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Korean Folk Magic: Protection

In jusul (korean folk magic) as well as in many witchcraft practices, protection is one of the core basics someone is taught. It's very important to have good spiritual hygiene in order to protect yourself and your loved ones. We'll cover some of the easily accessible basics. If you're interested in learning more in depth, please contact me about becoming a student.



War God Amulet, sold in shop here


  • BUJEOK - We all know these traditional paper talismans! They are ritually crafted by officiated mudangs and monks, often for 50-500+ USD depending on complexity. Online shops who sell them cheaply are not empowered ritually by a mudang or monk. The ink itself is carefully crafted from rare, expensive materials. If the bujeok in question is being sold by an online shop and for under 50 USD, it is likely painted with the incorrect materials and not handled ritually in the correct manner.

  • CRAB CLAWS - Crab claws, being a hard exterior shell, and often very painful tool to be pinched by, is utilized as a protective amulet. If you buy a crab at the market, clean it well (so no lingering meat etc inside), you can hang it off a necklace or by your front door to ward away ghosts. Similar to people, ghosts don't want to be pinched either.

  • PINE BRANCHES - Pine is a sacred tree for us. Many coniferous trees fall under the same family and genus, so you can consider any coniferous tree if you don't have any pine trees nearby. The needles are considered sharp and pokey, which keeps unwanted visitors like lowly spirits, away from the home. You can hang a pine branch horizontally above your front door (along with the bugeo, open-eyed pollack fish, the gold-colored plastic fish amulet sold in my online shop - contact me if you're interested, 85 USD including shipping+handling).

  • HORSESHOES - Everyone in the west considers these to bring in luck. And for us, it not only does that, but also is a good protective amulet against misfortune that specifically can drain your finances. The best way to hang these is horizontally in sets of 4, with the bottom of the "U" pointing to the left, then the next pointing up, then right, then down.

  • BAMBOO WEAVING BASKET/COLANDER - These are quite popular in Korea as miniatures to hang in your home or on your keychain. When you hang this by your front door during certain times of the year (such as Dongji, winter solstice) it helps keep ghosts at bay, because they're stuck counting each tiny hole before they're able to proceed. The thought is that there should be enough little holes that they're stuck counting until the morning, at which the danger has passed and they're forced to go back into the spirit world.

  • HERB SATCHELS - One of the easiest protection amulets I guide my students to utilize are herb satchels. In them, you would hide one in each of the four main corners of your home. You would include: salt, goch'ugaru (korean red pepper flakes), and p'at (adzuki beans). You can replace these once every 3-4 months.

  • RED CLAY/YELLOW SOIL - Hw'angt'o (korean yellow soil) is mixed with red clay to crate a purification powder. You'd sprinkle this around your physical property to keep a strong barrier against people who would do you ill will and negative energies. This is dependent on no rain/wind blowing any of it away.

  • OPEN-EYED POLLACK FISH (BUGEO) - These are traditionally dried pollack fish, open eyed and open-mouthed, hung above the front door. Ghosts are scared of these amulets, due to the fact that their eyes are eternally open and never blink. They're less likely to bother the house that has this amulet. These days, it has been replaced by plastic bugeo or carved bugeo, mostly because many modern places don't want to deal with a smell.

  • JANGSEUNG - Our guardian poles. Anthropologists call it our "totem poles". They are typically made of wood and carved to look funny or scary, these days it's a mix of both. One is usually the husband, who is the Great General of All Under Heaven and the wife, who is the Female General of the Underworld. They are often village guardians that are created to be quite large. For people who don't live in a traditional village anymore, we will utilize the smaller jangseung and have them in our front yard or by our front door. I have my guardians facing the front entryway, to help keep the home/us protected from ghosts, disease, and misfortune.




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