Trigger Warning: This post deals with the topic of abuse.
A Sigil for the Protection of the Vulnerable is designed to aid those who on top of the difficulties we’re all facing as a society, may also find themselves in abusive situations as well. Before we dive into the sigil, how it was made, and how to use it, I want to give a little bit of background – as well as help to identify some more subtle forms of abuse that we may have a tendency to ignore or sweep under the table.
A Difficult Situation
The last month hasn’t been easy in so many ways: the crisis of watching a large chunk of our livelihood get swallowed up by event cancellations and postponements, dealing with sheltering in place, being separated from family and friends, and other challenges I’m sure many of you are also dealing with. One thing though that my partner and I keep remarking on: the blessing that we’re in this together, in a healthy and supportive relationship. Neither of us can imagine trying to get through these difficult times if we had still been in our previous marriages.
Just even trying to picture it sends my anxiety levels through the roof. My heart hurts deeply for those who are facing that situation right now. On a “good/normal day”, options and ways out of an abusive situation can seem very limited or inaccessible. For some, they very much know the reality of their predicament. For others, the lack of freedom and close quarters combined with heightened stress is likely revealing truths that lurked just below the surface.
I have worried about addressing such a difficult topic right now, when a way out may feel really hard or impossible for any number of reasons. But in consulting with others who have survived abuse themselves as well, the consensus was that this post may be helpful – especially for those who may be in denial or just starting to have the veil lifted from their eyes.
When I was growing up,being in an abusive relationship meant that someone was being physically assaulted. And so the line of “re-assuring” self-talk usually included:
“Well, she/he/they doesn’t HIT me, so it could be worse.”
“At least I’m not alone, right?”
“Well, I’ve seen them do X to other people, but they haven’t done it to me.”
As a society, we’ve begun to recognize more that abuse comes in many forms that can affect you mentally and emotionally and even physically – without someone ever laying a hand on you. It doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship either – it could be a friend, roommate, parent or other family member, a leader or member of your community.
It took seeing my ex’s behavior (and how it affected me) through the eyes of others to realize it wasn’t healthy or acceptable at all. I spent the better part of fifteen years making excuses as to why it was OK, wasn’t that bad, etc. All the while my physical, mental, and emotional health suffered – as well as countless relationships with other people. It also opened my eyes to others who were also taking advantage of me in on my vulnerable state. Since then, I’ve become more attuned to the signs of someone who is likely an abusive personality – and unfortunately my intuition hasn’t been wrong yet.
Some of the Signs
The following is a list of common behavior traits and practices that point to abusive personalities:
- They use an identity as a shield or reason for their behavior – one that makes you think it’s OK/excusable, because they’re sick, marginalized, or marked by abuse themselves.
- They create false scenarios or ideas about you to enforce their comfort, degrade your character, and shift the blame to you.
- They use dismissive language that insults and belittles your abilities, appearance, hobbies, emotions, etc.
- They systematically attack people in your peer group who they deem as a threat, effectively isolating you.
- They routinely try to degrade people they unconsciously view as stronger, more powerful, popular, or successful than them.
- While they believe it’s fine for them to dole out abuse and that people should just “take” their “truths” (“I’m just being honest”) , they themselves react strongly and negatively to anything that threatens their position. (It’s never their fault.)
- They use threats as a means of control.
- You constantly feel like you’re walking on eggshells around them, not wanting to “set them off.”
Now, I don’t believe that abusers are “bad people” to the core. They often have good/redeeming traits as well (either sincerely, or they know how to manipulate those good points to hide or conceal the bad), and they generally have learned these habits from being abused themselves. But that doesn’t make it your responsibility to fix them. Your job is to take care of yourself, surviving until you are in a position to exit and thrive.
A Sigil for the Protection of the Vulnerable was created on April 11th during an online presentation of my Sigil Witchery workshop. While some of the previous shared magic sigils created recently have given a nod in this direction, we decided it would be a good idea to create a sigil that specifically focused on those dealing with abuse right now, amplified by the effects of COVID-19. Its goal is to help those folks get through these times as safely as possible, and to help guide them to resources and possibilities that will enable a safe and healthy path. It can act not only as a shield, but a beacon of hope for the future.
Built into this sigil:
-being safe at home – physical safety
-peace of mind – emotional and mental safety
-able to have good boundaries
-aid to help plan for the future
-access to resources to bring about change/gather support
-maintaining safe connections/know that you are not alone
-mental clarity/discernment (to see the situation for what it is, and devise a successful and safe exit strategy)
How to Use This Sigil:
You are welcome to use this sigil however you see fit that is in alignment with the intent of the sigil.
Ideas for use:
– anoint the body daily with an oil that also aids in protection
– carve into soap to wash the body
– place on a candle (light blue, white, purple, silver, or gold are all good options)
– draw the sigil with smoke or blessed water around the focused living area
– use in a binding spell
Please note: When sharing this sigil (or any other sigil you find on this blog), please be sure to include the link to the blog post. The sigil works best if people understand precisely what went into it, versus just sharing the image and telling people to use it.
A Sigil For The Protection of the Vulnerable is protected by the Creative Commons License, details below:
A Sigil for the Protection of the Vulnerable by Laura Tempest Zakroff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
More Sigils Like This One
This sigil joins the other recently crafted ones as tools to help us collectively address the ongoing challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic. Those include:
A Sigil To Feed the Body & Soul
The Immunity Booster Sigil
The Needs Met Sigil
A Sigil For Managing Panic
To find out more about this method of crafting sigils, checking out Sigil Witchery.
Resources & Help:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Family & Youth Services Bureau
How To Get Out of an Abusive Relationship