Bumping Back


What to do when things go bump in the night.

Perhaps it’s a cold spot in the lounge or a shadow out the corner of your eye. Whatever it is you can’t shake the feeling that you may have a houseguest, and it’s not your tannie from Magaliesberg.

Sometimes despite our best efforts to ensure our home is protected, something will slip in under the radar. It could be a wandering spirit on a pit stop, or an entity looking to make itself at home; or maybe something a bit more hostile. Whichever it is, you know it has to go but how do you go about giving it the boot?

Sage smudge-pack

Just say ‘No!’

Your visitor may have you a bit spooked, so much so that you may miss the most obvious solution. Just like the last guy at the party until someone says, “hey buddy, it’s time to go home,” your ghoulish houseguest may need to be told its time to leave.

Assert yourself, stand your ground- be firm and clear and announce out loud, “it is time to move on, now leave this place.” If it’s a wandering spirit on a layover in your home, then such an approach should do the trick. But if it doesn’t get the hint, it’s time to up your game.

Ring the Bells

When you have a spirit that likes to keep a good thing going, and your home is that ‘good thing’; then you can try some cleansing rituals. There are plenty of methods to choose from, and you don’t necessarily need to use just one. You could combine different methods and magickal correspondences to create your own unique ritual.

Smudging is a cleansing technique that has its roots in Native American beliefs. It involves using the smoke of burning herbs to purify a person, an object or a space. Try a sage or rosemary smudge stick (available at most esoteric retailers); burning it and wafting it in each room throughout your house. But that’s not the only trick you could try.

Sound is believed to be a great way of cleansing a space not only of negative energy, but stubborn entities too. Now while you might feel like blasting some black metal the entity’s way, you’d have more success with a quality brass bell or Tibetan singing bowl. And if you really want to rub some funk on this method, you could try some trance-inducing djembe drumming to drive a lingering spirit away.

You may even want to draw from Catholic practices with their exorcism staple- holy water. Although in Pagan circles it is better known as ‘consecrated water’, it does not make it any less effective in driving away unwanted guests in your home. Simply walk from room to room in your home, lightly sprinkling your consecrated water and chanting. It’s sure to have a pesky spirit heading for the inter-dimensional door.

Another method you could try is candle magick: burning a black candle to banish a headstrong spirit, followed by a white candle to bring in some good vibes. Even a trusty witche’s broom, better known as a besom, can be used to metaphorically sweep the entity out. And as with the first attempt, remember that some assertiveness goes a long way in evicting your new spooky roommate.

But if your home is starting to look and feel like the set of a horror movie, then you may want to skip options one and two and go call for help.

The Big Guns

“Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!” While not as awesome as brown jumpsuits, your final option does not carry the risk associated with crossing energy streams. It’s time to accept that this is not a battle that you can win on your own and seek out some help. Remember: strength in numbers.

If you are dealing with a hostile entity that is digging its heels in, then you best option would be to gather some experienced friends for a banishing ritual. Contrary to bad movies and dodgy websites, banishing rituals have nothing to do with so-called ‘black magick’. As it stands, black magick is considered magick that is worked with negative intent, against the will of another or to bring harm to another. A banishing ritual does not fit any of those descriptions, and if anything is more a form of ‘white magick’ if you choose to view ritual practice along polarized lines.

When seeking out help, look for a group or individuals who have some experience in dealing with more hostile entities. If you’re a solitary Pagan, you could contact your nearest coven or grove for help. And if you’re already a part of a coven, then don’t be afraid to bring the matter up with fellow members. That way you will have people who will get the job done and together, you will be able to raise enough energy to kick your ethereal roomie out for good.

And once you have flushed ‘ol Casper out, it would be wise to remember what your mom always used to say: prevention is better than cure. Just as you’d have a rethink of your home’s security after being burgled, so should you think about upping energy barriers on your home with some protection magick.


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  1. Nov 22, 2012

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