Posted on Leave a comment

Witch At The Crossroads: Container Magic

By Katrina Rasbold

There are two things that almost universally Pagans, and especially those who also identify as Witches, love to do: Burn stuff and put smaller things into bigger things. All seventh-grade tittering aside, you can summon a Witch by leaving a box of various sized jars on the side of the road with a “free” sign on them. Oh yes. We will stop.

With this article, sadly, we are not burning things, but we are going to talk about six types of container spell work used in Folk Magic practices.


Poppets stand in for people in spell work when working by remote. As you might imagine, one can use a poppet for many purposes, both benevolent and nefarious. We use poppets for healing, for drawing two people apart or for cord cutting to end relationships. A proper poppet has a bit of Spanish moss inside to represent the poppet’s soul, a heart on the outside to remind you of the humanity of the person you are working on, and an opening in the seam so that you can add personal effects into the poppet to personalize it.

Mojo Bags

Mojo bags are made from pieces of cloth bound with a string or ribbon with items inside to support the goal of the bag. Common items to include are herbs, a cotton pad saturated with purposeful oil, charms, stones, and other supporting items. The bag should contain an odd number of items to keep it off balance. An even number of items will cause it to “settle” and go dormant. Breathe into the mojo bag to connect it to you, then carry it close to you, in your purse, your pocket, your bra, or in your pillowcase. You can also place it on your altar.

Witch’s Balls

This time, it isn’t a fancy dance (although we sometimes have those as well), but a literal ball, usually made of plastic or blown glass. The Witch’s Ball is like the Mojo Bag in that tokens are placed inside to support a specific goal, although Witch’s Balls tend to be more herb heavy than Mojo Bags. We hang Witch’s Balls in the home as a protective amulet. If you want to make a Witch’s Ball to bless your home, stock up on “empty” Christmas tree ornaments during the holiday season. These make wonderful gifts.

Witch’s Jar

The Witch’s Jar is used almost exclusively to curse or hex a person in a defensive act. The jar contains sharp items like rusty nails or broken glass, urine, body fluids, images and name of the target, banishing herbs & oils. After the jar is filled, it is taken to a remote area and buried where it will not be disturbed. If the jar breaks, the spell is broken. Witch’s bottles are often buried in cemeteries and found during building demolitions since people tend to put them under the foundations of buildings being constructed.

Witch’s Bottle

This is different from the Witch’s Jar and is used primarily for blessing and protecting a home, much like the Witch’s Ball. A decorative jar is filled with herbs, oils, charms, stones, and other items to bring safety, prosperity, joy, and health to a home and the people in it. Some people include a sampling of hair from each person who lives in the house and a tiny bit of fur from any pets to keep everyone safe. The jar then sits in a place of honor in the home, such as on the mantle or in the front window.

Witch’s Box

A Witch’s Box is used to contain a person and prevent them from harming someone else. This is much like a binding. Some Witch’s Boxes have mirrored interiors to reflect back to the target any energy they maliciously send out to someone else. A poppet or other effigy goes into the box to represent the person.

In Folk Magic, spell work is often defensive and protective in nature because most forms of Folk Magic come from people who were frequently at risk of imminent danger. While this type of work may seem abhorrent to modern Pagans, it is important that we consider the position of privilege that allows us to pass these judgments. All of us, if placed in a circumstance of continual threat, might feel the need to take energetic action to ensure our own safety or that of our loved ones.

Today, we still have people who seek magical protection from perceived threats. A common practice is to add a condition to the spell that only the target’s own energy returns to them, for good or ill. That way, the person receives no malice from the person working the spell; only an immersion in whatever energy they sent out themselves.

Want to join the conversation about this blog post? Go to the Green Egg Forum and scroll for the forum post that relates to this article:

Katrina Rasbold is a professional Witch, published author, priestess, and editor of Green Egg Magazine. She and her husband, Eric, are the creators of the CUSP spiritual path and owners of Crossroads Occult. She and Dahlia Rose host the popular livestreamed video broadcast “Crossroads of Cognizance” most Thursday afternoons. You can reach her through

Leave a Reply