In my post about defenses from the Intruders, I outlined some strategies for dealing with an etheric intrusion – an astral being coming through the etheric (the plane closest to our physical world) and manifesting in a given area. Having a “monster” manifest in your back yard is not the only time when you might need a little magical assistance however so this article will be devoted to a less desperate measure.
Most of us have had the experience of walking into a home or other place and finding that the energy there was just “not right”. A lot of issues can cause that “not right” feel – from a recent argument in the area to the presence of spirit entities who are trying to get our attention from the Other Side. What is clear though is that such energies can consciously or subconsciously effect people and make life difficult until someone takes the situation in hand. Let me give you an example.
Some time ago, in my more openly pagan phase, a dear friend of mine asked me to perform a handfasting (a pagan wedding) ceremony for her and her beloved. I was quite honored to be chosen to do this and, in conference with her and her fiancée, we put together a lovely ceremony which would be performed at a local state park. I arrived at their home on the appointed day to find the energy in the place a mess and the bride to be in tears. It seems that some of the groom’s family were being difficult about something (I have forgotten what at this point), there had been quite to argument and things were tense. I confess to being a sucker for a damsel in distress so I went into her office and performed the LBRP (discussed below) taking the whole house into my visualization. When I walked out of the room, the energy had settled, the bride and groom were smiling again and the wedding party was assembling amicably for transport to the site.
Now, often the change after a banishing is not quite that dramatic but I use this story as a good example of what can happen when you consciously take your space and infuse it with spiritual presence. Before we discuss banishing styles however, let me add one caveat. Many magically inclined people, on encountering a situation where a banishing might be useful, whip out their wands (or other magical implements) and go to town without regard for what they are banishing. I strongly recommend taking a few moments before doing any banishing to tune in. What is the source of the disquiet? Is it simply negative emotional energy or is there something more? If what you are feeling is a spiritual presence, it does not hurt to voice your concern, tell it that its energy is negatively effecting people and ask it politely to leave. Often, this is just as effective as banishing and does not generate any ill will on the part of the spirit involved. No point giving something the bum’s rush when supplying direction to a new location will do.
In the case, though, where the cause of the “not right” feeling is afflictive emotional energy or a spirit that does not choose to back off, more aggressive taking of space may be required. There are as many different “zone rites” as there are styles of religious and magical practice. I encourage people to become familiar with several of them and memorize at least one. Your choice of zone rite should be predicated on your religious beliefs (if any) or style of magical practice (if any). For example, a Christian might easily use a rite based on St. Patrick’s Breastplate prayer as a very effective zone rite while a Wiccan will certainly be conversant with the idea of casting a circle to ward off negative influences. There is no absolute right way to banish; the important concept here is that the person doing the banishing really believe in what they are doing.
So, what if you are an agnostic with little or no magical background? If you are willing to suspend disbelief for a little while, you can still learn something like the Golden Dawn’s Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagrams (available in many forms online – just search LBRP). Yes, there are god names and , yes, there are archangels, but, if you can suspend doubt for a little while, this is an old and established banishing that has been used for a long time and has a deep channel of energy running through it. It takes a while to learn and needs to be practiced with some regularity but it is quite handy when the need arises. I must stress that, in order for a zone rite to really work for you, it has to be memorized. You may not have access to your books when you really need to use this rite. It also has to be worked regularly so that, when the time comes to use it, the energy is readily available.
In a pinch, you can do this little exercise which I derive from Jason Miller’s work. Imagine a column of white light flowing down from the sky above you, through the crown of your head and down through the center of your body into the ground beneath you. This energy is inspiring. Then imagine a similar column of blood red energy emerging from the ground, striking through your root chakra, and exiting out your crown. This energy is vitalizing. Once you can see the two columns clearly imagine them meeting at the level of your heart and forming a ball of dove gray light there. You can enhance this effect by placing your fist lightly (5 pounds of pressure) over your chest. See the ball of light intensifying and growing in strength until you literally feel that you can not hold the energy anymore, open your fist and then allow the ball to begin expanding, knowing, as the size of the sphere around you increases, that the light is removing all disharmonic and dross energies from your area. Make the sphere as big as you need it and then spend a few moments contemplating it and reinforcing its reality in your mind.
You do not have to become a full-on mage to work a banishing. A zone rite may be the only magic you ever do but it is a piece of magical tech well worth learning.