“The Circle of Light”, Randy Asplund
Setting up magickal wards is a form of shielding. While personal shields are created from the mage’s own energy and surround only the mage’s body, wards are made by drawing energy from an elemental source and are used to protect large groups of people, usually at a gathering or meeting, and are also used to shield cars, rooms, and even entire houses from negative energy. Casting a circle when preparing for spellwork is a way of setting up a ward. Because you will need your energy for casting the spell, you should not put too much of it into your circle, which is why you draw it from nature, usually from the Earth.
Preparing to set up a ward involves raising the energy within yourself, borrowing it from the Earth or whichever source you feel most comfortable with. For Earth, visualize roots spreading downward from the soles of your feet into the Earth, pulling energy up from the ground. Once you have gathered enough energy, cut yourself off from the source so that you do not leave any leftover energy lying about for any nearby negative forces to feed upon.
The next step may require the creation of an anchor point for the ward. This is what ties the ward together and holds it down where you need it. The anchor point may be a protective symbol, sigil, or rune, either drawn, painted, or simply strongly visualized on the object that you are building the ward around. It may also be a small statue or figure, such as a dashboard St. Christopher for the car, or a painted sculpture of a dragon on your living room table. A chunk of quartz crystal is an awesome anchor point since it has the ability to readily store energy. The anchor point must be in place before you can bind the ward to it. For large wards, such as those made to protect an entire acre of property, it is usually best to create an anchor point for each corner of the perimeter of the ward, instead of creating just one for the center.
Your actual ward will take the form of whatever you visualize it to be, since this is your ward and is being set up by the power of your will. Most wards begin as a complete sphere and may be drawn inward to fit the outer form of whatever it is intended to protect. Some may be set up in the form of an enormous cube, with each side corresponding to a directional element (above is light or spirit, below is darkness). The magickal material of the ward may be brick, stone, wood, clay, chicken wire mesh, barbed wire, or a chain link fence, depending upon your preferences. If it is a fence of wire or chain links, remember to add energy into the spaces between the links so that absolutely nothing will be able to get through it, no matter how small.
Unlike personal body shields, wards require regular maintenance so that they stay active and strong. Usually it is best to recharge your ward once every Full Moon, when ambient magickal energy is at its strongest. It is also very important to keep the interior of the warded space clean and clear of any negative energy that may have been trapped inside when the ward was set up. Smudging the area with sage usually helps, as well as performing banishing spells, but make sure that you have opened up a temporary space in the side of your ward for these negative energies to get out through, or you will simply be bumping them around inside your warded space like a pinball in a pinball machine. When moving to a new house or selling your old car, make sure you take down the wards you have set up around your old car or house, and ground the energies back into the source which you drew them from. Never leave any loose magickal energy lying around!