Part 2 – Banishings
Banishing Ritual – A ritual designed to clear an area of all entities, magical energies, and supernatural influences. The Lower Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is the most well known banishing ritual.
Shield – A barrier created using the energy of ones aura, and typically used to deflect magical attacks or prevent oneself from being magically probed.
Shielding – The act of consciously creating and controlling a shield.
In the past I’ve talked a lot about how I feel that shielding and banishing rituals are overused within the community, and how these two things, for some, have become the solution for almost every metaphysical problem imaginable. Reading various message boards that have linked to this site and what some have asked me in comments and emails, it seems as though I’ve been misinterpreted.
Part of the problem is that I haven’t said that shielding and banishing rituals should never be used. I’m of the opinion that every tool a magician has in their repertoire, properly used, is an asset, and under the right circumstances almost anything can be useful. So of course I recommend learning how to shield or banish, because these aren’t very hard things to learn and you’re going to be more powerful through knowing them. I also recommend learning how to do everything else you can too.
Some have read this as me just saying that shielding and banishings shouldn’t be used quite as often as they are by some practitioners, but they should still remain a basic element of ones practice. I never meant anything close to that. I think there are only a handful of situations where either of these things may be useful.
The vast majority of shields I’ve done, over my entire life, have either been simple tricks to amuse me, like making my spiritual body look like a ruby rock to others to see if they notice, or so absurd and complicated, both in appearance and function, that they could hardly be considered shields. Things like the Insta Bramble Reverse Shield Trap, or the Holey Knife Shield.
I haven’t used a shield for any kind of defense in over three years, and I haven’t had a need for it in all that time. In my entire life, I can count how many times I’ve used a defensive shield on my hands.
Outside of experimentation or to prove that I could do it, or as part of a ritual that included it, I’ve never done a true banishing. I’ve never come across a use for it where there wasn’t a better option. I’ve done a few cleansings, which are sort of like banishings, but they specifically targeted general entities and not energies. I don’t even do those anymore though. I’m scary enough all by myself that I can get rid of just about anything I don’t like. At least anything that would be affected by a banishing anyways.
This is in contrast to people who promote always shielding and including banishings as part of every ritual.
I also find that the sort of people who always suggest better shielding or doing a banishing ritual as the solution to every metaphysical problem aren’t very skilled magicians. It doesn’t take any great amount of skill, creativity, knowledge, or first hand experience to suggest either of these options. The answer is always either A or B, and which answer best fits which situation is usually obvious.
The fact that there are usually far better solutions to these problems, and that these solutions aren’t discussed, weighed, or even imagined by these magicians, only goes to further prove how incompetent they are. These are typically the sort of people who parrot the magical information of others, often times without fully understanding it, and usually have very limited, or even nonexistent, first hand spiritual experiences.
Over the next week I’m going to write two more articles in this series, one dealing with my views on shielding specifically, and one dealing with my views on banishings. The first, on shielding, is probably going to be the longer of the two.
Although just as overused, banishing rituals are not as bad as shielding. Banishing can be somewhat counterproductive, but there are also some very strong magicians who banish frequently, and the drawbacks of doing this are not that detrimental. The worst part about banishing rituals is that it’s used as a solution to problems it doesn’t really fix, or doesn’t fix well. So long as a magician keeps a wide arsenal of tools, they’re usually fine, even if they do banish too much.
The same can’t be said of shielding, which is a much bigger problem. In the short term, shielding is not as protective as people think it is, and often times leaves the practitioner in a much more vulnerable state. It’s also not very economical, and used incorrectly, it can seriously hinder the practitioner, both inside a fight and outside of it.
In the long term shielding tends to seriously harm the practitioner by restricting their magical ability and limiting their spiritual growth, not to mention the fact that it discourages learning better offensive and defensive techniques to protect oneself with.
Insta Bramble Reverse Shield Trap – The idea comes, partially, from my Hecate barrier spell which I first cast for a friend. One of the differences of that barrier, from a standard one, is that it was a thorny thicket, so that anything attempting to break through it would be hurt. This shield works in the same way, being composed of thick bramble that causes pain to anything that directly touches it rather than a standard energy barrier.
In order for this to work, it has to be an instant shield, which I’ll talk more about in the article dealing with shielding. Basically though this means that the shield won’t come up until it’s needed. So the shield doesn’t come up until the punch is thrown and about to connect, or an enemy is charging you and almost on top of you.
At the moment the enemy connects with the shield, it pulls itself off the practitioner, and instantly surrounds the attacker. That’s the trap part, and in doing so it becomes a reverse shield, shielding the attacker instead of the defender.
At that point the shield is hurting the attacker and also preventing them from forming an attack that breaks the shielding. The shield then begins slowly folding in on itself, squeezing the attacker, causing more pain, and generally crushing them.
In order for it to work, the timing needs to be perfect. It’s also easily broken, and it doesn’t cause all that much pain. It’s a fun attack though, and if it doesn’t work, I have a thousand more to try.
Holey Knife Shield – The basic idea comes from having a shield of knives. I like a shield of knives, because you can attack with one of those. It’s holey because there aren’t enough knives to completely defend the practitioner, or even defend the practitioner well. They’re just sort of misplaced here and there, leaving the practitioner pretty open to attack. They do extend far outward of the practitioner (I like to keep mine three to five feet out from myself in all directions).
The energy holding the knives to the practitioner could be turned into a standard shield for better protection, but instead the energy is kept loose and weak and fluid, that way the practitioner can be better focused on making the knives more powerful, and more knives can also be created so they extend further out.
Basically the knives act as if they’re tied to the practitioner by strings all over their body, except they aren’t affected by gravity and can float around, and the practitioner won’t accidentally hit themselves with the knives as they move. This way the practitioner can jump around, swinging their arms and legs, and hitting their enemies with knives extending several feet out when they do.
Part 1 – Shields
Part 2 – Banishings