The following description is adapted from my personal magical diary. The event took place about twenty years ago. At the time I was living in San Diego, sharing a two-bedroom apartment with Scott Cunningham. Scott was making a living at the time by writing articles for private newsletters and writing novels under pseudonyms. His first occult book, Magical Herbalism, had just been published and he was starting to become famous.
I was making a living selling magazines on the phone and occasionally working at occult shops (including Ye Olde Enchantment Shoppe and The Bead Bag, where they also sold strings of beads and individual beads for craft projects), a magic store for sleight-of-hand magicians, and by giving individual classes and lecture series on a wide variety of magical and spiritual topics.
One day, an eager, energetic young woman came bounding into The Bead Bag. "Lauren" was slender and had long hair. In years to come, her dynamism would attract a wide number of people to her circle. She announced to me, "Hello! I'm trying to learn about the occult. Can you help me?"
I replied I'd be glad to give her any help that I could. "But there are many different directions in the occult. What area are you looking to learn about?" She replied that she was just starting and had gotten a book. It was a pocket book, written by a popular author, about how to become a Satanist. "Well, the first thing you could do is get rid of that book," I said.
We spent several hours that afternoon discussing where she might start her studies. I gave her some introductory information based on classes I had been teaching for some time. (It was this type of information, and my experiences teaching, that became the source for my book, Modern Magick.)
Over the next several months, we met several times to discuss occultism and her practices. As I said above, she was very eager and worked diligently. At least, that's the way it seemed to me. I was impressed with Lauren's progress.
Before going on, it's important for readers to understand the situation at the time. Even though it had been around for a quarter of a century, Wicca was just beginning to become popular. At the time, you could have counted the number of Wiccan traditions on the fingers of both hands. Most of the books on magick were from twenty years earlier, based on work done fifty years or more before that. (This, of course, excludes the absurd "complete" books on magick and Witchcraft that explained everything in two hundred pages of a pocket book!)
One of the areas most seriously missing information was that of psychic attack and psychic self-defense. At that time there was really only one book on the subject. It was by Dion Fortune, and was originally published fifty years earlier. I had read it several times and didn't really like it. It seemed filled with paranoia, and the final solution to her problem—initiation into an occult group—was something many people could not obtain then. And due to the secrecy surrounding many occult groups today, even now, more than seventy years later, many seekers cannot obtain local initiation.
It was into this environment that Denning and Phillips released their Practical Guide to Psychic Self-Defense: Strengthen Your Aura. What an amazing book this was—and is! It gives practical, usable techniques for psychic self-defense. More importantly, rather than being based on paranoia, it is based on logic and reason. It presents the clear idea that psychic attack was actually quite rare. However, as I wrote in Modern Magick, "Be that as it may, the feeling of being under psychic attack can be a very real feeling. Also our psyches are constantly under attack from society: salesmen order us to buy; TV ads order us to buy; friends, family, and even strangers, knowingly or not, try to psychologically maneuver and influence us."
"A real psychic attack is not usually caused by a person doing a spell to harm you. Rather, it is caused by a person or persons who for some reason are angry with you. Their rage causes them to unknowingly send a stream of energy filled with their anger toward you. What is more likely, however, is that you simply believe that some negativity is coming toward you. In either case, you will still feel as if you are under attack, and both cases can be dealt with in the same way." (p. 45-46)
But there was one method that I didn't describe, and it helped me and the woman I was advising. It is a simple method to use, especially in a strong situation.
A KNOCK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
Scott was out and I was alone in the apartment. I was listening to the radio and reading. I heard a knock at the door and looked at the clock. It was well after 10 p.m.
I looked through the window next to the door and saw that it was Lauren. I opened the door and invited her in. Her eyes looked wild and she grabbed onto me. "Are you okay? What's wrong?"
"You've got to help me," she begged.
"What's wrong?" I asked again.
"I broke up with my boyfriend last week. He said he was going to get even with me and I think he has psychically attacked me."
I had her sit down. "Does he know magick?" I asked.
"No," she responded.
"Well, chances are that he doesn't know enough to psychically attack you," I said, trying to calm her. "You know, most of the time people think they are under psychic attack they are creating the impression themselves. Most of the time it's nothing real."
"But it's been following me. Everywhere I go it shows up. You're my last hope."
"This apartment is pretty well protected. I don't think anything magical could..."
She jumped up and stood behind me, holding on as if her life depended upon it. "Then what do you call that?" she said, pointing next to the green chair in which she had been sitting.
The air had grown colder. I sort of half closed my eyes to allow my psychic senses to come out. I held my right palm forward, trying to sense where the coldness I now felt was coming from. Its source, indeed, was next to the chair in which Lauren had been sitting.
Finally, my vision opened to a level where I could see the "creature." To me it appeared to be a shadowy, semi-transparent thing, perhaps as much as two-thirds of a meter in height, and one of the nastiest looking things I had ever seen.
It was spherical, covered with sharp quills like a porcupine. On either side it had a bent leg like a bulldog. Its mouth was vicious with dangerously sharp teeth. Its eyes were so filled with hate and rage that I could feel it.
It was those hate-filled eyes that gave the thing's creation away. "Do you see its eyes?" I asked.
Lauren was holding onto me from behind. My arms were spread out so if the thing attacked, I could protect her. She half-whispered, half-hissed, "Yes."
"That hate, anger, and rage are the source of its creation. Your ex doesn't know magick, but his emotions have created it."
"Can you do anything?"
I walked to the door, keeping myself between her and the creature of hate. I opened the door. Then we moved back to the position we had been in before, leaving a clear path between it and the door. I stood up tall, and in a commanding voice I said, "Leave! I order you to depart."
The result was that the thing snarled horribly. I could feel Lauren cringing behind me, her body tense.
I increased the "psychic pressure" (for lack of a better phrase) on it.
"In the name of Yud-Heh-Vahv-Heh I command you to leave. It is not I who commands you but Adonai!"
The thing didn't move, but the appearance of its eyes changed and its snarl seemed a bit less vicious. I knew I was on the right track.
I gave the same command several times. Finally, it started to move. It slowly inched toward the door. At the door, it was facing outward. It turned its face toward us and snarled again. Then it turned to us and I thought it was going to jump and attack. I repeated the command and it seemed to relax. Then it started to fade. It took about five minutes before all trace of it was gone.
KEEPING IT AWAY
When I was sure it was gone, I used the pentagram projecting method to keep the thing away. This involves visualizing on the forehead a "bright, electric-blue pentagram with one point uppermost." I surrounded this with my hands forming a triangle and then projected this toward where the thing had vanished. I did this several times. I separated myself from Lauren, went over and shut the door. The sound of it closing seemed very final to me, but I knew there was more to do.
I turned back to Lauren who was shaking. "Is it gone?" she asked.
"Yes, for now. But it will come back unless we do something about it."
"Why will it come back?"
"You still have several magical links with your ex. They're caused by the time you spent with him, that you were psychologically attached to him, and that you had sex with him. That thing follows the links right to you."
"What can I do?"
We needed to cut those links. An ideal method for this was something that I called the "I.O.B. Technique" when I revealed the system in Modern Magick.
The "I" stands for "identify." The first thing to do is identify the true source of the problem. The "O" stands for "objectify." This is done by giving a shape to the source, if it does not already have a shape. Since we knew the source, the technique requires that we make a visualized mock-up of it—or in this case, of him.
"Do you have a picture of your ex?"
"In my car. Is that a problem?"
"No, it can just be used as a basis for visualization. But we don't need it. What I would like you to do is visualize him standing on the other side of the door. Visualize him as strongly as possible. I'll be back in a moment."
As she visualized her ex-boyfriend, I went into my room (Scott's room was on the other side of the apartment). In my room I went to my altar and took out the black-handled knife I used in many rituals. By the time I came back to the living room where Lauren was sitting, I could see she had a somewhat fearful look in her eyes. She looked quickly at me and then back to where her visualization was. "I don't want to see him anymore. How long do I have to keep this up?"
I walked forward and with my extended vision saw numerous strands of energy, like white sinews, stretching through the door and into various parts of Lauren. "Not long," I replied. I stepped forward and started cutting the cords that linked her to her ex. Some were like a hot knife going through a container of ice cream. Others were tough and I had to saw back and forth to sever them. With each cut, I could hear her slightly gasp.
Once they were severed, I stepped between her and where her visualization of her ex had been. As before, I projected pentagrams in the direction of her visualization.
Finally, I did the "B," or banishing of the technique. I pulled Lauren out of her chair and had her sit in the center of the room. I performed the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram around her. (The instructions for the I.O.B. Technique and the Banishing Ritual are included in Modern Magick.)
The "creature" never came back, and she never heard from her ex-boyfriend again. I consider this operation a success.
CHANCES ARE YOU'RE NOT UNDER PSYCHIC ATTACK
In most cases, if you think you are under psychic attack, chances are you are not. However, on rare occasions it does occur. When it does occur, it is most common that the attack is a manifestation of the attackers anger and rage and not a calculated magical act.
If you feel like there is something attacking you, one of the easiest and quickest things you can do is simply this: tell it to leave! If that sounds simple, it is. It is so simple that it works and can work quite powerfully. For added strength, you may wish to add the I.O.B. Technique and a banishing ritual.