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Here’s a simple ward for house and home that I’ve employed in the past to good effect. If the wandering spirits who roam abroad in Winter are a little too raucous, ward your house against them before they lodge in your overlooked corners and cause you trouble. This ward is also quite helpful if you feel that someone is trying to work against you, influence you from a distance, or ‘look in on’ you from afar and meddle.

Take some bright scarlet paint, the color of blood, and mix a little of your own spit into the paint. Draw the rune Elhaz on every door, window, and mirror in the house, intoning the name of the rune with each one painted. All the while you are mixing the paint and applying it, have the fierceness of your will turned toward deflecting ill will and thwarting the actions of anyone (mortal or spirit) who would try to pass the wards.

The rune Elhaz (or Algiz) is employed frequently as a sign of protection. It’s sound is somewhere between the ‘R’ and ‘Z’ of modern English. The exact meaning of the rune is still a matter of debate, but is usually translated as “Elk,” or “Elk-sedge,” (a kind of saw-edged wetland grass), The name may refer to the might and ferocity of the bull elk and his spreading antlers, or the difficulty and wounds which come from attempting to traverse a swamp overgrown with sedge.

I also see the shape of this rune as an up-raised, warding hand. In form, it’s also analagous (or nearly so) to the sign called variously the Witches Foot, Crow’s Foot or Goblin Cross – a sigil with much symbolism and many uses unto itself. Furthermore, some speculate that the arms of the Aegishjalmur are Elhaz-runes that together form the sigil called the ‘Helm of Terror’ that gives one invincibility in the face of one’s enemies.

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