Red Alert Witchcraft
by Elizabeth Barrette,
Llewellyn's 2008 Magical Almanac, page 321
the universe grants you the luxury of dedicated magical space,
appropriate tools and supplies, planning time, and everything else you
need for elaborate ritual magic. Other times a problem pops up that
must be dealt with immediately, right where you are, with little or
nothing in the way of tools and ceremony. Magic is wonderfully
versatile--and the power lies within the practitioner more than in any
tool or ceremony.
You can use magic to solve metaphysical
problems or in conjunction with mundane efforts to address mundane
problems; it is especially good for preventing small issues from
snowballing into a major crisis. Advance preparation helps to make you
ready for whatever challenges may come your way. Here are some ideas to
get you started.
calm. In order to respond appropriately to a challenge, you need a
clear head. By remaining calm, you can use your magical and mundane
skills to best advantage. Likewise, keep everyone else calm. Few
situations are so bad that panic can't make things a whole lot worse.
center, and shield. Grounding connects you to an outside power source
so you don't exhaust your personal energy. Centering lets you keep your
mental feet under you, protecting you from internal stress and making
it harder for people to confuse you or push you around. Shielding
raises a barrier between you and others, protecting you from external
stress due to other people or hostile energies. Together these magical
techniques give you a firm foundation from which to work--and after
some practice, they can be done instantly with a flick of your will,
with no outward sign at all.
the problem. Take time to figure out exactly what is wrong, as best you
can tell. Is the matter small or large? Magical or mundane? In
progress, imminently, or merely approaching? Who does it affect? How
did it get started? Ask other people for information, if possible, but
also use all of your physical and metaphysical powers of
observation. The more you know about the situation, the better your chance of resolving it in a positive manner.
a plan take time to use your cool head and your observations to decide
on a course of action. Don't just do the first thing you think of.
Whether you have seconds, minutes, or hours to respond--make the best
of that time. Then act on your plan to improve the situation.
excellent way to prepare for the unexpected is to carry a few simple
items that are useful in a variety of situations. These fit neatly in a
purse, pocket, backpack, suitcase, the glove compartment of a car, and
so forth. Most are inconspicuous, thus unlikely to attract attention
from curious onlookers.
Essences and Oils:
you have a favorite flower essence or essential oil for use in a
crisis, carry some with you in a perfume bottle or pendant. Bach's
Rescue Remedy is a popular choice, a blend of flower essences designed
to soothe and balance. For essential oil, consider a "protection"
blend, such as Spellbound offered by Kamala Perfumes, ideal for
shielding. Magical liquids can be used to draw runes, protective
symbols, etc. Fragrant oils and flower essences both represent
elemental air, which brings clarity of mind.
if you don't smoke, a cigarette lighter makes a discreet source of
flame. It serves as a representation of elemental fire, which purifies
and protects. Of course, if you've got candles, you can also light
them; but in a pinch, the lighter alone will work.
compact mirror, signal mirror for campers, or other tiny portable
mirrors will suffice; a large one is not necessary. Pointed away from
you, mirrors reflect negativity. Just carrying one repels some
malicious entities. A mirror also make s a good focus for scrying. In
dim light, gaze into the reflective surface and let your mind wander
until images form.
wooden pencil makes an excellent magic wand. (A mechanical pencil or a
pen can work, but usually not as well as natural wood.) Holding it as
you would your regular wand, use it to direct and focus energy. It's
also ideal for writing runes, protective symbols, and so forth to
affect other objects.
a pentacle for protection, preferable under your clothes next to your
skin. It is also a place to store magical energy. Fill it up during a
quiet time, and you'll have that energy available when things get
tense. Magical tools can be charged in many ways including energy
manipulation, repeated ritual use, and leaving them out in sunlight or
moonlight. A pentacle represents all the magical elements combines.
representation of elemental earth purifies, protects, and blesses. Salt
repels or banishes many hostile energies. Sprinkle it dry or mix it
with water. In either form, salt can be used to trace wards or
protective symbols. Draw a circle with salt or salt water to keep out
unwanted influences. Dabbing it on a lock discourages anyone else from
messing with the lock, and protects the locked item or space. The
easiest and most discreet way to carry salt is to save those little
paper packets used in fast-food restaurants.
semiprecious stones have magical qualities. Wear them as jewelry, carry
them on a key chain, stash them in the glove compartment of your car,
etc. At a minimum, carry a quartz crystal, which adapts to serve any magical purpose. Other good choices include: amethyst (increases psychic powers), garnet (gives courage), aventurine (calms), jade (brings luck), obsidian (protects), jasper
(aids with grounding). Any ordinary rock can represent earth or assist
grounding, too. Hold the stone and concentrate on your goal to activate
a stone's magical qualities--although some qualities tend to be active
continually, like protection or luck.
and easier to conceal than rope, thread (or string) works just as well
for knot magic. With it you can work a quick charm to bind an enemy,
tangle the path of a pursuer, slow blood loss, bind or loosen the
wind--anything traditionally done with knot magic. To bind, slow, stop,
or prevent something, tie one or more knots in a thread. To release,
set loose, or open something, untie one or more knots. To obscure a
trail, tie a tangle of thread and drop it where a pursuer will step on
it. A traveler's sewing kit contains several different colors of
thread, and the smallest kits fit in the palm of a hand. A stray thread
pulled from your clothing also works.
all forms, water purifies. Running water forms a protective boundary,
and ice binds. To banish something, draw it or write its name on a
piece of toilet paper, and flush it down a toilet. To cleanse yourself
of unwanted energies, go to the nearest restroom and wash your hands.
Water is usually easy to find even if you don't carry it. Still,
bottled water or a perfume bottle of water is easy and unobtrusive to
keep with you. Of course, it also represents elemental water.
types of magic are flashy. Others are discreet, giving little or no
outward sign of their presence. Inconspicuous magic is often faster
because it relies more on the caster and less on outside tools. Also,
magic works on the caster and less on outside tools. Also, magic works
best when given a framework to support it, so it's easier to layer a
shield over an existing wall than to create one in midair. It's easier
to shift probabilities to match your mundane actions than to make
something happen by magic alone. This also helps hide magic by
providing an alternative explanation--instead of "witchcraft" you're
benefiting from "favorable coincidences." (One definition of magic is
Energy manipulation is the most basic
type of magic. You simply grab the power and shape it into the form you
need. Mold it into a wall or bubble to shield yourself or others. (Do
not try to stop onrushing energy and objects directly, just deflect
them harmlessly to one side.) To clear negative energy from an area,
imagine a wind or broom sweeping it all away. If you need to pass
quickly through a crowd, shape your aura into a wedge and extend it
ahead of you to move people apart. Energy manipulation comes entirely
from inside you, so there's nothing for nonmagical people to notice.
charms include a wide range of simple actions and objects, each
creating a specific effect. A penny in your shoe for wealth, an
obsidian bead on your cell phone to protect it from loss or theft, a
four-leaf clover for luck--these are all passive folk charms that
require no action from you to do their thing. Making a fig hand (thumb
between first two fingers) to avert evil, tying a knot to calm a storm,
scuffing your shoe on a threshold to shed hostility--these are active
charms that are easily concealed, perhaps behind your back or under a
table. Another option is to layer such charms over a similar action
required for mundane reasons; for instance, if you're wrapping gauze
over a cut, concentrate on stopping the bleeding when you knot the
bandage in place. Most of the items mentioned previously in "Emergency
Supplies" can be used in folk charms.
Meditation works well in
any situation where you need to wait for something to happen, stay
alert, or remain calm for an extended period of time. You can meditate
by focusing your attention on a sound like a ticking clock or a
soothing phrase; by staring at a pattern, such as a scrollwork carpet
or the dance of shadows under a tree; and so forth. the "alert" version
works by spreading your awareness evenly throughout your environment,
noticing everything but not focusing on anything--until something
requires a response, when you will be ready to act immediately.
Meditation keeps you from exhausting yourself with worry, and recharges
your energy after working magic or other exertion. Being completely
internal, it tends to be undetectable.
Prayer serves a similar
function to meditation. It soothes, heals, and restores energy. But
unlike the other forms of magic discussed here, prayer asks a higher
power for assistance rather than creating the desired effect through
the practitioner's own will. It requires the least amount of effort,
making it more useful when you lack the energy for anything more
exertive; and it needs no outward sign, although you can add some (such
as a hand gesture or a holy symbol) if you wish.
represent a certain energy or goal in a visual pattern. Good symbols
for emergencies include algiz (shield), Eye of Horus (protects against
the evil eye), lightning bolt (power, success), nauthiz (need, petition
for aid), om (meditation), peace symbol (neutralizes hostility),
pentagram (protection, containment), raido (safe travel), and Thor's
hammer or tau cross (averts misfortune). Symbols may be traced in the
air, drawn with a pencil, or traced on objects using magical liquids
such as essential oil. The above symbols and uses will fit on an index
card, which can be folded and kept in a wallet or glove compartment for
Visualization is a technique used to facilitate
many magical effects. It involves forming an intense sensory
image--visual, auditory, tactile, etc.--of what you wish to happen. For
instance, when manipulating energy to make someone leave you alone, you
might imagine yourself concealed by fog and the bothersome person
walking away. For safe travel on icy roads, you could throw down a
pinch of salt while imagining the ice melting and your car tires
gripping the road securely. The harder you concentrate, and the more
detailed your visualization, the more effective it will be.
you go, you will find challenges--and a little magical preparation will
help you to meet them gracefully. Practice with different techniques
and tools so you'll learn which ones work best for you. Then when life
sends you a "red alert," you'll be ready!