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Banishing is one of the witch’s most useful magical defense tools. While cleansing is a great way to gently (or even not so gently) detach unwanted energies, spirits, etc. banishing is a way to take those unwanted influences and send them far, FAR away. These spells can, of course, have a range of effects and intensities so they can work well whether you need to get rid of a guest that’s overstayed their welcome a bit or a mortal enemy that you would be more than happy to never see ever again. 

Banishing can also be used on influences other than spirits and people. They can be useful for breaking bad habits, assisting with addiction recovery (to be used WITH conventional treatment), banishing feelings, and even removing unwanted situations from your life. 

Banishing is a great skill for any witch to have but it’s an absolutely necessary skill for anyone wishing to do spirit work or astral travel. You never want to be actively exposing yourself to spirits or situations that you can’t readily get rid of should the need arise. If you aren’t intending to harm your target, it’s also best to perform these kinds of spells when you are calm and centered. It’s quite possible for a banishing spell to transform into a hex with an excess of negative emotion tied into it. 

As useful as it is, banishing is not a cure-all and it’s often necessary to combine a banishing spell with other forms of protection or intercession. For instance, a banishing spell will not remove a spell that has been cast upon you or unintentional psychic influencing. You can banish the caster or influencer but that does nothing to rid you of the spell that is actually causing your problems. Likewise, banishing a spirit without finding a way to prevent a similar situation from happening again will only leave you exposed to further stresses and psychic dangers.