Protection against demons, evil spirits and curses
There are a variety of remedies available to protect a person from demons, curses or evil spirits and energies.
For example, amulets protect against or deflect curses (human or demonic), regardless of whether people are aware of the curses placed upon them.
Since ancient times, semiprecious stones and jewelry have been used as amulets to ward off demons, evil spirits, illness, and bad luck.
Ancient Egyptians carved spells into lapis lazuli, for instance. In ancient Greece and Rome, necklaces and rings made of semiprecious gemstones were worn to ward off curses.
These sort of protections were necessary in most cultures and religions, since it is assumed that anybody could be cursed at any time and for any reason, either by other people or by demons and ill-intended spiritual beings.
Prayers, charms, and petitions can also be used to invoke the protection and intervention of benevolent spirits to repel and shield the believer from demons and other spiritual threats.
Amulets and protective symbols
The most basic definition of an amulet is that of an object imbued with protective powers. The purpose of amulets is to ward off and protect against demons, evil, disease, bad luck, misfortune, witches, and sorcerers, as well as other harmful spiritual forces.
Since ancient times, amulets have protected people, places, and animals from demonic attacks.
The most common material of amulets are natural stones and crystals.
An amulet is an object that is made and imbued with protective power through prayer, magic, written inscriptions or a charm. They are usually worn on the body but can be kept in a particular location as well.
A sound can also serve as an amulet. Therefore, rhythmic noises, prayers, bell sounds, gongs, chants, and even smoke from holy substances, can act as protective amulets.
The power of bells to repel demons and other evil spirits has been used for centuries in many cultures.
In ancient times, bells were used to invoke the divine in both magic and religion. This has continued to the present day in most religions.
Sacred bells call people to prayer and cleanse the air of evil influences. As far back as the first 3000 years ago, Assyrian magical texts refer to the ringing bells as a means of driving away evil spirits.
According to historians and theologians, demons consider the sound of a ringing bells to be “the barking of mad witches” or as a reminder of thundering sounds, since lightning and thunder were usually produced by chief divine deities to punish evil doing.
Thus, demons consider the sound of bells dangerous, for it may as well be a warning before they are struck by lightning and cast off.
It is common to attach bells to clothing and tie them to children and animals, as well as hang them in doorways. A bell’s protective power is increased by red ties, ribbons, and sashes.
When a storm is caused by witches or demons, bells are supposed to be rung as a protection. Samhain (All Hallows’ Eve) and Beltane (also known as Walpurgisnacht) were two nights of the year when witches were believed to roam about, and so church bells were rung to keep them away and protect the village.
Witches who were accused of witchcraft often testified about being transported through the air on the backs of demons or the Devil, but would be thrown off into the air when a church bell sounded at night.
It is traditional to ring church bells when a person dies in order to protect their journey to the afterlife from demonic attack.
Cross and crucifix
Crosses are among the oldest amulets in the world, dating back thousands of years before Christianity.
In its most common form, it has four arms of equal length rather than the more common T shape. Historically, crosses were associated with the Sun and the heavens, and may have symbolized divine protection and prosperity in ancient times.
A cross can also be represented with the Y-shaped Tree of Life, the world axis at the center of the universe, which bridges the physical with the spiritual.
The cross in Christianity transcends the amulet to become a symbol of the religion and Christ’s suffering; however, it retains the qualities of an amulet, which protects from evil forces.
Christ’s cross was already a weapon against darkness even before his crucifixion.
As legend has it, Lucifer’s army scattered God’s angels twice when he declared war on God to usurp his power.
Seeing this, a Cross of Light with the Holy Trinity’s names was sent to the angels by God. This cross weakened Lucifer’s forces and drove them to Hell.
In the early days of Christianity, Christians used the cross as a sign of divine protection, but also to identify members of the faith.
Emperor Constantine I’s mother, Empress Helena, allegedly discovered Christ’s wooden cross in excavations in Jerusalem during the fourth century.
At the site of Christs’ crucifixion, Helena found three buried crosses but didn’t know which was Christ’s.
Using a man’s corpse as a test subject, she tested all three. While the first two crosses didn’t affect the body, the third brought it back to life.
Part of the cross was sent by Helena to Constantine, who in turn sent a portion to Rome, where it is still preserved today.
The rest of the cross was reburied by Helena. Amulets made from cross parts became highly valued.
With the growth of the Church’s power came the growth of the cross importance. Nothing unholy can survive its presence, according to belief.
By using the cross and sign of the cross, demons and devils can be exorcised, the Incubus and Succubus repelled, bewitchment of animals can be prevented, crops will be protected from witches, and vampires will be chased away.
To protect themselves against damaging spells from witches and the demons controlling them, inquisitors often wore crosses or made the cross sign while in the presence of accused witches.
Routinely, people crossed themselves before performing any small task to ensure there was no evil presence present.
Crosses were carved into the dough of bread during the medieval period as a way of protecting it from evil, a tradition which survives to this day.
Demonic possession causes victims to recoil when confronted with a cross. In fact, to test for possession involves secretly placing a cross behind the head of the person suspected to be possessed by demons (referred to as a demoniac).
It is common for demoniacs to spit on crosses and destroy them. Some of the possessed individuals even suffer stigmata in the form of crosses.
As part of the Catholic exorcism ritual, the priest protects himself and the victim by making the sign of the cross. In fact, it is necessary to make numerous crosses on the forehead of the victim in order to perform the rite.
Medals of St. Benedict (ca. 480-457) have always been associated with crosses, hence the term Medal-Cross of St. Benedict.
Medals like these are used to exorcise evil and protect against Satan. St. Benedict is depicted with a cross and raven on the front of the medal. There is no record of when the first medal of St. Benedict was created.
The reverse side of the medal contains an inscription that appears to have been written at some point in history: V R S N S M V – S M Q L I V B.
At the Abbey of Metten in Bavaria, a manuscript dating to 1415 was discovered, explaining the letters as the initials of an exorcism prayer:
Vade retro Satana! Nunquam suade mihi vana! Sunt mala quae libas. Ipse venena bibas!
(Begone Satan! Never tempt me with your vanities! What you offer me is evil. Drink the poison yourself!)
As an amulet against Satan and a reminder to resist temptation, St. Benedict medals are carried and placed around the house, car, or other areas.
Mezuzahs are amulets containing biblical inscriptions written on parchments and then enclosed in decorative cases.
Mezuzahs may have begun as primitive charms, but by the Middle Ages they had become powerful demon-protectors.
Based on Deuteronomy 6:9, rabbis gave it more religious significance:
“And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Popular usage, however, focused the mezuzahs properties of warding off evil.
The mezuzah had such powerful demon-fencing properties that Gentiles as well as common Jews used it. Also, it supposedly prevented an untimely death.
It was common for homes to have mezuzot in every room. A small mezuzot was also carried by people as a form of protection.
Mezuzahs were made according to strict procedures.
According to the Sefer Raziel, the inscriptions had to be written on deer parchment, and only under certain astrological and angelic influences.
As an example, a set of 10th-century instructions said this:
“It is to be written only on Monday, in the fifth hour, over which the Sun and the angel Raphael preside, or on Thursday, in the fourth hour, presided over by Venus and the angel Anael.”
The mezuzot were enclosed in cases. Writing on the back of the parchment was allowed, but not on the face of the mezuzah.
Names like Shaddai, believed to repel demons particularly well, were popular medieval additions. A small window was cut in the back of the mezuzot cases to display the name Shaddai.
Names of God, Bible verses, angelic names, and magical symbols were also added with time.
Frequently named angels were Michael, Gabriel, Azriel, Zadkiel, Sarfi el, Raphael, Anael, Uriel, Yofiel, and Hasdiel.
The mezuzot are still worn as amulets and religious objects to guard homes.
All spirits, including evil ones, are confused by crooked paths and bridges, and so are unable to navigate them and reach their destination.
Thus, a demon or evil spirit is unable to follow a person traveling through such places, separating the possessed person from the evil presence that clouded them.
Traditionally, tsitsiths were fringes attached to outer garments. Their use on prayer shawls continues today.
Tefillin and tsitsith in particular are amulets against accidents, illnesses, and death. There is a powerful combination of power in the “threefold cord” of mezuzah, tefillin, and tsitsith, according to the Talmud:
“Whoever has the tefillin on his head, the mezuzah on his door, and tsitsith on his mantle, may feel sure that he cannot sin.”
Both men and women once wore moon-shaped amulets as necklaces, while animals wore them as collars.
Tefillin are black leather boxes containing parchment inscribed with biblical verses and are also considered antidemonic amulets.
The word tefillin can also be used to refer to phylacteries.
One of the pair is a hand tefillin that fits around the fingertip, finger, and arm of the wearer. The other type is a head tefillin that is strapped over the forehead. Tefillin serve as “signs” and “reminders” that God drove the children of Israel from Egypt.
It is customary to wear them during weekday morning prayers.
Metals such as iron and silver have special protective powers.
Salt and water mixed together and blessed by priests is holy water. Symbolically speaking, salt represents incorruptibility, eternity, and divine wisdom, while water represents purity.
Holy water was used to consecrate church sites. In Catholic practice, benediction and baptism is carried out with holy water to ensure physical health and exorcise or get rid of demons or evil spirits.
Salt is traditionally placed in a newborn baby’s cradle as an extra precaution against demons until he or she can be baptized.
During burial ceremonies, salt is commonly sprinkled in the coffin as a form of protection, so that the soul can travel from the earthly plane to the spiritual one safe and undisturbed by demons.
The burning of incense and herbs and the sacrifice of animals not only please the gods, but repel demons as well.
According to the book of Tobit, Raphael taught a young man, Tobias, how to exorcize the demon Asmodeus using fumes produced from the burned liver of a fish.
Iron provides protection against evil, including demons, vampires, witches and evil spirits, and fairies.
In Abrahamic religions, iron can also repel Djinn and Lilith, the first female demon, as well as a host of other smaller demons.
Objects made entirely from iron, such as scissors, can be placed into beds to protect them from demonic attacks.
The placement of iron objects in coffins and grave sites, as well as the driving of iron nails into graves and coffins, prevent vampires and restless ghosts to emerge and haunt the living.
Water symbolizes purity and a rejection of evil. Folklore suggests that crossing running water can help one avoid evil spirits and witches.
European witch-hunts sometimes resulted in suspected witches being submerged into deep water with their hands and feet bound.
According to the legend, if they floated, they were guilty of witchcraft because the water rejected them due to their evil nature.
On the other hand, if they sank to the bottom they were considered innocent, since the water accepted them. Unfortunately, most of these innocents would drown to death.
In modern times, leaving the tap water on can serve the same protective function to ward off evil, at least in one particular room.
If the room does not have water pipes (bedroom or living room), then one solution is to use a small, decorative electric water fountain.
Salt is a substance with powerful spiritual properties. These are derived from it’s purity and white color, it’s ability to preserve things and associations with life and death.
Thus, salt was often seen as a demon repellent, because salt is contrary to the nature of demons, whose only purpose is to destroy and corrupts things.
As a note, salt should be avoided in magical rituals that summon demons or elemental spirits.
Salt guards against both witches and the evil eye.
It is a sign of bewitchment if a person or animal is unable to eat anything salted.
An amulet containing blessed herbs and salt consecrated on Palm Sunday was worn by inquisitors during the European witch hunts to protect themselves from evil spirits.
Accused witches were tortured by being forced to eat heavily salted food and not be allowed to drink water.
An evil spell can be cured with salt.
According to an old tradition, an evil black magic spell can be broken by taking a tile from a witch’s roof, sprinkling salt and urine on it, and then heating it over fire while reciting a magic spell.
Women who complain about the saltiness of their food are suspected as witches in American Ozark lore.
Salt can be sprinkled on a witch’s chair to detect her. The salt will melt if she is a witch, and so her dress will likely stick to the chair.
Superstition considers spilling, borrowing, or running out of salt to be bad luck, perhaps due to salt’s scarcity in ancient times.
It is believed that spilling salt makes one vulnerable to the Devil; however, by tossing a pinch of salt over the left shoulder, the bad luck may be avoided.
Protective mantras and prayers
The Vairochana mantra is a protective Buddhist meditation prayer, and simply by reciting it is said to help the practitioner receive success, as well as protection against weapons, fire, water, poisons, substances mixed with poisons, black magic and even protection from harm by kings, thieves, robbers and so on.
You can also write this mantra down, or simply print it, and leave it a room to ward off sickness, harm and contagious diseases.
If you wish to print the mantra, it is available as a free PDF from this link.
I prostrate to the Three Rare Sublime Ones.
I prostrate to the Tathagata, Foe Destroyer, Fully Completed Buddha
Arya Vairochana, King of Light.
I prostrate to the bodhisttva, great being Akashagharba.
TADYATHA / KALA KALA / KILI KILI / BIRI BIRI / HURU HURU / VAIROCHANA RASMI SANCHODITA AGACCHA / ARYA AKASHA GARBHA MAHA KARUNIKA PURAYA HASHANA / DHARAYA BUDDHA VIKSHCHAYANA / CHARA CHARA CHIRI CHIRI SVAHA
Just by reciting this mantra one gains success and cannot be harmed by weapons, fire, water, poisons, substances mixed with poisons, or black magic. Nor can one be harmed by kings, thieves, robbers, and so forth.
Wherever this mantra is written and left, people do not have sicknesses, harm, or contagious diseases, and one will achieve the concentration called stainless light.
Here the mantra called The Heart of Arya Vairochana (the exalted one illuminating the aspects) is completed.
Buddhist Vajra Armor Protection Wheel
Below is a fragment of a Buddhist mantra, one designed to protect the practitioner against evil energies, spirits and harm in general.
While this fragment alone does provide some protective powers, Buddhist practitioners claim that completing the entire ritual will give the greatest protection.
If you are interested, the rest of the Vajra Armor Protection Wheel can be downloaded as a free PDF from this link.
I become the very ferocious dark blue Vajrapāṇi,
Holding a vajra and a snake lasso
My holy body is complete with the glorious ornaments of the charnel grounds,
And I stand with my two feet stretched out on a lotus and sun.
I abide amidst a blazing transcendental wisdom fire.
From my holy body fire garūḍas, iron scorpions,
Black pigs, wind, fire, and the noxious vapors of poison
Are emitted like violent winds and hailstorms,
Destroying all disease, epidemics, spirit harms, and interferers.
At the conclusion of the session, think that all your diseases and spirit harms are totally destroyed. Then abide for a while in the state of meditation on the ultimate mode of existence—emptiness—of yourself and all phenomena, beyond what is to be protected and that which protects, which are truths for the all-obscuring mind.
Christian protective prayers
In Christian belief, simply reaffirming your faith through prayer, of any kind, is enough to place the practitioner under Gods protection.
The theological argument for this is that God demands true faith and loyalty, and so any sort of prayer that that is sincere automatically proves to God the believer’s true faith and loyalty to Him.
Thus, if God is convinced of the believer’s faith, He will provide full protections and blessings in all aspects of the believer’s life, and not just the one’s he prays for, because God is wiser than the believer as to what he requires.
That being said, Christian writings do contain a large number of different prayers for different purposes.
Below are two prayers, taken from a book of prayers collected the Enchiridion of Pope Leo the Third.
Make, O my God, my sovereign, I, [YOUR NAME], who is your creation, deliver me from all ill deeds, peril, danger, the language and pernicious eyes of my enemies, who seek to destroy me.
O All-Powerful, God the Father, and eternal, deliver me from the dangers which surround me, as you delivered your children, Shadrac, Mishak, and Abednego, from the furnace and fire. Deliver your servant from all peril and danger, in heart as well as in body.
Move away from us all evil and malignant spirits, Lord. That all evil men and pernicious women move away from us, flee us, and us them, that all enemies and adversaries move away from us, that they do not have the capacity to reach us. We ask by the virtue of the Most High. And if somebody, Lord, wants to harm or do even the least evil to me, put me under your Holy protection, my God, I, [YOUR NAME], who are your creation. Condescend to do good to me. I ask you by the virtues and merits of all your Holy Angels, who draw power through you unceasingly; and by all your Patriarchs, your Apostles, your Saints, and your Holy Paradise. Deliver and preserve your servant from the malignities of the glances of all my enemies, and the same of those which could harm me. Thus, it is.
Gregorian chants are normal prayers, but sung in Latin, are used to quell demons in some possession cases, and to cleanse spaces.
Demons are believed to find Gregorian chant unbearable and depart from the location where they are sung.
If you cannot sing, then simply reading the prayer of your choice but in Latin will have a similar effect, although not as strong as if it were sung.
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- The encyclopedia of demons and demonology by Rosemary Guiley
- Dictionary of gods and goddesses, devils and demons by Manfred Lurker
- Devils, demons, death, and damnation by Ernst Lehner
- Man, Myth & Magic The Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Mythologyby Richard Cavendish
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