A word on cleansing, reiving, and warding – the three tenets of protection
Note: all words in bold will eventually be links to other blog articles I will have written that explain the terms. In the meantime, use them as keywords to Google, and then write the concepts up in a journal or Book of Shadows.
You may not be old enough to remember the paper towels that were in the loos of Primary/Elementary schools, but the wet paper towel was the cure-all for every illness and injury when I was a kid.
Did you graze your knee? Wet paper towel.
Break your arm? Wet paper towel.
Terminal cancer? Wet paper towel.
Yes, I’m being facetious, and that last remark was possibly in extremely bad taste, but you get the idea.
The same would applies to sage it would seem…
Negative energy? Let’s waft some smouldering sage around.
Need to banish entities or your annoying co-worker? Break out the sage.
Do you think you’ve been cursed or psychically attacked? Better order some more sage on Amazon then…
Magickal protection, in all its forms, is crucial, and I have noticed that it’s the one thing that is at best, overlooked, and at worst, something that “Baby Witches” often have absolutely no idea about.
Now, don’t get me wrong, sage is great stuff, but it’s lauded as the all-singing and all-dancing panacea for every witchy problem. It is also swamped with a lot of misinformation and subject to online flame wars about cultural appropriation and what-not. Here, I’m gonna set the record straight.
In my opinion, the Prime Directive of Witchcraft is to heal, honour, and revere the Earth. Every time you cast spells and invoke energies, you are using the forces of nature. Nature and its forces and energies are sacred.
It matters not whether you are religious, or whether you are a spell-caster. You could be a secular witch in downtown Detroit or a mega hippy Pagan living in a commune in Glastonbury, England with a lady-boner for Gaia – the principle is the same: don’t rape planet Earth.
So when you use sage, use common or garden sage – the green stuff you use in food. It’s just as good, and smells really “witchy” when you burn it. Therefore, please don’t use white sage. It’s endangered due to over-harvesting. It also tends to piss Native Americans off. White sage is used by them in a religious context and in a particular way. Understandably, they often get a bit upset when outsiders cherry-pick their practices. Let’s play together nicely, eh?
OK, the three things I’d like to talk about are reiving, banishing, and warding. Below is a brief explanation of each term.
This means clearing negative energy. It involves using a besom or broom to clear negative energy that hangs heavy and falls to the floor. It means fanning incense smoke in every room, and yes, it can involve sage. This is the time to waft the smoke around before you work ritual. It’s also the time to cleanse new crystals or tools from the psychic grunge of the stressed warehouse workers who handled them.
To banish is to get rid of a thing, usually an entity or a spirit. You would need to reive first, and then leave seals on the ground and in all entrances and exits. There are parallels to exorcism, except you don’t engage with the entity and demand it leaves. You create a hostile environment where it has no choice but to bugger off.
Wards are basically supernatural alarm systems and guard dogs combined. You create an entity with your own energies to ward off unwanted influences, be that hostile spirits, or enemy Witches.
“But how do I do all these things?!” Patience, Padawan – all in good time. (I need to write the articles for those, in other words. LOL.)