Here is a list of helpful allies — of course there are many more and I am only sharing the most simple way to use— remember — it is really relationship that is the foundation of all this work in the first place — hold that close when you embark on partnering with these protection bodies/spirits
I try to always stock up on salt from the Trapani salt pans in Sicily, but sometimes it’s local sea salt and sometimes it's just whatever is around. The point is, I have a very daily, common relationship with salt – because I use it all the time. So I know it. And when I started researching why it is such a protected force – I got know salt better. As one of our oldest ancestors, that was birthed by fire and water combining, it has massive power to hold space and clear out the bullshit. I use it everywhere I can. I clean with it. I use it to burn. I sprinkle it. I sit with it. I bathe with it. I pray to it and with it. I pack it in a satchel and wear it on me. I sprinkle it around my house (careful not to put too much where plants grow because as we know, salt is powerful).
I use this in many ways, as an oracle, but one of the most important ways is I use it as a protective barrier on my body. When I am feeling exposed, I use to rub all over my body in prayer, asking it to be a shield. I anoint my candles with it with symbols I have been given by my ancestors, and anoint my amulets with it at night before bed.
I burn the plants that tell me they want to burn in my space, and when the smoke comes I see it as a prayer, a specific prayer that is connected to that plant. I typically use rosemary, artemisia, and bay. And so I burn and allow the prayers of protection to float into the space, into the heavens, while I ground myself in the earth that the plant rooted in to begin with. The practice is an anchoring down while allowing the smoke to rise out and up and everywhere. I use various plants, depending on what is at hand and I have specific prayers for certain plants that I speak.
drumming, singing, and most recently I was shown a beautiful ancient clearing instrument – a bundle of branches with leaves (bamboo was what this person had) dried, and when shaken it creates the most clearing sound. This is SO easy to make with whatever is growing in abundance around you, and especially after making a real connection with the plant. I also sing a specific song taught to me by a teacher in Sicily as well that greets the spirits of place and asks them to remove the eye and bring in the support.
Internally speaking, some herbs are really helpful in teas to fortify. This depends on what your body seeks and this entails listening. Typically I use the same three herbs in teas when I know my body needs some fortifying and support. Marshmallow root, nettle and rose. The ritual is simple – I slow down long enough to make the tea or infusion and really sense it’s protection for my body as I enjoy the moment while drinking it.
Typically done in community or with family, making – such as weaving something, beading something, kneading dough, stringing and sewing amulets– in the name of protection and prayers – helps us embody the protection and our ancestors did these crafts not just for practical reasons – but because their coming together and making was a significant preventative protection practice.
*Grieving/receiving the underworld:
this is a big one. Our ability to grieve, to be with a Grief Mother, to allow the tears, the water to flow – this is cleansing. To allow ourselves to be witnessed especially, but a trusted mourning woman, a friend, this allows us to move the grief through and allow the water to come in and to feel held and supported. This is helping to eliminate risk of entities coming in to the body and attaching when you are vulnerable but not able to express it.
*Taking time alone:
rest, slow down, touch the ground, lay on the grass.
*Social media ritual:
be intentional, ritualistically: take time off, be very careful of the words you use, be conscious of the parts of you that you share, and also, protect yourself before you scroll – tighten up your body (as in keep it meshed together and not open and receiving everything you read or see) and don’t take it all in. Put the phone down. Allow for deep magic to not be portrayed or weakened online.
Altar + Saint work:
this is all very specific, but often I will create altars for Saints that I am in relation with (Saints ARE ancestors btw) and feel they are available to work with me to help me cultivate protection around my family and community in whatever way is needed. This work entails longer conversation, but is quite heavy hitter (I am thinking public shrines and altars needed everywhere tbh— just like in Sicily :)
For instance, the ones in this email. But you can thrown them, but do you relate deeply to them? Do you embody their story? Do you allow the energy to move through your body and out your fingers? This is a practice, and a life long one. When my friends and one of my Sicilian nonne, Carmela, does this, she has an entire life and lineages behind her that embody this hand gesture. We can too, and it works, in practice.
There are many more ways, tools, rituals, ceremonies, daily simple prayers and just a specific kind of embodiment / way of leaning into the day — that we can use.
There is also a very huge thing I think we need to think about when we talk about protection work – that is collectivity. About how all this is great, but how do we do this together, not just for ourselves, but for each other? How can we become so good at this, bring it into our daily way of being, as a collective prayer/action for the family? Village? Community? World? For each other. Whoever we all are. How can we weave this ancient concept of protection practices as a way to bring us together?