A “Witch’s Bag” is a unique spin or take on Mojo Bag from the Hoodoo tradition. For those of you unfamiliar with Hoodoo, it is a non-initiatory Magickal system that was created by the ingenious African and also the Native Americans slaves during the trans-Atlantic slave trade period. It is very similar to Kitchen Witching and is a form of “Folk Magick.” The Witch’s Bag is not a “Medicine Bundle” as used by the Native Americans because I am (as far as I know) not a member of any Native American nation. This is an adapted idea and has certainly been used before in Paganism in many different forms. This particular bag includes plants, minerals, and pieces of animals sacred to the Witch in question. The idea of building this bag is a psychological and spiritual working to better the practitioner. A way of attracting certain energies to the self and also constructing a “thought form” or “spiritual servitor” to help serve the purposes of the individual constructing the bag.
In this article, we will be exploring together the creation and dedication of a Witch’s Bag and learning to recognize the necessity for holding our dearest friend, Nature, close to our hearts. As Pagans, we express ourselves in many different ways. There’s almost no way to define a Pagan in the modern process however there are some unifying qualities that seem to overlap traditions and new practices. We are all subject and connected to Nature. No Witch can live without air, the nourishment of plants, animals, minerals, or go forever without pure drinking water.
The reason for building a Witch’s Bag is as unique as the individual who is putting the ingredients together. Some may be battling depression, some may be asking for divinatory skills, and some may be seeking protection in their lives. Whatever the reason, if you decide to create a Witch’s Bag of your own, take some time to have a clear idea of what you want the ultimate outcome to be. I mentioned “spiritual servitor” and some folks might be scared off by the idea of creating a spirit. It’s not raising demons or working with angels. It’s the process of recognizing that the sum of the parts of your Witch’s Bag represents a key idea that you would like to work on in your own life. This is simply an extension of your will and what you want to manifest.
Begin by choosing and or making your very own bag. Any material will suffice as long as it is durable. My particular Witch’s Bag is leather, it was made by Native American folks, and is grey in color. I do not have the skills or even the time to make my own bag, so I traded my currency (energy) to another to create the bag that I desired. The color grey in Hoodoo is often used to combat depression and mental illness. It is also a color associated with the spirit plane, the realm of Gods and Ancestors. Since this is the main focus of my work in Clergy, this was the logical choice. If you are one of the gifted peoples out there who can sew bags from leather and thread, then I encourage you to do so. The more of your energy that the bag is infused with, the stronger and more successful your working will be.
Now it’s time to gather our ingredients. I used some Hoodoo oils that aligned with the type of work I wanted to do. I anointed the bag and walked in a clockwise direction to pull those energies closer to myself. You could use essential oils based on their Magickal properties or use what calls to you. It’s very interesting to look up properties on any substance and discover the deeper meaning that attracted you to the item in the first place. The same is true with the herbs, minerals, and optionally the animal element used. If you are Vegan, a leather bag with animal parts in it is not going to be calling out to you, necessarily and you may want to opt with just using crystals and herbs. That’s fine! That’s the point of really going with your intuition and thinking about the larger impact that this represents to you.
Herbs are a powerful connection to our land. For my bag, I used a lot of herbs I’ve gathered directly from Deeply Rooted. I even bark from Grandmother Apple from naturally discarded twigs that have fallen over the year. This is just one more example of why Pagan Homeland is so important to us. What an intimate connection we have to the land to build our bags. If you are lacking Pagan Homeland in your life, you can use herbs and other materials gathered from your own land. If that’s not available, any purchased herbs will work that align with your intent. Try to source them sustainably as possible to show respect to the Earth.
Crystals are wonderful amplifiers of energies and give us different vibrational patterns. You could use quartz points as a way to empower the herbs and other minerals further, you could use Amethyst for dream work, or maybe Flourite for some healing. The possibilities are endless and usually, the smaller chips and points tend to be inexpensive and are just as effective as a large, expensive piece. You are connecting with the essence of these crystals and price doesn’t matter to Spirit.
Now, after assembling your ingredients, call upon your higher self. Call to your Gods, your ancestors, whoever you are comfortable working with and as I said before if you have no connection to these things, you can call out to the Earth. We are all connected to the Earth, She sustains and provides us with nourishment, oxygen, and water. Meditate or talk to each of your materials. Tell each herb exactly what you want to accomplish. Acknowledge it’s unique abilities, truly look at it and express the desire to work together. As you do this, place each item in your bag. When you’re done, seal it up and think about your ultimate outcome. If dancing is a thing, dance with your Witch’s Bag. Congratulations, you’ve just created your spirit form to help serve you. Make sure to carry it on your person and don’t allow others to touch it. This is your sacred Magick. If you must remove it, be sure to keep it in a safe place. Nature and mankind, standing in partnership for a better world – one of the coolest aspects of Paganism! Be daring, explore and see what works for you!
If you have any questions on the construction of your bag, or anything related to what I’ve said in this article, please comment here or PM me on FaceBook. I’m always willing to help others on their journey. May this serve you! Blessed Be! )0( – Shining Quill