In my previous lives as a spiritually inclined teenager, a training animist, an energy medicine practitioner and a spiritual coach, I learned and used a lot of difference protection techniques. My methods came from general ‘new age’ practices like reiki, the folk animism of my homeland, the energy medicine of my Andean training and the teachings of my own allies as they gave them to me.

The most important part of choosing a protection method is that it works; there’s just no point using any animistic tool unless it’s useful and practical in your actual life. So what worked for me and what didn’t?

I have to admit that against the demonic beings I was frequently confronted by, nothing worked entirely. I believe this is because they already had an ‘in’ before I was able to learn anything about protection methods. However, it might also be because nothing works particularly well against their type of energy, or because once you’re afraid of them, you’re letting them in. Or maybe I just didn’t discover anything that work specifically against them.

At any rate, there was very little I could use that would keep them away from me reliably. In the early years, before my training in animism, I wasn’t really aware of the options for protection, and the little I knew about ritual was useless. It was only after I began training that I learned techniques that were more helpful; opening sacred space definitely reduced the intensity of phenomena on many occasions. Calling for my allies to help me was also frequently helpful, although I had to remember to do it in the middle of an unsettling incident for it to be useful.

I once scrubbed myself with salt in a shower, which reduced the oppressiveness of the presence I was feeling, but only for that evening. Having another person who was training in energy work open sacred space was frequently helpful, if they were around. However, there seemed to be nothing I could do to permanently prevent the entities from affecting me (except working towards de-possession).

Once I had de-possessed myself, protective methods were much more helpful. Sleeping in sacred space provided a level of safety I’d not felt in years, while calling for help from my allies became much more effective. Energy visualisations were also helpful, as was keeping my own energy healthy and strong.

I’ve also found witchbottles, sigils and hagstones to be useful preventative protections around the home, and while I don’t use them now I would recommend them for anyone concerned about intrusions, or anyone just starting out with energetic and spiritual practice.

Does this mean that any of these methods will work for you? No. Neither does it mean that the methods that haven’t worked for me won’t work for you; it’s important to test your own path experientially, and if a method here helps, then use it.

Like I said, I don’t use any formal protective methods right now and I haven’t for years. Ultimately, I’ve found that having strong relationships with allies and ancestors, and reclaiming personal power are much more effective protections than any technique. They do require that you’re working on a path, however, and so aren’t available to everyone. In which case, choose a method from a tradition or heritage you have a good relationship with.