Protection: An Intention, A Prayer, A Ritual
As a person practicing social distancing by choosing to be quarantined, and as an extrovert, I am finding that in this time I constantly feel the need to DO something. My hands need to make. My brain needs to think. My heart needs to intend. My soul needs to create.
I have been making art, but that only helps me. I cannot sew, or I would be making masks. I haven't been able to do nearly as much as I want with limited talents and resources, so when my cousin asked me for a spell of protection over her mom, a respiratory therapist, I was on it! This I can do!
So, I did my research, looking up the herbs that are good for protection, and then got in the tub to meditate on my intention. You see, magick and spellwork are all about intention and intuition, and so I needed to tune into mine to find my best way. It looks like this:
STEP ONE: Create a specific intention
I chose to do this on the border of a piece of paper so I could include all the things I am intending inside of it.
The outside border calls for protection specifically. I called out groups of people, finishing with, "Protect us all." I feel that all intentions, prayers, spells, and the like should always be specific.
STEP TWO: Address the four directions
On the four corners intend specific things for specific groups. I chose each corner intuitively, and not based on any particular belief system. They are as follows:
FOR THE WORLD:
With the intention of love, health and protection, I light this candle.
FOR THE ILL AND RECOVERING:
With the intention of a full recovery, I light this candle for those who are and will become ill.
FOR THOSE WHO HAVE DIED OR LOST SOMEONE:
With the intention of hope, consolation, peace, and healing, I light this candle for those who have lost or who have been lost.
FOR THOSE IN LEADERSHIP:
With the intention of wisdom, compassion, and intelligent choice, I light this candle for our government and our leadership.
STEP THREE: Write names on bay leaves
I chose to write the specific names of the people in my life that are on the front lines of this thing, each on a bay leaf -- an herb used frequently for protection, success, reduction of stress, increased intuition, and amplification of healing.
(If you do not have bay leaves, you can carve the names into your candle, or use pieces of paper. Remember, your intention is what's important, not necessarily the specific tools.)
MY LOVED ONES:
Chandler: my nephew who works in the medical industry
Melany: my cousin who works at a grocery store providing people with much needed resources
Lisa: my aunt who is a respiratory therapist in a local hospital
Brad: my cousin who is a nurse in a local hospital
Cameron: my nephew who is in the medical industry
Paul: my friend who is an essential worker at his company, providing protective gear
Tim: my brother, who works an essential manufacturing job
A Blank Leaf: for anyone I have forgotten -- for the unsung heroes
STEP FOUR: Salt
For centuries, salt has been used for protection; protection from evil, especially protection in and around the home. Salt is also used for purification, cleansing and dispelling negativity in many magical and traditional rituals. Salt is also used to release attachments, including emotional attachments.
I use salt in all my spells -- black Himalayan salt if I can find it. (Thanks, Big Lots! Who knew?) In this particular spell it serves two purposes. First, the intention of protection and purification. Second, a place for the melting wax of the candle to go as it drips and solidifies.
STEP FIVE: Additional herbs
There are many herbs that are magically protective. I chose ones that I had on hand that resonated with me, the work I am doing and the particular spell. I chose sedum and sage. You can sprinkle them on the paper, dress the candle, or create a mojo bag to carry with you.
I will be creating a mojo bag and sending it to my aunt, who I know will carry it.
METAPHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF SEDUM:
Llewellyn states, "In the language of flowers, the sedum announces, 'welcome and tranquility.' Incorporate the sedum into charms and spells that encourage a peaceful marriage and happy home."
Nationwide, we have seen a rise in domestic violence since this all began, and I felt it important to address that in the ritual as well.
METAPHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF SAGE:
Sage is sacred in many Shamanic and Native American belief systems and is used for smudging, and other ceremonies to purify the body. It is used magically for immortality, longevity, wisdom, protection and the granting of wishes. Sage is also believed to help alleviate the sorrow of the death of a loved one, to promote wisdom and to overcome grief. It is often burnt at funerals and remembrance ceremonies to help relieve the grief of the mourners.
STEP SIX: The ritual
I am not a rhyming spellworker. I read my intentions out loud. So, I would begin by reading around the edge of the paper, and then each of the four corners. I then read out loud the names of my loved ones, and state any specifics regarding them. I state my gratitude for them, their lives, and the difference they are making, and light the candle. The number eleven is sacred to me, so I let it burn for 11 minutes.
I do this process every day until the candle can no longer be lit.
STEP SEVEN: Release
This is a very important step. At the end of your predetermined time of burning, blow out the candle and let the smoke rise up to the heavens. Intend for this smoke to represent the release of worry, fear, concern and stress -- for you and all the people included in the spell.
When the candle has been burned for the last time, take the entire spell, paper and all, and either burn it in a fire, or bury it in the earth. This gives the energy and intention back to Mother Earth, so she can mulch it and bring forth new, beautiful energies.
I cannot say it enough -- INTENTION is the most important part of this!
You do not have to do any of the things I have outlined here. This is an example. This is what my intuition led me to. This is what works for me. It may work for you, or it may not. Make it your own. Be creative. Make it a true expression of your heart and soul. Whatever you choose is perfect, both for where you are at and for the intention you are putting out there.
Much love to you all as you stay home, quarantine, and send your love and light out to the masses. Hari Om. I wish you no suffering.