Sometimes you see bottles or jars strewn about graveyards, but don’t rush in dismissing these as trash or recycling.
Within Black gravesites, bottles and jars were originally used to protect graves of the dead.
Many of our West African ancestors came from different tribes and communities, but they shared the belief that the talents of the dead could be stolen from their graves.
Bottles were used to capture the good talents and keep them safe. But there were other more sinister forces at work, too.
Evil spirits could also be drawn into bottles. Many created “bottle trees” on their properties which kept negative spirits from entering their homes or possessing living relatives.
But bottle trees hold even further sacred, historical significance for our people.
Our enslaved ancestors were forced to abandon their language, customs, and belief systems. In order to survive, they had to quickly adapt to life without their roots.
Bottle trees represent efforts by our ancestors to honor tradition in the face of violence, assimilation, and hate.
Our ancestors knew that resisting anti-Blackness meant preserving traditions that fight to protect our spirits.
Our spiritual wellness is everything. It’s where our magic and ancestral wisdom reside. What are you doing to consistently care for your spirit?
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