Boundary Magic – The Essential Arte for Modern Pagans
Establishing and upholding boundaries is one of the most important things you will ever learn.
If you’re a pagan, chances are you care about people, animals and the planet a little more than most. The Christina Odones of this world might think that we witches and pagans have little attachment to morality, but I know better. I also know that for most of us, while full-scale magical warfare is unlikely, being taken for a mug of is a daily danger because of our compassionate natures. Boundary magic, then, is much less about magical protection and more about fortification – developing strength from within – and maintaining it.
Have you ever been to someone’s house – maybe a friend, acquaintance or a holistic practitioner with a therapy room tucked away at the back – and found that as soon as you’ve crossed the threshold, a powerful feeling of calm washes over you? I have a friend who practises Theta healing, and when I first visited her North London home, I knew she was a healer, and would be successful in that field no matter what modality she chose to use. Entering her little flat, with its white walls and white painted floorboards, was like stepping into another realm. The tranquillity was a palpable force.
This is what comes to mind when I think of boundary magic. I don’t like to call it protective magic, because that suggests that we have to wait until we’re being attacked before we usemagic to establish a sense of safety and peace.
There are many forms of boundary magic that we can apply to a physical place, as well as those that can be applied to ourselves. Still, I believe our home is our castle, and it’s where healing truly begins. Whether you live in a witches’cottage in the woods, a bedsit or a shared house, creating a sanctuary is simple and beneficial. If only your bedroom is your own, don’t worry. The smaller the space, the easier and more effective cleansing, protecting and charming it will be.
So what do I mean by cleansing, protecting and charming?
Most people are familiar with the need to cleanse a space, either for ritual purposes or in order to dedicate a space to a particular purpose. I would recommend regular cleansing as a way to keep your whole home and all your possessions clear of psychic garbage. This should begin, in good old-fashioned style, with a de-clutter. Clutter is the enemy of free-flowing energy in the home, which is why the Chinese practice ofFeng Shui advocates a more minimalist approach, with clean lines and no dingy corners full of junk. It is also thought that de-cluttering encourages prosperity, as banishing the old attracts the new.
Cleansing Top Tips:
Smudging – this old favourite does not rely on you burning sage and owning an abalone shell. In fact, you don’t even need incense. I’m not sure if you can call it smudging, but banging a saucepan with a wooden spoon is a great way to clear the air. Sound is energy, so use your voice or loud noises to cleanse your space. Whether you use smoke or sound, make sure you get into all the corners and dark places.
Asperging – I’m not sure if this is a word. An asperger, however, is a sprig of something herby and cleansing that you can dip in salt water and the use to sprinkle itthroughout your home or over your body. I had never heard of them until I read The Element Encyclopedia of 1000 Spells by Judika Illes (Published by Harper Collins, 2008). I like to use a sprig of fresh rosemary and lavender bound together with ribbon.
Herbal Housework – Combine essential oils with natural cleaning products such as Ecover or homemade concoctions, or use one of my favourite floor cleansing tricks – mix 10 drops of a cleansing oil such as lavender, as well as sea salt and dried herbs, in a big bowl full of bicarbonate of soda. Sprinkle liberally over your carpets, leave for as long as you can to absorb nasties, and vacuum up. Your home will smell fabulous, and so will your vacuum cleaner, for a very long time. (Please be sensible, however, about what you expect your vacuum to suck up!)
This is the stage at which you cement your intention. Decidewho and what you want out of your personal space, and what your boundaries should be. Begin creating barriers for negativity so that only good things can flow into your home.
Protecting Top Tips:
Thresholds – Once your space is as clean as a whistle, it’s time to create protective boundaries at your windows and doors. You can use visualisation for this, or wash them down with salt water or a protective wash.Hoodoo’s repertoire for home protection magic is extensive, and you can buy a protective wash or make your own using appropriate magical herbs and ingredients. Sprinkling brick dust across doorways is aHoodoo trick for keeping your enemies from crossing thethreshold. If you can’t find brick dust (making it is a nightmare) sprinkle salt and pepper in a circle outside your home.
Floorwashes – Another great Hoodoo mainstay is amagical floorwash. You can use these for either of these three stages of boundary magic (cleansing, protecting or charming) – depending on the recipe you use. I thoroughly recommend creating your own wash usingmagical oils, and plenty of good old salt.
Talismans – Hang rosemary above your front door to repel thieves. Draw pentagrams or other protective symbols on your walls before you paint a room. Placeblack tourmaline strategically about your space to protect you from psychic vampires. Create a pentagram charm using dried herbs bound together with twine – rowan wood is particularly protective.
It’s not all about keeping bad things out, you know. Placing certain objects around your home or sacred space is sure to attract good things into your life. Here are my top tips for creating a charmed life.
Charming Top Tips:
The Four Quarters – Use the power of the four directions, and the associations we place on them, to optimise the energies in your home. Generally, Britishwitches associate North with Earth, winter, death & regeneration, the Goddess, the colour black, anddispelling negativity. The East is the quarter for Air,rebirth, change, intellectual pursuits, the colour yellow, spring and the God. In the South we have Fire, Summer, high activity, physical pursuits, the colour red, and the God. The West is the dominion of Water, the time of day is twilight and the season Autumn, so it represents all the in-between things – dreams, visions, and intuition, and is ruled by the Goddess. I recommend changing your room layouts to follow these associations – for example, your exercise mat definitely needs to be kept in the South, andyour desk should face East.
Magical Charms – A crystal or a mini herb broom placed in the strategic quarter of the room becomes amagical charm. You might consider making a money bottle and placing it in the South. Simply fill a glass bottle or jar with eight ingredients for prosperity – cinnamon sticks, silver coins, mint and basil leaves, corn kernels (you can buy these for making popcorn), salt, sugar and patchouli oil. If you can’t find any of these ingredients, substitute for whole cloves. Put the lid on, and give everything a shake. Then place in the South, somewhere where you can see your money bottle every day.
Natural Magic – There must be a herb, crystal, mineral, metal, incense or oil for every imaginable desire or ailment. Use them! Liberal lashings of basil in your cooking will aid prosperity, clear quartz points orpyramids will encourage clarity and vitality, amethyst is beneficial for psychic work. Colours will also enhance or attract the energies in your space if you use them wisely.Be careful to use strong colour sparingly, though. Too much Yang (reds and oranges) energy could create conflict – too much Yin (blues and lilacs) could lead to apathy.
Once you’ve established your boundaries, make sure you uphold them! It’s very important not to let your evil ex or draining friend into your sanctuary whenever they want. I read an article recently in which the author described people as falling into two camps – drains and radiators. If you surround yourself with drains, how can you ever radiate enough warmth, charm and vibrancy to help the people who really need you? This latter group includes you too, by the way. Time to develop the timeless arte of saying ‘no’, and I’m afraid magic can’t help with you with that.