Do a search on ‘protection spells’ and you’ll find many thousands of such spells, from bindings, to candle magic, to visualisations or combinations of the above. The wearing of amulets and of special herbs is also effective in certain circumstances, and crystals can be charged for this purpose as well.

But what about when you want to remove all this? What about when you have hedged yourself about with so many protections that your life becomes difficult? What if you want to attract new energy into your life?

I only considered this problem when I began the process of trying to sell my house. Initially, the agent who we needed had a mysterious migraine on the day she should have shown up, and we went with someone who didn’t do their job. Week after week passed with people taking a look from the street and not coming in. Partly this was to do with an unrealistic price, but I also realised that I had put so many protections about the house that I was stopping people wanting to come in.

So then came the process of disassembling all of that. What a task! First all the suncatchers had to come down, also all the wind chimes, the pictures off the walls, the kitchen cupboards repainted. All had protective spells embedded in them, or were placed with intent. The front garden needed to be renovated to allow energy to flow in from the street. A good clean of all of the house didn’t hurt either and I think in this case it was advantageous to have someone else do the cleaning to remove all that personal energy.

Incidentally, while moving rocks around the garden, I found an old binding spell which I had placed under one of the rocks. To tell the truth, I can’t even remember what or who it was about, but I feel that it was the key to changing the energy in that garden. Other changes included shifting certain pots to different places and removing many plants, including vast quantities of basil, which is of course a protective herb.

The strategy has worked, up to a point. The house has not yet sold, but we have had more interest, a better agent, and a good strategy. The final confirmation was when a visiting colleague assumed we had already sold the house because she said she thought it looked like we had already packed up to leave.

For kitchen witches, the process of cleaning out the kitchen is an important one. This is where much of your magic is likely to be worked, and so it is the most important to cleanse. You may not be selling your house, but the process of going through all cupboards, removing all items, and throwing away or giving away all unneeded items will gain you much spiritual refreshment.

For we are not the person we were last year or five years ago. We grow and we change, and we need to leave things behind. At one point, I let go all but a very few of my accumulated magic books, and periodically I go through my magical items and let go of what is no longer needed. What you felt you needed protection from last year may not be relevant now. Holding on to that energy actually perpetuates that negative relationship.

Releasing spells can be useful here. You could take your binding spell and unknot it or unwind it, or cut it up, saying ‘I release you’ as you do so. Items placed with intent can be moved, cleaned, buried in salt or left in sunlight. You can write ‘I release you’ on documents and then shred them, (or if you really need to keep the originals, do it to a photocopy – it will be just as effective).

When you come to the point of releasing protection, it will show that you have taken the next step on your spiritual journey and you are allowing new energy to come to you.

There are downsides: my car has been rifled through, our house has been egged, there has been malicious gossip. But on the plus side, I have discovered a new talent, and started a new conservation group, and made new friends. And on the brink of a new journey, I wonder if I will need protection spells ever again. I’m sure I will, but I will be much more cautious about the quantity of layers that I lay down!!!