A common practice in Britain right up until the 1930s was using "witches' marks" or "hex signs" to protect the home, a vehicle, or a workspace. Thousands of witches' marks have been discovered all over Britain, including one in the Tower of London, and another at Shakespeare's birthplace. However, most of the hex signs are found in the homes of working-class peoples.
Right now, a lot of us are facing uncertainty in our daily lives. One symbol that represents protection, safety, and security is the cotter pin or hitch pin. A cotter pin is the little piece of equipment used for holding parts of machinery in place. On a cart or wheelbarrow, the cotter pin keeps the wheels attached. If you're pulling a trailer behind your car or riding lawnmower, the hitch pin keeps the trailer from coming loose. Some cotter pins look like metal hairpins. They can be found in any hardware store or big-box home repair store for a couple of bucks. People can also draw an image of a cotter pin onto another object as a hex sign.
Use the cotter pin itself, or an image, to manifest safety and security. Before embarking on a journey, draw one with water or essential oil on the side of your vehicle, or on the hubcaps or rims. Ask for protection during your commute. A real, physical cotter pin can be charged with magickal energy by leaving it in a sunny windowsill or in the light of the moon. It can be anointed with your favorite essential oil, or even plain old household cooking oil, or washed in tap water. Visualize safe conditions and optimal circumstances, which are magickally attached to the cotter pin through rubbing it with oil or washing it in water. Words of power, like "Safety and security, come to me, so it will be" can help the magick to "stick." Carry your cotter pin with you as you go to the grocery store or work. A cotter pin or hitch pin can also be inscribed on places in which you live or work for a secure environment.
Stay safe, and bendythion (blessings!)
A.C. Fisher Aldag is the author of Common Magick: Origins & Practices of British Folk Magick, available in December 2020.