Elements of Protection

I recently had the pleasure of teaching a class at the local library for a bunch of fellow witches. I thought that you all might enjoy the lecture, so I decided to create a post with some of what the class heard from me that night! I’ll be creating another post detailing the craft we made that night, so I hope you’ll look forward to that as well!

We’ll be having more classes, taught by local witches and pagans, and I hope to maybe have a guest writer or two over the next coming months to share with you all some witchy wisdom from others!

Class is in session!

Without further ado, I present my lecture for my class:

The Elements of Protection

Before we begin getting into the details, I’d like to define for you a few words in my own way, so you all may understand how I’m applying them in this post. The words are: Magick, Witch, Witchcraft, and Protection. Of course, like all things in our world, these definitions are open to interpretation, but for the sake of not getting off topic- I’ve linked a sheet in which you can write down your own definitions as you see fit!

Magick, for me, is the manipulation of energy through intention. It can be as simple as crossing your fingers and hoping for a specific result, or carrying a lucky penny to an interview. Any time we purposefully seek to manipulate an unknown, or future, outcome, we’re participating in magick- even if we don’t know it.

Witch and Witchcraft are even simpler. Witch is anyone who intentionally practices magick, and witchcraft is the action of practicing magick. That means, for me, anyone and everyone is born with the power to be a witch- it is only the decision to label themselves as one that initiates them into the craft. Otherwise, at some point, we all have intentionally practiced magick. Most children do it every year by blowing out the candles of their cake, or writing to Santa their long list of Christmas wishes. Most adults do it by lighting candles for romantic ambiance, or wearing certain colors for desired emotions.

“Setting the mood” is just another term for witchcraft 😉

Lastly, Protection– the reason for today’s post. When we think of protection, we usually think of guarding someone or something from harm. I’m pretty sure it’s even defined that way by Webster or Google. However, in magick, harm is a very subjective, variable, and debated topic. Removing the notion of causing harm to others all together, it is still possible to cause ones’ self harm unintentionally. Many of us have wanted things that were contradictory to our greater and most inner desires, and when granted those things- we’ve realized we were better off without them. Therefore, protection is a much more complex practice than just guarding against harm.

Instead, I’d like to define protection as guarding a designated or greatly desired result from interference or negativity.

When I think of protection, it is not a single thread, but a blanket that encompasses all things to maintain my own, and my family’s happiness. As, our greatest desire in this life, for me, is to be happy; truly and deeply happy.

In order to be whole, you need each thread…

What do I need to be happy? Many things.

First, I need love and my family- unconditional, no strings, and willfully expressed love. I need my family to feel love from me, and I need to feel love from them. There’s many things that allow us to do this- which keeps us happy:

I need good health- mental, physical, and emotional, for all three of us.  I need calmness and understanding in my home, as misunderstandings leads to resentment and resentment leads to discord. I need mental clarity, for when I’m in a fog I make poor decisions that lead to anger at myself, or disappointment from others. I need financial stability, as not having to stress about money allows me to focus on the more important aspect of my life- which is loving my family. I need motivation, for when I let things slip, I grow agitated and irritable. I need trust, not only in the people I’ve chosen to surround myself with, but my surroundings themselves. If I do not trust that my home will protect me from the storm, I cannot enjoy it. If I do not trust that my family will wake in the morning, I cannot sleep. Trust is a key element in being safe, as safety is a feeling and not necessarily a state of physical being. I also need patience. Not only myself with others, but I need others to have it with me. I’m a Gemini, with a Scorpio Rising and a Capricorn moon- and for anyone versed in astrology you know that means I’m an indecisive, untrusting, and highly emotional ball of explosives wrapped in a 5’5” package! Without patience, I am dismissed as flighty and insecure, when in reality, I’m just constantly observing and adapting. Being dismissed makes me feel abandoned, and I can’t be happy or feel loved that way. Lastly, I need my home. Not only do I need it to remain free from intruders and damage, I need it to remain in perfect repair, and in good financial standing.

All of those things combine to make me feel blessed and content with my life. And that, that feeling, is what I think of when I say the greater and most inner desired result.

Safety, like happiness, is a feeling and not necessarily a state of physical being

So- I’d like you to take a moment, if you will, and write a few things on the sheet I’ve linked above that you need to be absolutely happy and loved. There’s no right or wrong answers here, but I do want you to think deeper than the superficial. This area might need a bit of Shadow Work on your part, but the more honest you are with yourself, the more connected to your magick you’ll become.

When creating protection magick, which is the intentional manipulation of energy to guard a greatly desired result (aka us being content with our lives) from interference or negativity, how exactly does what I just said apply?

Simple: we’re not using protection as a sword necessarily against something, but as a shield to maintain something. When we’re content, we are at our best. When all the little things fall into place, we feel complete. So when I say the elements of protection, I’m not just referring to those at the tips of the Pentagram, I’m also meaning those things which we- as individuals- need to remain protected.

If I need financial stability to remain happy, that means I need my financial opportunities to not only be abundant, I need the ones I’ve already resourced to remain free and flowing. However, I don’t just want any kind of money- as there’s many ways to receive a windfall. I don’t want someone I care about to die to bring me an inheritance, as losing them would not keep me happy- even if it provided me the money I originally thought I wanted.

That’s why it’s important, for me, to define protection in that way- as I don’t just want to keep my physical self from “harm”, but my emotional and mental self as well. Losing someone I love to gain the financial stability I need would not be guarding my inner desires. I’d rather have to work for it, hard, than have that happen.

Instead, I need balance between all of the tiny things that make me happy to lead me to contentment.

This is where the actual elements as proposed by the Ancient Greeks (and/or the Chinese depending on how you view history) come in. The 5 elements were considered the building blocks on which all other things existed. They consist of 4 physical or tangible elements (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water) and 1 intangible but supreme element (Spirit).

Collage of Feng Shui destructive cycle with five elements (water, wood, fire, earth, metal); Image Credit: 123RF.com

I like to think of the Elements as guides and representations of balance in my magick. Individually and without balance, each element has the potential for destruction and demise. However, together, they can combine to create masterpieces. I like to tell people to think of a clay pot when picturing this balance. The Clay, representative of the element of Earth, is sculpted by imagination- or the Spirit element. It is dried in the air, to gain strength, before it is painted with liquid (representing water), and fired in a kiln. The end result is a beautiful piece that wouldn’t have been possible if not for the balance of elements within. Too much water in the clay, and the piece would explode when fired. Too dry, and the piece would crack before even placed into the kiln.

All elements are represented equally and balanced in a clay pot

This applies to our protection spells quite easily. As in the example I’ve already used- too much financial abundance and not enough physical protection- and I fall into an inheritance that takes care of one without the other. Too little motivation can lead to not enough financial abundance because I won’t work hard to make sure I’m bringing in those resources. As seemingly individual as all the elements to making me happy are, they’re actually threads of the same blanket- and the removal of one could mean the disintegration of the entire thing.

That leads me to the question: Why should we use the elements in our protection magick?

Let’s go back to the definition of magick, shall we? The manipulation of energy through intent. When we’re creating spells, what energies are we manipulating? I can’t answer this for you, as I feel that it’s dependent on the individual’s beliefs. For me, I feel there is a Universal energy expressed through nature. It’s intangible, but ever present, and in my practice, it’s represented quite often by the elements. It’s both an honoring of the Earth and her energy, and a grounding of my magick to her roots. Like the trees who are rooted to the ground and bathe in the water of the soil, yet reach to the sky to breathe the air and soak in the fire of the sun, I am nature. My own magick is a microcosm of the macrocosm that is this planet and her wonder- and the best way for me to not only manipulate energy to the best of my ability but to maintain a healthy and natural balance is through the elements themselves. Why mess with perfection already created by the Great Mother herself?

I’ve linked above a little guide of ways you can represent the different elements in your spells. This is as subjective to your practice as all things. It’s some of what I use, but it’s not comprehensive, or all-encompassing, and should be used at your discretion. If you feel something fits in a different category- by all means, use it to represent a different element. If you feel that I missed something, feel free to add it. A lot of times, I won’t even think about the written correspondences when preforming a spell- certain things will call to me, and I’ll use them for what I need in that moment instead. I like to see it as the energy working through me- as intuition is a huge part of my practice.

And, just like the elements themselves, my intuition is what makes my magick balanced and unique!

I’ll be posting the craft portion of the class later this week, with pictures, so you can make your own satchel as we did.

What are your thoughts? How would you define those words? What makes you content, and how do you manage to protect that contentment?

I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time, my friends…

One thought on “Elements of Protection

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