One of the first sigils I ever developed was one to keep malicious spirits out of my home, and it’s one I often reuse (for instance, I warded my dorm room with the same sigil not to long ago). Sigils are another post entirely. Instead, in this post, I want to talk about the way I cleanse a place and then ward it. This could, conceivably, be used for objects or even people, but in this instance I’m going to be talking about rooms, houses, or property.
The primary purpose of cleansing and warding is to clean a space of any negative energy or entities, and then keep them out. This is useful if you want to make a space for any sensitive spiritual work, not only to protect your supplies but yourself as well. The first step is cleansing.
First, make sure you yourself are clean of any negative energies. The method of this depends on your tradition (I would either use Misogi and Norito to cleanse myself or use saltwater in the shower). Then, you have to find a cleansing method that works for you. While not living in a dorm, I would most likely light a stick of incense and carry it around the room, paying special attention to doors, windows, and mirrors. If you like, you could also use words of purification. Alternate methods are clapping (a Shinto tradition) and ringing a bell in the four corners of the property you’re cleansing. Also, playing pleasant music can cleanse a space. These options are especially nice when you’re living in a dorm that doesn’t allow anything flammable or are sensitive to incense smoke. Also, cliched as it may sound, salt can be effective when you want to sprinkle it over doors and windows. Black candles are often used as a banishment tool.
Warding is harder to address. Once you’ve properly cleansed a place and there is no more negative energy to be found there, you’ll have to create a barrier to keep things from coming in. However, the kinds of wards you’ll need vary wildly from what you’re trying to keep out. What you’ll need to keep out ghosts and what you’ll need to keep out Fae are completely different and the methods are different. If you’re trying to create a catch-all filter, you’ll need a lot of different supplies and a lot of space.
Some good warding materials are salt, Bay, mugwort, ashes, horseshoes…the list goes on. A favorite way of warding someplace is to put various warding herbs, string, shards of glass, nails, and other items that will ‘tangle’ a spirit trying to enter one’s home. Other methods include burying various herbs at the four most directions of one’s home, protective chants, and–you guessed it–sigils.
My method is to place my specific sigil on a window, door, or mirror, or in one case, all three. I charge the sigil first, and then cast it, and then onto the window/door/mirror it goes. The sigil might have to be recharged or remade every once in a while, or when the writing implement you used gets smudged (This doesn’t apply in the case of using saltwater/holy water/moon water.
Stick around for more basic magic techniques. Next I’ll be discussing sigils and how to make them.