Shadow witches do not really protect, not in the way that I hear most from English-speakers. This is for various reason but one is that we do not believe in psychic walls, spiritual barriers, or whatever you want to call them. We don’t believe in a wall between the natural world and us. Brujos (witches) believe that all ‘energy’ (from people and unnatural places, as opposed to ‘power’ which comes from nature) must be faced.

What we do is releasing or cleansing, depending upon what brujaria form you are from. In my tradition we release. It is ‘protection’ in the sense we keep ourselves spiritually healthy by regular releasing/cleansing.

Why is there a need to release or cleanse? Brujos believe, as many other cultures do, in the ‘evil eye’. We believe that somebody simply thinking an unpleasant thought about you, in your presence, has a psychic affect on you, a bad one. This bad thought could be anything from outright evil intent to simply envying your status, possessions, children, home, career, or even a new dress! However, the ‘evil eye’ is really a folk magic belief. Brujos do not believe in evil, negative or positive energy. We believe in energy and power. Power is always useful, although not always for our use; energy can be useful or not useful. Even ‘negative’ energy can be put to use by the creative witch.

Witches, psychics, shamans, sorcerers, and others, are said to be able to sense the evil eye immediately. Most people don’t know until a sickness befalls them or have suspicious ‘bad luck’. In these cases, it is not unethical in brujaria to send the bad intention right back to the owner. White witches (yes, we use this term in old world countries), prefer to do releasing or cleansings.

Only non-witch persons are offered protection. This is usually for very specific cases. Sometimes, after the above cleansing, the person is given an amulet or talisman to carry with them. This usually happens if the person is being attacked – a continual evil eye from a specific person or group. Brujos very rarely carry amulets or talismans themselves, although they might place them in their homes.

The self-releasing is for the witch, or any person in touch with the spirits. This could involve fire craft, simple spellcraft, or an elaborate ritual. But as most Brujos believe they can sense the energy that is not useful, elaborate rituals are rare.

Water, salt and a few herbs are used for cleansings and realising in many brujaria traditions. In my tradition, we have an inclination towards fire craft.

Another area of protection I hear about is during rituals, in the way of casting circles. We do not do this in brujaria, and I have found it true for all global traditional witchcrafts. Again, this is a wall, a barrier, which goes against what we believe.

Not only do we believe that there shouldn’t be any walls, and that all energy is potentially useful, but we also believe that as a witch we are constantly in contact with the spirits of nature. With their help, we can control what comes to us and what stays away. This is very important in traditional witchery, because the witch cannot be afraid, and if we think we need protection, we are afraid. Being cautious means being aware, not protection. We are totally open to all spirits, energies and powers at all times. This, for us, is partly what makes us witches.


~ by sandra on June 20, 2005.

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