I’ve had a lot of inquiries about defensive and black magick since the Warriors Call. Any magick can be defensive if you use it right. But before you get either defensive or offensive with your magick, you have to master the ability to protect yourself. I would never advocate a novice witch do any magick before mastering protection. I certainly don’t advocate novice witches play with ‘black’ magick because it’s not unusual to have to pay a price for working the bigger shadow magicks. You don’t get to choose the price you pay.
(Note: I don’t believe in good/bad, evil/good, white/black magick. Magick is neutral, what we do with it isn’t.)
But a lot of inquirers were not happy to take ‘no’ as an answer. Some of readers had gone off to research black magick and wanted to try it—without ever having studied witchcraft. I understand the excitement but this is a very dangerous path to take. I also know simple warnings and outright orders not to do that are futile. The more you say ‘no’ sans education, the more curiosity grows.
Given the hunger for more on this subject I decided to outline one way of working with the shadow energies and also a lesson in what you need to master in yourself to do this safely. I do this as a warning and to sate some of that curiosity.
Understanding the nature of healing. The world healing comes from the word whole. While it is good to focus on love and sending light, to really heal you need to work in the shadows. To become healed/whole you need to not only invite the light parts of yourself to shine, but the darker parts, too. A process some refer to as Radical Acceptance. The Buddhists’ sometimes refer to a similar process as ‘Inviting Mara to Tea.’
Personal demons are the parts of yourself (ego and soul) that you have exiled and often spent energy neglecting, hating on, and being ashamed of. In their exile they can become mutated, dark, demonic, and crazed. They are your nightmares. But they are still you.
If you want to work darker magick and play with demons, always start with working on your own demons. I am going to show you how to summon your personal demons and how to stay safe doing so. Then I am going to tell you my experience of working with demons and what tests I passed before working that level of magick.
The need to be pre-tested before working with demons, ‘black’ magick, etc., is a vital exercise before entering the ring with demons and shadows. Because once you’re in that ring, there is only one way out unless you want to risk death, madness, or being cursed.
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!…
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Summoning Personal Demons using the Tarot.
Don’t work this ritual alone. Have someone who is experienced, and who you trust to help you.
Work this spell on the Dark Moon. A Full Moon will blow away the darkness you need for this work.
Don’t use your everyday tarot. I have a tarot deck that is for ritual use only. It doesn’t have to be fancy, you can even use playing cards (if you know how to read tarot from playing cards, if not there are lots of websites that detail how to do this.)
Materials: white natural fiber rope, salt, sage, black pen, your choice of oils, a prefabricated sigil, a knife, your tarot deck, and a friend who is trusted and experienced witch.
- Create a sacred oil for yourself using cleaning and protecting oils as well as oils that smell good to you. You want a smell you can focus on that will bring you comfort if you get confused and scared.
- Create a personal sigil for hope. Don’t tell anyone what that sigil means but carve it into the candle. Fill the sigil carving with that sacred oil.
- It is my personal preference to draw seeing eyes on my palms and elemental symbols on my fingers for this kind of work.
- Smudge and create a sacred space.
- Smudge your tarot deck.
- Put on your protection.
- Light the candle.
- Coat the rope in blessed salt water.
- Get in a comfortable seated position on the floor with the candle and tarot in front of you.
- Use the rope to create a circle around yourself.
- Cast a circle as you normally would.
- Set your intentions loud and clear.
- Knot the rope three times chanting “I come to meet myself to heal myself. I come to meet myself to heal myself. I come to meet myself to hear myself. Come from the shadows and speak before to the shadows you will return.” Nothing leaves the circle until you cut that rope.
- Do NOT keep the knife with you in the circle. Have your friend hand it to you when you signal for it.
- You must not cut the rope until you have sent the demon back and you have cut the connection.
- If you are struggling in the circle, have your friend end the circle and send back the demon for you.
- Once you are in the circle, close your eyes and shuffle the tarot cards and pull as many as feel right.
- Put hand over the card and imagine drawing up a single personal demon and inviting it to sit in the circle with you. Some people describe this sensation as mist hitting their palm, filling the circle with cold wind.
- Take your time getting comfortable with this demon. Stay grounded and focused. Acknowledge that you see this demon and you accept them as they are. Then ask them what they need to feel loved.
- Once you have finished talking to your demon, tell it to go back. Inform that part of yourself that you see it, acknowledge it, accept it, and love it. If you intend to work on this more in the future, tell that to the demon and then tell it to go. Your will and resolve must be steadfast. Don’t get complicated. Answer ‘No’ to the demon’s every question and send it back.
- Sending the demon back does not mean you are rejecting that part of yourself again, rather you are sending it back to where it resides in the shadow self and ensuring it doesn’t stay on the surface.
- You will know the demon is gone when the mist passes back through your hand and into the cards. The air will grow still and warm.
- You will probably be exhausted, get your friend to check the demon is gone and then ask them to help cleanse you, the tarot, and the circle.
- Close down your circle and cut the rope – if this is not done carefully you can bring the demon back with you or worse, an energy that is not your own. All circles are portals and need to be respected as such.
- Burn the rope and burn the candle down in one burn, don’t blow out or snuff. That is why I suggest a smaller candle.
- IF THINGS START MOVING BACKWARDS INSIDE THE CIRCLE GET YOUR FRIEND TO TERMINATE THE EXERCISE.
Preparing to work with demons and ‘black’ magick.
This is the one of the tests I had to past before I was taught ‘darker’ magicks, including the exercise listed above.
We created a similar circle to the one listed above. The only thing in it was myself and the candle. I had an experienced friend there supporting me.
After casting and closing the circle, I sat down, and we opened the portal, inviting all my own demons in. If I felt something foreign enter the circle, I had my friend end the process. This is where knowing how to work protection in important.
Whatever happened next, whatever presented itself, I had to make complete peace with it. Then, and only then could I move beyond it and send the demons back before leaving the circle. I was in it until I was through it.
There is no shame in asking your friend to help you at any stage of this process. But if they do help you, the test is void. Until you can complete the test on your own, you haven’t passed it.
If you leave the circle early without sending the demon back and closing down the circle, the demons will follow. You won’t know that they followed. A demon might not show its face for thirty years. Why would a demon alert its host to its presence and risk exorcism when it can ride along and feed off all the fear and hate it causes?
On paper this probably sound easy enough. To illustrate what this process feels like I will detail my experience.
It starts with a dark room. At first I’m not afraid because I know I am here to meet my own demons, the darkest parts of who I am. The figures slowly appear out of the dark. They don’t have faces but I know who they are. It starts with two, then three, then a small army of shuffling feet crowding in on me. The air was wild with black winds and carried the scent of blood—not the soft metallic smell, but the raw, fettered, stench of a freshly busted corpse. I was shaking without being able to move. I thought my heart was going to explode with how fast and heavy it was beating against my ribs.
These faceless beings were the embodiment of my shame, embarrassments, sorrow, jealousy, rage, lack, despair. I closed my eyes but then I was flooded with memories of every awful moment, of every abuser and bully and accuser, of every abandonment, and every heartbreak. Things I would never admit to a living soul. And I couldn’t cringe or turn away. There was no escape and when I realized this I became paralyzed with the swinging emotions of white-knuckle fear and the blackest despair. To use an oft misquoted term: I was triggered. I couldn’t talk or move for the pain I was feeling. I wanted to die. I’d lost hope.
This is why having a close and experienced friend with you is so important. Not only can they help you, if they are close they will know when to help you even if you can’t speak up. They know you well enough to not need verbal communication.
In order to meet my personal demons and start healing and reclaiming my entire sovereignty, the only way out of this hell was through. I couldn’t just will or push my way through and then leave the circle. If you just push through you aren’t healing. The demons are wise to that trick and will mess with you the same as if you didn’t close down the circle right.
In order to ‘pass’ this test, I had to be able to look at these demons and give them my attention without running away. I had to look at them, name them, own them, forgive them and start assimilating them. I had to own all that I was. I had to look at some of the things I’d done, things I was ashamed of, things that contraindicated my ideas values and morals, my regrets, my worst and darkest parts, and forgive myself. I had to make peace with myself. I had to heal or at least start the process. This was so I could walk back through that army of demons and not have any emotional hooks for them to grab onto. By forgiving your darkest demons and embracing them, these same dark aspects of yourself are no longer in exile and therefore not vulnerable to abuse and misuse.
It might feel good to repress your darker parts down and just not think about them, but in the long run you are only cutting off a part of yourself, abandoning it to more darkness.
The whole process is awful, empowering, and triggering. If you don’t get triggered it is likely you are probably doing it wrong. Triggering often forces you to freeze, lose speech, sometimes even lose time. However, by avoiding the triggering stimulus you can make your anxiety worse. Also, you are giving the triggering stimulus power.
All anxiety, PTSD, and triggering need to be treated professionally. Willingly exposing yourself to triggering stimuli should also be given very careful consideration. As much as you might be hungry for magick, you have to understand why self-work, this shadow work, and development is so important. If you aren’t doing the self-work and you throw yourself into darker arts, you’re going to have a bad time. And if you are hungry for power, and if you don’t have power over yourself, your magickal power will be limited… and you are probably gonna have a bad time.
I don’t randomly promote triggering but the reason for this exercise is to keep you safe in the future. If you get into trouble working with demons they will try and trigger you. Triggering you is an excellent way to control you. That is why this exercise teaches you to get triggered by your own demons without freezing or losing critical thought. You will need to be able to think your way out of trouble, cleanse, protect, and close down a circle while in the throes of panic. You need to maintain control in the face of a demons attack.
If you fail the test, aren’t honest with yourself, push through, get greedy or impatient you are putting yourself and the people around you at risk because next time you do this kind of work it is unlikely to be with your own demons. They could be any kind of nefarious entity. They don’t have an innate need for your existence to maintain their survival. They don’t need to hide or stay quiet. They are happy to openly destroy and wound.
Here we can see why we need our own demons and why it is so important to acknowledge and accept them and have them a part of your integrated and whole self. Sometimes our own demons work for us. Our demons need to keep us alive, and although they hard to live with, they enable us to fight off external demons. Our personal demons let us fight shadows with shadows… but only if we can accept and forgive the whole of ourselves.
This is just one form of test. Some people will encourage you to pass several different types of this test before opening yourself to demon work. All of the tests will be self-work focused on understanding the self and moving towards becoming as whole and healed as possible.
So, it is possible to work any kind of magick you wish; hexing, cursing, binding, crossing, etc., but before you engage in that kind of work I strongly urge you to find a teacher and start working on yourself, in particular your shadows. But if your concern is with defensive and even offensive magick, the most powerful thing you can do to keep yourself safe and defend against not only magick but insults in general, knowing yourself and loving yourself are the most powerful tools you have. Knowing yourself, trusting yourself, accepting yourself is big magick. This is how warrior witches are born.
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Protection in Witchcraft: A look at the philosophy, psychology, and methods of keeping safe and growing strong.I’ve had a lot of inquiries about defensive and black magick since the Warriors Call. Any magick can be defensive if you use it right. But before you get either defensive or offensive with your magick, you have to master the ability to protect yourself. I would never advocate a novice witch do any magick […]
I’ve had a lot of inquiries about defensive and black magick since the Warriors Call. Any magick can be defensive if you use it right. But before you get either defensive or offensive with your magick, you have to master the ability to protect yourself. I would never advocate a novice witch do any magick […]