When to use what and why?

I was reading a witch’s blog and she made a comment, with a lot of emphasis, that he purpose of a spell jar is to contain energy.

That got me to thinking - Okay. She obviously has a set idea on what jars do. Let’s say for the sake of argument spells manipulate energy. What intention matches “containing energy” vs. “disperses energy.” I am so confused.

HOW do you know – or is there a body of opinion on this – when to use what? Let’s say you have some intention, I don’t know. You want to get a job or get married. You could make a spell jar, a witch bottle, a charm, a potion, burn candles, burn herbs, bury stuff, crystal grids, siglls, do chants, make a poppet, moon water, storm water, etc. what did I leave out, LOL

But you see spells with all these techniques but similar intentions – so you have a love spell or home blessing, but it’s using all these different ways. There must be some rhyme or reason why we would choose to, for example, burn rosemary, put in a jar, put it in a botle, put in a charm, stuff it in a poppet, put it in a bath, put it in an oil, put in a potion, bury it, etc. etc.

I understand that…
Amulets are for protection
Talismans are for luck

But is everything else just…whatever? If it is all intuition, then why is one herb this and one herb that? There has got to be some kind of structure to all this. Say I wanted to do a home blessing. Why would I choose a jar spell over a smudging over sprinkling moon water or salt? IF I wanted to do a love spell, why would I choose one herb over another since at least 20 herbs/spices are good for love spells?

I don’t need THE Answer. I am sure there is not one answer. I’d just like to know where to look. Sure, jars are fun to make. But WHY would a jar be the effective choice? Vs. some other technique? I want to understand the rationale behind a jar vs. a non-jar, for example, in spellcraft.

Any thoughts?


So I am going to give you my opinion/understanding.

  • Different herbs share the same correspondences. So that we know.

You have your apothecary & the spell/ritual/whatever calls for Rose & Chamomile. But you don’t have rose & the intention isn’t necessarily a romantic love, what other herbs do you have available? Which herbs promote self love or kinship or familial love.

Maybe you have nothing of the sort. So you set your intention But instead of rose, you use rosemary with the same intention. (Rosemary can be substituted for just about any herb) then the spell is yours & your intention is supported by the herbs you chose.

There’s more than 1 correspondence for each herb, so you can narrow down your herb choice by your specific intention.

If you’re blessing your home :house_with_garden: then it’s more intuition & personal preference. If you want to use Moon Water to cleanse mirrors, windows, doors & sprinkle salt in the four corners, or using smoke to cleanse each room… in the same day… thats up to you & what you feel comfortable doing. I smoke cleanse rooms or use salt to vacuum because it draws out negativity. Then I might use Palo Santo as a smoke cleanse to draw in positive energy.

I like to use fire for letting go & releasing. However, another way might work for you.

Think of it more like having options than a set structure that it has to be done a certain way.


You could make a spell jar, a witch bottle, a charm, a potion, burn candles, burn herbs, bury stuff, crystal grids, sigils, do chants, make a poppet, moon water, storm water, etc.

Oh, my goodness sweetheart.
You are in a dither! Aren’t you? * :woozy_face:*, take a deep cleansing breath and remember, you’re still new at this. A kindergartener cant recite quantum theories.
The purpose, or intention of a spell means, What are you trying to do?
Why do you want to do it and will it cause harm to you or any others.
Keep it simple. Take one thing at a time. :relaxed:
What I can promise you, is , you won’t find a Porche in your driveway, and you can’t turn iron to gold, but if you do? I’ll be on your doorstep tomorrow. LOL

Early spells in the Lesson section of Spells8 courses are simple, easy. Not too much going on at once. They encourage meditation teaching you to FOCUS. You’ll find meditation and focus is essential. Watch the videos.

Did you ever see the Disney cartoon “Fantasia?” Where no matter how hard the mouse tried to end his spell everything just got out of his control.

Sounds like you tried too much too soon. RELAX. magic is serious business, but it’s also fun, wonderous and with time and effort your spirit will
fly. :flying_saucer:

There are some wonderful beginner spells on this site. If you still have issues, sing out and one of us will help you.
Take some time Mary, drink tea and listen to something soothing.
Tomorrow is another day

With all that I am, I send you courage and strength.
Don’t give up, you will be very powerful, someday.
PS-I found a site that describes herbs and their uses.

[MOD NOTE: link redacted]


I appreciate this, @Garnet, .not new to the craft and no intention of giving up. Been casting since '07, not as long as you, but still not a newbie. I’m not in a dither – I’m just beyond curious and I like learning new stuff.

I’m not overwhelmed. I know what crystals do what. I know what herbs do what. I know what candles do what :slight_smile: I’ve got boxes full of all that. I have studied correspondence charts for moon phases, deities, days of the week, planetary hours, sabbats and more and still…there is something I don’t get and that is the criteria on WHEN you would use a particular category of spells, in the same way, that say amulets and talismans have a category.

You would not use an amulet for a love spell because that is for protection, right. So, jars. Jars can be anything. The anything-ness of jars bothers me. LOL. Maybe it shouldn’t. But when she said, jars contain energy, that made sense. That’s when I thought, aha. Jars are not as all-purposey as I thought. It makes sense to me that the form of the spell should align with the intention, like burning, you are getting rid of something…or maybe also sending an intention into the universe. And burying, you’re keeping something away from you, generally. But why would we put our ingredients into a JAR as opposed to a cauldron or a potion? That’s the kind of distinction I’m trying to figure out. I’m trying to match up intentions and forms – because I also like to write spells. I’d like them to be as effective as possible and I suspect that there is q school of thought that there is kind of a right way to approach this. but I don’t know where to find information on that. I know it’s not on Spells 8. So, it must be either an advanced level or another kind of witchcraft or maybe it just doesn’t exist.


So, like for example, this explanation - is it spot on or not, I can’t say. But at least it provides an explanation on why you would choose to use a jar or bottle for a spell. It seems like most of the sources I read (online and books) present spels like recipes, and that is all well and good, but it doesn’t explain why the batter makes a cake :slight_smile: and that’s what I was trying to figure out here. for example…From this website…

Modern witch bottles are an easy and versatile spell method – but when should you use them? They are best for spells that you’ll want to run indefinitely or for a long time, like a protection bottle, or for when you expect results may take a while, like a new love spell if you’re really picky. The best uses for witch bottles or spell jars are ones with an air of protection. Think about it – you’re encasing the spell inside of a solid object…

So I would deduce from this, that if I were to use a jar for a love spell, it would be better to use it for an established relationship that I wanted to last a long time, rather than say I don’t know a quick kind of date thing. These are the finer points I want to understand better.


The question of what type of spell to use and why probably goes back to the beginning of witchcraft- anytime we are presented with options, the choice becomes both a blessing and a curse. I understand your curiosity, @mary25! :smile:

You’re right that there’s no one answer here. Instead, I think there are few possible answers as to why and how one might choose a type of spellwork.

Situation: Let’s take a look at @Silverbear, who is the Queen of Witch Bottles- she excels at them. She is blessed with a wonderful working space and lots of amazing materials on hand. I, however, almost never make jar spells- as a witch on the road, they take up way too much room in my suitcase :sweat_smile:. So while a jar spell is a great option for some people, it’s not an option or at least not a good option for others. The materials/ingredients and space you have to work with can all heavily influence your spell decisions.

Knowledge: One look at the list of weekly witchy challenges will attest that there are so many areas of magick out there. Whether new to the Craft or experienced, we all have varying areas of knowledge based on our personal research and life experiences. Someone who would be comfortable with a candle spell may shy away from sigil making as they know nothing about it. I think it’s natural to fall back on what we know and are confident with, and that can certainly affect choosing what type of spell to cast :magic_wand:

Preference: Every witch has types of spellwork they like- and many of us have things we don’t particularly enjoy. I tend to avoid things that involve angels, numerology, and palmistry- not because I have anything against these areas, simply because they just don’t appeal to me :woman_shrugging: So if I was looking for a love spell, I would likely skip over prayers to angels or reading palms and choose a spell with a candle or a tea reading instead. Your likes and dislikes play a big role in choosing spell types.

Situation, knowledge, and personal preferences all significantly narrow down the pool of options and make it easier to choose a type of spell. From there I think it’s safe to say that intuition kicks in- once a caster has narrowed down their options, they will usually go with a spell that feels right or calls to them.

Reading the spell instructions closely and making sure that the particular spell is what they are looking for can also help to pinpoint exactly the right spell for them.

I’m not sure if this helped to shine a bit more light on the hows and whys of choosing spell types, but it certainly helped me to organize my thoughts on the question! :laughing::+1:

Thanks for brining up this discussion, @Mary25, and I hope you are able to find the answers you seek! :heart:

Blessed be :sparkles:


For me personally, I use spell jars to contain energy, capture energy, or create energy. That’s three different ways for three different reasons.

:jar: To contain energy – An example of this would be doing a spell jar for love, luck, or something else I’m bringing into my life. This jar would then hold that energy in the form of the spell, energy I put into it, and any other allies (plants, crystals, etc.) that I’m working with. Carrying this energy around with me or placing it in a prominent place then ensures that I am working with and drawing on that energy when I need it.

:jar: To capture energy – An example of this would be a jar for protection. Rather than containing protective energy in the jar, the jar is acting as a decoy for myself. Any energy that gets thrown my direction is then sent to the jar. Once in the jar, the spell jar then contains that energy, neutralizes it, and holds it until I’m ready to release the spell.

:jar: To create energy – This one is slightly different. When using a jar spell to create energy, this generally involves putting something inside the jar, including a sigil, and shaking the jar as a method of charging the sigil through kinetic energy. Then I would meditate with the jar or spend some time holding it to absorb the energy created or move the energy around me in a way that I needed.

I don’t tend to do a lot of spell jars in the first place, but when I do, this is the mindset I use when casting jar spells.


I can honestly say this is true for me when I do a jar or say a pouch type of spell & a good way of breaking it down.


Well Mary, I’m kinda new, too.

I have done a jar to protect my car from deer and road hazards. I keep it in the console and charge/refresh it in the moonlight every Moon.

I have a jar in the bushes next to my driveway for general blessings and protection.

I wear a pentacle necklace, carry some small keys for Danu and Hekate, a piece of amethyst in my left pocket and my buddy picture jasper in my right.

Everything else is mostly candles and spoken word. I have never really divided the work by form.


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