‘For All of Your Protection Needs’: Tracing the witch-bottle from the Early Modern Period to TikTok

Ceri Houlbrook, Julia Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

In the Early Modern Period, witch-bottles were a magical-medical remedy for bewitchment, prescribed by cunning-folk. Filled with pins, nails, and the victim’s urine, the bottles were then heated or buried, counteracting the suspected curse. Today, witch-bottles have taken on new meanings and new physical specifications. It is no longer seventeenth-century cunning-folk instructing on how to make them, but contemporary Wiccans on social media. This paper traces the shift in the purpose and perceptions of the witch-bottle over time, its adaptation key to our understanding of the custom itself and of how people today engage with the practices of the past.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalAbout Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2023

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