Protection is one of the first skills you should nurture as a new witch. As I’ve said before, once you become proactive, there will be some push-back from people and be-ings that previously benefited from your passivity. It is very important to build and maintain protections early in your practice. There are many things you can do for protection against psychic and spiritual attacks and ill will. First though, let’s get into what you need to be protecting.
Witchcraft, like any other mainly intellectual pursuit requires you have the time, energy, space, and motivation to keep at it. You will be studying and serving until you decide to hang up your wand. So your needs are going to be similar to those of any other working student. All of the things you require to do your work will need protecting. So when considering what sort of protections you will need to start, consider:
- protection of your physical body/health
- protection of your mind/psyche
- protection of your spirit/soul/extradimensional selves
- protection of those within your immediate circle of empathy (friends, family, etc.)
- protection of your prosperity/sources of resources and income
- protection of your home
- protection of your vehicle if you have one, or public transportation in your area
Just starting with these will give you plenty to do for awhile. In this article, we’ll look at some of the simpler protection charms, recipes, and techniques to get you started.
A Word of Caution Against Hypocrisy
It shouldn’t need to be said, but apparently it does lately: protection is aggressive magick. Your guardians will not always be gently guiding your enemies to more productive pursuits. They will not always be helping them to see the love within you. If someone comes at you with malice or ill will, they will be knocked back with as much force as is necessary to protect you.
At times they may even stop you from getting something that you want in order to protect you from some danger. So as with anything, be careful what you wish for. Also, there is such a thing as being over-protected. One good reason we start with protection is to teach us balance and the subtleties of the craft. So prepare for it to be a learning experience as you gain more knowledge of protections and how they work.
Protection From Draining Ill Will/Evil Eye
“Evil eye” is draining energy that is released when someone looks upon another with jealousy or possessive feelings. It is often not a conscious curse, but a kind of a bad energy born of impulsive feelings. Because it is something usually unconscious that people aren’t controlling because they are unaware that it can do harm, it is something that anyone who has anything that someone may want, should be on guard for.
Babies, the beautiful, the talented, those who have a partner who receives a lot of attention, and really everyone needs protection from this. Even if you don’t think you have much of value, someone else probably wants something that you have. So everyone needs some evil eye protection.
Turkish Eye Pendants, Horns, Two Horns Hand Gesture, and Figa Pendants
These are everywhere and easy to find. To activate them, cleanse them with Florida water or another cleansing solution that is safe for the materials from which the item is made. Then run them through the smoke of incense of your Gatekeeper, Parent, and Protection deities.
These increase in power every time they are given as gifts, by the way. Once you give one to someone though, don’t take it back thinking that it will have been empowered. The energy that lives in these kinds of charms does not like to move backwards. It likes to circulate.
4711, Florida Water, and other Old Fashioned Colognes
Old fashioned colognes containing citrus and verbena have been used for everyday protection since their invention. Part of the reason is that some used to believe bad smells caused disease. Also there were those who understood that alcohol and some herbs were good for staving off infection from wounds or after shaving. These protective natural properties were associated with spiritual protection as well.
So it’s a good idea to make a reasonable dab of cologne a part of one’s protection routine.
There are many things one can do to protect their home that can be done both by laypersons and witches. Protection salts, floor washes, doorway decorations, mirrors, and brooms are things average people do or used to. What a witch would be needed for usually, is to make some of these items. It’s a good idea to know how to make basic protection items for your tradition or that those you are serving are used to.
Protection salts usually contain:
- salt (sodium nitrate)
- some purifying or filtering agent (charcoal, ashes, or a particular clay)
- and protective herbs (dill, artemisia, comfrey root, sesame seeds, thistle, eggplant stems and leaves, etc.)
This is sprinkled around the perimeter of the home or place one wants protected, especially at corners and openings.
With floor washes, what is most often done nowadays is that some essential oil mixture or herbal infusion is added to whatever detergent one uses to clean the floors. Many protective herbs happen to smell very nice, so it’s not hard to figure out. What may be difficult is choosing which ones, and again, I advise to go with your traditions, but with the addition of using as much as you can that is locally available.
Look around to see what grows in your area. If you’ve got some nice thorns that grow good smelling flowers, negotiate with those plants to take some in season and make a water based infusion from them. If you’ve got some wild growing rosemary around, get some of that. Use the plants your municipality grows in the medians and public areas. This way your home becomes a kind of part of the ecosystem and plant warning systems to alert you when danger is near.
A good protection spell is going to depend on your pantheon. What will work for someone else may not work for you. Protection spell examples abound on the internet, but don’t just copy someone else’s idea and paste it into your ceremonial life. Really examine things to make sure that they fit your situation.
Generally, protection is the domain of your Gatekeeper deity. Often though, specific aspects of protection will cross into others’ domains. For example, in west African cultures that have an Eshu type Gatekeeper, though he is in charge of boundaries and limits in general, the presence of prosperity or joy is in Oshun’s domain, and combat in Ogun’s mainly, though all Orishas have some warring aspect. Make sure that in a protection spell, you cover the necessary aspects and don’t leave any holes. Again though, be careful what you are wishing for.
For example, let’s say you have a client who has an abusive ex. You will want to do a protection working for them to prevent their ex from harming them or their children. So you bring in Eshu and Ogun. If you had just brought in Eshu, the ex might meet some strange circumstance that prevents them from getting to your client, but if the ex doesn’t have lethal intent, they probably won’t get lethal consequences. If you bring in Ogun on the other hand, it’s very likely the ex may die for merely speaking ill of your client one time too many.
Don’t bring a petition to the spirits unless you are okay with the spirits doing whatever it takes to solve the problem. This would be like getting bullied and then telling an authority figure, and this authority figure giving a harsh penalty to the bullies, and then you trying to get them to have mercy. They might go with your wishes, but then what happens when your bullies escalate because they got off easy last time?
If you bring something to the spirits, let them do what they do to handle it. Once you give it to them, it’s not your business how harsh their protection is.
In summary, protection is best done in layers. In future articles we will get into specific protection charms. Remember, they’ll be posted as examples of the possibilities, but you will need to tailor them to your pantheon and your circumstances.
Blessings and Ashé!