Magic is a process unfolding over time. In my experience, that process is most vulnerable in the beginning, when the first magical intentions are laid and the first threads of energy are spun. At that time, magic can end before it really has a chance to begin. I usually associate beginnings with the springtime, when life and a host of other energies are renewing and budding. But as I reflect on the cyclical quality of nature, the seasons, and my own energies, I am starting to see more and more that much of my magic begins in the fall. The fall is a powerful magical time for me because it’s when I reflect on the year’s magical workings, take stock of the outcomes of those workings, and look inward in order to determine what new magic I must weave when the time is right.
The fall is my dreamtime in which I synthesize a host of energies and begin to weave new possibilities. The dreamtime is its own beginning time. It is where intention and the hopeful energies needed to cultivate it are first laid down. I spin new magical threads in the dreamtime and they are delicate then. As the process progresses they gain strength and resilience, but at key points of transition the magic can perish, the threads can unravel.
We often think about protecting ourselves as Witches and Pagans because we are very aware of energy and the effects that destructive energies can have, but it is also important to protect our magical workings, spells, and other intentional weavings. To guard them so that they have the best chance to develop and thrive in their early, formative stages or at key transition points where they could falter. In my magical work, I build protection for my spells and weavings using four components.
First, I purify myself and the tools used to craft the magical working. All profane influences are banished at the beginning. This is probably the most common step that we take. Most magical traditions have well-developed purification procedures. That covers the very start of the working, then what?
Second, I create a charm to bless and protect the working at hand. The charm is designed to continue protecting the working until the working is complete and the charm is dismantled. The charm is anything from a piece of shiny jewelry to a modest bobble that I imbue with the power to guard the magical working against evil or other contrary energies that would threaten its integrity.
I empower my charms with a spoken incantation as well. I have found that it is important to have the protective spell charm be a separate spell, anchored to a different object than the main working. If the charm breaks, is lost, or is damaged, it can serve as an indicator that the spell is being threatened in some way. I then use divination to learn more if something like that occurs.
Third, I identify as a devotional polytheist (among other Pagan identifies) and so I have a number of quality relationships with deities and spirits that have taken an interest in my magic. I cultivate those alliances and ask for the support of my patrons and guides in the workings that I do. Because I do not believe in the existence of a cosmic vending machine, I put my due diligence into my work and I do not expect the Gods and spirits to carry me. Nor do I expect something for nothing. Because these are relationships that I value, I make offerings to those that I seek guidance, support, and protection from for my workings.
Lastly, and this is perhaps one of the most important components of spell protection that I have found, keep silent. Yes I blog. No I don’t tell the world, or even my friends (Witches or otherwise), everything. Magic is fragile in the dreaming stages and in the initial weavings with those delicate threads. Do not invite the random thoughts, beliefs, and feelings of others into your work by blabbing about it. Wait until the magic is strong and sure, and already well underway, before you share with trusted (and only trusted) others. No need to overtax your protection spell charm just because you want to be chatty.
Purification, protection charm creation, alliance building, and remaining silent have helped me to guard and protect my magic. Each of the four components developed out of both positive and negative experiences that I have had over the course of time. Magical workings are beautiful, powerful, and sometimes delicate. Hopefully the above offer you some ideas about how to guard and protect your work.