Magickal Musings: The Irony of “Protection Spells”

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Welcome to another Magickal Musings article, the segment of GypsyWytch Diaries in which we pick apart a popular mystical topic and share some outside-the-box ideas!

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If you’ve been involved in the witchy and pagan community for any amount of time at all, doubtless, you’ve come across your fair share of talk about “protection spells.” They’re one of the most popular types of spells that pop up in Pinterest boards, and there are tons of Youtube videos on the subject. Sometimes, I receive messages from random strangers asking about the craft, and often they are asking about protection spells… Now, by “random people,” I mean not you, who are taking the time to read and communicate with me about our unique, individual paths and exchange our thoughts as equals… No, I mean people who must have somehow happened upon my Instagram profile, saw that there was a pentacle somewhere on my page, and proceeded to assume I’m an expert to be asked all manor of silly, out-of-context questions on all things “witchy.” I emphasize the sorts of characters who are contacting me with these questions, not to make fun of someone else’s ignorance, but simply to draw attention to the fact that witchcraft is not, by any means, a one-size-fits-all path.

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It concerns (and frustrates) me when someone who doesn’t know the first thing about me, my path, or my practice, comes to me to ask my advice, regarding me as if I’m some “all-knowing” high priestess who can sum up the definitive answer to their problem with the wave of a wand, or with the recommendation of some herb picked naked under the full moon (lol)! I mean, I guess I should be flattered that my online presence is just so artfully done that I come across to strangers as the witchiest of them all… But as my fellow community members know, I’m just a crafty chick with some worthwhile ponderings about magick. So here, I shall ponder about protection magick…

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The subject of protection spells (or any sort of magick, really) can be delicate subject. I’ve heard a saying that if you ask 7 witches the same question, you’ll get 16 different answers. The saying is both funny and true (give or take the exact number of answers haha). The thing is, any sort of magick spell is totally dependent on who is casting it, and why. Lets use the example of an “acorn house protection spell” to illustrate why…

Say someone finds a home protection spell online, which calls for acorns as a magickal ingredient. Likely, the little spell page they found on Pinterest will not even explain why it was an acorn that was chosen. But still they repeat some rhyming jingle they barely understand, and set the acorns on all their windowsills anyway, trusting that whoever wrote the spell was an expert witch, and it will keep the house safe… And still, somehow, they don’t feel at ease in their home in the following weeks. They feel stressed and overwhelmed in their home. And to make matters worse, their house gets infested with fleas, and they wonder why the home protection spell didn’t work…

To someone a little more learned (or with a little more common sense) like you or I, it would seem obvious why the spell didn’t work, or had less than desirable results. The practitioner had no idea what they were doing, or why those words and ingredients had been chosen. And they likely had a lot of self-doubt and lack of focus preventing them from doing good spell work, because the spell didn’t resonate with them in a genuine way. They didn’t know (or care to research) why acorns were used. In this example, lets say that whoever originally wrote the spell probably worked very faithfully with the Norse pantheon, and believed that acorns were sacred to the god Thor, who controlled storms, and had the power to prevent lightning from striking their house… But the spell got passed around in a game of witchy community “telephone” until it was taken completely out of context.

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Not only does the practitioner in the above example have no idea that the spell was meant to protect against storms rather than insect infestations, but they also happen to be a non-theistic pagan, so passively giving an offering to an ancient god they know nothing about, is clearly not going to give them the energy they need to get into “the zone” and do a powerful spell to protect their home. This whole wonky little story is meant to illustrate how silly it is to blindly ask a total stranger if you can borrow their spells. They would have to teach you their entire belief system for that spell to even make sense to you, and even then, it might be meaningless in your personal perspective. In my experience, spells only work when the practitioner is confident of their purpose, is personally connected with their ingredients and correspondences, and is focused on the desired outcome, rather than its opposite.

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…And this is where the concept of “protection spells” being ironic comes into play. The way I see it, the inexperienced practitioner in the story probably attracted the possibility of fleas while they were focusing on keeping robbers out of their house… Rather than focusing on the intention to have peace within their house, they were worried that they might copy the spell wrong, and focused on the idea that their house was in danger of needing protection in the first place. Because of this state of worry they were in when they were working the spell, they carried away from it a tinge of fear and doubt in their heart. That tinge of fear and doubt grew unconsciously inside them until they began to feel stressed and overwhelmed. The stress and overwhelm would be enough to have defeated the purpose of the spell on its own. But to take it a step further in the pattern of cause and effect, say their stress and overwhelm led them to overlook the fact that their dog was scratching, and they were neglecting the vacuuming, and the next thing they knew, their house was full of fleas!

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In my experience with manifestation work, we attract what we’re most focused on, even if the spell is supposed to attract the opposite outcome. And it is for this reason that I rarely even bother to use words like “protection” and “banishment” when choosing the focus of my rituals. The word “protection” immediately implies that there is something to be “protected” against. Even just that suggestion is powerful enough to create that tinge of fear and doubt in the heart of the practitioner. I’m not saying to pretend the world is a perfect place where safety is not a concern. What I’m saying is that we need to be more conscious in choosing what to focus our spells and meditations on. Rather than calling it a “protection” spell and focusing the ritual around the act of having to “protect” my home, I would instead call it a “blessing” spell and focus the ritual around fortifying my home in positive intentions for a peaceful domestic environment. Personally, I have had much more success, confidence, and enjoyment in the both ritual and the result of “blessing” spells rather than “protection” spells! It’s basically meant to do the same thing, only it focuses on the desired outcome, rather than the undesired outcome!

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Most importantly, I always recommend with all spells that you always, always, create your own ritual! Even if you need to research and draw inspiration from spells you find online, it is super duper important that everything you do in your ritual feels empowering to you! If a suggested word of power doesn’t resonate with you, don’t use it. If an ingredient doesn’t hold meaning for you, use one that does. If the spell hails to an entity that you don’t feel connected to, choose a different one, or address your own Higher Self instead! Your own unique magickal practice doesn’t even necessarily need guidance from a book or online, but the resources are there for ideas on how to get started! There are as many kinds of magick as their are magickal practitioners. I invite you to own your path, and don’t be afraid to feel your way through as you go along. As long as you’re doing your inner work and staying closely connected to your highest intuition, it will not lead you astray!

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Would you like to gather some ideas to weave into your own unique spell work? Check out our Pinterest board for inspiration!

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Thank you so much for reading my little ramble about the subject of protection spells! Doubtless, this either resonates with you whole-heartedly, or you have a different experience to share! Either way, I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject in the comments section below! It is due to our diverse perspectives that this magickal community is thriving and expanding!

Until next time, brightest blessings!

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7 thoughts on “Magickal Musings: The Irony of “Protection Spells”

  1. I very much appreciated this post. I do not practice spells very often but I do try to manifest my desires through positive thoughts/words/actions. It’s tough sometimes, to always phrase something in the affirmative, rather than the negative but I do think it is ultimately more powerful. This post reminds me of the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness, where the main character is a particular kind of witch and cannot use scripted spells but has to create her own. It is one of my favorite series of books, have you read it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this article, Afura…and so true for those that need to study a bit before they go asking for spells! 😉 I resent my email to your subscription list as well…I haven’t gotten anything from you in awhile and wanted to make sure I hadn’t fallen off your list! 😊
    Blessings to you and all you do,
    Tamara

    Like

  3. Yay! Found them…yes they had started going to spam for some reason! Well now I have some fun reading to do! 😀
    Take care!

    Like

  4. I really like the idea of just tweaking it to say a blessing spell instead of protection- it changes the entire intention! By focusing on the positive energy, you’re not drawing in any harmful aspects, which would negate the whole point lol. Love your insight!

    Like

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