It was decades ago when I moved into one of the rooms of a two-bedroom apartment with Scott Cunningham (for more about what I learned about Scott over the following years, see my eBook, The Magical Life of Scott Cunningham, available through the Kindle Store [LINK], Kobo [LINK], Nook Bookstore [LINK], Sony [LINK], and iTunes [through the store in iTunes]). One night, Scott was out with some friends. I was at home, reading, when I heard pounding at the door. I went to the door and opened it. It was a friend of mine, a highly intuitive woman I’ll call Linda (and no, that’s not her real name). It was clear she was in a panic.
She threw her arms around me, begging for help. Linda was one of the most self-controlled persons I had ever met, and this was a total break from her normal personality. Something had obviously terribly upset her. She wanted to know if this apartment was magickally protected. I assured her that it was—both Scott and I regularly performed protection spells. That seemed to allow her to relax and I had her sit in a large chair while I made some tea. She wasn’t whimpering, but she was clearly fearful and crying. After she had calmed a bit I asked her what was going on. She told me she was under psychic attack.
Assume Non-Magickal Causes
to Perceived Magickal Events
Many times, people look for supernatural causes to quite ordinary events. Losing one’s job, for example, doesn’t mean there is an evil magician out to get you. Becoming ill doesn’t mean there is a curse on you. Therefore, rather than jump to conclusions that you are under some sort of psychic attack, assume rather that spiritual phenomena, although a possibility, are the least likely of possible causes of something happening. This doesn’t mean you should not perform regular protective spells. In fact, having protections in place is a reason why it is safe to make such assumptions.
I asked Linda what happened and why she thought she was under a magickal attack. She told me she had broken up with a lover who was a magician and that he had sent a demon or something evil after her. I told her, again, that we were protected here, and asked why she thought she was under attack. Usually when I ask this question I’m informed of the results of such an assumed attack, results that could have been caused by a wide variety of things. That’s why Rule 1 is so important. If something normal is at the root of what a person thinks is a psychic or magickal attack, the best solution may be far more common than using magick. If a person thinks they’re under attack because they have come down with a terrible headache, they may need to see a doctor before getting magickal aid.
To my surprise, Linda didn’t share some result. Rather, she stated that there was an ugly demon that kept coming after her. She saw it everywhere.
Drugs such as alcohol and large amounts of marijuana have the quality of being hallucinogenic: they can induce the mind into making up things from nothing. Other drugs, such as LSD, have the quality of being psychedelic: they cause the mind to mutate things that are already there. Thus, a door knob might appear to turn into something else. I needed to know if this was potentially a psychedelic or hallucinogenic experience. I asked Linda if she had ever seen it before, and if so, where. She told me she had never seen anything like it, not even in her wildest dreams. This eliminated it from being a psychedelic experience. So I asked her where she did see it. She told me it had followed her from her work to her home. This was highly unusual. Hallucinations don’t usually follow a person from one location to another. I was starting to believe that this actually was a magickal attack.
Magickal Attacks Are Rare,
But that Doesn’t Mean you Shouldn’t Prepare
In spite of the fears that some people try to spread about psychic or magickal attacks, the truth is, they are very rare. The reason for this is simple: they take a lot of work! Not only does the magician need to have a lot of information and training, he or she has to be able to actually perform the ritual or spell and be effective at it. Mumbling badly pronounced Latin or Hebrew while waving your wand in the air isn’t going to bother anyone, especially of the focus of an attack regularly performs defensive and protective rituals.
However, merely because it’s unlikely that something couldn’t happen doesn’t mean it won’t happen. As a result, I decided to reset my banishings. I had Linda sit in the center of the room while I banished using the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and the Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram. I felt sure that this would be more than enough to stop any focused attack toward Linda.
In my experience, most non-physical attacks are not caused by people who consciously do rituals or spells or recite curses. Rather, they’re simply exteriorizations of the angry energy of someone who feels they have been hurt or wronged. This type of very uncontrolled attack is rare, but far more common than a well thought out magickal attack or spell. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily ineffective.
The performance of the rituals, combined with the tea, helped Linda calm down. We spent some time talking, and she returned to her usual outgoing personality. It was then that I noticed it. Something was…wrong.
While the regular performance of protective rituals and even just basic magick does have positive results outside of yourself, it can also change you, increasing your sensitivity to very subtle energies. The first thing I noticed was the silence. Yes, there were cars going by, but the typical chatter of birds and the buzz of bugs that most people would have filtered out of their awareness, was gone. I didn’t say anything to Linda as I wanted to keep her calm. Suddenly, I felt the hairs on my arms raise. Something was here, and it was inside the banished circle!
Don’t Get Cocky, Kid!
Although the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP) was originally formulated in the late 1800s, and has since become a standard banishing ritual, its sources go back to much earlier times. Many people think it’s really all you need in a way of banishing. That’s like saying all one needs is shoelaces to be completely dressed! One of the problems with it is that to the best of my knowledge, until my Modern Magick, the description was somewhat incomplete. People often see it as a circle of protection, floating around you at about waist height. You literally make a circle around yourself during performance of this ritual. That’s the way I viewed it back then. What a mistake!
Since that time I’ve always taught that you visualize the circle expanding above and below, forming a gigantic sphere that completely encases you. I didn’t understand this back then.
I allowed my senses to expand. I felt a presence had already entered the room and was behind us! I spun to look at the area where I felt it. I focused my attention on it and saw it.
The attacker was only about two feet in height. It could easily have walked under the circle I had created. I still remember its appearance. It was a large, colorful sphere, but all over the sphere were spikes that were sharp and oozing poison. A lipless maw split it from side to side, opening to reveal razor sharp teeth dripping some sort of fluid. At either side were muscular legs, like the hind legs of a long-haired dog, ready to leap and attack its prey. I had no doubt this thing was meant to do harm, and my cockiness had allowed it in!
Don’t Waste Your Time Doing Rituals
When Something Simpler Will Do
I had Linda stand behind me, with me in between her and it. No, this was not some sort of cowboy macho scene. I wasn’t worried about my safety because the thing was after her, not me. My being between the two made it more difficult for the thing to attack Linda.
We walked backwards to the door, and Linda opened it. Then we walked back to a side of the room. Linda stayed behind me. She said she could sense the thing but couldn’t see it. I performed what might be the simplest type of magick ever. I said in a commanding voice, “Get out!” The thing made a sort of hissing sound. I repeated my order for it to leave. It slowly started to move in the direction of the door. I kept Linda and myself at the opposite side of the room from her attacker. Every time it slowed its exit I repeated the command, sometimes adding divine names from the LBRP. When I did, it would hiss some more.
Eventually it left the room. I shut the door and repeated the LBRP, only this time I allowed the circle to expand above and below to form a full sphere of protection.
Linda stayed a few more hours. We talked. I explained what I did. She became totally calm and her self-assurance returned. When Scott came home he said hello and went to his bedroom. I went to the front door. Birds made occasional chirps and insects buzzed. The thing was gone. Linda was able to go home.
The next day, as I had instructed her, she called her ex and had a long talk with him. It released his anger and rage, the parts of him that gave energy to the thing.
It never bothered her again.