This work is copyright (c) 1998 G'Noas Qohazior. All rights reserved. This work may not be edited or altered in anyway, and may not be distributed in any form other than electronic transmission.

The purpose of this lesson series is to provide a generic grounding in the study of "occult arts and sciences." It will provide a step by step guide to prepare for, and learn, the basics of grounding and meditation as well as more "complicated" studies.

This is the second lesson in the series and deals with more advanced techniques of self-discovery. Although it will delve a little into what is the common conception of 'magic,' it will mostly focus on the basic skills of any system of occult investigation. Wherever possible, theological and/or philosophical complications will be avoided in favor of generic foundations.

Footnotes will be indicated by a number in parentheses and are hyper link enabled.


WARDING & PROTECTION

Wards (1) are simply a way of protecting yourself. They can take any number of forms, the most popular of which is the "circle" of witches and magicians casting spells in popular fiction. It does have its basis in reality, though it is not always the most practical or even the most effective. In fact, many systems question the need for a circle at all. Most people, however, at least acknowledge the usefulness of wards even if they question the necessity or extent of them.

Shields

Shields, for purposes of our discussion, refers to non-specific warding of yourself and your "personal space." It is fairly localized in that it is only intended to affect your immediate vicinity. There are many ways of doing this but we will concentrate on the quick and easy ones for now.

MIST OF PROTECTION

This is a simple, temporary shield intended to be stationary. Breathe slowly and deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Feel the warm, protective energy coming in as you inhale and visualize a white or golden cloud of mist leaving as you exhale. With each exhalation, the cloud will grow until it surrounds you with protection.

SILVER SPHERE

This is a more complex shield intended to "follow" you. If you do it regularly, and with the specific intent to make it permanent, it can be a very long-lasting and effective ward that works constantly "in the background." It does require a bit of skill at visualization, so don't expect to get it 'up and active' the first time you try it--work on it until you can 'see' it even with your eyes open, and use some of the other methods discussed here in the meantime. To create this shield, you must first decide on its shape. As the name implies, most people use a sphere or ball--some people use cubes, geodesic (2)spheres , pyramids, cylinders, etc.; the only things that really matter are that it is three dimensional, is a shape that's comfortable for you, and that it surrounds you completely. Once you've decided on the shape, practice visualizing it around you--if you are using a sphere, picture it as a giant ball with you "suspended" in the center. Once you have the shape down, begin 'building' it out of silver or mirrored glass. The point is to have a shape which surrounds you completely and that reflects all unwanted energies away from you.

DAEMON POLE (3)

This, like the Mist of Protection, is an immediate and localized ward. It is much quicker and more effective, though, because it requires the visualization skills of the Silver Sphere. It does take a lot of practice, but where the two methods above are shields that help prevent bad things from getting to you, the Daemon Pole technique can chase away things that are already there. It is a good idea, however, to build it and practice it before you need it, as it is nearly impossible to do "on the fly," the first time you try.

To create your own Daemon Pole, you must first design or decide on a face that is both scary and gives you a sense of comfort--it must be scary in order to chase away the 'bad things' and it must give you a sense of comfort because you will be calling it up from within yourself when you need it. Once you have constructed your own personal "gargoyle face" in your mind, you have to memorize it completely. When you can visualize it in detail without trying, you are ready to make the pole. To do this, simply imagine hundreds or thousands of little daemon faces extending outward from every point on your body. Each should remain connected to you on a "neck" that extends from your body at least a foot. They should 'pop' out instantaneously and be accompanied by a mental scream. This is also an effective banishment technique and can be performed from inside one of the other wards described in this lesson to drive out anything that may have been "inside" while it was constructed.

AMULETS (4)

Amulets and talismans will be covered in a later lesson, but for now it is reasonable to mention that any "found" object can be used as a ward. If you find a "lucky penny," happen across a stone that catches your eye, or even see a necklace that 'calls out to you' at a flea market, they can have protective qualities. The same applies to an object "found" as a gift from someone else.

PRAYER

Prayer can be used as a warding device--see the Advanced Techniques in the first lesson.

Raising a Circle

For purposes of this discussion, "raising a circle" refers to warding yourself and your immediate surroundings for a specific reason and period of time--for instance if you wish to ward yourself while meditating, if you are going to attempt astral (or some other form of) projection, or if you are performing some specific operation. This is the point at which many systems disagree about warding--most neo-pagan religious groups insist that constructing a magical circle while performing any kind of rite is necessary (though the actual function of the circle is often debated) (5) while many ceremonial magicians say a circle is unnecessary except in specific circumstances. It is a topic that is hotly debated, but what it really comes down to is that it is up to you. The phrase "better safe than sorry" comes to mind, though, especially for beginners.

As stated earlier, the most common form of warding is the "circle," and while many other shapes and forms exist, in this category of protective measures they can all be called by this name as they all serve basically the same function: to provide a circle of protection--a psychic or magical "fort"--from which you can operate with relative safety. If you are studying a system that refers to "casting" or "raising" a circle, any of these techniques can be used, though you should obviously follow specifics advocated by that particular system if you are studying it as a system rather than just for general knowledge.

It should be noted that circles are generally raised (or "cast") with a specific physical boundary, either drawn or created by arranging items in a perimeter. If you are outdoors you can draw a circle in the dirt or sand, or arrange pebbles or branches to denote the border. If you are indoors you can draw the circle with chalk or salt, or arrange candles or furniture to mark the circumference. The physical boundary, while technically unnecessary, is very useful for visualization purposes and is highly recommended for beginners.

It should also be noted that many circles are raised with specific religious names/phrases. Since we are avoiding dogmatic techniques as much as possible, the following examples use generic phrases (or merely suggestions for a type of phrase). Any of the following techniques can be adapted to a specific system by substituting the name or phrase of your choice.

"GENERIC" CIRCLE

Mark the physical boundary in whatever method is convenient or meaningful. Stand facing one of the cardinal directions (east or north is most common to start with) and say a prayer for protection--you can also simply repeat a phrase (such as "I build this circle to protect me from harm") or recite a passage of poetry that gives you a feeling of peace and safety. Repeat this three more times, facing each of the other cardinal directions in turn.

CIRCLE OF FIRE

Mark the physical boundary in whatever method is convenient or meaningful. Imagine a small fire starting on the circle (many people visualize green or blue flames to make them seem more "magical")--either as a smoldering along its entire length that gradually grows into a flame or as a flame that begins at one point and slowly spreads around the whole thing. When it starts, and as it grows, say a prayer, repeat some protective mantra, or recite a significant passage of poetry. When you can "see" the flames without thinking specifically about them, the circle is completed.

SILVER SPHERE

Mark the physical boundary in whatever method is convenient or meaningful. Construct a Silver Sphere as described above in the section on Shields, using the physical circle as an "equator."

CIRCLE OF THE ELEMENTS - I

You will need a candle or oil lamp, a cup or bowl of water, a bowl containing salt or earth, and incense of some kind. Mark the physical boundary in whatever method is convenient or meaningful. Start at one of the cardinal directions (north or east is most common), and walk around the inside of the circle carrying the candle in front of you repeating the phrase "I build this circle with Fire to protect me" (or something similar). Repeat this process, sprinkling the water and salt at each of the cardinal points and replacing the word "Fire" with "Water" for the water, "Earth" for the salt or earth, and "Air" for the incense. Alternately, you can use a fan made of paper, fabric or feathers instead of the incense, waving it outward a few times at each of the cardinal points.

CIRCLE OF THE ELEMENTS - II

You will need the above materials for this technique as well. Mark the physical boundary in whatever method is convenient or meaningful. Place an object at each of the cardinal points, repeating the phrase relevant to that particular object as you do so. A common pattern is Earth to the North, Fire to the South, Air to the East and Water to the West.

CIRCLE OF THE ELEMENTS - III

You will need four of each of the items listed for the first version of this circle. Mark the physical boundary in whatever method is convenient or meaningful. Choose one of the items to start with, and place it at each of the cardinal points--e.g. place a candle due north, due south, due east and due west--repeating the relevant phrase for that element each time you do so. Take the next item and place one on the circumference of the circle precisely in the middle of the two already in place, repeating the relevant phrase for that element. Do this again for each of the remaining items/elements. The resulting pattern should look like this:

CONE OF PROTECTION

Mark the physical boundary in whatever method is convenient or meaningful. Repeat the phrase "I raise this circle to protect me, and charge it with the power to keep me safe from harm" (or something similar) while you visualize the circle glowing with a white or golden light that spreads along the ground to form a solid "floor" of energy, and at the same time converges smoothly to a point above your head. When you can see this solid cone of light surrounding you completely without specifically thinking about it, the circle is finished.

RING OF DAEMONS

Mark the physical boundary in whatever method is convenient or meaningful. Perform the Daemon Pole technique as described above in the section on General Protection, extending the 'necks' so that the faces reach the edge of your boundary. Maintain the visualization (with the heads barking, growling or making some other fearsome noise) while you repeat the phrase "Guard this circle and protect all within it" (or something similar), then "release" the necks and allow the faces to fly away. Alternately, you can concentrate intently on the phrase and then release the daemons, letting them 'shoot' out of you and beyond the circle in one smooth burst.

Permanent Warding for a Specific Location

Many people like to ward locations that they use regularly or that they wish to protect from harm. Who wouldn't like to feel that their house is protected or that a favored glen is safe? The following techniques and practices tend to fall more under the category of "spell" or "magical working" than the previous sections simply because they are intended to be permanent and therefore often involve using (or making) items that will stay in that location.

As with nearly everything else discussed in this series, there is a multitude of ways to provide "permanent warding" for specific locations, but the simplest are often the most effective. It should be noted that the warding of a location as described in the techniques below is of a more general nature than those described above. While these techniques will provide you with a "spiritual sanctuary" (hopefully negating the need for shielding techniques), they are not a substitute for raising a circle where those techniques are common. You do, however, strengthen and reinforce the protective nature of a permanent ward every time you raise a shield or circle within it.

STEALTH WARD - I

These are intended as "quick and dirty" techniques for places that are semi-permanent, such as a hotel room, your personal workspace, etc. They are simple and inconspicuous to perform, but are not necessarily as "permanent" as the more conspicuous and complex techniques described below.

You will need a little salt and a little water--obviously water obtained from a natural source would be ideal as would sea salt or salt from a lick (6) or mine, but tap water and table salt will do. Mix the water and salt together, repeating some sort of blessing as you do so--a prayer, a poem, or a simple phrase such as "I charge this water and salt to protect me from harm." If the area to be warded is small (such as a desk or automobile), simply dip your finger in the mixture and trace a line around it, rewetting your finger as necessary. If the area is larger (such as a hotel room or a section of a building), simply anoint the walls at close intervals, or sprinkle drops along the floor. If this is the extent of warding for this object or area, you may want to repeat it weekly.

STEALTH WARD - II

You will need a small sachet (7), bag or bowl of potpourri. Place the potpourri comfortably in front of you where you can breathe on it without blowing. Do the Mist of Protection as described above in the section on Shields, but focus the mist into the potpourri rather than letting it gather around you. See the mist flow into the container and be absorbed by the plants until they cannot hold anymore. The ward will be effective as long as the potpourri lasts. When the potpourri loses its aroma, discard it and charge a new batch.

STEALTH WARD - III

Perform the Silver Sphere as described above in the section on Shields, extending it to whatever boundaries are needed for the situation. When you have occasion to leave the area, visualize the sphere and see it staying put as you leave. When you return, visualize it being there. Feel the resistance when you enter or leave it. This will need constant reinforcement, but is very effective.

HOUSE BLESSING

Clean your house or apartment thoroughly, not just straightening but actually washing the walls, etc. While this is not absolutely necessary, it does increase the effectiveness dramatically. Once clean, including whatever repairs you intend to make in the "near future," go to the 'spiritual center' of the house (wherever you spend the most time or do the most activities) and light some incense. Fumigate the room by walking the incense around and letting the smoke permeate every part of it, including the walls. Move to the next room, and repeat the process. Make a circuit of your house, making sure to hit every room in turn.

Once you have fumigated the entire house, return to the room in which you started and anoint all the doors and windows with salt water (prepared as described above in Stealth Ward I) or with an "oil of protection." You can also draw protective sigils (8) with the water or oil, such as crosses pentagrams, hammers of Thor, etc. Alternately, you can anoint each room individually as you finish fumigating it.

IRON NAILS

Popular in the Celtic countries and in Colonial America, driving an iron nail into each opening of a home (every window and door, and the mantel if the home had a fireplace) was considered to be protection from harmful spirits or forces. It can be more effective if used as the last part of House Blessing.

WITCH BOTTLE

Perhaps the oldest continuing practice to magically protect a home, this technique predates Christianity and continues through it, unscathed, right up to modern times. It is simple, if disgusting, to make, but adequate protective measures should be taken in its construction. You will need a wide-mouthed jar with lid, some broken glass or a small mirror, some nails, needles, pins, barbed wire and/or anything else you can find that is sharp (being rusty only helps), a full bladder, and, optionally, a safe way to cut yourself or collect blood safely.

Put the shards of metal and glass in the jar so that they are mixed together in a jumble. Fill the jar with urine--fill it directly if possible, though transferring it from another "collection" vessel will work. If you are going to add some blood, do it after adding the urine. Close the jar up tightly, sealing it as well as possible--electrical or duct tape will work well, as will dipping it in paraffin (instead or as well). If you have a house, bury it upside down in the yard. If you live in an apartment, keep it right side up, and disguise it with ribbons, flowers, or some other decorations.

The urine and/or blood will draw whatever energies would normally be attracted to you, the sharp iron and steel will catch it, diminishing its power both through the effect of the iron and the sharpness of the object, while the glass and mirror shards will cut it apart and reflect it away.

More specific forms of warding and protection will be discussed in later lessons, as they become relevant.


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FOOTNOTES

(1) Wards are simply techniques or devices that provide you with some degree of protection. It is a general term that covers everything from "psychic self-defense" to defensive "spells" and protection from physical harm. It should be noted, though, that like any form of protection, there are no guarantees. Any ward, magical or otherwise, should be used as an additional caution rather than as a reason to ignore caution. BACK

(2) A geodesic dome (also commonly called a Bucky-ball after its inventor, R. Buckminster Fuller) is a building in the form of a sphere or a section of a sphere. It is built by connecting hundreds or thousands of triangles at slight angles to each other. The most famous geodesic dome is the Epcot Center at Disney World. BACK

(3) The term 'demon' or 'daemon' in its original form meant "little god" and referred to beings that would today be called 'angels,' though the people using the term also had their form of "Angels/Daemons." As the word passed into other languages it became 'daemon,' 'djinn,' etc. Making its way into Latin, it originally referred to general spirits conducting the work of the creator ('Angel' came to refer to those spirits that acted as messengers). Due to the connotation attached to the term by the Church during the Middle Ages, the spelling of "daemon" is used here to refer to it's original connotation of a "helping or protecting spirit." BACK

(4) The terms "amulet" and "talisman" are often used interchangeably today. Originally, though, they referred to two different types of objects. An amulet is, technically, an object whose power comes from some innate property (e.g.: a piece of magnetite [naturally magnetized iron ore] provides protection from harmful magic, a four-leaf clover brings luck, etc.). A talisman, on the other hand, was originally either an object specifically created for a certain purpose or a mundane object empowered for a specific reason (e.g.: a Saint Christopher medallion to provide safety for travelers, a horseshoe nailed above a door in a certain way to bring luck to a household, etc.).

Some sources give the difference between "amulet" and "talisman" as the distinction that an amulet is worn while a talisman is carried. BACK

(5) While most systems raise a circle as protection from baneful or distracting energies, some systems claim the circle is raised as a "projecting lens" to magnify the power of whatever is done within it. The latter usually use variations on the Cone of Protection technique, and many reverse it, with the point down and the "mouth" facing up (outward). BACK

(6) A salt lick is a place where salt is either naturally precipitated from a water source or where it "seeps" to the surface from an underground source. They are fairly rare, but a fair number of them exist across the country. BACK

(7) A sachet is simple a "pillow" filled with an aromatic herb or mixture and sewn shut. BACK

(8) A sigil (pronounced either SIG-el or SIJ-el) is simply a character or symbol of some kind with an occult purpose. "X" is simply a letter--view it in light of Christianity and it becomes a symbol--use it as a form of protection and it becomes a sigil. BACK