Spirit bottles serve as a focus or battery for your energy and intentions, and make an excellent addition to your home, workspace, or altar. They can also act as a dedicated tool for cultivating relationships with friendly spirits, or for honoring ancestors. You can make your own bottles by adding natural elements and small items that speak to you and harness the type of energy you wish to cultivate within the bottle. If you are working with a spirit, invite the spirit to help guide you towards their preferred materials, and encourage the spirit to use the bottle as an anchor or energy source. Spiritual entities communicate with us through strokes of inspiration, dreams, symbols, and other impressions that don’t often come to us as words. Listen to your intuition; if an item feels like it supports your magical intention, it probably will!
Spirit bottles can be either completed and sealed, or added to over time. They are a great way to keep remnants of positive spells and keep energy going even after the working is over. They can also be beautiful objects in their own right, suitable for home and office décor. Placing them in visible locations will help you stay focused on the intention of the bottle.
Some common materials to consider for your bottle:
• feathers for Air magic or to establish a connection with the spiritual realm
• fish scales for protection or Water magic
• sage for health, purification, and wisdom
• lavender for healing and calm
• red rose petals for courage and/or passion
• white rose petals for peace, healing, and spiritual power
• stones for stability (individual types of stones can add myriad specific benefits!)
• thorns for protection and sharpness of focus
• a rolled slip of paper with a sigil or written intention or wish
Spirit bottles can be charged by leaving them in the sunlight for a few hours, or a full day. Alternatively, depending on the focus of the bottle or entity you are working with, you may charge the bottle in the moonlight. You might periodically dust the bottle, and wipe it down with cleansing water or ritual oil. If using the bottle as an intention focus, we recommend charging it at least once a month. When working with a spirit, invite the entity to communicate about how and when to best charge their bottle.
Consider charging ancestor-focused bottles on the individual’s birthday, the anniversary of their death, or other important life events. We also charge ancestor bottles by placing them in family rooms where they will be seen/remembered often, and include them in family traditions by decorating the exterior (or around the bottle) with seasonal charms and flowers. You might also place the bottle in a particular room of the house associated with a specific ancestor, such as a kitchen, workshop, study, etc. or take the bottle along on trips or events the individual would have enjoyed. Ancestor bottles help us remember and honor people who have gone before us, and the genetic material, memories, and magic they passed to us, so place and charge the bottle however feels suitable for the individual(s) you are honoring, and allow them to lend you strength in return.