If you’ve read the previous posts to this blog you’ve probably figured out that I’m a wee bit paranoid. There is a reason for this. There’s also a reason that my favourite quote is “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean there isn’t an invisible demon about to eat your face.” (Said by Harry Dresden in the book Storm Front by Jim Butcher.) I am one of those “lucky” few people to have experienced extreme metaphysical incidents. Ghosts, dark fey, demons, portals – been there, done that. Very little scares me at this point, probably because I pack the magickal equivalent of an Uzi wherever I go.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve seen things since I was very young. At this point in my life being able to see energy and entities is handy, as a child is scared the pants off of me. Like many people, I was raised to think that anything uncanny was the work of the devil and should be avoided at all costs. As you might imagine, his approach to the metaphysical was profoundly unhelpful. I was too scared to tell anyone about what I saw and felt, fearing they would think I was evil, so I had to learn to manage things on my own. I developed what I now know to be primitive shields and was able to deal. Those proto-shields held until I started to really practice magick.
There’s a sort of bell curve when it comes to being in danger from the metaphysical. When you know nothing about them and don’t do anything metaphysical you’re unlikely to ever experience negative magick or entities. (Note, those with latent abilities can do metaphysical things unintentionally that might get them noticed by unpleasant things – I call it being shiny.) When you know a little bit about metaphysics and start doing things that touch the metaphysical world things on that plane take notice. When things start noticing you and you don’t yet know what to do about it, that’s when things start getting dangerous. When you know a fair bit and know the basics of protection the danger you’re likely to face is usually proportionate to your own power level (strong energy attracts strong entities that wouldn’t bother with less). This is when you potentially face the greatest danger. Once you’re solid in your knowledge and abilities the danger largely abates. )Of course, this all goes out the window if you do something stupid like summoning something you can’t banish or walk into a place inhabited by a demon.)
When I was in the scary bit of my bell curve an awful lot happened and I routinely deprive people of sleep by telling them all about it, usually around a campfire. Here is just one example of why I am freakishly paranoid.
It was the summer between my first and second years of college. A friend and I had gone down to the waterfront to enjoy the day. As we stood above the beach chatting, something odd happened. Everyone around us turned to look west to the peninsula; we turned to look as well. There were strange balls of light in the sky. Slowly a ball of colored light would appear in the sky, expand, and then contract until it winked out. This happened three or four times while we watched. Before this there had been a light breeze blowing from the water onto shore, as the lights appeared the wind changed to blowing to the lights – as if the winds were being sucked into the place where the lights had been. I thought to myself, “Oh no, that can’t be good.” My friend and I left.
A few days later I was with a different friend, someone who was also just starting to dabble in magick. We heard people talking loudly outside her apartment and went outside to see what the commotion. People were out on their balconies and pointing at the sky. What did they see? You guessed it, enormous balls of colored light expanding and contracting in the sky. “Oh no, that can’t be good.”
We went back inside her apartment and I explained what I had seen a few days prior. We freaked out a little bit. There had been no reports of odd lights, ball lightning, St. Elmo’s fire, or anything else of note in the news so we had no idea what was going on. Then my friend told me about a nightmare she had a few days prior – the same night I had previously seen the lights. In her nightmare she had lain in bed and heard her patio door unlock and slide open. Unmoving, she heard footsteps come from the patio door to her bed and then felt a tongue lick the side of her face. Then the footsteps went back to the patio door, stepped out, closed and locked the door. “Oh no, that can’t be good.” I started to truly freak out and told her about the dream I had that night. I dreamt that I heard my front door unlock, open, and footsteps come down the hall and stop at my bedroom door, hesitate, and then turn back down the hall, out the door, and the door close and lock. I hadn’t told anyone about it, and yet my friend and I had almost identical dreams. The difference? I had learned to cast proper shields and had done so before going to bed.
We cast the shoddiest circle in the world and did some divination to figure out what was going on. We figured out that something had noticed us and wanted our energy. Whatever it was had marked my unshielded friend, but hadn’t been able to mark me, and now it was hovering outside her door waiting for her to be unprotected. “Oh no, that can’t be good.”
We panicked. We got in the car and drove, trying to get away from it. We could feel like following us. It felt like nothing I had ever felt before. It was heavy and cold; it felt like having a heavy, wet cape trailing behind you, pulling you backwards. We drove and drove and couldn’t escape it. That’s when things got really scary. It was quite late at this point, as we drove down a deserted street we saw headlights coming from the other direction. We didn’t thinking anything of it. Then, as the SUV passed us it screeched on its brakes, flipped around and began accelerating towards us. Now, at this point in my life I would hightail it to the nearest police station and run inside; when I was 18 I really didn’t have that kind of presence of mind. We freaked. We drove as far as we could as fast as we could through the most traffic we could find at 2am. Eventually we lost the SUV and made it back to my house.
We cast a protective circle and had a nice cry. We had no idea what to do. I’d been a witch for less than a year and had no experience with that sort of madness. All I could think of to do was a simple banishing. I had my friend write down everything she was afraid of on a piece of paper, hoping that burning the paper would sever whatever link this malevolence had placed on her. I folded the paper twice and held it over a candle flame, saying “As this paper burns so does any link between my friend and any negative entity.” It wouldn’t burn. It was a regular sheet of paper and I held the edge in the flame and it wouldn’t burn. “Oh no, that can’t be good.” My friend started crying again. I placed every ounce of my will into the intention that whatever it was that wanted to hurt us would be banished and its ability to find us severed. After what seemed like ages, sweating with concentration, if finally caught fire. As the paper burned we could feel the weight of the entity going away.
That was my first experience in protective magick. That was only the beginning of the weird. Oh yes, it got worse over time until I mastered the magickal equivalent of napalm. So yes, I’m paranoid and overcautious, but not without reason.