I dip my paintbrush into the can of grey primer. “Manipulation!” I hiss as the paintbrush flies across the wall. A grainy grey streak is visible against the bright paint, going diagonally up from the height of my left knee to just above my right shoulder. I pause, then dip the brush back into the paint. “Radiating anger all over the place!” I hiss as the brush touches the wall again, connecting the existing line with a new one that ends across from of my belly. “Slamming the back door all the time!” I shout, this time without hesitation, and make another line, crossing the first. “Passive-aggressive bullshit” I say as another line goes up, and “Projection” as the last crosses others and then connects with my starting point. “All these things be gone, I banish thee, so mote it be!” I say firmly as I trace a circle, fast, without attempting to be neat about it, once all the way around, widdershins.
Then I step back, take a deep breath, and nod. My devoking pentacle stares at me, the color of the primer strong against the ugly wall. I’ve always hated the color of this room. Now the original paint is but a background to my pentacle. I sigh, release the pause button on my music, and return to my roller. A nice smooth column of primer goes up, comes back down again, rolls back up. I feel the cleansing energy each time I roll the paint, softly gliding across the wall, calming me and filling me with joy. I imagine the color that will go over the primer and how it will transform this room, but until then here will be more devoking pentacles and rollers with primer running over them.
It started during the second round of housemate drama. I knew I had get the energy of my former housemate out of the room, but I didn’t know how. I hadn’t had any magical training and had only heard about banishing spells in passing. I wanted to spend time cleansing the room but I also needed to paint it and I didn’t have time to research magic. My intuition alone would have to do.
I remember standing in the empty room and thinking that this energy needs to go. It’s in the walls. It’s in the color, the one my housemate promised to remove when they moved out, but didn’t. I will banish this energy by banishing this color. Since then paintbrush banishing has become a cherished ritual in my magical toolkit.
Here’s how my intuitive paintbrush magic works. I start by standing in the room and feeling into its energy. Usually that brings up an avalanche of memories and feelings of hurt, rage, and betrayal. I allow each to pass through me. Once the waves of emotion slow down, I take some time to imagine what the room could look like. I think about what I want to invoke, and choose my color accordingly. For the housemate who left the room with prickly and aloof energy? I choose a soft white color for their former room, a clean, blank canvas for someone to move in, open to the energy of the house, and become their truest, most authentic self. For the housemate who left behind cold anger and resentment? I choose a warm peach for their former room, to encourage space for forgiveness, healing and deep connection.
Once I’ve bought primer and paint, I gather all of my supplies, return to the room, and prepare it. Then I ground and allow myself to be present to the current energy of the room, as well as the vision I hold for the future. I don’t listen to music or podcasts in the beginning but let the silence of the room guide me. First, I paint the edges, which helps me get a feel for the circumference of the room. Then I move on to the paint roller. I don’t try to conjure thoughts of what needs to be banished, instead I let those emerge naturally, whenever they choose to come into my stream of consciousness. Sometimes broad concepts pop into my head, single words like “dishonesty” or “aggression”, or patterns of behavior like “blaming others for your own mistakes” or “violating agreements and neglecting commitments”. Whenever something comes up, I stop my systematic painting and draw devoking pentacles, as described in the opening paragraphs. Then I return to painting the edges or applying paint with my roller.
Once I feel a shift in the room’s energy, I allow myself to play music and podcasts. As time goes by, my anger subsides and I spend more time thinking about what this room could be like. I go through many different scenarios, imagining what a new housemate might contribute, and how this community might enrich their lives.
As the devoking pentacles grow fewer and the new paint covers more and more of the room, the change becomes palpable. Often I start singing or dancing while moving around. The whole process happens organically and I carefully resist the temptation to control it. I let painful memories come as they may and dreams arise when they want to. I flow with the paint and the magic flows through me. By the time I finish and the room is fully painted, I truly feel like the drama is in the past. I am looking forward to the new person and counting the days until they move in.
Paintbrush banishing magic works. I was unsure of myself the first time, because I hadn’t followed any prescribed ritual. But when the new housemate arrived, they were surprised how energetically clean and fresh it felt and wanted to know how I managed to make that happen. The second time, the new housemate saw the room before painting, and couldn’t believe the transformation. They love the new color and feel and have become even more excited about their new home.
I came to enjoy the spontaneous, practical, and intuitive nature of paintbrush spellwork. It taught me to look inside myself for answers and to trust my intuition. No scripted ritual could have done a better job at banishing unwanted energy and creating a magically clean and beautiful space. The hardship of managing housemate drama taught me to listen carefully, to be more present to myself, and to trust my intuition. For that, I am endlessly grateful. While I don’t wish to go through housemate drama ever again, I feel empowered by the experience. Practicing spells found in a book is awesome and I like drawing on wisdom and knowledge that has been passed down in writing or through teachers. But there is something profoundly moving and empowering about discovering unscripted magic within yourself. Like it says in the Charge of the Goddess, for you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.