By: Patti Wigington
In many traditions of Paganism, banishing is done to get rid of negative energy, unwanted energy, or even people who causing problems in our lives. While some traditions frown upon banishing as manipulative magic on the theory that it impacts the free will of another, if your tradition has no prohibitions against such things, then there’s no reason you can’t do a banishing to get rid of negativity.
There are a number of different methods to accomplishing a successful banishing. Which one you choose will vary, depending on how comfortable you are with the different techniques, and what you’re trying to achieve.
If you’re trying to get rid of an unwanted spirit, one of the most effective methods is to simply give it its marching orders. Be firm and blunt, and say something along the lines of, “This is not the place for you, and it’s time for you to leave.” You may wish to offer a blessing or well-wishes if it makes you feel better about things, and say, “It is time for you to move on, and we wish you the best in your new place.” Frequently, this will do the trick and your problems will be solved.
A popular method of banishing is the use of the various elements, in particular the use of fire or water. Fire can be used as a method of purification and cleansing by way of destruction. Water is used in a number of religions for a variety of purposes, including banishing. You can make your own consecrated water for use in rituals.
Salt is also a great tool for banishing. In some magical traditions, it represents earth, and has been used for centuries to get rid of negative energy. In some folk magic traditions, black salt – a blend of sea salt and another item such as charcoal – is used as a protective barrier.
Use fire to burn a symbol of whatever it is you wish to be rid of, or earth to bury it.
Ritual and Spellwork
In some circumstances, banishing may be far more complex than simply sprinkling some salt and telling someone (or something) to go away. If you have a person, for instance, who is harassing you, a banishing ritual may be called for. A banishing ritual should include a combination of the following:
- The name of the person you wish to banish from your life
- A specific and active description of what you intend to happen. For instance, “Make Susan a better person” is rather vague and passive – instead, try “Susan will stop harassing me at work.”
- A magical link, or taglock, connected to the person you wish to banish
A great deal of magic relies on symbolism. You can use this to your advantage in a banishing, by doing things such as freezing someone’s behavior, binding them from continuing the behavior, or reflecting the negative behavior back at them. A couple of simple methods include:
- A basic binding which metaphysically ties the hands of the individual. Try the tongue-binding spell if you’re dealing with someone who is spreading nasty rumors about you.
- Use a box with mirrors inside it to reflect negativity back to the individual who is harassing you.
Be sure to read Banishing Spells and Folklore, on the next page, for specific ideas on how to banish an individual that is causing problems in your life.
Finally, more complex banishings can be performed if needed. You can create a banishing spell using the basic Spell Creation Template, and perform it as necessary. Feel free to make your banishing ritual or spell as over-the-top and extreme as you wish – getting rid of someone who is causing you pain or heartache is a pretty significant thing, so unleash as much magical mojo as you feel you need.
Disclaimer: The spells contained on this website are collected from years of personal experience, folk magic traditions, and various occult sources as noted. They are posted with the intention of being helpful to those who are looking for spell resources, and may need to be adjusted to fit your individual need. Please bear in mind that if your particular belief system prohibits you from casting certain types of spells, you should probably not do so — however, it’s important to recognize that not all magical traditions follow the same set of guidelines when it comes to spellwork.
If you’re here on this page, chances are good you’ve already read about the basics of banishing – and that page focuses primarily on getting unwanted metaphysical entities out of your life. However, sometimes, we have actual people in our lives that cause problems, and this is where a banishing spell comes in handy. There are a number of different methods you can try – just make sure that the one you use doesn’t violate any of your own personal moral or ethical guidelines.
TO MAKE SOMEONE LEAVE YOU ALONE
This one comes in handy when you’ve got someone in your life that you can’t avoid – a co-worker or classmate – but you’re tired of being harassed by them.
They’ll still be around, but they’ll stop bothering you.
Write the individual’s name on a piece of paper. Burn the paper around the edges using a black candle (black is associated with banishing magic), and as you do so, let them know that you are burning away whatever feelings (animosity, lust, jealousy, whatever) they may have towards you. Burn as much of the paper as you can, until all that’s left is their name.
Take the last bit of paper to the place where you normally see them – work or school or wherever – and dig a hole and bury it. You can also tear the paper into tiny pieces, and blow it away or scatter it to the winds.
How about some balloon banishing? Write the person’s name on a small piece of paper, and insert it into a balloon. Fill the balloon with helium, and then take it far away and release it into the sky.
THE GET OUT OF MY LIFE POPPET
This is a good one to use when you not only want to be left alone, you want the person completely out of your life.
Light two black candles (black for banishment!), one on each side of your workspace.
Create a poppet out of whatever material you prefer to use (cloth, clay, wax, etc). As you assemble the poppet, make sure you tell the poppet how much you dislike it, and how your life would be a heck of a lot better if it would get out. Make sure you use a magical link so the poppet knows who it represents.
If you’re in a hurry to get the person out of your life, you can “light a fire under their butt” with the candles (important safety tip here, make sure you only SINGE the bottom of the poppet rather than actually lighting it on fire). Take it to the edge of your town, and bury it outside the city limits… if you make it out of clay you can smash it instead of burying it. Allow the candles to burn down until they are gone.
FOUR THIEVES BANISHING SPELL
In some Hoodoo and folk magic tradition, an item known as Four Thieves vinegar is used. You’ll need to brew up a batch before you get started. Use the recipe here: Four Thieves Vinegar
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- First, find the best vinegar you can get. Apple cider vinegar is good, red wine vinegar is popular too. Peel and mince four garlic cloves and add them to the vinegar, in a jar with a lid.
- Traditionally, each thief contributed a single ingredient – choose any four of the following: black or red pepper, cayenne or chili pepper, lavender, rue, rosemary, mint, sage, wormwood, thyme, or coriander. Add these to the jar.
- Allow the mixture to sit for four full days – some people recommend placing it in the sun, others in a dark cabinet. Either way, be sure to shake it once a day. After the fourth day, use it in spellwork.
Use this spell to keep someone bothersome away from you.
Write your target’s name on a piece of paper – some traditions recommend you use brown paper, or parchment. Soak the paper in Four Thieves Vinegar. Fold the piece of paper up as small as you can, and bury in the dirt somewhere. One school of thought is that you should bury it in a pot, preferably under a plant like a cactus, so no one will ever disturb it.