A few weeks ago a friend of mine (for the purposes of this post I’m going to call her “Phoebe”, though this is not her real name) asked my husband if I knew anything about strong banishments or curses. She’d been plagued by terrifying nightmares, and she was afraid that she was once again under psychic attack by an abusive ex of hers, who happens to be a Santeria practitioner. Phoebe had done banishments before, but so far they had all eroded in time, and had only barely managed to keep him away – her moving out of state had done more than anything else in that regard, as she only has a legal restraining order in the state in which he assaulted her. Phoebe was afraid to sleep and more or less at her wit’s end, and she knows that I’ve banished nasty spirits before, so she thought she’d ask me about blocking out a bad person.
What we ended up doing had four major parts. First, we made a banishing packet aimed at her ex. Then, I spoke to a few Entities from the Santeria “pantheon”, and we lit candles for them. Next, I facilitated a kemetic execration for her, drawing on my relationship with Bast and Sekhmet. Finally, we put together a dream-ease spell jar and consecrated it to Phoebe’s protector, Brigid. It was a bit eclectic, I know – but that did not seem to diminish the power of our spellwork.
For the banishing packet, we started by finding a picture of her ex, courtesy of Facebook. The first time we tried to print it the printer pulled in paper, and seemed to be printing normally, but what emerged was a blank piece of paper – ominous. That scared Phoebe a little, but I grinned, (metaphorically) rolled up my sleeves, sent a blast of white-hot cleansing psychic energy through the room (and the electronics) and then printed again. I like it when things start struggling before I’ve even started – that’s how you know you’re on the right track! The second time it printed perfectly. We still stopped for a second to burn that first piece of paper, and Phoebe smudged herself and the room with some Palo Santo and bay leaf, but nothing else disturbed us for the rest of the afternoon. On the back of the image I had her write his names, aliases, and write or draw anything that stood out about his appearance, both in real life and in the nightmares she’d be having. Basically, anything you’d tell the police if you wanted to put out a BOLO on him. (Yes, I watch too many cop shows. Sorry, notsorry.) The idea was to make him identifiable to the Entities we’d be working with later, and also to any of Phoebe’s Guardians. Then I had her wrap the picture in alumninum foil, shiny side in, so that his energies would be reflected back to him. She put that in a packet made of two taped-together index cards. Also in the packet we put a playing card, the Seven of Spades, which in cartomancy (well, at least the version I use – there are several) is known as the Eraser, or the Card of Removal. Phoebe wrote “ERASE HIM” on it with sharpie before adding it to our packet. Then in went a holly leaf (poison for him, protection for her), the rest of the bay leaf we’d burned earlier (cleansing and banishment), some black hawaiian sea salt (I like the volcanic energy of this one for banishings), and some crushed red pepper (to hurry him along, and to add a little heat). The basic intention was that anything he tried to send her way would be reflected back on him, with the power of her own banishing charm multiplied to it, increasing the force. And so however much he increases the force of his attacks, so much more will it be returned to him. As a final addition we light a little black candle and let fall a few drops of wax to “seal” it, and then taped it all the way shut. I took it then between my palms to make sure that all the ingredients were working well together and that the intent was understood, and I added in a renewal charm, so that it could be recharged. Then we took the little black candle and dripped wax onto a tea light, and then lit the tea light and set it on top of the packet, to charge it all the way up and send the spell into the universe. That’s how it will recharge, too – another tea light. Sort of like a battery, and almost as cheap.
I have a decent amount of knowledge of Santeria, from a sociological perspective, and so it was interesting to be doing research into how to practice it from the inside, so to speak. I ended up running all over town and finding four candles for Entities that seemed like the sort who would take Phoebe’s side in the struggle. They were: Santa Maria de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe), Justo Juez (Jesus the Just Judge), San Miguel Arcangel (Michael the Archangel), and San Martin Caballero (Saint Martin of Tours). All four are protectors of the innocent, and in this situation Phoebe certainly is the innocent party. I won’t get into the story, but suffice to say she didn’t provoke her ex: he just went off the deep end and he almost killed her and now he’s still trying to get to her, several years later. Now, having come into syncretic Paganism from a Catholic childhood, this was a little strange for me to do, but I journeyed to meet and talk with the four Entities (That is, two Saints, an aspect of Jesus, and an Archangel: now you know why I’m saying “Entities” instead of “Saints” or “Gods” or “Spirits”!). I was a little nervous – since my falling out with the Catholic (and their god – who I believe exists, but is not as omnipotent/omniscient/omnipresent as Christian dogma claims) – I have not really spoken to saints or angels, much less to Jesus. Still, they seemed more than willing to meet and talk, and seemed to understand Phoebe’s situation. We formally asked for their help with a gift of frankincense essential oil anointing each candle, and they agreed. As I emerged from the journey I related this to Phoebe, and told her to light the candles if she ever wished for more help from them, and that it would probably be good to at least light them once in a while to check in.
The third part, the kemetic execration, started with two sticks of incense, burnt for Bast and Sekhmet. The main tool was a red ceramic bowl, which I handed to Phoebe along with a sharpie and told her to draw or write or otherwise express (on the inside surface of the bowl) both her ex and the nightmares and everything about both of those that she wanted gone from her life. She did that, and then we moved on to associating her ex with A/pep and his works as isfet, and then crossing those out and crossing her ex out – which she did by drawing at least a half dozen death scenarios and then just scribbling like mad until she felt done. Then we went outside (it miraculously stopped raining for a bit and the sun even came out, thanks in no small part to Ra, whose Eyes I had called upon as Bast and Sekhmet) to find a place to smash and dispose of the bowl. We had to wait a little while for people to clear out of one end of the parking lot, but while we waited I reconnected with Bast and Sekhmet and asked them to send their Seven Arrows after the enemy of my friend, and I thanked them and Ra for their support. Then Phoebe threw the bowl at the ground and it just… EXPLODED. The energy was really palpable – my husband said he thought he heard it from the other side of apartment building. I could feel Bast and Sekhmet take off like a shot, and Phoebe and I both started giggling as we picked up the pieces of the shattered bowl and tossed them into the trash. She really looked like a weight had lifted from her shoulders.
The last part was making a dream spell jar. This part I did mostly myself, as what mattered was more the ingredients than the personal touch – that came at the end. I started with an empty and cleaned jam jar, and added a piece of polished rose quartz and two small pieces of polished amethyst. Other ingredients include: cedar, bay leaves, holly, sea salt, valerian, mugwort, the innards of three chamomile and lavender tea bags, three silver beads, and three strands of Phoebe’s hair. Then I closed it, swirled it, and held it tightly, reaching out to the ingredients and melding them together, making sure they understood my purpose. I intend the jar to sit by her bedside and act as a sort of night light – easing the terror of the nightmares, and giving her some agency in them and a handhold to pull herself out of them. I don’t think a spell of this nature could prevent her from ever having a nightmare again, but I have hope that it will make them much more manageable. The banishment should stop the psychic attack nightmares from her ex, which means that the only ones remaining should be anxiety dreams, which should be easily affected by the jar. We consecrated the jar to Brigid and asked for her help in this matter: I had Pheobe hold onto it and invoke Brigid until she could feel the energy emanating from the jar like a lantern. Then we set a tea light on top of the jar lid and lit it – another easy charge method, and also an offering to Brigid in thanks for her help.
As I cleaned up, Phoebe drank some cedar tea I’d made, and afterwards we both did a little grounding and centering. It was an intense day, but everything went well, and hopefully she’ll have some real relief soon.
If anything new and interesting happens on this front, I’ll let you know!