Here’s a post on how to avoid being in a situation where you need to banish entities.
1. Ward your living space. Shield yourself. If you are sick, stressed, or otherwise low energy, you can use something like an amulet or crystal to boost your personal shielding. I really cannot overemphasize the importance of wards if you have a space in which you are working magic and regularly inviting spirits over for tea. Even if you’re in a fallow period spiritually and not much is going on – like say you’re on vacation for a couple of weeks, and staying in a hotel or a friend’s house, and nothing spooky is on the menu for a bit, your vacation is from the spoop as well as from mundanity – still a good idea to keep your shields up and have a portable ward with you.
2. Cleanse regularly.
3. Keep your working space as clean and clutter-free as possible – I’d extend this to your home though I understand not everyone has the energy, mental bandwidth, or executive function to be tidy (a lot of magical people are also creative people and we’re not always super neat, though I try to keep my place “good enough”). Clutter and grime accumulates miasma. The dirtier and more cluttered, the less effective your workings are going to be. Clutter and grime can also attract what I can only describe as “bottom feeders” or more negative entities who want to nom on the miasma. A lot of us who get involved with magic and spirit-work find ourselves having to unfuck our lives mundanely too, and learning better organizational habits can be part of this.
3a. If you are in a stressful or combative living situation that you can’t get out of for one reason or another (frex when I lived with my bio-mom), self-care is a part of your tool kit. Stress and particularly of the “conflict with others” kind can attact the aforementioned “bottom feeders” who feed off the negativity. Claiming some peaceful private space and time for yourself and keeping your space as drama-free as possible is important.
4. Mind your Ps and Qs – if there’s an entity you dislike or distrust for one reason or another, don’t go out of your way to deal with them (this includes NOT attending rituals where they are being honored/invoked, even if you’re part of a group and this makes things awkward), and don’t talk shit about them, speak as little of them as possible.
5. If you’re just starting out with Pantheon X, be mindful of their mythology and their protocols – I’m not saying you have to be a recon, and there are quite a few entities I know who actually don’t really like the recon thing, but do at least have some context/background of what you’re dealing with so you don’t offend People. It’s like visiting a foreign country and not wanting to offend the locals – don’t be the Ugly American tourist. Approach entities with respect, even if you see Uncle Nono picking on Asmodai or whoever, don’t do what Uncle Nono does, Uncle Nono has a pass because Uncle Nono is adopted by a few entities and they know he’s a little shit.
6. Speaking of tourists – don’t go Otherworld journeying unless you have to. By “have to” I mean you were told to by $ENTITY for $REASON. (It does not have to be for a serious reason. See also, I go astral!drinking and astral!clubbing on occasion.) Astral travel is the hot thing on Tumblr wherein people who don’t/can’t often feel like they’re Doin It Rong. No, you’re not.
6a. If you do go Otherworld journeying, try to go with an escort – preferably someone from the realm or who is an ally of the realm (Example A: taking a Jotun escort to Asgard is *~prooooobaaaaaablllyyyyy~* a bad idea, and vice versa). I have been journeying for A LONG TIME and I am pretty tight with the Vanir and I still don’t go to Vanaheim alone.
6b. While it is true that the Otherworlds don’t exist in a vacuum, and some entities and realms have alliances with other entities and realms, do not make the assumption that everyone is fronds and you will get along with errybody. I do believe that neutrality as much as possible is the best position but sometimes you can’t be (like if you’re Eshnahai-souled or demon-souled, or you’re married to $ENTITY who was known in their lore for not getting along with $OTHER_ENTITY). If you’re really tight with the Jotnar you probably aren’t going to make BFFs in Asgard, if you’re really tight with Asgard you probably aren’t going to make BFFs in Vanaheim, if you’re really tight with the Dokkalfar the Ljossalfar probably won’t like you and vice versa. Skadhi and Loki have beef, Ares and Hephaestus have beef, Hera has beef with everyone who fucks Zeus who isn’t her, etc etc etc. It would be nice to get along with everyone but it doesn’t always work that way in practise, and often our lines are drawn for us.
7. Be respectful of entities – treat all entities the way you would treat gods, even if it’s just wights in your backyard, be courteous, be hospitable. Don’t boss entities around.
8. Don’t let entities walk all over you. Do have boundaries in place. This is true even with entities you’re very close to – like an entity you have a parent/child relationship with, or you’re married to or partnered with in some other way. Even if an entity is courteous and considerate of you as a rule, just keep aware of where your limits are.
8a. Don’t be a doormat in your mundane life, because some entities will see you as an easy mark.
9. Don’t expect entities to fight all your battles for you. This is one reason why I’m a mage, even though I’m also a spirit-worker and have a few relationships where I could call in favors as needed. Don’t ask spirits to take care of everything for you. If they offer that’s one thing (see #10) but don’t rack up a shitload of debt, even with entities who like you.
10. Don’t be afraid to lean on entities if you need to and they’ve indicated that’s OK. When D and I first got together I had a lot of brainweasels about being perceived as needy/too demanding/too high-maintenance/too whatever thanks to my past romantic history. Those brainweasels are much less now, but D really had to work with me on relaxing and understanding that he’s there for me, and that my “me against the world, the cold never bothered me anyway” mentality was not healthy for me. That doesn’t mean he’ll do everything for me and nor would I want him to (I don’t ever want a repeat of fall 2013 where Clarence horsed me for three months because I was suicidal), but I have his support and it counts for a lot. Where this factors into banishing is sometimes entities will want to protect you, they will offer to do so; don’t be proud if they’re an extant established ally of yours. If an entity you work with and trust is _offering_ to help you, you are not being a burden by accepting said help.
11. Pick your battles. If you want to curse someone for arguing with you on the Internet, consider that you might be running into someone more powerful in terms of years of experience and regular practise and who has powerful allies. I have had 17 y/os with a few months under their belt think they can come at me with their curse jars because I expressed an opinion they didn’t like. Even a casual glance at this blog would inform you that this is like a mouse charging a dire wolf and that’s just with the shit you know about.
11a. Just because you were able to “kick the ass” of one entity who fucked with you does not mean you are the biggest baddest mage ever. It’s actually a really bad idea to talk about your conflicts with non-corporeal entities on a public forum, for a lot of reasons, and just because you were able to banish a fae or two fae or five fae doesn’t mean you are now The Fae Master, and whatever.
11b. Don’t annoy other mages with requests for help, because you never know who you might run afoul of. Being a blogger does not mean someone is a free helpline.
12. For the epic love of fuck, don’t tell other people how you, personally, ward or shield. I know that spell-sharing on Tumblr is really, really popular, but telling someone how you ward or shield your own personal space currently is like giving someone a key to your house or the password to your e-mail or bank account. The fact that I have to say this at all is sad, but, yeah. You can certainly give tips on warding and shielding without mentioning your own current practises – for example, you could mention things you’ve done in the past that worked. But telling someone how you do that now is just… not safe, and this is true even if it’s a private discussion with your bestest frond evar. Speaking from very painful personal experience, friendships can go pear-shaped and information can be used against you if someone feels like being a vindictive shit. Even if it seems like you and this person are never going to fall out, it’s just a really good idea to have that boundary in place.
13. It’s a really good idea to study more than one form of magic. I found out in 2009 that a lot of Norse pagans have an allergic reaction to the Abrahamic paradigm and used my CM background to my advantage when I was under attack from a group of seidhr-workers (the background story is long, complicated, and I’m not getting into it here) – my runic defenses didn’t work, but CM did. Learning multiple ways to cleanse and defend oneself from different systems is a good policy the deeper you go, because something may be able to resist your preferred go-to methods.
14. Practise discernment – as I said yesterday, shit happening is not always the result of an entity or other magic user fucking with you, shit just happens. Keep a log of what’s going on with you mundanely as well as magically, use divination, find a diviner you trust to get second opinions (now would be a good time to mention that I do in fact offer paid divination services to the public).
14a. Don’t take yourself so seriously that you think you are the center of the Universe and everything is about you and Fighting the Evil with epic astral battles every week. As someone who lives with spirits and regularly journeys Over Yonders, my astral life is really fucking uninteresting to most people for the most part. I realize that occultists can fall into this trap fairly easily where, as we do the Great Work, and we impose our will on the Universe, we become a bit self-important, and I do think that cultivating a healthy ego is necessary to be an effective magician (says the Left Hand Pather) but at the same time a sense of perspective is needed. Gods and spirits can be big goofy cheeseballs like the rest of us, and so everything is not serious fucking business all the time. I don’t care what your job is in the Otherworld and Who you’re married to, you are still not living in the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, no really, nobody incarnate is fighting astral wars every other day. If you think you are, refer back to point 14.
15. Laughter and not taking everything so goddamn seriously is quite possibly the best survival skill you can cultivate, especially when dealing with nasty shit. Not letting yourself be ruled by fear is a good thing to learn – fear is literally the mind-killer, and more damage can be done by psyching yourself out than anything else.