In the last few weeks, we’ve been discussing some heavy topics when it comes to handling troublesome spirits. In the first installment of this series, we took a look at how to determine if you have a haunting. It’s not always easy to tell if you have a genuine spirit haunting or something else entirely! In the second installment, we discussed how to start dealing with spirits when you do encounter them. For most spirits, those first five steps that we discussed last week are more than enough to resolve the issue.
That’s for most spirits, though. What do you do when you’ve tried all of that and the spirit is still giving you grief? If you’ve tried finding the root of the problem, and talking with the spirit, and setting ground rules and nothing has changed or, god forbid, it’s gotten even worse, what do you do?! That’s what we’ll be covering today. This is the final step in managing a spirit haunting, it’s time to break out the magic and get to work.
Step 6: Take Magical Action
If you’re at the end of your rope, if the spirit has become more aggressive, or if the spirit just will not work with you, magical action is the way to go. There are levels of intensity to magical action. Usually, I recommend starting with less intense magical action and scaling up as a situation requires it but if you’re dealing with a particularly aggressive spirit, then you can go right for a more intense magical solution. You have to judge the situation and your tolerance for yourself.
Light Magical Action
Light magical action includes things like cleansing, light warding, and spells that are designed to invite the spirit to leave. These are the magical equivalent of ushering a guest politely out the front door. If the guest is polite, they will go. If they’re not polite, this lighter form of magical action won’t do anything. I’d suggest using this kind of magic when the spirit in question isn’t particularly aggressive, isn’t entirely sentient, or has trouble understanding that you want it to leave. This kind of magic makes it clear to the spirit that you would like it to go so that they can leave of their own accord.
For this, you can choose any cleansing method that you like and use regularly. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Make sure that as you are cleansing, you’re holding the intention to remove unwanted spirits from your space. This intention is important!
For a lightweight ward, you don’t need much. After pushing the spirit out of your space with cleansing, take a ritual knife, a wand, or a quartz point and go outside your home. You can do this inside as well if you’re living in an apartment. Walk around your home clockwise beginning at your front door. Point your knife, wand, or crystal at the base of your house where the walls meet the dirt or where your baseboards meet the floor if you’re inside). As you walk, imagine your energy shooting through your arm, out your tool, and onto your house. As you do this, the energy expands and stretches, encompassing the entire house slowly as you work your way around the perimeter. When you reach your starting point, imagine the energy enclosing your house and becoming a solid wall against unwelcome energies and spirits. Kneel and use your tool to sign your name or initials in the air in front of your doorstep to seal the ward.
Moderate Magical Action
Moderate magical action includes things like heavy-duty cleansing, stronger warding, binding, and lighter banishing spells. Rather than inviting the spirit to leave, this is like pushing them out the door. This will work to remove low and mid-level strength spirits entirely. If you try this and the spirit simply escalates, you’re dealing with either a very strong or a very pissed-off spirit and you need to take heavy-duty magical action.
Heavy Duty Cleansing
This kind of cleansing is more involved and definitely not your run-of-the-mill cleansing. I particularly like this floor wash. Boil 1/4 cup of salt and a handful of Solomon’s Seal root in water for nine minutes. Let it cool and use this to mop the floor of your entire house. If you have carpet, you can flick the water around the room, anoint the baseboards, and wash your counters with the water. Pay special attention to the front and back thresholds, windowsills, and mirrors. When you’re finished, throw the remaining floor wash out the front door onto your porch or front walkway.
You Will Need:
- One black candle
- A candleholder
- Black or white pepper
- A carving tool
- Anointing oil (this can be any kind of oil you prefer)
Begin by slowly sprinkling salt in a counterclockwise circle around you and your work area, visualize the salt creating a barrier, protecting you during your ritual. Call the target of your banishing spell to mind and carve your intention into the candle. For example, you might carve “All unwelcome spirits leave this place”. You may also wish to carve a banishing sigil into your candle.
When you’ve finished, anoint your candle with the oil and sprinkle the pepper over it. Set the candle into your candle holder and light it, speaking your intention aloud. If it feels good, you can turn your intention into a mantra to chant while the candle burns.
Allow the candle to burn itself out. This should be done on a fireproof surface and away from pets or children. Depending on your choice of candle, it may take several hours to burn completely. Do not leave your candle unattended! If you don’t wish to burn the entire candle, you can carve a line halfway or a third of the way down the candle and confine your spell carving to the top portion. This can be tricky if you use a taper candle, be gentle so as not to snap it. When the candle burns to this line you may blow it out and reserve the rest of the candle for another banishing spell.
Honeylock Binding Spell
You Will Need:
- A small black taper candle
- A very small jar
- A tool to write on the candle, like a needle.
- Wax paper
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper (and a spoon)
- A black cord
- A bindweed vine
- A knife
- A toothpick
- Black paint*
Write the name of the person you want to bind on the black candle vertically, and light the candle. Lay out your wax paper and as the candle burns, periodically pour some of the candle wax onto it. You won’t need a lot, so just a few drops each time will be fine. When you do this, before the poured candle wax solidifies, sprinkle black pepper and cayenne pepper onto the wax, using the toothpick to mix them in. Use the spoon when sprinkling the cayenne pepper to avoid burning yourself. Just a dusting of pepper will do.
When the candle has completely burned down, pour the rest of its wax onto the wax paper and add a final sprinkling of black pepper. Wait for the wax to cool, then use your knife to chop up the wax into a fine dust.
Place the bindweed vine into the bottom of your jar, then add your wax dust. Fill the jar with honey and seal.
Secure the lid with your black cord by looping the cord around the neck of the jar and pulling the cord through at various points around the lid and tying knots as you work. A little hard to describe, but your end result should look like a net and the lid should be difficult to unscrew.
Every time you tie a knot, imagine yourself as tying together the wrists and ankles of the person you are binding, and repeat these words:
“You can do no harm
I sweetly bind
You no longer touch
My heart or mind”
When finished, remove all remaining traces of the black candle from your home immediately. Wash your face and hands for at least a minute to purify. Cleanse in your preferred manner.
Place the jar somewhere in the home or outside where it won’t be disturbed.
Heavy Magical Action
Heavy-duty magical action includes the strongest forms of warding, the most intense forms of banishing, and spells designed to trap or imprison the spirit. These are the most complex and require the most energy, but they will take care of pretty much any spirit. If you’re dealing with a very aggressive spirit, it’s fine to skip directly to using heavy magical action. It’s also a good idea to involve any guides, ancestors, spirits, or gods that you work with when doing this kind of spell work because they will be able to ensure your success. These spells are incredibly aggressive and threatening and will demolish any chance you have of creating a peaceful resolution with the spirit so make sure that you are okay burning that bridge.
Louisiana Be-Gone Banishing Spell
You Will Need:
- Six of Swords tarot card or Six of Spades from a deck of cards
- Black salt (activated charcoal and sea salt)
- Cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- Cloves (ground)
- Cajun hot sauce
- An artifact from the person you’re banishing, ie something they have touched (substitutions listed below)
- Large fireproof work surface (NOT glass!)
- Twelve wooden matches and a black lighter
- A small piece of paper and a black pen
- A bowl of water
Take your artifact and assign it the name of the spirit you are banishing. This can be done physically by writing the name on the artifact or symbolically, by simply holding it in your hand and saying, “This is _____, who is about to be gone.” If you do not know the spirit’s name, you can assign it a moniker such as “the spirit who haunts my stairwell” or “the spirit who wakes me at night”.
Mix together your peppers, black salt, and cloves. On your fireproof surface, using a spoon, sprinkle this powder in a wide circle. Then sprinkle a line down the center so you have two halves. Add six drops of hot sauce to the central line, spaced evenly.
Place your tarot or playing card in the left half of the circle if you are banishing a female, and in the right if you are banishing a male. If they have no gender or you do not know the gender, choose either side.
On your piece of paper, write these words:
“I don’t care where you go
I don’t wish you peace or harm
_____, I banish you from me
I just care that you’re gone“
Arrange your matches along the central line so that the match heads are in the powder (avoiding the hot sauce), and the sticks are out, alternating which way the matches are pointing. Six sticks should be in one half of the circle, and six in the other. Take your piece of paper and curl it into a tight tube. It will burn slower this way.
Now take a moment to concentrate on why you’re banishing this person and see the future where they are no longer an influence in your life. Focus hard on this vision and with all your energy, mentally push them away.
This next process is quick, so stay vigilant! Secure the tube of paper with tweezers so you have a way to hold it, then light the end on fire with the lighter. Use this tiny torch to light each of the twelve matches. Extinguish your piece of paper in the bowl of water and place it aside.
Your matches will burn very quickly, so have your artifact ready. Once all the matches have burned out and the centerline is still warm, “walk” your artifact through the powder and warm matchsticks, touching down six times. When your artifact has come to the end of its journey, place it on the tarot card and say, “be gone, _____.”
Let all your matches cool completely, then dispose of everything except your tarot card. It’s best to remove these remnants from your home as quickly as possible. Cleanse in your preferred manner, being sure to wash your hands and face thoroughly.
It can be difficult to get an artifact from some people and you should never compromise your safety to obtain one. Substitutions can include a photo of the person, or simply a piece of paper, cut into a human shape, with the person’s name written on it.
If you take heavy magical action to remove a spirit from your life and it has no effect, I want you to revisit the previous blog post in this series to make sure that what you’re dealing with is actually a spirit. I know I’m harping on about this, but it’s because I’ve seen too many people try to banish spirits that weren’t actually spirits. If your magic has no effect, it might be because there isn’t a spirit to begin with.
Dealing with spirits can be scary and confusing territory but by following these steps you should be able to find a way to resolve the situation quickly and safely. If at any point, you feel like you’ve gotten in way over your head, see if you can find more experienced magical practitioners in your area who can help you. I don’t necessarily mean people who are selling spells for money, although sometimes they are an excellent option, but even going to local witchcraft shops or groups can allow you to find experienced practitioners in your area who can help you out.
That said, in all of my years as a witch, the vast majority of spirits that I encounter are not actively malicious. They may be confused, in pain, or scared and acting out as a result of that, but the chances are that they are not trying to hurt you intentionally. Now that you have the tools and the knowledge that you need to handle the spirits that you encounter, you don’t have to be scared of them!
Ready to learn more about Spirit Work?
The world of spirits can be an overwhelming place for beginners and more experienced witches alike. There’s no telling what you might run into when you open that door!
This practice doesn’t have to be so scary though. As with most things in the craft, it’s been built up to be way more difficult than it actually is. With the right guide and a little prep work, you can be working with spirits without all of the fear and trepidation.
In Spirit Work for Witches, I give you a look at look at beginner-level spirit work, dispel common misconceptions, teach you how to stay safe while working with spirits, and ease you into some easy introductory spirit work that anyone can do. Whether you want to learn to work with spirits or you want to learn to keep spirits away from you, this is the course for you.