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On November 11, the Dark Moon of Lunar Samhain is the perfect time to banish whatever is having a negative effect on your life. Of course, to do this it is necessary to know exactly what is bothering you in the first place. In a previous post, I wrote about the need for introspection during the Samhain season. Analyzing the past twelve months is not mere narcissistic navel-gazing, but rather a way to “Know Thyself”, which is vital to any common sense magical practice. And no, common sense and magical practice are not mutually exclusive concepts!

Obviously, what needs to be banished will take as many different forms as there are people needing the banishing. For some, it will be negative or self-limiting thoughts, while for others it might be negative people. While the former can be addressed directly, the latter will take additional analysis. It is not always possible to banish negative people when, for example, they are your parents or your employers. In such cases, you must identify exactly how their influence affects you negatively. Perhaps your boss’ inability to be satisfied with anything anyone does is so frustrating that you’re beginning to feel like, “Why bother?” In that situation, you would seek to banish the hopelessness and anger that your boss is eliciting in you.

Now that you’ve identified what to banish, how do you do it? Well, there are myriad ways to banish, from the simple and straightforward to the complex and sophisticated. For now, let’s go with simple and straightforward. If you’re just starting on the magical path, you may not yet have the basic tools like a wand or an athamé (or you haven’t been able to afford any because your never-satisfied boss doesn’t give raises or bonuses). Not to worry. All you need for this simple spell is a black candle, something to light it, a piece of paper, and something with which to write. It doesn’t matter what kind of black candle, but the color is important, because black is the color of banishing. You should be able to find a black candle at most big drugstores or supermarkets. You’ll also want a candle holder, unless your candle is in a pillar, and something to drop burning paper into, like an ashtray, a small saucepan, or even some cleverly folded aluminum foil.

On your piece of paper, write down what you intend to banish. You don’t need to be flowery, but you do need to be definitive. In the case of the troublesome boss, “I hereby banish the hopelessness and anger that I feel when my boss is never satisfied,” will do just fine. Make a list; most of us have all kinds of negativity we need to purge! When your list is complete, light your candle, place the paper in the flame, and watch it burn! Visualize all of that negativity burning away and going up in smoke. When the paper is completely burned, watch the flame for a while. Visualize yourself without all of that gunk in your life. Then, extinguish the flame and go about your business, knowing that you have lightened your burden.

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