Magickal Protection

As Pagans, most of us during any form of working (such as trance, rituals, spells, meditation — basically any time you open yourself to the energies of the universe) will create some form of protective rite. While it is wise to protect oneself, it is equally important to understand exactly what we are protecting ourselves from. So lets start by clearing up a few misconceptions, we are generally not protecting ourselves from "magickal attacks", demons or other forces that are seeking to harm us (though of course, if some such should be happening we would also be protected from those as well).

Lets take a look at these events; despite Hollywood hype magickal attacks are a relatively rare occurrence. Very few people, if any, are capable of and have the inclination to pursue 'combative magick', for it is very costly, in time, energy and universal debt. So much so that even practitioners of the so called 'black arts' seldom engage in this form of magick, 'magickal warfare', without the greatest provocation. In other words there has to be a very good reason for any practitioner of the occult sciences to attempt an attack on another practitioner magickally and risk starting a long, 'costly' and protracted 'war'. On the other hand it can certainly tickle the fancy of some, and within other's it tickles the vanity for some to believe others seem them as important enough a 'rival' to be getting attacked. Roughly 90% of all alleged 'magickal attacks' are nothing more than glamorous internal projections by people with overactive egos and imaginations!

Real Magickal Protection

When a Pagan discusses Magickal Protection what they are usually referring to is a rite designed to assist the practitioner in separating the energy they are utilizing from the rest of the energy flowing around, thereby keeping away 'undesirable' energies. It is all about concentration. The term literally means 'to lead towards one's center' but also implies selecting and excluding the undesired. This creates a sphere of protection with the practitioner at it's center. There are no energies within this sphere other than those brought there by the practitioner.

In this the sphere — most commonly and incorrectly referred to as 'the circle', this incorrect terminology becomes confusing to new practitioners when they are "told to cast the circle" and are in fact required to build a sphere of magickal energy. The reference to the circle is in fact a reference to the fact that within some sectors of Pagan belief, none is 'better' in the circle than another so they all stand on level ground surrounding the place of worship (generally the altar) inside the "sphere of protection" and so one 'casts the circle' — enables all to stand within a sacred space equally) the practitioner is 'protected' from disruptive energies, while at the same time containing the desirable energy. Much as a scientist must keep dust, radiation, humidity away from a sensitive experiment, so must practitioners of the occult sciences create an optimum working environment. The ideal conditions being, concentration, total control of one's own mind and body and a precise awareness of the subtle changes in the energy flow that is around and within us all.

We have already discussed that we are not trying to keep out negative beings such as demons, but energies themselves can be dangerous, simply as they can be unpredictable, and so sensible precautions must be taken, however this should not be a paranoid fear of the unexplained (in fact if your do feel this way then perhaps this is not for you). The experienced rock climber instinctively shows greater caution than a beginner — they understand the forces they are dealing with, how to combat or control them but also how damaging they can be when misinterpreted. The experienced practitioner knows that with the correct approach to magick comes the mark of a serious practitioner of the occult sciences. This is the understanding of magickal protection that needs to be remembered for your practices.

The most common and ancient for of protection is the 'magickal circle' (traditionally a sphere 9 feet in diameter). Like all forms of protective symbols it needs to be visualized into being. The practitioner aims to project the symbol with such an intensity that it can be perceived an a conscious 'hallucination'. It is not important if the projection is visual as long as it can be perceived (aurally or physically etc) in it's intensity. Ideally it should be able to be perceived in some manner by all present.

There are several reasons for the 'circles' popularity as a symbol of protection, without beginning or end the circle (and via that the sphere) serves as a symbol of the infinite cycle of birth-death-rebirth. Although the circle is the most common symbol of magickal protection it is not the only one. There are many ways in which one can create magickal protection, some simple, others complex, it is up to each practitioner to experiment with different forms and establish what works for the individual.

The following are some forms of Magickal Protection:

  • "White Lighting" — For use during simple solitary meditations, to cleanse the aura, etc.
  • "Spheres" — For use during simple solitary meditations, to cleanse the aura, etc.
  • Basic Circle Casting — For use with small groups in meditations, simple workings, trance work, regressions etc.
  • Ceremonial Circle Casting — For use in Covens or Large gatherings for meditations, complex workings, where large amounts of energies are being utilized, etc.
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