When we first moved into my grandmother’s house to take care of it after she died, we purged through many cabinets and boxes, giving things new homes—whether to family members or to charity. Many things continue to wait for new homes in the basement, actually! When we were going through the kitchen cabinets, deep in the back of one of them—in the dark, where you could barely even see it—was a big lidded jar of pee.
Okay, it may not have been pee; it could have been some kind of liquor my grandparents made. After all, they did own a bar for a time. However, it certainly looked like pee, and when I asked my aunt about it, she laughed and said, “Who knows, with your grandma!”
I had heard about witch bottles before; in fact, I’ve made my own. I always thought that they were simply made up of old nails and other sharp objects, intended to have negative energy directed at them rather than at you or your home. I kept mine in my home—usually because I lived in a dorm or an apartment where I couldn’t bury it, and I thought the idea that anything negative that came into the home would go directly to the jar sounded good, too. (Besides, I already had bags of salt on the doorknobs to help deter negativity.)
Recently, however, I read that it used to be a common practice to put one’s own urine in the jar to make it more personal. This isn’t as astounding or gross to me as it might be to others; I’ve read of using menstrual blood in such things (though I’ve never tried either urine or blood, myself) and that was shocking then. Now, I’m left wondering if this jar was such an item, and that by removing it I may have invited negativity into the home.
If it was, it didn’t have anything sharp in it, so it may not have been a very good one (of course, it could’ve been something else entirely!); and I don’t think that by throwing it out we’re really inviting negativity. After all, it was made for its bearer’s personal use, not ours. Still, it does give me the idea of making our own Witch Jars this Samhain (sans pee) to keep in perhaps the same spot.
If you’d like to make one, an easy tutorial can be found here.