Before reading this document please understand that it is written for a variety of people: new, beginner, moderate, advanced. Some of the techniques described should not be attempted by new or beginning people. This is not said to make anyone feel inferior but rather to warn that there are some techniques which require practice and a firm foundation in "basic" procedures. I have included warnings where I felt that new or beginning people should not attempt things. I considered writing a basic document directed at new people but then of course not everyone is a new person and such a document would not be of true value to the more advanced practioner. I considered creating multiple documents (basic, moderate, advanced) but even doing this I have no guarantee that someone will not attempt something before they are ready. So, I decided to create a "middle of the road" document which would be of potential use to many people.
This is a very long document.
Magickal Protection is a discipline of magick. It is a discipline which must be studied, practiced and learned. As in learning any new skill or discipline, you must begin at some point and progress. During your learning you will advance or enhance your abilities and be able to do more and greater things. What I consider to be more advanced techniques of magickal protection by no means leave the new or beginning student helpless. I consider the "more advanced" techniques to require more practice at manipulating energy. ("Advanced" techniques require a bit more practice and different way of looking at things.)
Think of what I have said in general terms. If you were in band or took music/voice lessons, did you immediately start trying to play "Flight of the Bumblebee" or sing "Carmen"? If you didn't then why didn't you? After all, can't you just sit down and start playing like a master? If you played baseball as a child, did you start playing little league or did you start playing for a major league team? I know that these questions sound a bit ridiculous but it is any less ridiculous to expect to start your magickal workings by attempting magicks which are usually performed by people who have been working with magick for many years? Simply put, magick takes practice.
- Forms of Magickal Protection
What is Magickal Protection?
Magickal Protection is exactly what the words imply - using magick to protect yourself and your surroundings. To be a bit more specific, it is the molding of universal forces according to one's own will resulting in an "etheric" shield being placed around an area. Magickal protection is very much the same as putting burglar bars on your windows and doors, security and surveillance systems around your home. Your magickal defenses will warn you of approaching danger, allow you to identify it and will keep the danger out.
Magickal Protection can take many forms: purely mental/auric, ritualistic, physical or any combinations of these. Each form of protection has advantages and disadvantages along with different time requirements. These forms mentioned herein are only a few possibilities that you have to choose from.
This introduction is a selection of writings on Magickal Protection which is used as supplement in The Mystic Gryphon's class on protection. In addition, it is part of a larger work which will eventually become an entire book as soon as the author gets finished putting everything on paper.
Why do we need to do this?
Magickal Protection is essential for anyone who aspires to the Craft or subjects relating to the Craft. A Witch, or any practioner of magick, as a servant of the Light, has the potential to attract negative influences which will try to stop your work or progress. Also, a Witch, or practioner of magick, has the potential to have negative energy directed at her/him by more unscrupulous entities. We also have the potential to walk into a negatively charged area. Poverty stricken areas usually have a higher concentration of people putting off negative emotions such as worry and fear. Negative emotions or energy attract a certain form of creature which feeds off the negative energy and tries to promote the conditions or feelings which create it. Negativity build up can occur anywhere, a home where there is a lot of fighting, around prisons, etc. It is imperative that you know how to shield yourself from the influence of such negative forces. The potential for exposure to negativity is not limited to a Witch or a practioner of magick but to everyone. It seems, however, that as you become more advanced, stronger if you will, that the potential for these happenings increase. I propose the reason for this is that as you become more in tune with the universe and energy surrounding you, you begin to vibrate at higher levels. On the etheric level, your astral form will begin to "glow" more brightly and thus the potential for attracting attention increases. This is not to say that anyone will definitely attract unwanted attention but the possibility does exist.
As we move along the magickal path, we will meet many entities and forces. These forces can be broken into three categories of intent: good (positive), neutral, bad (negative). By far, you will meet more good and neutral forces than bad. This is the same as everyday life, you meet people who are good, neutral or bad. Since there is a possibility for meeting a bad or negative force, should we be worried? Yes and no. Be worried to the point of being aware that something can happen is good - it means that you know that something could happen and are that much more prepared to handle such an encounter. If you spend all of your time looking for ambushes and traps with every step you take then this might be a little extreme or bad. Forewarned is forearmed. During our workings and travels, we learn to recognize these classes of forces, how to find them and how to avoid them. When meeting any force you have several options: talk to them, ignore them and walk away, take an aggressive stance if you feel threatened, try to reason with a more unsavory force, etc. Whatever you do will return three fold, do unto others as you would have them do undo you. These are statements of truth. For the most part, meeting and being friendly is the best choice but unfortunately it does not always result in a friendly response. As with meeting people on the physical level your options for encounters are the same on the Magickal levels.
Magickal Protection can be thought of as a martial art. Learning such an art provides you with a means to defend yourself (defense) if needed and if all else fails, an offensive form which you can use to defend yourself. The techniques presented here will help to keep negative forces away from you and teach you how to get rid of them.
Forms of Magickal Protection
Magickal Protection can be resolved into two basic categories, physical and non-physical. Non- physical protections involve shaping of energy into a shield and wrapping it about yourself, object/place or another person (but only with permission). Physical forms of protection involve the use of crystals, herbs, symbols, talismans, etc. to hold protective energies about you or an area.
A. Non-Physical Protection
I like to call these the "down and dirty" forms of protection. These forms can take the least amount of time/preparation and include several "instant" forms which you can use if you get caught "with your pants down." In addition, some of the techniques can be used as an offensive weapon if you have no other choice. It is always best to try to avoid a confrontation and for the most part, if you have shielding up, most things will leave you alone. However, there are times when you are left with only two choices: fight in response to an attack or get pounded upon.
A1. Sphere of Light
The sphere of light is the most basic and fastest of all shielding techniques. This is not to imply that it is inferior to other techniques though. The sphere of light is as strong as your will and the energy that you put into it. Of course, the question would be, "Well, if it is so good then why should I learn other techniques?" Simply put, with any technique of defense, there is a counter to it. So, the more techniques you know, the better able you are to defend yourself if the need ever arises. The sphere of light is an extension of your auric form. The method of creation is very simple.
Visualize yourself, see a small white dot at your center, watch it grow outward until it surrounds your entire body, feel/see the sphere solidify into an impenetrable shield through which nothing can enter (unless you will it). Once your have the form visualized, allow the shield to turn transparent (like looking through glass) - the shield is there and protecting you. Know that while you are in this sphere of light you are protected and safe.
When learning this technique, take time to slowly construct the form. Be sure to have it completely surrounding you (top, bottom, front, back, sides). (A friend of mine has the worst problem protecting his feet. He is about 6'2" but I think that his higher self has not yet adjusted to inhabiting a body that size. Every time his calls up his shield it stops about two inches above his ankles. He has to stop and concentrate on the shield a moment to expand it to a size large enough to include his feet.) Practice setting the shield and turning it transparent. As you practice, you will eventually arrive at the point where you can call this type of shield instantly. This is the level you wish to attain. Do not worry about the time it takes to call this shield when you are beginning, just keep practicing and eventually it will become reflex.
DO NOT PRACTICE MAGICKAL PROTECTION WHILE DRIVING ANY TYPE OF VEHICLE!
This is the basic form of the sphere of light. The sphere of light is always with you, calling it into form just strengthens your perception and the form itself. We all have this form of protection from the moment of birth until the moment of death.
The sphere of light is a starting point to the other non-physical shielding techniques. You can add various attributes to your shield to increase the effectiveness. I will discuss some of these attributes below. This list is by no means all inclusive, anything that you can imagine as an attribute can be added to your shields.
NOTE: Some of the attributes are offensive in nature and if you do not feel comfortable using them then don't. Some of the attributes go counter to magickal ethics depending on how you apply them. If you choose to implement any of the more offensive techniques be prepared to use them. If you will forgive the analogy, never point a gun at anyone unless you intend to put it to use.
Passive Defeinsive Attributes
Color - Color can be used to enhance the effectiveness of your shield.
White - basic all purpose color. Also the color of light and universal truth
Blue - extremely protective color, used in most circle castings
Red - both defensive and offensive color, useful when calling upon the element of fire to increase your energy
Black - color of protection and hiding. Black is not an evil or negative color, it is just a color. You can make your shield black thus preventing anyone from seeing inside.
Purple - light of the spirit and higher self
Others - any color can be used. Usually, the bright, more vibrant colors which are full of life and energy are used.
Invisible - this attribute basically turns you invisible. See your shield, see yourself in your shield and then see everything become transparent or invisible. Nothing can see you but you can see other things.
Reflective surface - this shield uses the idea that any force which comes in contact with the shield is reflected. Be careful with attributes, you should examine the ethics of using this shield (Is it ok to return an attack to the attacker? What if the force reflects and hits an innocent target?). Some people will not use this attribute since we are bound by, "An it harm none do as you will". Is reflecting an attack harming someone? Are you simply acting as an agent of karma (everything you do will return three fold)? Has an attacker stepped over all boundaries of free will and no longer bound by this truth? These are questions which you must answer for yourself if you decide to use this attribute.
Force Fields - for the techies and trekkies, visualize the shield as a force shield around the Enterprise. It works.
"I am not here" - this technique adds the idea that you are not here, you are not worth noticing. Basically, it is the "These are not the droids you are looking for" technique from Star Wars. This technique has nothing to do with self esteem or self worth. Simply, you put out the idea that you are not worth looking at. People will look in your direction and not notice you.
Layered mesh - Your shield is covered with a fine mesh through which things can not penetrate. Warning: The counter to this technique is to make the attack smaller than the mesh. Of course, you can always add more layers of mesh at different orientations.
Brick wall - see your shield as a brick wall surrounding you. Brick is strong and protective. Note, this is not the brick wall shielding technique describe below. This just makes your shield appear as a brick wall.
Absorbing - I am including this technique as a warning. A common thought would be, "Why can't I absorb the energy of an attack and use it in my shield?" You can but be warned, this is not a beginning technique. The capture and transmutation of an attack is possible but it takes practice. In short, DO NOT TRY THIS, if you don't know what you are doing - you can really hurt yourself or wind up killing yourself.
Pass around - this technique basically makes the outer layer of the shield "slippery" so that an attack simple bounces off, slides off, splits and goes around, etc. This is a passive shield where energy does not really contact the shield itself but slips off.
Active defensive attributes - these attributes are very defensive but can cause harm when something tries to pass through them. The use of these techniques require careful ethical consideration. Of course, if something does try to pass through these shields then they are acting of their own free will since they will see the shield. I would never combine these techniques with the invisible shield or a black shield. I include these because I feel that if I can figure them out then anyone can figure them out - you must consider the ethical and magickal ramifications of using these types of attributes before you implement them.
Blade barrier - visualize yourself surrounded by swirling knives. Anything which attempts to pass through will be shredded.
Sword barrier - same as with blade but only longer
Fire - see your shield blazing with etheric fire. Anything which passes through will be consumed in flame.
Cold - see your shield the blue of intense cold. Anything passing through is frozen.
Razor blades and broken glass - can be used a shield. Anything attempting to pass will be cut.
These are only a few of the attributes which you can add to your shield. Anything that you can imagine you can add. As always, with all magick, consider the ethical ramifications of using any attribute to a shield.
A2. Brick Wall Shields
This technique involves surrounding yourself with a brick wall. Each brick is made up of a positive memory or image. Be sure that the shield completely surrounds you (top and bottom included). When building the brick wall, NEVER use negative emotions. It is very tempting to try to use negative emotions to build a brick - it is usually easier to remember negative things than good ones. (When I was first exposed to this technique about 1986 and when I much less experienced, I tried using negative emotion. The bricks built nicely and held until my teacher picked up on one of the images and threw a full life version back in my face with the added impulse that I was to blame and was a worthless piece of SHIT. True, this is not a nice thing to do to someone but it is a VERY effective way to keep someone from making the mistake again. That experience also showed me that I was not ready to transmute negative energy into positive energy.) The problem with a negative emotion is that someone else can pick up on the image and then enhance it while returning it. This will cause your shield to crumble very quickly and enhance feelings of self loathing which is extremely detrimental to magickal workings. The brick wall is a very effective technique and a very time consuming technique. It is also very difficult to maintain the various positive images in the blocks. Of course, when you put a positive emotion into a block it becomes extremely strong. Many people do not feel comfortable inside this type of shield, it is very confining.
All of the non-physical techniques are based on the sphere of light. In addition to attributes, you can create a shield made up of many different shields, layering then one on top of another. It is not uncommon to maintain more than one shield. For example, you may put up a bright white shield close around your body, a black shield on top of that and then an invisible shield on the outer layer. The outer layer will make things ignore you. If something does get through this idea, they are confronted with blackness through which they can not see. If something presses further, they are hit with blinding white light.
Working with multiple shields requires practice. First, be sure that you can maintain and call one shield. When your are comfortable with one, you can add a second and so on. You may wind up with many layers of shields each one doing a different thing.
When learning to shield, maintain the image of the shield as long as is comfortable - if you start feeling weak or dizzy then let the shield fade out and take a rest. You are building up magickal muscles when you learn the shielding techniques. With practice, the shield is there longer and it becomes stronger until you are able to maintain the shield(s) all the time.
The sphere of light also can be used for other things. I tend to keep my personal shields extending anywhere from 1 inch to about 3 or 5 feet from my body. You can extend the outer layer of shields as far as you wish. An extended shield will allow you to pick up more information from your surroundings. It is possible to stand in a room, extend a probe shield outward to another room and know who is in it by reading the energy signatures. You can also pull your shields in tight to you (skin tight) and people will be less like to notice you.
You will notice that your personal shields define your personal space. Other people can instinctively sense the size of your personal shields and will usually not cross into them. In short, you can put up a clear zone around you.
A3. Strengthening your shields by calling for help from other sources
The sphere of light technique uses your own energy. You can however ask that other forces lend you energy to strength your shields. You can ask the Goddess and God force to strengthen your shields, you can call upon the elements, you can use symbols, etc. If you do call on outside assistance be sure that you do have a need, never command or expect and always thank anyone who helps you. It is always better to rely on your personal energy for shielding. Beware of getting into the trap of relying on energy from other sources. You know your personal energy. Of course, there are times when you need that extra bit of help.
A4. Tower of Light Shield
This technique surrounds you with the light of truth, the light of the universe. Evil or negative forces can not bear this light. This method is usually non-mobile (doesn't move around with you although it can) and fixed upon your location. This technique strengthens and energizes your shield and yourself. It is a very effective method of protection.
1. Relax and breathe deeply. (Keep this up throughout the exercise)
2. Relax your whole body
3. Stand erect, arms at your side (can be sitting or lying down though)
4. Visualize the point of pure light within your center expand until it extends about 9 inches from your body.
5. See directly about your head, your crown chakrah, a globe of brilliant white light
6. From the globe, send a beam of pure light out into the universe, the collective unconscious, the source of all things, the sun, and ask that you be allowed to tap into its energy.
7. See a column of brilliant white light, the light of truth, flow down from the universe, completely surrounding you, filling you with its essence.
8. See the column edges solidify to the point where nothing can pass through them.
9. See the light of truth radiating from the you and the column. Know that you are surrounded by perfect love, truth and purity. You are completely protected.
10. Maintain the shield as long as needed. When finished, see the column of light turn transparent, fading from view - the shield is still present but can not be seen. See the light of the universe flow back up into the heavens and as it goes send a packet of energy back filling it with your gratitude and appreciation thanking the universal force for its help. See the line you sent out return to you.
A5. Tower of Light shield, fast method
You do not always have the luxury of spending lots of time building or calling a shield. It is unlikely that if something attacks that you could say, "Hey, could you hold off attacking me for a few moments while I put my shields up?" The fast method does not require preparation.
1. Call your sphere of light into being
2. Send the line to the universe asking for help
3. See the column of universal light surround you and solidify into a perfect shield
4. When done, let the light return, sending with it your thanks and gratitude.
Basically, you don't take time to relax, you put up your sphere of light and yell for help.
A6. Auric Flare
This is not a shielding technique but an application of the sphere of light. It is an offensive technique which will frighten away most forces which would want to cause you harm. Note, it uses energy at a high rate of speed. It is effective for getting rid of the lower shadow creatures (the pesky things that hide in shadows and feed off of negative energy but can not harm you.) It can be used to temporarily blind an opponent so that you can escape. The brighter the flash, the more energy is required.
1. Call the sphere of light into being
2. Visualize the sphere becoming intensely bright, bright as the sun, the light of truth, a magnesium flare, a flash cube. See this happen in an instant, a fraction of a second. See the sphere blaze brightly for a moment.
3. Let the sphere of light fade to invisible when you are finished.
A7. Shielding Items
Frequently you will want to shield or protect various items. For example, I maintain a shield about my car at all times. Basically, you see a shield form around the object, modify the shield to the shape that you desire, solidify the shield into a hard shell and then turn it transparent. For shielding my car, I prefer to sit inside of the car, visualize the car in my mind, see a shield form around it, shrink and model the shield so that it fits on the car (top, bottom, front, back, sides), solidify it and let it turn transparent.
Maintain shields on items will be a drain your energy. You will periodically need to reinforce the shielding on the items. When learning to shield, do not try large items; build up to it. A student of mine whom I had taught the sphere of light technique correctly sensed an incoming attack on our house, he instinctively extended his personal shields to cover the entire house and solidified them. I always maintain multiple shields on my house of both types. Something managed to get through the outer layers and he sensed it. His instincts and actions were correct but he over extended himself and as a result threw his chakrahs way out of alignment, depleted his personal energy, and became extremely sick within an hour (severe flu like symptoms). Of course, this happened while I was away from home, had been driving for 12 hours and was exhausted and falling asleep. (You usually will get attacked when you are the least able to handle it.) The shields I had on my house would have held but he added his own and deflected the incoming attack (he did not know everything I had on the house and I had not thought to tell him). So, over-extending your shields, having to do it without preparation, can cause you physical and magickal harm when you are just learning. When learning, take it easy, work your way up. You do not have to shield a house with the sphere of light or a variation of it. There are physical means of protection just as effective and which do not require the expending of great amounts of energy. (The reason that I mention shielding a house with a sphere of light is that you are part of the shields. Sort of like a spider's web, a spider can sense minute vibration coming from any part of the web. The sphere of light shield will do the same for you but it takes time and practice to put such a shield on a house.)
Physical Shielding Techniques
These techniques involve either directing energy or using a physical item to aid in protection. These forms require more time to set up but do not require you to feed it energy.
B1. Circle of Protection (basic)
This technique lays down a barrier of force to protect an area. Negative influences will be unable to pass through. Of course, this method requires a bit of time to set up so it is not an "emergency" procedure. However, there are situations when you have the time available if needed. Also, this technique is often used when "casting circle". This will create a protected area in which you can do magickal workings. It is always a good idea to put up some form of protective circle before beginning any magickal work (especially when doing any work where you open yourself to outside forces such as tarot reading, divination in any form and channeling.)
1. Stand in the center of the area where you wish the circle to be
2. Extend your right hand and point with your index finger
3. See a line of blue light leap from your finger and strike the ground at the edge of where you wish he circle to be.
4. Slowly rotate clockwise, seeing the blue light glowing on the ground as you make the circle until you return to your starting point.
5. See the line of blue light return to your finger
6. See the circle of blue light surrounding you.
When setting up the circle, it is not uncommon to circle more than once. One, two, three, five, seven, nine, eleven, thirteen and twenty one are common numbers of times to go around the circle. Please be warned that the higher the number the greater the strain. When learning, you should start and one and then move to three. On only one occasion have I done twenty one circles. Also, it is customary to walk the circle as your cast it. I have cast circle both ways and generally rotate in place when I am casting a small circle (three to nine foot diameter), for larger circles where I have room to walk I will walk the circle while casting it. Walking or rotating will also depend on the shape of the space you are casting the circle.
If you find that you need more space, visualize the entire circle in your mind and then see it increase in size until it is as large as you need it. When casting the circle, make it as large as you need it. Give yourself enough room to move around comfortably and access to area you might need to get to.
If you need to leave the circle move to the edge, make a sweeping cutting motion back and forth with your right hand and cross the circle, when outside, turn around and make a sweeping cutting motion in the opposite direction. Just like opening a zipper and then zipping it back up.
Once you are finished working you need to take the circle down. From the starting point, extend your left hand, see a beam of blue light from the circle jump to your finger tip, rotate slowly counter-clockwise, drawing the blue light back into your body until you reach your beginning point.
When you cast a protective circle you are putting up a barrier of your own energy. When finished, you always need to take it down. I always cast going clockwise and when I take down I do the opposite, therefore I move counterclockwise to absorb the energy back from the circle. Not everyone takes a circle down by going backwards, some take it down clockwise. In my mind and way of thought, the moving backwards erases and ends what you did. You will need to make your own decision about using clockwise/counterclockwise to take down a circle. The main thing is to always take down the circle when you are finished working.
B2. Circle of Protection (stage two)
To enhance your circle, you can ask the God and Goddess to come and fill the circle with their presence.
Follow steps 1 to 6 of the basic method
7. See the circle fill with the light of truth and purity.
8. Ask that the God and Goddess come into the circle, fill it with the light of the divine and protect all those within from harm.
Many people will often call the Goddess and God forces separately and light a candle for each as they ask them for help. If you choose to set more than one circle when casting you do not repeatedly call the Goddess and God after each circle is laid. For example, if you wish to use the number three then rotate or walk the circle three times and then call the God and Goddess.
When closing this circle, thank the Goddess and God for joining your circle, lending their strength and energy, let them know that they are always welcome and that you are very grateful for their assistance. Take the circle down as normal.
B3. Holy Water
Holy Water is consecrated and blessed water. Negative forces can not tolerate blessed water. Anyone who believes in any Deity can create holy water. The ingredients are simple: water and salt. It is customary to use pure water (rain, spring, artesian well) although distilled water and tap water will do. (Actually, I have used all three and all three work equally well.) It is also customary to use sea salt since it is natural but regular table salt will also work. (Again, I have used both and they work equally well.)
1) cleanse a vessel to hold the water. (Physically wash it. Hold it in your hands and visualize the vessel glowing with the pure white light of truth, of the universe.)
2) fill the vessel with water. (Visualize the vessel and water glowing with the pure white light of truth, of the universe.)
3) Add some salt to the vessel and water. (A pinch or two. Visualize the vessel and water and salt glowing with the pure white light of truth, of the universe.)
4) Ask that the God and Goddess bless, consecrate, empower this water with their energy. Ask that this water be used only for the workings of Truth and the Light, for the good of all, harming none.
There are many variations on creating Holy Water. Some people prefer to only create it under the light of a full moon. Other prefer the light of the new moon. Yet others prefer to do it under the sun. You can say certain phrases, make certain motions with your hands, intone certain sounds, etc. etc. etc. etc. When I make it, I usually will trace a Pentagram with my finger or athame in or on the vessel while I am asking that the Goddess and God bless the water.
As you can see, there are many different things that you can do to make holy water. if given the time, I will even cast full circle (not covered in this document), follow steps 1-3, take the water to each direction and element asking them to bless it, then call on spirit (5th element) and finally call on the Goddess and God to bless it. Also, if it is convenient, I prefer to work during a full moon. Basically, everyone has their own method but the steps listed above are pretty much standard in any recipe that you follow.
There are many crystals which have protective properties. For a complete work on crystals, I suggest that you purchase, "Love is in the Earth" by Melody - it is the most comprehensive reference on crystals you will ever find. Everything vibrates, even solid matter (tables, chairs, rocks, wood) vibrates. This has been known in mystical circles for tens of thousands of years. Science has only recently discovered this (early 1900's). Crystals vibrate at certain rates or frequencies. Everything vibrates at a specific rate or frequency (or a range). Crystals have the ability to act as a "tuning fork", bringing the vibrations of other objects into alignment with themselves. The frequencies of certain crystals can not be tolerated by negative forces.
To use crystals in protection simply keep them around what you wish protected. If it is for you then carry the crystal in a pocket or purse, wear it as a pendant, put it in a bag around your neck. Your skin does not need to be touching the crystal, it just needs to be near you. You can put crystals around your house, over the door frame, on the window sills, on the mantles, etc. Any place that you wish to protect you can place a crystal near it. You can keep a crystal in the car with you for protection. Get the idea?
Listed below are three of my favorite crystals to work with. One of them most everyone will guess: quartz. The second is Citrine. The third is tiger eye. (No, not a real eye of a tiger, it is a crystal, goldish brown in color, very beautiful.)
1) Quartz - this is a general workhouse crystal. It will absorb and transmute negativity but will need to be cleansed occasionally. Quartz comes in many different colors but for protection I prefer to use clear.
2) Citrine - This is one of the few crystals which never need cleansing. Citrine does not absorb negative energy and it dispels negative energy around it. Needless to say, it is perfect for protection work.
3) Tiger Eye - this brownish golden crystal is excellent for protection. Colorwise, it combines the light of the sun with the solid foundation of the Earth and home.
Many different herbs can be used for protection. In fact, just about every herb is used for protection of one form or another. Herbs can be scattered over an area, put in a pouch, burned on a coal, distilled, etc. Below are listed a few of the different herbs and their uses.
Salt - In every tradition, salt is a great bane against evil forces, evil can not stand the touch of salt. Salt is really sodium chloride and has a crystalline nature. Because of its electrical properties and crystalline structure, salt will destablize negative forces, dispel them. A pinch of salt, a small pile, a circle or used in holy water are but a few of the way to use salt for protection.
Slippery Elm - Stops gossip
Pepper - Pepper is a strong ward against evil, the stronger the pepper the greater the effect. Chili peppers, red peppers, etc are often placed in windows and doors for protection.
Garlic - Held for ages that evil can not abide the smell of garlic it is often used to protect against negative forces. In the old country, it was not uncommon to find strands of garlic hung about the windows and doors (not only is a strand of garlic a good method of storage it keeps away evil).
Patchuli - extremely potent
Mustard seed - protects against evil, keeps you safe from implants.
Other protective herbs include: Mugwort, Galangel, Dragon's Blood, Hemlock, Mandrake, and many others. A detailed list can be found in "Wylundt's Book of Incense" by Steven R. Smith. (This book is available through The Mystic Gryphon and other sources.)
Symbols are figures which have an agreed upon meaning. The recognition of a symbol lends it energy. Certain symbols are considered to be extremely effective against negative forces. Listed below are just a few of the symbols which are used to protect against negativity, an all inclusive list would fill many books. Tracing the symbols in the air with blue light, drawing them on paper, carving them in wood, casting them in metal, these are all various ways in which to use the symbol for protection.
Pentagram - five pointed star with the single point facing up. It symbolizes the path through the elemental worlds to achieve spiritual perfection. It is the symbol of our struggle to become one with spirit.
Ankh - Egyptian symbol for life, extremely protective.
Hexagram - six pointed star, the number three (divinity) double (existing on both the physical and higher plane), the star of David
Cross - long before the symbol was adopted by the Christian religions, the cross was a symbol for protection against negative forces. The idea of crossing two fingers to ward of evil is common to many cultures.
Four leaf clover - Held to be a good protection against evil forces.
Heart - symbol for love, the purest and strongest emotion. Negative forces can not remain in the presence to true love.
B7. Other forms of physical protection
Bells or chimes - it is held by many cultures and beliefs that negative forces can not stand the ringing of bells or striking chimes.
Rattles - In the American Indian and Eastern cultures, rattles have long been used to "scare" away negativity. Rattles can be any shape and size and make nearly any rattling sound.
Candles - negative forces are driven away by light. A white candle symbolizing purity is often used when getting rid of negative energy. In addition, fire in any form is very effective in dispelling negative energy.
B8. Protecting your home
If you haven't guessed by now, I take protection pretty seriously. Protecting yourself, your car and your home are perhaps the most commonly protected items. Protecting your home can take many different forms. Presented below is a scaled down version of the method I use for setting protections on my house. Some of the steps that I use are not for people just beginning their magickal studies due to the energy you are working with. (Learning magick is a learning process and each individual progresses at a different rate. The learning process is similar for all earthly disciplines. For example, a first year medical student would never be allowed to perform open heart surgery for the simple reason that he is not yet experienced enough and does not have the knowledge. The same holds true in magick.) I will make notes with some steps that they are not for the beginner - if you are beginning please do not take offense but accept that it requires a bit of experience - use your best judgement when considering using any technique ... if you feel comfortable with it and think you can handle it then give it a try.
Read through the entire procedure first, decide what steps you wish to use. Of these steps, only a few are required. The other steps serve to reinforce your work.
MAJOR WARNING! Protecting a house can take a lot of energy out of you, as with working any type of magick. ALWAYS have some type of snack set up and waiting for when you are finished. A snickers bar and a glass of milk are excellent if you like it, a granola bar and milk or tea are also good. The food will help you ground yourself after expending magickal/physical energy and it will help restore energy which you have used. Never go to sleep after a major magickal working without eating something even if you have to force yourself to eat. (It is not uncommon for people to find the thought of eating revolting after intensive magickal workings, the body is so drained that eating is a major chore.)
The following steps are what I consider to be absolutely necessary to protecting your house. You can add to these steps or follow the entire plan outlined. Use your best judgement. If you are just beginning to study magickal protection then I recommend that you only use the steps listed next. Again, magickally protecting a house is very taxing - imagine running a 26 mile marathon in a suit and long underwear with a 50 pound bag of flour strapped to your back while you are wearing hard sole shoes and screaming a german opera at the top of your lungs. Ok, it is not that bad, but it is a lot of work, uses a lot of energy, depending on the number of steps you use. On a more practical note, if you were weight lifting, would you start trying to lift 200 lbs? I don't think so.
Required steps from below
Step 3 - if you have the incense available. If not then omit this step
Incense - clearing, house cleaning, protection. All of these flavors are available at metaphysical supply stores or you can make your own.
Holy Water - can't get enough of it.
String - used for knot magick.
Athame - used for directing energy, not required for any step. (A finger will do just fine.)
White candle - two or three
Purple or blue - one (possibly)
1) Clean the house physically. It doesn't have to be spotless but picked up is helpful. This is not an absolute requirement, Goddess knows that I have frequently set protections on my house when it was an absolute mess. However, a clean house does assist in setting protections, it helps to create order.
2) Go to a spot in your house, preferably near the center, clap your hands (stomp your foot, strike your staff on the ground) three times and in a clear, firm voice state that all negativity, all evil influences, any entity intending or wishing ill will or harm upon anyone in this house or on this property leave now of its own free will or be dispelled forever!
(Hey, you gave them a chance, if there is something which doesn't go then that is their problem and trust me, they will not like what you are about to do!)
3) Light a stick of clearing or house cleaning incense. Start at your front door, or the door that you use most often and proceed to go through every room in your house clockwise until you return to the starting point.
CAUTION! Step 4 is not for a beginner, it requires a good deal of energy and practice in setting and maintaining shields. It is not required for protecting your home but it can be a useful tool. If you try this and start experiencing pain, dizziness or light headedness STOP and absorb the shield back into yourself. (Also it wouldn't hurt to grab a quartz crystal and something to eat if this happens.)
4) Return to the center of your house, call up your sphere of light, expand it until it covers your entire dwelling. See the sphere solidify about your house.
5) Light the two white candles and ask that the Goddess and God come and fill your house with their energy, dispelling all negativity, protecting you and all within from anything intending to do you harm. (I light one candle and ask the Goddess to come in and then the other candle and ask the God to come in.)
Note: Always be careful when using any type of fire.
Step 6 is not required but helpful. If you do not have protection incense available you can use another blend dedicated to the God or Goddess. If you are not sure of blend to use then ask someone at your local metaphysical store. Again, the incense is not required but is helpful. If you really like incense but do not have access to a metaphysical supply store you can use a stick of pine incense available at most grocery stores now. (The pine incense from a grocery store is sort of a desperate measure in my opinion but pine is very useful as a clearing agent to dispel negativity.)
6) Light a stick of protection incense, go to your front door or the door you use most often, walk clockwise through the entire house letting the incense spread into your dwelling. In each room, state that all negativity, all evil forces, anyone or anything intending ill will or harm be forever barred from entering this area. State that only positive, good, beneficial energies can enter into this area.
Note: Stick incense will leave strings of ash. You may wish to invest in a stick burner to carry with you or you can get a small flower pot filled with sand or dirt and put the stick in it.
7) Light a purple, white or blue candle go to your front door or the door you use most often, walk clockwise through the entire house letting the light of the universe fill your dwelling. When you return to your starting point you can either let the candle burn out or you can extinguish it. In each room, state that all negativity, all evil forces, anyone or anything intending ill will or harm be forever barred from entering this area. State that only positive, good, beneficial energies can enter into this area.
Note: Be extremely careful when carrying a lit candle, hot wax can drip onto your hand or arm, if dropped it could catch something on fire. A candle holder with a candle is very useful. You can also cut a small sqaure of light cardboard (say from a cereal box) and put a hole in the ceter of it, push the candle through it so you now have a barrier between your hand and the wax.
8) Take your holy water and go to the your front door or the door you use most often, walk clockwise through your entire house sprinkling little drops of holy water. In each room, state that all negativity, all evil forces, anyone or anything intending ill will or harm be forever barred from entering this area. State that only positive, good, beneficial energies can enter into this area.
Note: To sprinkle, you can dip your fingers in the water and shake them off. You could also get a small plant mister or plastic spray bottle (not one that has had any type of cleaner or pesticide stored in it) and mist the area. Also note, water will of course leave things it lands on damp, cause water spots on furniture, etc.
9) In the center of the house, take the string and visualize your house protected, safe from harm (you could see yourself feel all safe and happy) and say something like, "By need and will, all negative forces, all evil entities, anyone or anything intending ill will or harm is now and forever barred from entering this house. This house and those within are dedicated servants to the Light, harming none, living for the benefit of all." As you say this, tie a knot in the string, them place the string in a special area. You can also take this a step further and go to each room of the house (clockwise starting from the entrance most commonly used) and make the same statement as above, tieing one knot per room, when all the rooms are finished then tie the ends of the string together.
10) Return to the center of your house. In a firm voice state that this house is dedicated to the work of Light, only positive and good workings will be done within, for the benefit of all, harming none. All evil, negative and harmful influences are forever barred from entering this house, all those within are forever protected.
11) Thank the God and Goddess for coming and joining in your work, lending their energy and strength, protecting your house from negativity and evil. Ask that they remain as long as they wish and when ready to depart take your eternal thanks and gratitude. It is customary to extinguish the candles at this point although it is perfectly acceptable to leave them burning as an offering to the Goddess and God.
12) If you followed step 4 and set up a sphere of light about your house draw it back into yourself.
13) You are done. Eat!
Explanation of steps
Step 1 - clears the physical plane of mess
Step 2 - gives anything in your house which should not be there a chance to leave
Step 3 - Cleanses the area of negativity
Step 4 - Sets up a shield so you can work in peace.
Step 5 - invites the Goddess and God into your house
Step 6 - use of Earth, Air and Fire to purify, cleanse and protect an area
Step 7 - use of Fire or Light to purify, cleanse and protect an area
Step 8 - use of Earth, Water and Spirit to purify, cleans and protect an area
Step 9 - knot magick to make your spell stronger
Step 10 - Power of the spoken word transforming thought and will into action
Step 11 - Thank the God and Goddess for helping you (ALWAYS thank them)
Step 12 - Release the sphere of light shield
Step 13 - Grounding and replacing used energy
Steps 6, 7, 8 use different forms to access elemental energy. Working with the elements can be very rewarding. These steps can be performed by any level practioner. I do not consider them to be required but it they do add more energy to your protections. You do not have to use all three, you can use one or two of the steps or all of them.
Step 9 is an example of knot magick. Knot magick is basically a way to hold the energy which is created. Once finished, some people like to untie the knot to release the energy. Some people like to hide the knot where it won't be found since magick is a very personal and private action. Other people like to burn the knot to release the energy. Yet other people hang the knot in a visible location. These are just a few ways of using knots in magick. I usually place my knot workings in a safe place where they will not be disturbed. For protective workings, I feel that knot magick lends itself very well to what you are doing. The knot holds the energy that you have created or used for a purpose, makes it permanent.
For protecting your home you have many options. The method I described above is a simplified version of what I use on my house. Most of the steps I use are rooted in non-physical methods of shielding. However, there are some other things you can do to protect your home:
Animals are very sensative to magickal energy. If you have ever attempted to perform magickal with animals around you may have noticed then sitting near by and watching or walking under your feet. This section is being added at the last moment. I have been shielding my cats for so long I think of it as part of shielding the house.
Pets will try to protect the people that care for and love them. Unfortunately, they can vulnerable to attack just as we are. I forgot this fact and lost my first cat to a magickal attack about 4 years ago. Something broke through my shielding (very quietly), was going to attack me or my lover. The attack would have been fatal to one or both of us. Our cat, Veda, intercepted the attack. We found him dead the next morning. It was bad enough to loose our child but to know that I was responsible was even worse ... had I thought to tell him not to interfere he would still be alive.
Non-physical protections are the easiest to put on pets. If you search various stores, you may be able to find small protective symbols which you could put on a colar after added extra protections to it. I would think that you could also find earrings which would do the job or some small pendant. Herbs and crystals are more difficult to put on a pet. In addition to your work, you can ask for protection from specific deities associated with your type of pet. For example, cat owners may call for assistance from Bast. I have also used St. Francis as protector of all animals. You can also ask for special protection for your pets from the "God" and "Goddess" if you do not wish to call on a specific deity.
I find that the best time to perform magickal house protection is the new moon (1st time) or full moon (re-energizing the protections). It is best to turn off your phones and beepers while doing this. For some reason, people just tend to call while you are doing some magickal working (it is sort of like the phone ringing every time you get in the shower). It is also helpful to have some type of music playing softly in the background. (I like Gregorian Chant or Temple Bells and if I am in a really fun mood "They Might Be Giants" Flood album is a lot of fun to work with.) In addition, I find that later you wait to being the better things go, ie start about 10 pm or midnight. These are only observations and opinion. You do not have to do this on the night of the new moon, between the hours of 8:33 and 11:33 pm, using your sword - wand - athame -staff - chalice, saying exact phrases and making certain gestures. All of these things help to focus you while working magick but they are by no means required. (Note, some schools will disagree with me on this statement since there are some who believe that you must do everything according to a predefined script. Each person has to find what works for them.)
Well, this pretty much concludes an introduction to magickal protection. As you can tell, I take magickal protection very seriously. Magickal protection can take many different forms and can bet set in a variety of ways.