FEAR LIVES FOR THE FOES OF THE WOOD
A NIGHTMARE FORM OF HOOF AND HOOD
AND WRAITH-ARROWS DEADLY.
HE IS THE WAILER, LOUDER THAN WIND
THE ROARER, TERROR TO SEND
TO THE ENEMIES OF THE LAND.
BLOOD-SOAKED LOCKS AND BOW OF BONE
A FLESHY CLOAK WITH TENDONS SEWN
AND HOUNDS OF SAVAGE RED,
BRING YOUR DARK GRACES ON THE HEAD
OF THIS GROWING FIRE WEIRD
AND IN THE SHIMMER, IN THE GLARE
FIX WITHIN YOUR HORRID STARE
WHICH WICKED POWERS CANNOT STAND:
AND ALL THAT ARE BURNED BY THIS FIRE
LET YOUR POWER ON THEM RETIRE
AND REMAIN FOREVER.
Sage and Sweetgrass
The ancient peoples of the Americas have used these two herbs since time immemorial for their specific powers- the smoke of burned sage destroys the presence of evil, either spirits or enchantments, and purifies an area. Sweetgrass burned after it attracts the good Sacred Powers that mean well to humankind. No ritual is necessary, in the strict sense of the word, but one must be polite and thankful to the weirds of these two herbs, or you can be certain they won't help as much as they could.
Spreading lines of salt across the bottoms of windowpanes and thresholds is a time-honored method of protecting the house from the passage of evil entities; it still works today as much as it ever did, so long as the salt is enchanted sufficiently with the will of a person to cleanse it of spiritual pollutants, and to mark it with a will to protect.
CREATURE OF STINGING EARTH, SALT SO PURE
THROUGH AGES IN EARTH YOU HAVE ENDURED
TO COME INTO THE LIGHT OF DAY.
LIFE AND GOD, CLEAN AND WHITE
OF SEA AND CAVERN DEEP ALIKE
BE FREE OF WHAT DAIMONS RESTRAIN YOU
IN THE NAMES OF INDARA AND THRICE-GREAT TAS
AND FREE FROM ANY POWER THAT MAY CONSTRAIN YOU
FROM YOUR GREATEST MIGHT.
AND JOIN THAT MIGHTY WILL NOW TO ME:
BE A FAITHFUL WARD AGAINST ILL WEIRDS
AGAINST HARMFUL WIGHTS OR FOE ALIKE
WHETHER FROM SEA OR LAKE OR SKY OR VALLEY
OR FOREST OR FIELD OR RIVER OR STREAM
IN THE NAMES OF EDRIC AND GODDA.
Flour and Bread
Bread pulled into many small pieces is a common protecting agent in the Faery tradition of Ireland and Britain- if you make a circle of flour, and place the small pieces of bread all over in the circle, it is bound with the same protecting power as a circle of salt.
A classic which never gets old- the Witch Bottle is one of the ultimate shielding charms, particularly against hostile spells hurled by sorcerously-inclined opponents, but also against the powers of hostile weirds. The idea of the witch bottle is to create a sorcerous doppleganger of yourself, such that magical forces seek it out instead of you. What it finds is a sharp, deadly welcome- a bottle full of broken glass, nails, needles, and thorns.
A glass jar or bottle of some kind must be found, and in it placed many broken shards of glass, rusty nails, pins and needles, and thorns- and then, on top of them, enough of your blood, spittle, and urine to finish filling the bottle up. It must be sealed with wax over the cork or lid. The bottle must be sorcerously "named" after you in a rite- and buried somewhere secret. So long as it stays buried and full of the liquid, you will have splendid protection from hostile weird-powers.
BOTTLE OF BITTER BRINE, LIFE OF MINE
NOW RESONATE WITH ME, FOR ALL EYES TO SEE
FOR HOSTILE EYES MAY SEEK THEE.
TAKE THEM TO YOURSELF, AND BE THOU ME
AND FROM WITHIN YOU GIVE THEM THEIR REWARD:
THRICE PIERCED BY DARKLING NAIL
THRICE CUT BY JAGGED GLASS
BUTCHERED BY HARSHNESS WITHOUT FAIL
PIERCED BY NEEDLES, A BITING FLAIL
AND REDUCED TO NOTHINGNESS.
IF SOME POWER CAUGHT BY YOU
SHOULD SURVIVE YOUR SAVAGE, BITTER BREW
LET IT FLY BACK HOME TO ITS MASTER'S HAND
AND INFLICT ON HIM WHAT THEY HAD PLANNED
WHEN THEY SOUGHT ME OUT AT FIRST.