The Maniacal Rantings of the Urban Crone

Bear witness to the rantings of the Urban Crone as she emparts her wisdom in her own rather quirky way.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Protective Practices Part Two: Diagnostics and Damage Control

Seeing the Signs
Now that we have some understanding of what dangers are out there, you may be feeling a little paranoid. That is completely understandable. But, where is that line between being paranoid and there really being something going on? How do we tell? The following are signs that you may be dealing with some kind of psychic hazard:
&  That creepy, crawly kind of feel that leave you feeling just little unnerved, a little on edge, like someone stepped on your grave or is watching you or even close to you, only you can’t quite see them or pin point it. It can be that cold chill and over all feeling that something is way wrong. The key to this is that no matter what you try, you can’t seem to shake that feeling.
&  Spirits, undeparted souls and other celestial critters can cause environmental changes in your space. There may be cold or warm “spots” in a room, or a place that feels oppressive or just wrong somehow.  It may even be a place that small children or animals react to in a peculiar manner.
&  A long chain of chaos in your life, going above and beyond the normal string of bad luck, that seems to just all of the sudden start and continues in a random sort of way. These can be physical accidents, financial and transportational issues, issues with personal relationships, losing personally significant and important items, and other forms of bad luck. The main theme for this chain of events is that these are very random problems that arise where there were none to begin with.
&  Sudden physical illness, that spring up out of no where, without any discernable cause. This can include insomnia, as well as a deep feeling of melancholy and depression, even a feeling of emotional heaviness that can center in the Heart or Root Chakra. A mysterious and sudden onset of a headache at the third eye, or pain located around the chakra centers, can also be a sign. This is especially true in cases where the attack is aimed at one’s spiritual core and sense of being.
&  Reoccurring nightmares or night terrors can be a sign. Brief but disturbing visions or clairaudient episodes that pop up almost on the edge of your consciousness are signs as well, something you just barely hear or see but you know there was something. Sudden sleep walking or losses of periods of time are also signs.
Please note that if any or all of these suddenly manifest right after you receive an item from someone, like a gift or package, immediately deal with the item by either destroying it, or if you really want to keep the item, doing some serious cleansing to the item. One of the easiest ways to psychically attack someone is to attach a curse or hex to any item.
Direct physical contact is another way a curse or hex can be passed on. If any of this begins directly after your contact with one specific person, examine what is going on between the two of you. Make sure you are looking at things from a logical stand point and that you have a legitimate reason to suspect this person may have actually hexed you. Just because someone is angry at you, or a person is knowledgeable about hexes, curses and other forms of magic or seems like the type to cast a hex or a curse, does not necessarily mean that is what they did. Make sure if you choose to confront someone, you have solid, legitimate proof that person has actually done something, or you will be creating a lot of needless drama and chaos for nothing, and looking a little nuts and paranoid to boot.
Also, if you are around someone who may be experiencing these issues, take a moment and ask them if they are ok. A few outward signs to look for are sudden changes in appearance and demeanor, separating from a group and hibernating when they are normally social and active. People do change and go through issues, but if it seems radical, random and very all of the sudden, it isn’t going to hurt to ask if there may be something going on, or at least touch base and say “hey, I am here if you need me”.
We are hard pressed to be able to tell whether we are experiencing a psychic hazard or not. For some, their first instinct is to blow off incidents as part of normal life; others see curses and hexes at every turn. Even when we see all the signs, we sometimes need something outside of ourselves or our experience to show us that something is really wrong.
Divinatory Diagnostics:
If you have not received a gift or item from anyone, or can legitimately tie events to one specific person, and you are still dealing with any or all of these symptoms, the next step is to figure out what is going on using divination. Diagnostic divination is the best way to figure out if what is going on and how to deal with it.
I strongly advise having somebody who does not know much about the situation, or about what is going on in your life, to perform the divination. It is always best to involve someone you trust that you know will give you a clearer perspective on things than you may have yourself. We can also, sometimes, perceive things as much bigger or much worse than they actually are. An impartial reader can guide you in the right direction to solve whatever issue you have going on.
Most divinatory mediums such as Tarot, pendulums, Runes and scrying are great for diagnosing psychic hazards. Pendulums are especially usefully for checking your chakras, and for checking specific items or your actual space for negative energy that may be lingering. Pendulums and spirit boards can be utilized to help narrow down who may be sending you harmful energy as well.
The more information you can gather about what is going on, the better prepared you will be to fix it. Knowledge really is power. Sometimes, just knowing what the issue specifically is starts the process of correcting it on its own. We begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel and start generating positive energy of our own to counteract the harmful energy that has been plaguing your life.
Problem Solving and Damage Control
    Once you have figured out what the issue is, the next step is to deal with it. I have two philosophies on dealing with psychic hazards. My first philosophy is that if you are not sure what to do, ask someone you trust for help. Psychic hazards can wear you down physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually to the point where it is hard enough to just stay functional, let alone figure out how you can fix things. A clear perspective and mind can often see a clear solution, or at least help with finding one.
My second philosophy is to keep your solutions simple. Do not just throw everything that isn’t nailed down at the issue and hope something will work. Not only does this often not work out right, but this can even make the issue bigger than it was to begin with. It is also a huge expenditure and scattering of energy, something you cannot afford to waste when dealing with psychic hazards.
When you are dealing with any sort of psychic hazard, your first response is really damage control, figure out what you can do as quickly as possible to potentially stop things from getting worse and maybe even solve the issue completely. By the time we realize that something is really going on, things have escalated to a serious point, or there is already a pretty sizable, logistical mess. Your way of dealing with these psychic hazards needs to be a simple, well thought-out piece of magic.
One of the simplest solutions to a number of psychic hazards that can sometimes take care of the issue quickly is cleansing your space. We are not talking about just waving some incense around but some serious cleansing of your space. Extreme cleansing should be the absolute first thing you do. Often, the act of extreme cleansing itself can take care of most issues, the effects being felt almost immediately. Extreme cleansing has two steps:
 Reiving: this is defined as physical cleaning with the intent of also removing any and all negative energy, as well as clearing clutter and making sure there is no place for this harmful energy to collect and pool. 
Smudging: this is not just walking around waving incense. Smudging your space involves serious intent, visualizing the removal of any residual harmful energy. Make sure that you are burning herbs or incense that has cleansing properties for this, like frankincense & myrrh or sage. Work in a counter-clockwise motion, moving through the space in such a way to where you can push this negative energy you are gathering out of an outside door or window. Make sure that the smoke reaches the floor, the ceiling and every corner of the space you are working on so nothing is missed.
If, for some reason, you cannot burn incense, there are other options for removing negative energy from a space. The easiest is to obtain an egg and a Ziploc bag. Wash the egg in salt water to purify the egg, and then walk counter clockwise with the egg, visualizing the negative energy being drawn into it. When you are finished, place the egg in the Ziploc. Take it outside and dig a reasonably deep hole, then take the egg out of the bag and place it in the hole. Gently, place all the dirt back into the hole, then you can pat it down with your foot. The idea is that you do not want the egg to break at all until it is surrounded by the earth energy. You can also use small jar of salt to collect the negative energy in, place the lid on the jar and then bury the jar. Earth energy will neutralize the negative energy.
Extreme cleansing will almost always take care of lingering spirits, remove most forms of negative energy, and anything else that may be going on. It should always be immediately followed up with warding the space, which we will discuss in the next section. Keep in mind that you have just emptied the space of all the energy that was in there, creating a void into which anything can nest. Once your warding is set, you can use another round of smudging, using the appropriate incense, in a clockwise direction to fill the space with positive, prosperous energy. 
Undeparted spirits can usually withstand cleansing and smudging unless you specifically say “if there are any lingering uninvited spirits about, please see your way out” or something along those lines. Phrases such as this act as a simple banishing for any undeparted spirit that does not hold a grudge or is rooted to the location.
For more fixed undeparted spirits, there are rituals available that can release them and allow them to move on. Christopher Penzak, in the Witch’s Shield, has a fantastic process for removing the spirits that does work well in a pinch. Mediums and channels can also be ideal as they can communicate directly with the undeparted and help them to transition. Some of these practitioners will sometimes offer this as part of their services.
Thoughtforms are not undeparted spirits, and really require personal responsibility and emotional healing as much as cleansing to remove. Gaining control of your emotional and mental states will prevent these from forming. Ridding yourself of these pests involves not only cleansing of space, but of rechannelling these thoughtforms into positive things like protective entities, positive affirming entities or even entities of prosperity and abundance. This takes time, a great deal work and accepting your role in their creation.
The things that are not of our creation, psychic attacks, are a little tougher to deal with. Doing your homework and trying to figure out where these come from are always a very good start. You may find that someone is unconsciously attacking you because of a misunderstanding or hurt feelings. An honest conversation and sincere apology can be the strongest attack-stopper out there, in some instances. Once the hurt feelings go away, the attacks will usually cease.
Intentional acts of attack in the forms of Hexes, Curses and Folk Magic need to be dealt with in a swift and complete manner. This is where it is important to try and gather as much information as you can, and ask someone you absolutely trust for assistance if you do not feel you can deal with it yourself.
Folk magic can be the toughest to deal with. My advice is to research it and to ask for help from a practitioner of that particular brand of magic. These forms of magic come from time out of mind, and run deep. The same remedies we use for standard hexes and curses can work to dispel folk magic, but cultural remedies will be far more effective in removing the attack completely. This also will usually act as a deterrent for future attacks as counter-curses for folk magic usually have a nasty bite to them.
 Banishings and mirror spells are probably the most effective when dealing with curses and hexes. Banishing severs the connection between you and the person attacking you. Once this person loses the energy connection between you, there is no longer a psychic pathway for them to send their harmful energy through and the release should be immediate. These can also remove the offending person from your life permanently, so it is important that you try as hard as you can to figure out who it is and whether or not this is the right course of action. Banishings are tough to undo once they have been properly done, so some serious forethought is important here.
Mirror spells are just as they sound, reflecting the negative energy back to the sender. This is especially useful when you cannot discern who is attacking you or what has been done. Some witches will include a caveat that the returning energy be multiplied by three. I always thought that getting a face full of your own crap is enough of a wake up call to get the offending witch’s attention and hopefully change their mind in trying anything again (this spell should always be followed up by protective practice that will be discussed later). I have also heard of people using mirror spells to not just reflect the energy back to the offending witch, but to transform it into a positive form and send it back that way, hoping the person who cast the curse will have some magical transforming change of heart. 
Banishing and mirroring will almost always do the trick but they can be seen as harmful magic in their own right. Both of these types of spells send energy in someone else’s direction that may potentially cause that person harm. Because of this, there are people who take issue with their use. It is really a personal choice. My belief is that anyone who makes a conscious decision to use harmful energies against myself and my loved ones are going to get what they deserve. Harm none does not mean that you cannot or should not defend yourself when you are attacked. It means that you should not intentionally go around harming people out of the clear blue. Additionally,  just like any physical attacker, a psychic attacker will often not stop until they have destroyed your life or been stopped in some way. It is your decision how you choose to deal with these people.
There are a number of other ways to deal with psychic attacks, most of which are actually not harmful in any way, either to the person who may be attacking you, or even to yourself if you happen to be the unconscious cause of your problems.
Other methods of dealing with attacks/hazards are:
Swifting: this is the practice of collecting the negative energy being directed towards you and turning it into positive energy towards something you want. This is kind of fun, in a mean way, because the person hexing you is expecting your life to go to hell but, instead, it seems to be improving. Talk about a buzz kill!! Dorothy Morrison has one of the absolute best Swifting rituals in her book, Utterly Wicked.
Poppets and Effigies: you can create your own likeness, complete with DNA matter and as much of yourself as you can put in it, and then it is buried far away from you. The negative energy will follow it away from you and neutralize it through grounding it in the earth. These are often temporary solutions to psychic attacks that can buy you some time to cleanse your space, set your wards and figure out a permanent solution.
Uncrossings: uncrossings unblock energy pathways that may have been blocked intentionally or unintentionally by harmful energy. Our lives progress forward by sending energy out along pathways, attracting those things to us that we need to move from step to step in our life. Being stuck in a rut and not being able to move forward, or even being caught in an endless loop of misfortune and unhappiness, can also be viewed as symptomatic of psychic attacks. A number of great uncrossing oils and rituals can be on the internet and in books. Several local shops may carry uncrossing oils. It never hurts to ask.
These are really all damage control, when you think about it, because they are measures taken after things have already started going all sideways. The next and final installment, Preventative Protective Practices, will cover how to keep these things from possibly occurring in the first place.

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