Welcome to another installment of Stuff I Learnt For My Novel – a spooky October special! There is no shortage of ghosts, demons, and evil happenings in history, folklore, and fiction, and at this time of year we’re all especially aware of the things that go bump in the night. With that in mind, let’s see which symbols will protect us from dark forces this Halloween.
1. Carve A Jack-O-Lantern
This wouldn’t be an October-themed post if it didn’t mention the Jack-O-Lantern. These carved pumpkins are in a abundance at this time of year. Decorating jack-o’-lanterns originated in Ireland, a tradition going back centuries.
During the Celtic festival of Samhain, the inspiration for modern-day Halloween, spirits of the dead were thought to mingle with the living. To ward off these restless souls, people wore costumes and carved spooky faces into vegetables such as beets, potatoes, and turnips. The name Jack-O-Lantern is thought to come from an Irish folktale, where a thief named Stingy Jack repeatedly tricks the Devil, and when he was barred from both Heaven and Hell, the Devil gave him a piece of coal to light his lantern as he wandered for eternity.
So, if you feel shaken by spirits, try carving up a pumpkin and sticking a candle inside.
2. Wear The Evil Eye Amulet
The evil eye amulet has become something of a fashion statement in recent years, worn by Kim Kardashian and Meghan Markle, and featured in a shoe line by Gigi Hadid. Although the amulet is often referred to as simply ‘the evil eye’ – or μάτι (mati) in Greek – it is meant to protect against the true evil eye. You know that look you see from people who are jealous or dislike you? That’s the one. A simple glance is thought to bring a curse of bad luck for the person it’s directed at, and the amulet will protect from that.
You can wear these amulets as necklaces, ear rings, bracelets, and rings.
3. Wear The Hamsa Hand
Muslims call it the Hand of Fatima, Jews call it the Hand of Miriam, hamsa hand or hamesh hand – but both agree on its powers.
The Hamsa symbol is a symmetrical hand, usually with the fingers pressed together, and an eye on the palm, known as the nazar boncugu. A Hamsa facing upwards acts as a talisman against evil and any malicious intent and shields against any negative thoughts and feelings you may have about yourself and others, such as greed, jealousy and hatred. The Hamsa has also been adopted into many belief systems, such as Wicca, who believe that the five fingers represent the five blessings of Love, Money, Health, Wisdom and Power.
Like the evil eye, this talisman can be worn as jewelery.
4. Get a Triquetra Tattoo
The Triquetra or the Trinity Knot is a popular Celtic symbol and is very often seen as a tattoo. It is a triple-knot design; three interconnected ovals, one points up, the other two point downwards, to the left and right. You might recognise it: Not only is it featured in hundreds of artwork and jewelry, you’ll also find it in pop culture such as Marvel’s Thor and the TV shows Charmed and The Walking Dead.
It was believed to create an unbreakable circle of protection, symbolizing the link between the physical, mental and spiritual.
5. Carry or Wear a Crucifix
“The power of Christ compels you” might be a bit of a meme now, but it’s a genuine sentiment felt by many Christians. The crucifix is a cross with an image of Jesus on it and is a common symbol for many sects of Christianity, though not all (some prefer a cross without Jesus on it).
Wearing a crucifix is thought to be the best form of protection from evil. You might have seen it used in film and folklore to ward off demons and vampires – hence the “compelling” memes.
Common belief is that the protective power behind the crucifix comes from Jesus’s ability to rid evil. This isn’t always the case – at least as it pertains to vampires. According to Caitlin McColl, in her article The Truth About Crucifixes, a crucifix will only work if you believe it will. Likewise, a vampire will only be repelled by a crucifix if the vampire believes it works – vampires being psychic and all, this ends up being something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, where their subconscious belief manifests the affect.
6. Paint the Eye Of Horus On Your Vehicle
In Mediterranean countries, fishermen paint the Eye of Horus on their boats for protection – adding one to your car might have the same effect. Many people also wear it as jewelery to ward off the evil wills of others.
In Egyption mythology, Horus was the son of Isis and Osiris. After Osiris was murdered by his brother, Set, for the throne, ancient Egypt was thrown into chaos. When Horus killed Set, he became king and restored order to Egypt. In addition, Horus lost his left eye in the fight which was magically restored by Hathor, and came to symbolize the process of making whole and healing.
7. Burn Sage (Smudging)
As a herb, sage has been used across the world for centuries and has many uses. Medically, sage has antimicrobial properties and will keep infectious bacteria, viruses, and fungi at bay. It’s commonly used in Native American ceremonies to ward off evil spirits. Some say it has healing properities. Some say it drives away demons and negetive energy. Some say it just smells nice.
Remember: Burning sage makes smoke. Please be careful.
8. Get and/or Recharge A Cleansing Crystal
Crystals have been used by the ancient Egyptians, Romans, Chinese, Japanese and Indians to encourage healing and enlightenment. According to Wiki How, the best crystals for cleansing negative energy are kyanite, selenite, obsidian, hematite, and desert rose, though others suggest to simply choose a crystal you feel drawn to.
Some paranormal investigators believe that a ghost’s presence can dramatically shift the mood in a room, therefore defending yourself from negetive energy with a crystal means you won’t be influenced as intensely.
9. Sprinkle Salt In The Corners Of House
Salt has been used for thousands of years by different cultures as a means of protecting yourself and your home from evil. Traditionally, this involves sprinkling salt across the threshold of doors and along the windowsills and is thought to keep fairies, demons, and spirits out of your house.
10. Simply ASK Evil To Go Away
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. One very simple way to ward off evil spirits is to simply ask for it to stay away. Say a prayer to a powerful deity. Reciete a positive mantra. Draw on your inner strength and ask the negetive entities to leave.
No matter what you plan to do this spooky season, remember to stay safe.
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