Counter Magick: Spells for Reversing Curses
“Counter magick” /ˈkaʊntəˌmadʒɪk/ Magick used to counteract or protect against negative energy (in other words, a witchy way to say “I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you”)
Daisy Wheels, or endless knot patterns, have been drawn on dwellings for centuries to keep bad spirits out. From "Medieval Graffiti":
“One of the ideas behind the protective power of these endless knots is that demons, ‘the evil eye’, call it what you will, are attracted to lines and, if they come across one, will follow it to its end. Therefore, the power of the endless knot is that once the evil begins to follow the line it will never come to an end, thereby trapping itself within the symbol.”
In the simplest of terms, a sigil is a symbol charged with your intentions, created to keep making magic even once your consciousness has left your spellwork. In fact, in some belief systems a sigil is more powerful if you completely detach it from your memory after casting the spell. To make a traditional symbol, write out a simple phrase like “I am balanced” or “we are safe”. Then cross out the vowels, and use the consonant letters to create an image that gives you good-goosebumps. Draw as many versions as it takes!
If this process doesn’t vibe with you, simply choose a symbol or shape that has meaning for you. If your goal is balance, maybe draw the symbol for the zodiac sign Libra or an outline of the scales of justice, or a Yin Yang. Being an artist isn’t important here, it’s about YOUR brain recognizing what your hands have made. You’re the boss of your practice, so you’ve got endless options for crafting your own sigil!
An altar is like a tiny temple dedicated to one intention. Why have a tiny temple? Well, when you’re making expansive magic like manifesting or banishing, or focusing on an intricate task like dreamwork, it’s helpful to have a “container” for your intentions where they can build up instead of scattering to the winds. It’s kind of like a battery in the circuit of your psychic power, where ritual tools like crystals and flowers can lend their specialties to your spell.
We like to represent all the elements on an altar for maximum connectivity: a candle for fire, some sort of liquid or potion for water, a crystal for Earth, and incense or smoking herbs for air. There’s also a fifth element, Spirit, which you can represent with statues, pictures, and other trinkets, but Spirit is already present in YOU. So an altar can be tiny, or very very big. It’s all about the witch who makes it!
It’s exactly what it sounds like; cloaking is the psychic act of covering yourself and your space in protective energy. It’s sort of the dark sister of glamour magic, in that you’re creating a magical facade for others to perceive instead of what’s really there. With glamour magic, you might project the image of brighter eyes or an infectious smile. With cloaking, you obscure yourself or your space entirely, visualizing a cone of invisibility, or a cover of fog, or, yes, a cloak, so bad vibes and evil spirits can’t find you. Not every space needs to be cloaked, but if you’re feeling extra vulnerable it’s a good dose of extra protection!
Scrying is a method of divination (fortune telling) where the reader looks for images in a reflective surface like a crystal ball, black mirror, flame, or bowl of colored water. It’s also a super effective meditation practice: focusing your gaze on one surface can help push away the brain fog of everyday life and access a connected part of your consciousness that can interpret pictures better than words. What you might see is the upside-down reflection of the plant behind you, leaves draped in a way that looks just like your old swing set. Or if you have a candle lit, the shadows might show you an entire puppet show of your spirit guides.
Grounding is the practice of bringing your energy back from where it’s wandered, whether that’s due to the normal energy leaks of everyday living, or energy vampires actively stealing your vibe. Feeling ungrounded feels like a fluttery stomach, zoning out, a wandering mind, or intrusive thoughts that won’t quit. An easy way to ground yourself into your physical space is by closing your eyes and taking deep, even breaths, counting the seconds of your inhales and exhales. Then look around and name 4 things you can see, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can hear, and 1 thing you can smell. Take a few more deep breaths, and let yourself be present.
Sort of like grounding yourself, clearing is for when there’s energy hanging around your space that you’d like to get gone. This can happen after you have visitors, after an argument, if you've been spending more time at home due to an extended global pandemic... you get the idea. Sometimes a space just feels off. Luckily all you need to do to clear the energy is get the air moving; clapping your hands, ringing a bell, moving herbal smoke around, or dancing to your favorite song are all great ways to clear your space.
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