The Bottle Tree was created a short while ago when I made some spirit bottles and placed them on tree branches and a metal pole out front. You can see them on my Facebook page in many videos showing my front yard decor. Many of you asked what they were for and their history, so I wanted to share that information with you here.
What is the meaning of them, you ask? Besides being beautiful garden and yard decor, the spirit bottles were believed to make evil spirits entranced by the bright shimmering colors when light reflected off of them, keeping the ghosts away from your home. When an evil spirit would go inside the bottle, they would become trapped until the morning sun came up the next day and destroyed them. Lore states that if you hear one of the bottles making sounds when the wind blows, an evil spirit is trapped inside it.
In parts of Appalachia and the southern United States, people who keep bottle trees will go as far as to take a bottle with a trapped evil spirit inside and cork it, then throw it in a fire or river to destroy the trapped energy. Research suggests that the origins of spirit bottles come from the 9th century in Africa. Other information indicates that the lore dates back to 1600 B.C. Egypt. Study states one common point: bottle trees made their way into the United States from African Americans in the slave trade.
Most bottles used are a cobalt blue color because that is the color that attracts evil spirits the best, but they can also be a variety of other colors. You can place them on branches of a tree, make a pole with branches and put the bottles on them, or hang them from branches with twine. In recent years bottle trees have been used as beautiful garden decor. Here is a video I did live on my Facebook page, making some of my own to decorate with:
I hope this article answers some of your questions about the spirit bottles; so much more information is available about their history. They are beautiful pieces to put out in the yard for decoration and to add extra color. If you create some of your own, share pictures of them in my creative community on Facebook! For more creative outdoor decor, check out the great links below.