How to Banish

Author: Taliesin McKnight

The first thing that one should learn to do in magick is to banish. This is a simple precautionary measure. Before conjuring things up, intentionally or unintentionally, banishing should be well understood. Banishing can be defined as cleansing an area (or person) of negative energies or entities. There are various hostile forces in the spirit world that need to be warded off at times.

There are three basic ways to get rid of negative vibrations. These techniques are used in virtually all systems of magick: Wicca, Voodoo, Santeria, ceremonial magick, to name just a few. Once the art of banishing is understood, then it can be done for others as well. After all, magick is not just about your base desires and self-glorification (sobering thought, I know!) , but about helping others. You will be a cunning man or woman, an instrument of the Divine. The three basic methods of banishing are the burning of herbs, the sprinkling of holy water, and ritual.

The burning of herbs is a very ancient form of exorcism (exorcism is another word for banishment) . But not just any herbs are used; they must be cleansing herbs! This may include such plants as vervain, onion, patchouli, and hyssop. You may now be asking yourself, do those herbs really have any power in themselves? This issue is highly debated in the occult community. Some are of the opinion that different herbs have various mystical properties, which can be harnessed and employed by the witch. Others, however, think that it is simply the belief in the mind of the practitioner that makes the employment of herbs effective. Whatever the case may be, virtually all forms of witchcraft regard herbs as highly powerful agents to be made use of in magick.

The basic technique involves burning the herbs and allowing the smoke to touch the area (or person) being cleansed. The smoke is said to drive away impurities. Warning: Do not merely use the incense sticks or cones! Many would-be magicians are conned (intentionally conned by the manufacturers) into using these. Typically, there is no herb in the incense at all. It is merely the “fragrance.” Thus, if you buy lavender incense, chances are there is no lavender in it. So try to avoid merely using the incense named after the plant.

There are various methods for procuring your herbs. The plants can be bought or grown. Most pagans like to grow their own so they can incorporate the seasonal practices of planting and harvest into it. They may also be purchased at your local metaphysical store or online. Another alternative is to simply go to the grocery store and just see what you can find. If nothing else then many of the herbs can be found in the “spices” section. Onion, garlic, black pepper, and rubbed sage are easy to find; these are all powerful herbs used for banishing. Tobacco can be blended with such herbs to help them burn. Tobacco is often used to replace sulphur in old grimoires. It is connected to Mars (the god of war) . The herbs may be burned upon charcoals. Smudge sticks are also quite popular. These are often composed of a mixture of rubbed sage and bluegrass.

The concept of holy water is found in many different systems of magick. Please note that this does not necessarily refer to holy water from a church. The use of holy water predates Christianity and is used in virtually all forms of Paganism. At its most basic, it is water mixed with sea salt. Various other formulas exist in which one mixes the water with various cleansing herbs such as sage, hyssop, and vervain. This is all up to the individual witch. The herbs are boiled in water and then are strained. This is how such herbal mixtures are made. Marie Laveau water (highly prized in New Orleans Voodoo) is one such example. It is composed of 1 cup of rainwater, 1 cup of spring water, 1 cup of lavender water, 1 cup of rose water, and holy water from a church.

Holy water should always be blessed in some way, which can be accomplished by an elaborate spell or a simple prayer. The water is then sprinkled in the area to drive away evil and any negative, hostile forces. This ancient practice goes back to the very beginning of magick.

Ritual is the last of the three methods. Of course, sprinkling holy water and burning herbs do serve as rituals within themselves, but there are other more elaborate forms of ritual. One of these is the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. This ritual comes to us from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which was a secret society that taught initiates the practices of ceremonial magick. Although this rite is derived from ceremonial magickal tradition, practitioners of many different paths and systems have used it. This is simply due to the fact that the ritual is so effective at cleansing the environment of negativity. Another technique is the ringing of a bell, a method used by a number of cultures.

Those of a Christian background may call on the power of God by invocation and prayer. Another practice is to cut an onion into quarters and to place these in the four corners of a room. The idea is that the onion will absorb the negative “vibes” and is later discarded or burned. Chanting may be employed or various candle spells may be used. Once again, there are countless rituals that can be utilized as rites of exorcism.

Remember, banishing is the first thing that should be learned in the practice of magick. From that point on you may proceed, somewhat safely, on the path of the occultist. The three methods outlined above (the burning of herbs, the sprinkling holy water, and ritual) are used in virtually all forms and systems of magick around the world. They are tried and tested methods that have been successfully employed by witches for many thousands of years. When all else fails, appeal to a Higher Power, however this may be defined.

Always remember that the Ancient Ones are there to aid you upon your path.

Water Magick – Holy Waters

Holy Waters

 

The Water Witch puts great store in the powers of her holy waters. Natural waters on which she performs a blessing are usually the best for use as holy water, as they are pure. Clear quartz is often added to boost the power of the water even more. A blessing from a Water Witch removes all negative vibrations and recycles them within the water. In effect, she is using the power of water to cleanse the water. The Water Witch knows that all water is blessed from the start by the Goddess. All that is required of a Witch to bless water is a simple statement of intent, something along the line of, “I cast out all negativity and proclaim this water as pure and good. Blessed am I to have access to it, and blessed is it, for it is my mother’s tears and love.” She might choose to be more eloquent at times, but usually she goes with the flow and follows her instincts.

Water collection methods can be elaborate or simple. A jar placed outside during a thunderstorm, a special gourd dipper used to pull water from a crystal-clear brook, or simply cupping your hands under a natural spring-all of these methods are proper. 

Nine Sisters Chant

Nine Sisters Chant

 
To be recite nine times over a wound, tumor, or infection three times a day for twenty-one days (or less, should the wound close quickly). This Anglo-Saxon leechbook chant can also be used repetitively to remove evil from the home as the household is sprinkled with holy water and censed with a burning banishment herb, such as sage.
 
Nine were Noththe’s sisters.
Then the nine became eight
and the eight became seven
and the seven became six
and the six became five
and the five became four
and the four became three
and the three became two
and the two became one
and the one became none
 
Follow by drawing the equal-armed cross in the air and saying “It is so.”

HEALING STONE

HEALING STONE

What you will need: any stone , a green candle and a white one
To make the healing stone: take an average stone from your yard or anywhere else
(if you have no yard or they all really suck) or you can purchase one like a tiger’s eye.
Once you’ve got one cast your circle, call your quarters.
Do an alter devotion then cleanse consecrate, and empower it.
Instill the flame of a green candle and a white one to empower it with healing magic and purify it.
While doing this hold your pentacle over it and say as many healing spells as you know.
Then pour holy water on it and you’re done.

Simple House Cleansing and Warding

Simple House Cleansing and Warding

Author: Rev. Jennifer “Jay” Bull

Since home is where the heart is it behooves us to make sure that our homes are cleansed and blessed on a regular basis. Why? Because all of us have the capacity for healthy energy and unhealthy energy. A bad day can be brought home with us and muck up the energy of our home.

Have you ever been having a really great day and then someone came in who was angry or in a temper? The energy of the home takes a nosedive more often than not. Even after the bad mood has passed this unhealthy energy sticks around, just as the positive energy sticks around. Therefore it is a good idea to make sure that the house is cleansed and blessed frequently. There are many ways to accomplish this, but as with most spells, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

The first step is to actually physically clean your house. This is something that many of us put off (I know I do!) but really helps quite a bit. By physically cleaning your house you are doing a great deal to make the energy in the home much healthier and brighter. Also, the feeling of accomplishment after cleaning the home is a great way to raise energy for a house cleansing and blessing. If you are going to take the time to magically cleanse and bless your home, you should also take the time to physically cleanse your home as well. The magical and the physical work best together.

Floor Washes – A lot can be said about a good floor wash. Washing your floor clears up negativity and often has the house smelling great. The extra-added bonus is that in order to wash your floor, you have to pick up the clutter that accumulates. Clutter is a magnet for unhealthy energy. Floor washes can be made to bring in luck, love, money, health, happiness, protection, cleansing or anything else your heart desires. You can make your own floor wash by adding essential oils or herbs to your regular floor cleanser. If adding essential oils, you might want to try out what different oils smell like when combined together and with your cleanser before washing your whole house in a particular scent. Essential oils are easy to use because you only need to add a few drops of each oil to your bucket.

If adding herbs, I generally choose multiples of three, 3, 6 or 9 being the most common, but any number would work. I will boil the herbs to make a tea and then strain out the herbs using a coffee filter or strainer. I will add a portion of the tea mixture to the bucket I am using on the floors and then a portion for a spray bottle. Then I will mop the floors, or scrub them, depending on my mood.

In hoodoo, you scrub the floors on your hands and knees, which I will do sometimes, but due to a twitchy back and angry knees, I generally prefer to mop. After mopping I will then using the spray bottle to mist over the areas, such as carpets or rugs or furniture that I could not clean with a mop.

Many shops, such as Lucky Mojo or in my area, The Country Goddess, have floor washes in stock that you can purchase and use. Lucky Mojo’s Chinese wash smells great and is good for clearing your house of negativity.

I am fairly haphazard about what herbs I use, and end up relying on what I have on hand. I will occasionally seek out specific herbs for specific purposes, but usually rely on the herbs I use in cooking. I recommend getting a good book on herbs and their correspondences, such as Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magickal Herbs. That way you can choose from a long list of herbs based from what you have at hand.

For a Loving Home – Wash and Spray

Boil a large pot of water. You can use tap water or you can use rainwater if you prefer. [Soapbox moment: Since we try to practice stewardship to the earth, you may want to avoid using multiple small bottles of spring water as the plastic from these small bottles really does harm the planet. If you feel you must use spring water for this and do not have access to a spring, try to buy a large jug of water so that you have plenty of water and not plenty of plastic bottles. However, since you are boiling the water into a tea, tap water usually works just fine.]

You will want to charge the herbs with your intention. A good way to do this is hold the herbs in your hands and flow energy, in this case loving energy, into each herb. Visualize your hands with a bright light filling and flowing through them and powering the herbs. Flow energy into the spice/herb until it feels ready to you.

If you forgot this step, you can also flow energy into the entire mixture by placing your hands over the pot (not while it is boiling!) and flowing energy into the entire mixture.

Mix in a tablespoon each of cinnamon, basil, and lavender (any combination of herbs for love and harmony will work well, I like basil and lavender for the additional good luck properties and cinnamon for the smell) and let steep in water for at around 5-10 minutes to make a tea.

Drain water through a sieve or coffee filter to remove herbs.
Add tea to a spray bottle and/or the bucket you are using to clean the floors.

The above recipe can be used for anything you would like to bless your house with as long your intention and the herbs correspond. My favorites for this are protection, luck, peace and harmony. Sometimes I want to infuse my house with motivation, and then I generally use bay leaves with essential oils for lemon, orange or grapefruit. The citrus really makes me want to move. It is important to experiment and find what works best for you.

I have a friend who will boil herbs in a pot throughout the day because the steam infuses the house with the smell and properties of the herbs. It is wonderful to come home to a fantastic smelling house. I will say that this approach would work for me really well in the winter when it is dry, but in the summer my house is very humid, so I try not to add to the humidity. However, you can use this method for a quick house cleansing when you are busy doing other things. Sometimes our time is short, so shortcuts help.

Incense/Smudging – Burning incense or smudging with sage is a classic way to cleanse a home. Just burning incense in your house can really help lift spirits and bless and cleanse.

The most common house cleansing is to get a wrap of dried sage and then to go through the house clearing the energy with the sage. The best approach is to start at your front door, and walk the perimeter of your house clearing the energy with the sage bundle and flow energy through your hands. The sage clears away negativity and the energy you flow – both through your free hand and the sage bundle – helps replace negative energy with your energy. Some people like to chant as they do this to help with focus. Such as “I bless you and clear you, I bless you and clear you…” If you are following the sage up with holy water, you can say “I bless and clear this space with fire and air” or “Air and fire cleanses and blesses…” Really whatever you like as the point is to clear negativity and maintain focus. If you are really in the zone, you can even chant yourself into a trance state!

Holy Water – There are many different takes on holy water, but what I like is the simple water with sea salt. Mix together until salt has dissolved completely in the water. As with the herbs, a little goes a long way so a tablespoon should be plenty. Charge the water with cleansing properties by holding your hands over the water and flowing energy into the water. You may even ask the Goddess to help you charge the water, if that feels comfortable to you. I used to leave the water in a chalice and kind of sprinkle the water throughout my home, but have found that this leaves salt-water droplets everywhere. Instead, I now use a spray bottle that will mist the solution through the home. It works better for me, but as with all things, find what works best for you.

If you were doing a thorough house cleansing, I would use sage as well as holy water. As you walk through the house, starting and finishing at the front door, use the sage to clear away unpleasant energy. I use my arms and hands as a kind of energetic broom to sweep away the negative energy as I go. Then when I finish at the front door, I open the door and push the unpleasant energy outside. I’m lucky enough to have two big trees in front of my house and I usually take this energy and give it to the ground in front of the trees. Energy that I find unpleasant becomes neutralized in the ground and helps the trees. Then go through the house with holy water doing the same as I did with the sage, including shooing the unpleasant energy out the front door and grounding it in the earth.

After you have finished cleansing your house with Air and Fire (the sage or incense) and Earth and Water (the salt and water) , you can then place protective wards or shields around your home. There are many, many ways to accomplish this, from the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram to simply visualizing your home as surrounded in a dome of protective light. I prefer to place specific wards around my home, while my husband uses a protective energy dome around the home.

Thread Bottle – I forgot where I first read about a thread bottle, but I do know that spell this was found in a book somewhere. The idea is a bottle full of odds and ends of thread that tangle up anyone who tries to do you harm. My husband loves this particular spell as he hates to throw anything away. Because we add to it any time we sew or knit or just have an odd piece of string or thread or yarn from somewhere, which means that something that might have been thrown out is used to help keep our home safe.

You can use any kind of glass bottle you like. We first had a very pretty bottle I purchased from Hobby Lobby for this purpose, but when this bottle broke, my husband just switched to using an empty bottle of vodka we were getting ready to recycle. He was pleased as punch to be able to reuse the vodka bottle for something and we just transferred the thread bits from one container to another. Part of the great thing about this spell is that everyone in the house can contribute their energy to it, as they add bits of loose thread to the bottle.

Witch’s Ball – This is a very simple little ward you can place around your house. Most of the ones I have seen are terribly expensive, hand-blown glass affairs that I could never afford. Therefore, I never really thought much about getting one. I am also rough on delicate objects, so a pretty glass thing seemed like asking for trouble. My then High Priestess, who is terribly crafty in all of the ways that I am not, said that you could use Christmas tree ornaments. The local hobby shop sells, year round, clear glass bulb ornaments, usually for under $5 for a set of them.

You can then place herbs inside of the ornaments and hang them around your house. Our hobby shop sells them in a variety of sizes from small to extremely large. Our crafty HP said that you could also paint them different colors to correspond to the elements, or use food coloring and Elmer’s glue to make the bulbs different colors. I tried the food coloring with Elmer’s glue, but I apparently go crazy with food coloring and used too much so it didn’t turn out well. It was interesting in a Look at That Gloppy Mess That Won’t Dry kind of way, but not very useful. I think a lighter touch is needed if you go the Elmer’s glue route.

I placed protective herbs inside my ornaments and then put them up in the four quarters. One of the nice things about these types of wards is that they are an excellent indicator of when someone is wishing you ill. When your wards explode inexplicably, that is a major indicator of bad news! We had one just destruct without anyone being near it, and from there we went on to discover that someone was not too pleased with us. When that happens, you just replace the ward and move on, while maybe doubling up on the protection detail.

Witch’s Bottle – I’ve never made one of these myself, but hear that they are really affective. Basically, you take a bottle, like a mason jar, and you place sharp pointy things inside it. If they are rusty and twisted, then that is good too. I’ve heard very specific instructions for this and very loose instructions for this. Basically, you want nails, razor blades, staples, tacks, screws and other implements of that nature in the bottle. In addition, you then add your own urine to the bottle. You bury this bottle on your property and it protects you from any harm thrown your way. Some say you should include a parchment paper with your name on it, or that you should smear it with menstrual blood or semen, but I’m not too big on the use of bodily fluids. The version I’ve heard most is rusty, sharp things, urine, then bury it. Some people say bury it on a full moon, others say the dark of the moon. As with all things, do what seems right to you.

Wards – Wards can be placed over doors and windows. A ward is very simple and consists of nothing more than your energy. Using an athame, wand, or your finger, draw banishing pentacle over the door or window. Visualize protective, blue white light drawing the banishing pentagram and sealing your door or window. Do this to all of the openings in your house. Some people take protection oil and physically draw the circle on the door or window, which is a way to do it that works well, but for me, I just don’t like having oil on my windows so I visualize instead. Do what works best for you.

Braids – One of the earliest spells of blessing I performed was one for a good marriage. I took three different colored ribbons, choosing the colors to correspond with what I wanted to bless my marriage with. Then I knotted the three ribbons together on one end and braided them together while chanting and flowing energy into the spell. The chant I used was merely what each color represented, “Peace, love, happiness”. Once the ribbons were braided together, I then knotted the other end of the ribbons and tied the two ends together forming a circle. As ribbons braided together are relatively thin, you could double up the magic on your home by hanging up a witch ball with the braided ribbon. Protection and blessing working together.

Another use for these braided ribbons is to place them over the tops of the windows and doorways in your home. If I am doing that with the braids, I will often chant more specifically, such as “Let only friends pass through this door” or “Goddess bless and protect all who enter” or something of that nature. After the braid is completed, it can be added to the top of the window or doorway.

Problem Areas

A lot of the above information focuses on doorways and windows mainly because those are the entryways into our home. When cleansing an area or protecting an area, you want to pay special attention to those areas where energy can come in and set up camp. By warding the doorways and windows, you are keeping unwanted energy out.

Another problem area is the corner. When going through my house to cleanse, the ceiling corners often have the biggest buildup of energy. It is a good practice to clear the energy out when you can, as you don’t want it hanging around.

Clutter is an area where energy can collect. Clutter is something that seems to follow me around, but when I do a cleansing, if I can’t clean/organize/remove the clutter, I will make sure to spend extra time cleansing it and clearing it of unpleasant energy.

There are many different ways to cleanse, bless, and protect your home. The above is just a list of simple but effective things you can do to start out. I recommend to anyone practicing magic cleansing and blessing your home much as you would your ritual tools. One of the most effective protections out there is the goddesses and gods, so don’t forget to ask them for their blessings and protection of your home. These cleansings and blessings should be done on a regular basis, at least once a month if not once a week, and ALWAYS before you move into a new place. Magical hygiene is like regular hygiene – the more often you do it, the cleaner and clearer you are.

As a side note, you should cleanse and bless any area you are working magic in, praying in or doing a ritual in before each magical act but especially before ritual.

Cheers!


Footnotes:
http://communingwithgoddess.wordpress.com/
http://www.luckymojo.com/
http://www.thecountrygoddess.com/
http://wp.me/pw9sp-38