My big occult subjects of study are divination, necromancy, and protection magic. Honestly, I have no idea where to begin my answer to this question. There are so many different ways to approach this question. I suppose I should start with the simplest of the methods. That is prayer to the gods and angels for protection. (The angel/janya Vikhë is the one to whom I would pray if I were addressing angels.) In addition to praying to the gods and angelic beings for protection, I call upon my spiritual companions for their aid.
I suppose if you were being technical, you could say that when I call to my spiritual companions for aid, it is prayer. It feels different for me from addressing deities or angels. The best way to describe it is the spiritual companions are closer to me then most of the deities or the angels. Generally, I tend to save prayer as a final resort. That, however, is because I tend to be somewhat… thick headed and contrary when I encounter difficulties and try to bulldoze my way through it. I’ve been told it is one of my more endearing qualities, though I’m pretty sure that the gods have regularly facepalmed over it.
If I have reason to believe that someone or something has cast some sort of malign spell towards myself or my family, my first solution is to perform what I call a hex breaking. This is where I take three dried thorns and burn them. Sometimes I grind them into a powder so that they burn more rapidly. The choice as to if I will grind them into powder or not depends on how quickly I want my counterspell to manifest. Usually, I find that my existing defensive measures are enough of a buffer between myself and the malevolent spell that I don’t need to go with a fast response. If I didn’t have access to dried thorns, I would use three sharp slivers of wood. I’ll talk in more detail about the hex breaking spell at another time.
I also would use a spell that reflects the malevolent spell back to the sender. I like mirror spells but sometimes they are difficult to do with small children around. I can’t exactly have small glass baubles laying about where my kids can pick them up and run around the house with them. The mirror spell that I use most of the time requires one mirror and I can use it for a brief time before putting it away (obviously after cleansing and grounding the mirror). I do have one that I use which involves multiple mirrors. This one serves not only to redirect the spell but confuse the initial target of the spell, thus making the counter spell work to direct the main thrust of the harmful spell aside from me and then back to the sender. It packs a bit less ‘punch’ then the other mirror spell I use. It is, however, a very effective spell and works to make the chances of a second sending of a curse less likely.
I have a lot of other counter spells that I use but those two are the ones that I apply most of the time.That, however is not where the basis of my protection from malevolent spells and influences lie. The best defense is preparation for a possible harmful or malevolent incident. About my home, I have several protection spells that I refer to as ‘wards‘ that take the spiritual energy that is cast at them and sinks it into the earth, dissipates it into the sky, reflects it back to the caster, or absorbs it and becomes stronger. In addition to the wards, I have magical energy sinks located at various points around my home that will ground any energy that is directed at them. Those energy sinks lie along the path of entrances into my home. I also have barriers placed across the entrances. Some are physical (like the row of cacti and houseplants on my window sills) and others are spiritual (iron across the threshold).
I have spiritual protection spells woven about my person and amulets that I wear that are enchanted for the purposes of protection (and preventing anxiety attacks). Obviously, wearing a holy symbol of one’s faith can be a protective amulet if one’s faith is sufficiently strong. It is one’s faith that makes amulets and spells most effective. If you believe that the spell will work, then it will work better then if you don’t believe it will. My protection spells, which I refer to as ‘shields’ are much like my wards. They have more layers to them then my wards and between them is something that I call the ‘minefield’. Just as one can receive psychic input, one can transmit it.
My ‘minefield’ is woven with spiritual ties to my traumatic memories. When my spiritual attacker trips one of my ‘mines’ the traumatic memory is projected at them. I feel the sensation like a bit of energy leaving me in the direction of my spiritual attacker. I have yet to have someone progress past the first layer of my shields and minefield combination. This leads me to believe that it is an effective use of some very bad experiences in my life. Someone who has different experiences can lay different ‘mines’ about themselves. It could be crippling sensations of fear or a vivid experience of pain. Some negative emotion or experience can be used to dissuade someone from pushing further against your shields.
Now, obviously, there are elements to my spiritual defenses that I am not sharing for the reason that I do not want some wit to decide to test them. When sharing things like magical defenses with others, it is wise to keep some element up your sleeve with all but those whom you trust the most. Don’t bandy about that you have built something like the spectral version of Fort Knox around yourself. Don’t go looking for a ‘witch war’ to prove yourself in. It’s like knowing a martial art. You don’t advertise that you know it to prevent people from attacking you because they can or out of curiosity.
Also, like knowing a martial art, it is good to practice and regularly hone your skills. It means doing regular spiritual maintenance on your wards and shields. It means renewing the spells you cast to deflect malevolence and keeping in regular contact with your spiritual allies. Aside from keeping a healthy relationship with them, it makes it easier for you to call upon them in a crisis.