Basic Protections with Iron
This article originally appeared in our Jan/Feb edition of Witch, What?, a newsletter for witches of all experience levels which you can pick up in person at our stores or receive for free with an online order. It includes information like that month's full moon, any Wheel of the Year holidays coming up, what is in bloom that month, and helpful articles like this one! These articles will not appear on our blog until the following month, so if you want to get them right away, make sure to drop by our booth at the 400 Market!
Last year, we wrote a series of articles on how to spiritually cleanse objects, yourself, and your home & personal spaces. We thought this year, we should move on to another important skill: magical protection. That said, this lesson comes with a caveat about expectations.
Magic works on an energetic/spiritual level. It works great with or against energies and spirits, such as helping stabilize your moods, removing negative energy, interacting with or banishing spirits, etc. But there is no magic spell that will keep someone out of your house better than a locked door. Please never rely on magic alone for your physical safety.
That said, one of the primary methods of magical protection is with iron. There’s a lot of different ways iron can be used. A rail spike driven into the ground at each corner of your house. A rail spike in a flower pot by your door. Coffin nails at every corner of your room. Rail spikes or coffin nails across window ledges and over doors. Horseshoes over doors. Scissors under a mattress. Using an iron bed frame, or using iron rods to hang curtains. And that’s just a few; I’ve seen witches get very creative with this!
Notice how all these different techniques are done, though. Things that are sharp, like scissors, blades, spikes, and nails can often be iron, steel, or another iron alloy, because their main protective energy comes from being sharp. But bed frames, rods, horseshoes - those are just objects, so their protective energy comes from being pure iron, and many traditions hold that steel and other alloys won’t be good enough for that. So, ideally, the most protective objects are both sharp and iron. However, considerations do need to be made about whether you have small children or clumsy people around that might hurt themselves on your protective items.
Lastly, intent matters. I don’t personally hold that every magical working needs an elaborate incantation added, but it helps to at least tell the object what its job is. A horseshoe hung because it's cute is just not going to do the same job as a horseshoe hung specifically for the purpose of protection.