Bottiglie della strega

La superstizione è stata per lungo tempo parte integrante della vita quotidiana dei nostri avi.

Sciamanesimo, magia e creature soprannaturali popolavano il mondo degli antichi e acquisirono nei secoli lo status di eventi ed entità reali.

Non dovrebbe quindi sorprendere che nell’antichità le persone ricorressero quotidianamente a pratiche magiche allo scopo di controllare o tentare di influire su eventi futuri.

La bottiglia della strega nasce come protezione contro la stregoneria e le entità malvagie che popolavano il mondo antico.

Vi sono tracce delle bottiglie delle streghe fin dal XVII secolo, epoca a cui risale la prima descrizione di questo oggetto creato con il preciso scopo di fornire protezione contro la magia nera, anche se la tradizione ebbe probabilmente origine almeno nel XVI secolo.

Protezione contro gli influssi negativi e le streghe

Nel 1681 viene stampato il “Saducismus Triumphatus, or Evidence concerning Witches and Apparitions” di Joseph Glanvill. E’ un libro che tenta di dimostrare l’esistenza del soprannaturale e delle streghe screditando gli scettici dell’epoca. Descrive la bottiglia della strega come un contenitore in cui vengono inseriti oggetti e feticci di tutti i tipi che forniranno protezione contro ogni influsso negativo ultraterreno.

Brocca di Bellarmino del 1650
Brocca di Bellarmino del 1650

La documentazione più antica relativa alle bottiglie della strega parla di amuleti, gatti essiccati, teschi di cavallo tritati, scarpe e altri oggetti rituali inseriti all’interno in una “brocca di Bartmann”, o “brocca di Bellarmino”. La brocca prende il nome dall’inquisitore cattolico del XVI secolo Roberto Bellarmino, noto per aver partecipato alla condanna di Giordano Bruno.

La brocca di Bellarmino è un contenitore di ceramica reso liscio e lucente gettando sale sulla sua superficie durante la fase di cottura ad alta temperatura.

Queste brocche, utilizzate per le bottiglie della strega, hanno spesso elaborate decorazioni rappresentanti un uomo barbuto. A causa del loro costo, dopo il XVII secolo e con il miglioramento dei processi di fabbricazione del vetro, le bottiglie della strega divennero sempre più spesso bottiglie o piccole fiale di vetro.

Il rituale di preparazione della bottiglia della strega

La procedura di preparazione di una bottiglia della strega prevede varie fasi. Inizialmente viene riempita con urina, capelli o unghie appartenenti alla vittima di un incantesimo o della persecuzione di un demone, oppure un filo rosso per intrappolare gli spiriti.

Successivamente venivano inseriti rosmarino, aghi o spilli, e vino rosso, oggetti che avrebbero contribuito ad annullare ogni influsso negativo a cui era soggetto il malcapitato.

Bottiglia della strega in vetro
Bottiglia della strega in vetro

La bottiglia della strega veniva quindi seppellita nell’angolo più remoto della proprietà, sotto il centro della casa o in un  posto insospettabile e difficilmente raggiungibile.

Si riteneva che dopo la sepoltura la bottiglia avrebbe catturato ogni influenza malvagia impalandola negli aghi, affogandola nel vino e allontanandola col rosmarino.


La bottiglia della strega di Reigate
La bottiglia della strega di Reigate

Una della bottiglia della strega più celebre è la brocca di Reigate. Realizzata intorno al 1685 ma sepolta verso il 1720, fu utilizzata come semplice contenitore per quasi 40 anni prima di essere riciclata come strumento magico.

La bottiglia è stata trovata nei dintorni di Londra, sepolta in una vecchia casa in rovina e analizzata dalll’esperto inglese Alan Massey, specializzato nello studio delle bottiglie della strega.

All’interno sono stati trovati nove spilli piegati a forma di “L”, capelli umani, fibre di lana e foglie d’erba, oltre a tracce d’urina della persona a cui la bottiglia era destinata.

Fino ad ora sono state rinvenute otto potenziali bottiglie della strega nei soli Stati Uniti.

La bottiglia più celebre, identificata come “la bottiglia della strega di Essington”, scoperta dall’archeologo Marshall Becker, è stata rinvenuta sull’isola Great Tinicum in Pennsylvania.

How to Kill a Witch – The Reigate witch bottle

tratto dal sito VitAntica
a cura di Daniele Bagnoli

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