Before I identified as a “pagan” or a “neo-pagan” or an “animist” or as “goddess practitioner” or any of the other categories I’ve applied to myself over the years, I identified as a Witch. Not, I add emphatically, as a Wiccan. I don’t think I ever was a Wiccan. But a witch? You bet.
And I defined “witch”, in significant (though not entire) part, as “someone who casts spells; someone who does spell-craft”.
And the spells I do, when I do them, are very much the magical counterpart to my method of cooking. Meaning “What do I have in the fridge?” – although, in the case of spell-craft, it becomes “what do I have in the fridge/cupboard/yarn-bag/beading-kit/etc”. But you get the general idea.
I’ve done magical guerilla knitting (still in progress), and I’ve done wammy-sachets (ages ago), and I’ve done bottle spells. And, by the looks of things, I’m actually kind of good at bottle spells.
Now, I grant you, I’ve only made, like, two of them, and they’ve both been honey-pots. But I’ve made them, and they seem to do the trick.
As far as I understand it, a bottle spell works on either attraction or repulsion.
So if, say, someone in my office is a Horrible Person who goes in for passive aggression, sabotage, malicious gossip, or even just eating up your time in a way that is fucking with my own career path, and talking to them about it is only making things worse (and/or I don’t want to waste any more breath on them)…
I could grab some of their hair from off the back of their office chair while they were out of their cubical and either (A) do a honey-pot spell to bring them their dream job OR, (B) I could do a banishing bottle to get them to go the fuck away. Alternatively, I could (C) do a spell on my own cubical and basically work a “don’t look here”… though I’m less sure as to how to do that (I think it involves amaranth and shielding, but I could be wrong) OR (D) make a honey pot for myself (using my own hair, which is easier to get ahold of) and get ME my dream job Somewhere Else the hell away from my irritating and malicious co-worker.
Lots of options.
I like bottle spells.
I like them because they’re simple to do and you can do them on the fly, largely with whatever’s lying around.
Like most kitchen-magic, they’re basically designed be done when they’re needed, rather than having to wait for the appropriate moon phase or planetary alignment. (Shoaling notwithstanding, I’m not at all a Chaos Magician or any of the other designations found at (what I think is) the more ceremonial end of the spectrum).
I like them because they suit my temperament well.
Meliad the Birch Maiden
 I don’t actually work at an office, so I figure this is a safe example since my non-existent co-workers are likely to freak out about what I’m theoretically up to.
 I differentiate between “gossip” – which gets a bad rap specifically because it’s a mode of information-sharing that isn’t controlled by The Powers That Be, but is actually just fine – and “malicious gossip” which is, like, character assassination, tattling, and the kind of triangulation where the point is to break up alliances.
 Who gets accused of gossip? Women. Poor people. Mexicans. See what I mean?
 Yes, I said “get some of their hair”. By nefarious and secretive means, no less. Deal.
 Somewhere else – possibly by including a small map of Argentina or something.
 Depending on what I put in the bottle, I could probably get them badly hurt, but I’d rather not have that on my hands, so… “away”.
 Why, yes, I do read the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire. How did you know?
 Like, say, a writing career featuring magic, recipes, polyamoury, and kink…