Contingency plans for when things go wrong.
post is based off of my own experiences. YMMV.
So you’ve decided to get into magic and/or spirit work, and something has gone wrong. Maybe this post can help. Hopefully you are reading this before anything has gone wrong, so we will start with preventative measures.
General stuff to have when you are doing any kind of magical work
Salt salt salt salt salt. SALT. Supernatural
wasn’t lying to you, salt works really
well for containing malevolent beings and controlling magical
energies. Buy a cheap box of salt and simply have it on hand.
powerful protective and cleansing plant, such as rosemary, sage, rue,
agrimony, angelica, anise, basil, bay leaf, caraway, castor beans,
cinnamon, cloves, eucalyptus, hyssop, lavender, mint, mugwort,
mullein, valerian, vervain, or wormwood. If you burn plants as
incense, also have some charcoal disks with you. If you use plants to
asperge, create the asperging potion ahead of time. Plants can
otherwise be placed or sprinkled the same as you would do with salt.
potion or brew such as war water or flying devil oil, or any number
of the good banishing powders available (cascarilla powder, which is
ground eggshells, works fantastically).
most powerful protective amulet you can craft. In general I feel very
differently about protection than I have in the past, but I would be
very irresponsible to not recommend good magical protection.
plan for grounding. For some this will be a visualization where they
imagine energies leaving their body; this has never worked for me,
and I’ve tried for years. For me, grounding means removing myself
from any “witchy” or magical atmosphere, turning on Rick and
Morty, cooking a meal, eating, talking to non-magical friends –
anything to remove me from that magical headspace. Have 2-3 solid
ideas of non-magical things you can do to distract yourself and
ground. Anything involving your sense of touch and taste works
banishing ritual or spell. Practice it ahead of time. It is okay to
just go through the motions, or you could simply banish something
like “negative energies around me” for practice.
‘Fort Knox’ safe haven with the most powerful protections you can
find – hopefully this space is your bedroom.
So something went wrong…
Put on your protective amulet(s) immediately. The more, the merrier.
Close all magical portals, gateways, and access points you have opened.
If you are doing work in the moment and something has gone wrong, skip to the closing portion of your spell and shut it all down.
“I command all spirits to leave this place and return home.” Willfully imagine that any spirit is sent straight home. If you cannot imagine that the spirit has left, it has not left. Perform a full banishing.
“I close down the magical portals I have opened during this time.” Willfully imagine that any portals you have opened crumple like a piece of paper and disappear. Or, perhaps they shatter like glass. If you imagine your portals to be a door, forcefully close them and add a huge lock. Do whatever it takes to fully and completely imagine that the portals have disappeared. If for some reason you are unable to fully imagine your portals being closed, then they aren’t.
If your portals aren’t closing, take the focus object of the portal. This could be a candle, a gemstone, a sigil, whatever. Bury it in salt and vocally command it to close. “In the name of God [/Goddess/Spirit/etc], the highest power in the Universe, I command you to close, and you will obey.” Fumigate or asperge your protective herbs over the pile of salt, or sprinkle the herbs on top (to buy an item in salt, I like to fill up a little plastic baggie with salt and store the items within; this way I can re-use the salt later and it doesn’t get everywhere.) To be safe keep the item in the salt for three days, or however long it takes until you are ready to deal with it.
Destroy the work you have done so far. Suppose you are half-way through the spell. Imagine that spell in the astral. Perhaps it is a glowing light, a knot, or some other object. Just like the portal, imagine that it shatters, crumples, or somehow becomes destroyed. Imagine yourself throwing salt in the astral where your spell once was. “I destroy the spell I have created during this time.”
Shut down your magical circle. Remove physical traces of the circle such as a flour or rope marker.
Put out all candles. Toss out ritual ingredients. Throw out bowls of water. Get rid of your 'active ingredients’. Take your ritual tools and cover them with cloths and salt if they are being over-active.
Pull out those protective plants and fumigate or asperge yourself. If you feel it is necessary, brew one in to a magical tea and drink it.
If you are inside, sprinkle salt around the area where you did your magic. Do not do this outside as it will poison the ground. If you are outside, send a prayer to Nature to cleanse the space.
Anywhere you are, again, fumigate or asperge the space. Sprinkle your salt and herbs around (again, only salt inside, please). Use your best cleansing mantra. A simple one is to just repeat, “purify, protect, and bless” over and over again as you spread your cleansing ingredients.
At this point, it is time to stop doing visualizations. The more you visualize, the more you tune in to the magical world. If you are freaked out, that is the exact opposite of what you want. Instead of visualizing the area cleared out, trust in your tools to do the work for you. If you must visualize, that is okay. But we want to generally wind down in that area and remove you from that magical headspace.
If you feel it is necessary, leave a protective item in the space you are in. Try creating magical rocks with a protection radius around them.
Write down everything that happened
Please trust me when I say the smallest word or action could have had a big effect in the magic you cast. While everything is fresh in your mind, try to record the following points:
exact spell you intended
to use. Hopefully you planned out the spell and have your notes, or
you found it online so the spell will be easily accessible again.
exact way you cast the spell, including any changes to words or
actions you made. If possible record every word you spoke or
thought, if you do not vocalize your words.
visualizations you had, including spontaneous visualization
(visions). Please include how these made you feel.
exact actions you were taking when you felt things started to go
what you said to close down the portals and banish the spirits,
including your exact banishment ritual if one was used.
you did with your ritual ingredients and tools afterwords.
you cleansed the space afterwords.
you grounded out and returned to “normal” headspace.
you felt afterwords, and any feelings of something being “wrong”.
If you feel something is “wrong” after you shut your magical
space down, record what triggers those feelings, how intense they
are, and exactly what you are feeling.
Keep these notes!! They will be invaluable to helping you figure out what went wrong. If you need to talk to someone (and always feel free to send me a message), these notes will help them understand what happened.
Correct any residual problems.
If there continues to be any feelings of scariness or “wrongness” around the space you did magic in, if you suddenly feel as if you are being watched, or if things otherwise don’t feel just right, you have a problem or two to take care of. If you feel you can handle it on your own, do so. If you feel you need help, reach out to myself or another magic-worker to assist you. Take care of these problems ASAP.
Cool down from magic stuff for a while, at least until you feel better.
Get more involved in your mundane activities. Take a few days off from magic. Wait to resume your magical activities until you feel better about the whole situation.
When you are ready, figure out what went wrong.
Troubleshooting of this nature can be difficult to do on your own, especially if you really have no idea what could have happened. Again, consider reaching out to a magical practitioner.
Sometimes the energies of rituals are just too intense and can cause anxiety. Sometimes something negative came through on accident. There are a thousand reasons why a spell could have gone wrong. Try to identify exactly when things went wrong and what happened during that time, so you can identify how things went haywire and prevent it from happening again.
Resume regular magical practices only after you have recovered from this incident.