In my Ghost Hunter’s Survival Guide, I describe a variety of techniques for warding a home against invasive and unwanted spirits. Several of these techniques marry energetic work with the placement of physical objects, such as talismans or holy medals, at key points throughout the home.
Warding itself can be accomplished through a simple effort of willwork. By focusing your energy and intent clearly, you can establish boundaries around your living space using much the same principles that you establish boundaries around yourself through the technique of shielding. But for many people, merely thinking about energy work is not enough to help channel their intent. Intense visualization, especially if it is reaffirmed over a series of days, can help increase the likelihood of success, but since we are physical beings in addition to beings of spirit, it helps to have physical items to serve as anchors for the energy work as well as visual reminders of the intent projected onto the space.
The more meaningful an object is, the better it can be used as a focus. One of the purposes of warding a home with physical objects is the fact that those objects remain as visible reminders of the wards. It can be helpful to reaffirm the meaning behind an object not only by looking at it, but by touching it as well. This is why it’s a good idea to revisit the process of setting up these wards at least once a month. If the items are placed around the house and then neglected, the wards, which are far more than the physical objects themselves, will wither away.
Of course, this raises some questions about another traditional method of placing wards around a home. As previously mentioned, Catholics sometimes bury St. Benedict medals around a house to protect that home from evil influences. But if the medal is primarily a symbol whose meaning should be reaffirmed regularly through touch or through sight, what good does it do to bury the symbol?
Notes to the Underground
Items can be used as symbols that embody one’s intent and belief, but actions can be symbols as well. In addition to the textual amulets that were used by Christians throughout the Middle Ages, other forms of talismans were used as well. Some of these talismans took the form of body parts or organs. The faithful, seeking relief from an illness or injury, would buy a talisman that represented the afflicted part of their body. If they were lame in one leg, an item representing the appropriate limb would be used.
Talismans depicting human heads, hearts, stomachs, and a variety of other body parts have all been found in a number of holy sites. Sometimes, the talisman representing the afflicted body part would be brought to a cathedral and left as a part of the prayer for healing. However, a great many of the holy sites connected with healing were in grottoes, wells, or natural springs. The faithful would go to the pool or well and drop the talisman into the water, leaving it as a physical representation of their prayer. Sometimes the talismans would be buried. Burying the object or dropping it into a well was seen as a way of passing it from this world to the next.