Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Basic Banishing and Psychic Hygiene

I know that we are going to have more in-depth posts on topics of banishing and psychic hygiene, but I couldn't resist posting this brief intro right away. Maintaining your psychic and energetic health is one of the most important aspects of spiritual work and spirit keeping. Without a basic knowledge of how to get rid of "psychic sludge" you will find yourself dealing with physical, mental, and emotional trouble.

The mental, physical, emotional, and energetic "bodies" of a person are all connected to each other. Furthermore, they all need regular maintenance, activity, and care to stay healthy. Most people know this is true of the mind, the body, and the emotions; but many people don't know they even HAVE an energetic body -- and have no idea how to care for it.

Banishing is a basic technique of psychic hygiene. To BANISH something is to make it leave. I feel it is important to know how to banish before you ever call a spirit or energy to you. You wouldn't let someone in your house without knowing you can get them to leave. Some guests, like some spirits, will leave on their own at the end of a visit. Others need to be told politely that the time is up. And some folks have to be told (forcibly) to GO.

There are a few different ways to handle this. I would highly recommend performing a banishing. It could be something as complicated as the Star Ruby or Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. Or you could banish the entity by proclaiming "Get out" while focusing on the intruder. I like something a little in between. You can say/chant the following Greek words:

Hekas, o hekas, este bebeloi.

It translates to "Afar, afar, o ye Profane." So, really, it is saying "Get out, bad spirit." But in Greek. ;) I like it because it links into that energy-connected part of the brain, and it makes a very nice chant.

Whatever you say, say it with meaning and conviction. And picture the spirit/energy being forced away.

You can also use physical items to banish. Florida Water or some other very floral perfumed water can be sprinkled around you and your home. You can cleanse yourself with salt-water -- including swishing some in your mouth. You can smudge with sage or cedar bundles -- or burn an incense stick that has a clearing effect.

All of these techniques should work wonders. You may have to "banish, rinse, repeat", as I like to say. Banishing is like sweeping the floors. Dust and schmutz can come back, and you have to sweep again.

The Trouble with Fairies

Everyone loves fairies. They little people. The good neighbors. Connected to nature as guardians and elementals, who doesn't love the fey?

Truthfully, I approach fairies from every culture -- but particularly the fey and sidhe -- with some caution. Fairies are tricksy. Like most spiritual entities, fairies are looking out for themselves (or for their habitat), and their needs and wants can be very foreign to humans.

Depending on where you live in the world, you probably have some sort of fairy spirit living on or near the property where your home sits. They're the "good neighbors" in Celtic lore ... but only if we are good neighbors to them. It is wise to propitiate the fairies in your area BEFORE there is a problem.

What sorts of problems can fairies cause?

  • tangling the hair of sleepers into "elf locks"
  • stealing small items or 
  • leading a traveler astray
  • some forms of sudden death 
  • wasting illnesses
  • paralysis and mysterious illness in animals

You can protect yourself against unwanted fairy encounters, which is the most common type of advice given regarding fairies. If you wish not to be disturbed by fairies, implementing one of these tools/tricks can help you:
  • cold iron
  • wearing clothing inside out
  • running water
  • bells (especially church bells) 
  • St. John's wort
  • four-leaf clovers
However, if you are more interested in developing a respectful relationship with the "good people," you can use one of these sacred and beloved offerings to your benefit:
  • rowan trees (berries, twigs) 
  • bread
  • cream and butter

Common sense is always key, though. Even if you have a good relationship with the fair folk, you should really think twice before:
  • following a will o' the wisp
  • lingering in fairy haunts
  • digging in fairy hills 

Finally, a sure way to have a lasting relationship with one of the little people is to learn the name of a particular fairy. As with most beings, knowing an individual's name gives you a bond.

Basic Magical Education

If you are interested in learning how to do this work for yourself, you can either study independently or with a teacher. Gemma is an excellent teacher — having been a professional educator for many years. Wherever you study, you education should include:

1. Grounding and Centering — The magician is the center of her own Universe, and from a place of balance she can control the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit.

2. Sensing, Raising, and Moving Energy — The magician should be able to sense, generate, and control the flow of the energies listed above.

3. Shielding — You don’t want to be bombarded or bothered by these energies, so you must know how to shield from them.

4. Invoking and Evoking — All effective magicians must know how to call energy and spirits into their presence and into their bodies to accomplish their work.

5. Banishing — If you call it, you need to know how to get rid of it. Whether you prefer sage smudge or the Star Ruby (a ceremonial banishing using ancient Greek language), you must be able to rid yourself of unwanted Spirits.

6. Laws of Magic — A sorceress can’t function properly without a basic understanding of the way magic works.

7. Psychism, Divination, and Spirit Communication — This will give you some tools to communicate with the Unseen World of Spirits.

8. Ethics — You must know where your ethical boundaries are.

I recommend the following texts for close study as you begin:
Modern Magick by Donald Michael Kraig
The Essential Guide to Possession, Depossession, and Divine Relationships by Diana Paxson
The Witches' Key to the Legion: A Guide to Solomonic Sorcery by Laurelei Black