Building Magical Wards
This article originally appeared in our May 2023 edition of Witch, What? (under the article title "How to Build Magical Wards"), 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 (or later), so if you want to get them right away, make sure to drop by our booth at the 400 Market, at our shelf at Little Shoppe Treasures in the Oshawa Markets, OR buy a digital copy through our online store!
A ward is like a magical fence or barrier. It is related to a shield, but a shield is active while a ward is passive. Think of it this way: To use a real wood & iron shield, you have to hold it up and brace your weight behind it. To use a real fence, you just have to erect it, then walk away. A fence, once created, does its job without your supervision.
Like all magic, a ward is somewhat powered by the witch who creates it, but the best wards draw most of their power from something else. Think carefully about what is used to power it; a powerful crystal can last until it is cleansed, herbs will last until they turn dusty and colourless with no scent or taste, living plants will last so long as they are kept vibrant and healthy, the sun and moon have more than enough power but can only supply it when they are risen... You get the idea.
There are many, many styles of creating wards. My preferred method is corner guardians: pick 4 objects and place them in each corner of the room being guarded. If outdoors, place them in each cardinal direction. These objects should be magical or have personal meaning. For example, you could use 4 quartz towers or 4 iron nails, but I happen to like using beloved tchotchkes. I will take my four guardians and place them in each corner and tell them their job. (“Protect me from ill-will.” or “Keep out all harmful spirits.” for example.)
That’s basically it, but any warding you do also requires care & maintenance, just like a real fence. For one, you must make sure to cleanse before erecting wards. After all, if the wolf is already in your house when you put the fence up, it won’t do much good at keeping it out, will it? You should also check on your wards regularly, at least once a month if not once a week. Once a day if you’re particularly good at attracting trouble. Do so by sitting in the middle of your ward, closing your eyes, and checking the “vibe.” Does it feel as safe, fresh, and clean as it did when it first went up? If not, you may either want to recharge your wards (I like using candles, but you can also use sunlight, moonwater, personal energy, etc.) or simply take them down, cleanse everything, and make new ones.