Another week, another early folklore post.
I have been doing heavy duty cleaning since 6 this morning and will probably be up again that early tomorrow, to pack for festival and do more cleaning. Of course the insurance inspection would fall on the same week as my vacation-therefore-I’m-going-out-of-town-week.
If you are a fan of or at least seen more than few episodes of Supernatural then you have already been exposed to the idea of warding.
Energy flows like water. It moves from place to place, managing to find any opening it can get into a person, building, or other vessel.
A ward functions like a gate-it allows only certain energies in or out. It is a block that prevents something from either leaving or entering; think the infamous circle of salt that Dean and Sam always fall back on.
Folklorically speaking, wards can take on different roles and different intensities. You can ward against a person’s energies, a group, a deity, ghosts, weather, bad luck…whatever energy you find yourself needing to block. Many people start using wards as a basic security level-even if there’s no known concern (such as hexing, crossing, cursing, or other forms of energetic attacks), having a block against other people’s emotions is a good idea to many.
The actual structure of a ward varies, depending on who is casting the ward and what is needed to be done. In some cases something like a mirror can be used-mirror magic works in part by reflecting back whatever is sent. It’s actually a fairly neutral warding style, since the only energy moving is the energy that’s already being thrown at a person. In other cases something like an element is used-each element (water, fire, etc) carries a different energy and that energy is used to protect the caster.
A second form of warding invokes a heavier use of the Shadow and isn’t as common (or sometimes ‘accepted’ though I don’t like that word, if you don’t like something, nothing is forcing you to do it)-a type of if/then statement. It involves a type of mantra work and starts bordering on outright spell work-it is sometimes linked to a deity or other energy directly. “If you hurt me, then get lost in the darkness. If you follow me, get lost in the darkness”, “May you be loved as you love”, even something as subtle as “I’m not here, you don’t see me”. This is where ideas such as glamouring start coming into play.
The third (though not necessarily final) form of warding is physical, where you use an actual item to ward with-the salt circle, a necklace a stone, a ‘built’ charm. Something to bind the intent to and use as a touch point. A traditional fae ward would be broken glass and nails hung in the doorways (well maybe traditional depending on which fae tradition you’re working with). The ward will vary from person to person and need to need, with the potential side effect that it will need to be charged before use, and then cleansed after use is stopped.
The trickiest part of warding is not tying your own energy to the ward (unless doing so deliberately). You are trying to avoid the exchange of energy, so you don’t want to tie yourself to whatever you are doing, or limit the exchange to as little energy flow as possible. The other issue with tying wards to Self is that once your energies start to go low, so does the ward. Earth wards will carry energy for much, much longer than you will.