Good morning everyone!
I don’t know about y’all, but when I first started studying witchcraft, one of the things I went overboard with was reading about protection magic and magical self defense. I find that a lot of people I talk to that are new to the craft usually make this same mistake, understandably so, because we are all concerned for our own safety. However, it’s easy to get carried away. Those of us who have a little more experience know that in almost every entry level text there are warnings about imagined psychic attacks, curses, hauntings etc which, as par for the course, go unheeded by a lot of budding witches. I certainly remember reading such a warning by the late Scott Cunningham when starting out and thinking, “Yes, well … One can never be too careful.” The lesson that I learned from my early work is that yes, you can be too careful, because building up your space like a fortress with countless talismans, charms, and incantations needlessly feeds the fear that whatever is out there can break your barriers, making you feel it necessary to barricade yourself in with everything but the kitchen sink.
All of that being said, warding is a vital skill that shouldn’t be written off as the practice of the paranoid, because it does add to our peace of mind and it keeps out the nasty things that may cause you harm, including curses, as well as the uninvited benign entities. I have woken up many a night from a bad dream, scared, only to be assured by the fact that my wards keep out anything truly dangerous both physical and astral. So, the question I get asked a lot by the new practitioners I meet is, “What works?” The answer I give is a simple one (Prepare for title reference). I tell them to use chalk.
In my opinion, no witch should ever be caught without a good piece of chalk. “Why chalk?”, you might ask. Well, chalk is very easy to come by. I’ve even seen it sold in gas stations in many places across the country. Chalk is also extremely versatile because with chalk, you can etch out any number, size, and style of protective sigils you can imagine. Sigils are old and very reliable magic because they are a part of creating a tangible barrier between you and X nasty thing – much like drawing a circle but with much more permanence. Sigil magic can also create barriers that vary in strength and scope from bug zapper to fiery wall of death – it all depends on the sigil you choose (a run of the mill pentacle will serve any purpose just fine) and how much power you put into its creation. Another reason to use chalk is that it’s pretty much invisible when used on typically white surfaces such as doors, and easily missed on surfaces such as glass, this is useful when it comes to living situations with folks that aren’t friendly to magic. In apartment living, chalk is ideal because it is easily removed when it is time for you to change address. Finally, chalk is cheap. Anyone who has practiced magic can tell you that often it is not the most cost effective of endeavors, and because of that I always employ the least expensive methods (which are no less effective) as they are accessible to everyone. And remember this if nothing else about warding; allowing your fear to master you is an instant recipe for failure.
With love and light,
Tl:Dr Version: Use chalk to draw protective sigils because it’s versatile, cheap, and concealable. A few well constructed wards are always better than dozens of weak ones. Don’t get carried away. Fear is the enemy of effective protection magic.