06 August 2011

Of Chimes And Wards, Part II

Briars were the inspiration for this protective ritual.
Normally I do not make my chants, incantations, or whatever you want to call the verbal part of a ritual rhyme; however, I wanted to perform this one from memory, and rhyming—cheesy as it may sound—facilitated the memorization process. Thus, please forgive the occasional cheesiness of the poetry written into my ritual. I performed this one to set up a semi-permanent ward, which I can disassemble by unraveling my briars in a few months when I leave, in order to protect my personal space from unwanted intrusion, spiritual or otherwise. The ritual could easily be adapted to protect a larger or smaller space. I used it for a bedroom + closet.

One last prefacing note:
Before you begin any part of this ritual, make sure that the space you wish to cleanse and ward is physically clean of dust as well as neat and organized. If you’re room, house, or apartment is a mess on the physical plane, then the spiritual/ethereal/Other plane likely resembles it. Furthermore, the mess provides lots of little spots for negativity to accumulate.


  • Juniper berries, dried works fine
  • Rainbow obsidian, I used a polished tumbled stone, but any form works
  • Salt, preferably sea salt although any will do
  • Black candle, preferably with some protective herbs or oils in the mix
  • Chalice, bowl, large shell, or some other water-safe container
  • Water, I like to collect rain and use that, but hey—water is water
  • Hanging chimes (see previous entry)

1.   Prepare for ritual in your customary fashion. Whatever you normally do, do. If you want, you can even cast a circle, although because of the nature of this particular ward, a circle is unnecessary. Set forth the salt, water, chalice, obsidian, juniper berries, hanging chimes, and black candle on your alar.

2.   Sit before your altar in a comfortable position and meditate, focusing your will and gathering energy. When you can feel your body humming (or however the “ready” feeling presents to you), light the black candle.

3.   Pour the water and salt into the chalice slowly while chanting:
Salted water, crystal clear,
Bless, cleanse, and purify
4.   Hold the obsidian in your palm, then place it in the water as well, so that it comes to rest at the bottom of the chalice. Chant:
Smooth obsidian, black as night,
Banish evil from my sight.
Whether human, ghost, or toad,
Or else some demon from below,
Repel all that would do me harm;
Strengthen my protection charm.
5.   Take the chalice and, in a clockwise direction, sprinkle the salt water around the room or space you wish to cleanse. Splash a little extra on any doors or windows, as these are likely to be higher-traffic locations, as well as the corners of the room(s).

6.   When you have completed the cleansing portion (salt water), take the juniper berries and hide them, clockwise, along the perimeter of the cleansed area so that the berries are both hidden from sight and unlikely to be moved due to future vacuuming. Envision each berry connected to the next with a line of dark, blue-green energy. As you do so, chant—as many times as necessary to complete the perimeter—the following:
Juniper, with berries brave,
With you a barrier I create.
Let none pass against my will,
Neither through door nor windowsill.
You will be a moat, a line of power;
Guard me well within my tower.
7.   Return to the altar, removing the chimes and the chalice. Hang the chimes somewhere near the doorway or primary entrance. Sprinkle water from the chalice onto the chimes, while saying:
I fashioned you with my own hands,
From yarn and shells, pearl and bone.
I fashioned you by my own design,
From glass and metal, wood and stone.
I fashioned you with a purpose,
Which I charge you now to perform:
Whenever something crosses my threshold,
Me you shall then inform.
8.   Give the chimes a good jingle, then return to the altar with the candle. Return to a meditative state, envisioning the complete line of power stretching between each juniper berry along the perimeter of the room. Use that line to anchor your ward as you build walls of briars and brambles from the ground (floor) up to the ceiling. Work slowly, entwining the briars of your mind securely, so that nothing can get through without your consent. Envision the briars climbing around the door—add strength to the door, and a heavy lock that your will alone can open—and connecting in arches at the ceiling. As you build, chant the following rhyme three times (if it takes you longer than three to fully envision your briar ward, then simply pause between repetitions or recite it more slowly):
By the power of Earth and Sky,
I send away all Evil Eye,
Banish dark and dangerous power,
Day by day, hour by hour.
Surround me with protective briar,
A moat of Water, a shield of Fire.
From the arrow and from the sword,
Here I build my magic ward.
As you say each line, envision the words solidifying, thickening, and strengthening the bramble barrier you are building, the dark blue-green energy of the juniper berries flowing through the vines and briars as well as the floor beneath you. If you wish, you can add the moat and the shield as well. (I did.)

~*~ or ~*~

If you wish to build your ward on another metaphor, instead of my cozy little bramble patch, you can create it out of stone or brick or wood or, really, anything you feel more comfortable with. Another, more general, and less-cheesy incantation is below:
From evil, from illness, from danger,
From all of those who seek to harm,
From above and from below,
From North, from East, from South, from West,
I protect this space and all who in good will enter.
9.   When you have completely constructed your barriers, send one last jolt of energy through them for good measure, then slowly return to center and withdraw to a normal state of consciousness. Extinguish the candle. Do whatever you do when you finish a ritual, then go about your daily life. However, every so often, it helps to close your eyes and “see” the ward in place, just to make sure it’s still strong and healthy. Furthermore, whenever you use the door, imagine that you are opening—however briefly—your envisioned “door,” then closing it again as you leave. It helps to maintain the spell.

Of Chimes And Wards, Part I

My Spiritual Alarm System.
Yesterday I finally got around to accomplishing something I’d meant to accomplish since I first got to my little space in Missouri: I cleansed and warded my room. I had planned to do it on Saturday, but a series of disturbing dreams Wednesday and Thursday and the burning desire to just get it done prompted me to spend my Thursday evening planning and preparing for the ritual. Then, a surprise two hours of free time Friday morning (weather caused the cancelation of my unit’s PT) allotted me the time to actually perform it. This was not my first attempt at cleansing an area, and in fact constituted a much smaller scale cleansing than my first, but it was the first time that I tried to set up a semi-permanent ward. I’m calling it semi-permanent because I built it to last for the duration of my time here, but also plan to dismantle it when I leave so that my energy doesn’t interfere with whoever uses this room after me.

The burning desire to get this done as soon as possible began Wednesday with merely a spark that slowly progressed into a full-fledged burning. I won’t go into the details of my dreams, but suffice it to say they left me with a growing unease and the awareness of lots of bad juju floating around. I didn’t want to live in that kind of negativity, and it was causing me undue stress. Ergo, cleansing. I decided to build a ward (and by “ward” I mean a standalone protective spell/barrier to prevent any unwanted entity from entering what is now *my* space) because my current roommate has a lot of—shall we say—presence about her that I don’t really want crossing my threshold uninvited. I also don’t like her boyfriend. He’s weird.

That one’s coming from me, and I’m nothing if not eccentric.

Anywho, I designed my little spell around several concepts: briars and brambles, which I’ve always found to be one of Mother Nature’s most elegant barriers; clinking chimes, which I made myself several months ago but had yet to employ in a folkloric capacity [more on wind chimes and their history here]; and, of course, visualization. I’ll post a full outline of the ritual in my next entry. For now, I’ll continue to explain my theories behind what I did.

I had made the chimes using natural materials as much as possible: metal wire, mostly of the copper sort; sandstone colored yarn; seashells, of various sizes and shapes, which I had collected at the beach over the years; nuggets of carnelian, jade, green jasper, blue-lace agate, clear quartz, coral, and real turquoise (not dyed howlite); beads made from copper, glass, bone, and wood; and natural rice pearls. I employed several different knotting and braiding techniques while weaving the yarn around the wire frame and to connect the web of clinking shells and beads that comprised the chimes. While making them, low these several months, I burned incense and focused on protective, positive energy. Every material I used (with the exception of the wire and the yarn, for obvious reasons), I used in numbers that have a certain significance: three, five, seven, thirteen, and some multiples thereof. What can I say? I have a thing for prime numbers, and I fully disagree with the cult of thirteen as unlucky.

The chimes have been hanging on the handle of the door to my room—just as they are depicted in the photograph above—since I first unpacked them. However, I had not consecrated them to their purpose (ward away evil spirits, alert me to the presence of anything crossing the threshold, etc) until yesterday. They simply hung there, looking very primeval and mystic, and making a slight jingle whenever I opened the door. Nevertheless, now my chimes are thoroughly aware of their purpose, as I formally charged them with it as part of my warding ritual. All of this description was in an effort to explain part of the spell, as it incorporated having hand-made chimes as a spiritual alarm system. The ritual could easily be adapted—just alter the wording—to account for gifted or purchased wind chimes, or else excluding the chimes entirely.

Thus, I feel all accomplished and witchy right now. I haven’t felt anything trying to invade yet, but between Gregory the Gargoyle, my juniper berry perimeter (don’t worry, no pets or small children here, so the berries are at no risk to poisoning anything except bad juju), and my impenetrable bramble barrier, I feel quite protected when in my room. Expect the recipe for my room cleansing & warding ritual in a few hours! Blessed be.

03 August 2011

Some Pictures To Hold You Over Until Real Blogging Returns

I’m almost completely unpacked. I have one shelf already full of books—organized by subject matter and genre—and a shelf full of, well, random other things that I don’t have any space for. Currently, my jewelry box, the knickknacks I brought from my room in Virginia, and two clutches full of bulky bracelets and hair accessories. The top two shelves (I have four) are mostly empty. One more to fill with books, all of which are for pleasure reading, and then the other will probably be another shelf full of random things I didn’t have any space for elsewhere.

Last night before I went to bed, I brought in the chest I had sitting in the trunk of my car, containing a plethora of books (some of which = currently on shelf) and then organized it for all my Pagan things. As I may or may not have remembered to mention previously, I recently painted a wooden box to contain all my little tools and such that I like to periodically use in my practice: candles, incense, feathers, tumbled gemstones, crystal balls, totem statuettes, etc. Nothing really expensive, and most of it homemade or at least home-altered in some fashion. I’m a big fan of personalization. If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you likely already knew that one.

That box, plus a box that was made to look like a book (a gift from a friend, long ago), plus my library of Pagan-related books, plus the extra candles and the wooden athame that I use and a mask that I recently painted (still unfinished) all fit in the giant wicker chest, which is presently sitting at the foot of my bed with a blanket over top of it and Midnight, my not-so-creatively-named stuffed black panther, guarding it. She’s good at that; she’s sat atop that chest for years, even back when it had much more mundane contents.

The only tool, book, or random artifact that I use regularly in my practice that is not now located in the described Chest of Mysteries, which I’m not referring to it as, is my well-worn copy of A Book of Pagan Prayer by Ceisiwr Serith. That book sits on my nightstand by my bed.

And, now, for some pictures of the Chest of Mysteries with its mysterious contents as well as the painted box I made. Enjoy!

My painted box :)
A closeup of the spiral-alpha symbol, which
represents, well, me. Top down view of my box.
The open box. Note the "gilding" details.
The lid from the inside. Anden is the name I use in my
practice. While not my given name, I consider it my
magical name, or true name, or inner name.
The afore-mentioned Chest of Mysteries, in all its
mysterious mystery. Full to the brim.

01 August 2011

Slowly Settling In. SLOWLY.

My home for the next few months. Map from here.
Well, it’s been a helluva day so far.

I’m officially moved out of my parents’ house and slowly but surely settling in down in Missouri. It’s hotter here than Virginia was, but less humid, if only slightly. The humidity, as they say, is what really gets you. I have my own bedroom, but I share a bathroom and kitchenette with another woman. She’s moving out in about three weeks, but then I’ll likely get another roommate before too long. I’ve unpacked most of my things already, but the trunk of my car is still full (mostly of books, some clothes for later in the year once the weather turns, my electric guitar, and then a garbage bag full of shoes).

The drive was relatively uneventful, although there was a near-miss involving a blind spot, someone flying up on my left, and an attempted lane-change. Luckily, swerving saved us both, and there’s not a scratch on Shadowfax. Yet. Shadowfax, of course, being the name of my car. I spent Saturday night at my aunt & uncle’s house and then rolled onto my new post Sunday afternoon to get my apartment, although it has more of the feel of a dorm. Some of my friends who showed up earlier have slightly larger rooms and more furnishings in their kitchen—we just have a microwave, a toaster, a blender, and a fridge—but I’m ok with this. It’s not like I’m an expert chef anyway, so I can live without a stovetop. What’s a few more months living off ramen and microwaveable dinners? And, of course, takeout.

The statue of Diana that my grandfather carved is currently sitting in the corner at the foot of my bed. There isn’t really anywhere else to put it, and I’m certainly not going to relegate one of my matron goddesses to the closet, spacious as that closet may be. I have plenty of room under my bed for my guitars and keyboard, and some overhead space in the closet for my empty suitcases. The shelves I filled with my uniforms, hung up some of my dresses, and folded the rest of my clothes and put them in drawers. I have both a bureau and a desk with lots of drawer space, so with only one more suitcase to unpack (and most of that one isn’t even clothes anyway), I have a full two and a half drawers left of empty space. I’m pretty much set.

Gregory the Gargoyle is currently sitting on my desk, staring at me as I type. I hooked up my printer—had to buy a USB cable for that this morning so I could link it to my computer, since our rooms have Ethernet and not WiFi—so that’s a sigh of relief, too. I’ve already had to print a bazillion forms and make a bazillion copies.

Anywho, I have to run to a formation in a few minutes, so I need to get ready to leave. And by run, I mean drive. I probably wouldn’t make it if I had to run.

I’ll fill in some more details and resume regular blogging activities once I’m a little more settled in here. Until then, my posting will likely be sporadic like it was all summer.