The Body - Protection Spells - Spells

The Big Book of Practical Spells: Everyday Magic That Works - Judika Illes 2016

The Body
Protection Spells

Although we commonly look to sources outside ourselves to provide personal protection, traditionally some of the most powerful protection derives from images of the human body.


Nothing else defeats the Evil Eye like another eye. Another eye draws the Evil Eye toward it so that it is unable to glance elsewhere, then boomerangs the evil glance right back, behaving as a shield. Sometimes the eye image may be implied: a diamond, almond-shape or triangle is used, flanked by images of eyebrows. The eyebrows alone may be enough to convey the threat and send that Evil Eye packing. Small blue glass eyes from Greece and Turkey are hung from necklaces, on walls and on rear-view mirrors. Traditionally, they are believed to work best if received as a gift.


The Ojo de Dios (Eye of God) is an ancient Huichol Indian amulet that is increasingly popular and widespread. Interestingly, just as in North Africa, a diamond shape is used to symbolize an eye. (The innermost diamond represents the eye's pupil.) The color of the yarn indicates what type of protection and power is needed. These amulets are also used to request prosperity and male children. Small ones are carried as personal amulets but larger ones adorn homes. Although the directions for this amulet involve many steps, it's actually an easy and relaxing one to create.


Ojo de Dios

2 wooden dowels

Knife, glue, scissors

Yarn in 2 or 3 colors

1. Mark the center of each dowel and make a notch with the knife.

2. Glue the dowels together to form a cross, fitting the notches together. It is as if there are four spokes of a wheel or four arms of a cross.

3. Choose one color of yarn to serve as the eye's pupil; loop the yarn several times around the center until it is completely covered.

4. Begin to wrap the yarn around the dowels. Start at the 1st dowel and move clockwise, like the sun, over and around the 2nd arm and up and over the 3rd. Wind the yarn around the 3rd and bring it to the 4th, wrap it around and come back to the 1st. (Keep the yarn tight but not pulled too hard.) Continue winding until you have a small diamond.

5. When you are ready, when the pupil diamond is complete, return to the 1st dowel (first spoke of the wheel), knot the yarn and cut it, leaving about a 1-inch tail.

6. Add the second color: this is the iris. Position it close to the inner diamond. Add a dab of glue (not completely authentic, but it will stay on better).

7. Wind always in the same clockwise pattern. When your new diamond is complete, return to the 1st dowel and knot and snip the yarn.

8. Affix a third color yarn or return to the first and proceed to make at least one more diamond. (You may make as many as you wish.)

9. Finish your ojo by winding the yarn around the 1st dowel until it is completely covered. Cut off any excess yarn. Wrap, knot or glue the end securely.

10. Repeat around the other three arms until they, too, are completely covered. Yarn tassels added to the ends of the dowels and a pom-pom on top add extra blessings.


If you'd like to provide a protective amulet for yourself, grab a hand! Again, blue is the favored color—if you'd like to continue an ancient tradition, have children daub their hands in blue paint and then press them against your walls. The Hand of Power is one of the most ancient symbols of all, its use as a protective amulet going back to Paleolithic times. This image of the protective hand is worn literally all over Earth, from the Middle East and Native America to the Himalayas and all the way through Africa. Hands provide healing and offer blessings. The Moroccan saying “five in your eye” plunges the fingers defensively into the Evil Eye. An amulet may show a literal hand or five dots, lozenges or squares may also be used to transmit the message. Because five is the number of the fingers and insinuates the power of the hand, it is the number most featured in protective spells.


The following amulet originated in pre-Christian Scandinavia but remains popular today. The shape of the cross indicates that protection radiates out in all directions. Once you have the materials, it can be constructed in minutes.


Scandinavian House Protection Amulet

1. Form a cross with two birch twigs.

2. Bind them together with red thread and hang in your house.

3. For extra power and enhancement, attach crystals or roots, particularly angelica root, where the twigs meet.


Along with human hands and eyes, genital imagery is believed to have protective qualities. These images are not necessarily considered erotic nor are they designed to titillate. Instead, they represent the power of the ancestors watching over us. Sometimes the image is reasonably literal and graphic: at one time, winged phalluses were a popular protective image. However, usually a symbolic geometry is utilized. The downward facing triangle represents the female genitalia. The upward facing triangle represents the male. When you overlap them together, well. . . . (Those of a metaphysical or poetic bent like to say the overlapped triangles indicate the union of fire and water.)

The downward facing triangle is ubiquitous in African and West Asian amulets, representing that the protective quality of a woman's love is considered to be perhaps the most powerful force on Earth. Triangles provide a focus for protection deriving from generations of maternal concern, while their sharp sides slash at the Evil Eye.


According to Gullah tradition, basil leaves in the bath remove curses. For a simple and quick hex-removing bath, throw a handful of salt into the water with a splash of vinegar and a few fresh basil leaves. Basil-infused vinegar allows you access to this bath easily at any time. (Also good in salad dressings, but save some for the bath!)


Basil Vinegar

2½ cups white wine vinegar

6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

5 garlic cloves, mashed

1. Boil the vinegar in a saucepan and pour it over the basil and garlic.

2. Cover and infuse for 3 days at room temperature.

3. Strain and pour the liquid into a sterilized bottle.

4. Add whole cloves of garlic and/or basil leaves for decoration and enhancement if you like. Add a splash to your bath, whenever you feel in need of a psychic shield.


Protection Formula

4 drops essential oil of frankincense

4 drops essential oil of lavender

2 drops essential oil of rosemary

Blend the oils together and add to your bath water or mix with a cup of sweet almond oil for a protective massage.


Have you been hoodooed? You don't have to stay that way!


Curse Removal Bath


Agrimony (breaks hexes! Also sends them back.)


Hydrangea flowers


1. Use at least three of the above dried botanicals.

2. Take about a handful of each, place in a metal bowl and make a strong infusion (see page 16).

3. Strain and add to the bath or if you feel really in need of extra magic energy, add the plant material to your bath, too. Rub your body with the plants while in the tub. When the water has drained out and you're dressed, gather up the remaining plants from the tub and dispose of them outside, not inside your home.


Hexbreaker Bath

1 cup of coconut oil

Handful of salt

Lavender, lemon, patchouli, peppermint, lemon verbena

1. If the coconut oil has solidified, warm it gently over the stove until it liquefies, not allowing it to scorch or get too hot.

2. Add the salt and stir.

3. Now add the fragrances: you can use either finely powdered herbs (a pinch) or essential oils (2 drops each) or a combination. You can substitute a squeeze of lemon juice for the essential oil of lemon. Add lemon zest, too, if you like.

· Most effective if timed to coincide with the full moon.


While images of the hands, eyes and genitals all avert the Evil Eye, feet (real ones, not just images) are downright vulnerable. A human's psychic Achilles heel is actually located a little lower on the soles of the feet. Feet are not usually considered among the orifices but feet, unless very callused, actually provide an excellent form of entry into the body for either healing or malevolent forces. Absorption through the soles of the feet is a favored method of administering poisons in the tropics; on the positive side, footbaths are considered particularly fine venues of healing for aromatherapy or other herbal therapies.


Try this out for yourself: rub a cut clove of garlic against the soles of your feet and see how long it takes to taste the garlic in your mouth. Unless your feet are very callused, it shouldn't take too long.


Poison doesn't have to be literal. The feet are considered vulnerable to any malevolent energy circulating around, too, hence the saying “stepping into the wrong territory.” Protective rituals involving the feet actually provide all-around protection.

· First and foremost, henna painted upon the soles ornaments, beautifies, disinfects, prevents athlete's foot and last, but not least, seals in spiritual protection. If you lack the time or ability to create a more elaborate design, emulate Bedouin women who simply dip their entire sole into the henna paste, creating a solid block of protection.

· Alternatively, if you fear you've been stepping into the wrong territory, or have approached some unholy ground, you may find the next ritual to be beneficial.


Foot Protection Ritual

Dried mugwort

Dried peppermint

Dried rosemary

1 cup light vegetable oil, safflower or similar

½ cup of salt, plus 1 handful

¼ cup of hazelnut or walnut oil

4 drops essential oils of myrrh, vetiver or patchouli

1. Prepare a strong herbal infusion (see page 16) of equal parts mugwort, peppermint and rosemary.

2. Blend the salt and vegetable oil to create a salt scrub.

3. Fill a bucket with water as hot as you can stand for a footbath.

4. Add the infusion and a large handful of sea salt.

5. Moisten your feet slightly and apply the salt scrub to your feet, concentrating on the soles but going up as high as your ankles.

6. Soak your feet for 15 minutes in the bucket.

7. The ritual is sealed with a foot massage: warm a small amount, less than ¼ cup of walnut or hazelnut oil. (If you're on a budget, sunflower oil will work, too.)

8. Add 4 drops of myrrh, patchouli or vetiver to the oil. Massage into your feet, again beginning with the soles but moving up to the ankles.

9. This ritual is most effective performed right before bedtime. As soon as the ritual is done, get into bed (or better yet, perform the massage part in bed; your feet will be slippery) and try not to walk for several hours.


Devil's Shoestrings Ankle Bracelet

This lucky charm provides protection from the ground up. Devil's Shoestrings are the colloquial name for the roots of plants belonging to the Viburnum family. They look like long strings. The name derives not from any inclination to evil, but because they're used to conceptually tie the devil's shoes together, tripping him up and preventing bad luck and malicious magic from following you. The trick is you need nine roots of equal length for this little amulet and they cannot be cut to size. Choose your roots carefully.

9 Devil's Shoestrings roots, equal lengths

Small piece of silver

1. Braid, weave or knot the roots together to form an ankle bracelet suitable in size for your ankle.

2. Attach the tiny piece of silver; this may be a bead or a lucky charm. You may also use a silver coin, but make sure it's genuine silver, not just silver colored.

3. Wear the anklet for good fortune and protection from harm.


Stereotypical images of Voodoo usually involve a little doll stuck with pins. Dolls are among the most common magical devices the world over and are used to provide romance, fertility or healing. Occasionally, though, dolls are used for malevolent enchantments, although that sort of destructive stick-pins-where-you-want-it-to-hurt magic actually derives from the British Isles and Northern Europe and usually utilizes a wax poppet. Dolls are not only used for inflicting damage, however, they can also be used to remove it.


Return to Sender Doll Ritual

2 pieces of red flannel

Stinging nettles

White paper and pen

Needle, thread, pins and scissors

1. Pin one piece of cloth directly on top of the other.

2. Draw a simple outline of a human body on the top piece as a pattern.

3. Cut the cloth to make 2 figures.

4. Sew the 2 pieces of flannel together, leaving a small opening at the head (or wherever you prefer). Don't add features or personalize it too much. You're not trying to hex anyone, just return something back from whence it came. Keep your little poppet nondescript. Save your creativity for elsewhere; there should be nothing that visually associates the doll with you.

5. Stuff the opening with the nettles (you may want to wear gloves; they really do sting) and sew up the hole.

6. Write “Return to Sender” on a small piece of white paper and pin it to the poppet.

7. Look the doll in the face and tell it what needs banishing.

8. Bring it to a garbage can at a distance from your home via a circuitous route and throw it away. Or leave it in the center of a four-way crossroads not too near your home.

(This spell is ideally performed in conjunction with a full moon.)


Personal Jinx Removal Ritual

Once released from mouth, words take on a life and power of their own. The child who is told that he will never amount to anything has been cursed as surely as if the most ancient metaphysical secret words had been used. “You're just like your father,” “you'll never quit drinking,” “no one will love you,” the list of curses is endless.

Well, poisons have their antidotes and so do curses. If you feel that you, too, have been cursed in this fashion, whether it was this morning or long ago, here is a remedy:

1. Write the curse on a piece of paper exactly as you remember it, in detail, no matter how shameful.

2. When you're done, write CANCEL or VOID across it in big, bold letters. If it makes you feel better, scribble over all the old garbage.

3. When you feel ready, choose your element of destruction, whichever gives you the greatest sense of security and permanence: fire or water.

· If you choose water: rip the paper into little bits and flush it down the toilet. Plain paper has a tendency to float up. Stand there and wait until you are sure that every last tiny scrap has disappeared down the drain, even if this means flushing repeatedly. Follow with steps to cleanse the toilet of negative energy plus some aura cleansing for you, too.

· If you choose fire: burn the paper until not one letter can be identified. If the ashes are small enough, they can be washed down the drain; if not, scatter them in the wind. Do not bury in Earth.


Garlands of ginger flowers provide beauty, draw romance and give extra spiritual protection.



Sometimes you scare yourself. The following bath is for when your own rage overwhelms you and you fear what you may do or say.


Overwhelming Anger Bath




4 drops cherry plum flower essence (Bach, Healing Herbs, Pegasus)

You may use either herbs or essential oils for this bath, whatever you have at hand or whichever you find more soothing.

· If you are using herbs, make a quick infusion using a fistful of each herb and add to a bath.

· Alternatively, especially if you're too overwhelmed to fuss in the kitchen, add 3 drops of each essential oil to your bath. An essential oil of catnip does exist; however, it's usually marketed under a more tasteful name: catmint, nepeta, mountain balm or even French marjoram. In any case, it can be difficult to find and shouldn't be used during pregnancy. If you don't have it, just leave it out, increasing the dosage of the other oils to 5 drops each.

· Place the cherry plum drops under your tongue or rub them into your forehead.

· If anger management is an issue for you, add the formula (cherry plum flower essence with either an herbal infusion or essential oils) to spring-water, place it in a spray bottle and keep it on hand to cool yourself off.

* A skin irritant; wear a drop on your hair rather than on your skin.