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Author Topic: Protective Properties of Iron  (Read 9076 times)

Finn

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Re: Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2012, 08:00:19 pm »
Quote from: Catherine;71512
I keep hearing and reading this, but I've never known it to be true. I've had all sorts of iron things around my place, even on my altar, for years. I've never seen it keep fairies, or any other entities away. I've never intentionally tried to use it for that purpose either. So I'm guessing that "intent" might have a lot to do with it.

 
... Well, have you ever seen any Fae around your place? ;)

That may be a sign that it is, in fact, working.
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Catherine

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Re: Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2012, 08:11:15 pm »
Quote from: Finn;71526
... Well, have you ever seen any Fae around your place? ;)

 
Yep, I sure have!

Annie Roonie

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Re: Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2012, 10:43:02 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;71293
Why is iron considered protective against certain entities?

What kinds of entities does it protect against?

I don't know why as pertains to family folklore and can't ask reliably as I just yammer to my deceased aunt and grandma and they don't talk back.

I can guess at why but it would be personal experience only. That guess is that it is not only grounding and absorbing, but deflecting and morphing sometimes. I think it can dampen energies and even kind of amplify them under certain circumstances.

I liken it to a cage. That which is inside is protected from what is outside (and the reverse as well). Energies from outside get absorbed or deflected and whatever is inside is protected from their brunt (mostly - think some stuff can get through). However, that which is inside has energy too and it cannot get out but can be absorbed and deflected. It is in the deflecting where energies can build a kind of momentum by ricocheting around the inside of the cage. This may function to seemingly amplify, but what it is really doing is storing up a bunch of energies and gaining momentum. I think of coming out of a cage and how that can be a resilient feeling no matter how comfortable the cage. All that is so very much lacking in science. Sorry.

Like I said over there I used it prior to reading anything about the Fae Which is hilarious to me to type as it is my deceased aunt's name - iron did not protect from that Fae but she did think that it protected from "things that go bump in the night." So very vague. I am sorry. The only other thing I have is that it supposedly protected from the boogie man. (Who I thought was a snot ridden dancer for a very long time.)

I do recall, but do not know from where, that it was also protection from human spirits who could not pass through it in their state.

Quote from: Aster Breo;71293
How is it used most effectively -- worn/carried on the person, hung on the wall, etc.?

Have only used it on walls or sitting about a room. I feel like it can block my energy as well, and it can be heavy so I don't wear it.

Quote from: Aster Breo;71293
Does the shape of the iron object matter?  If so, what shapes are preferred, what shapes should be avoided?

I think any shapes that would carry undesired connotations should be avoided. I hated one cast ion corn bread pan when I was younger. It scared me, so I never used that.

Quote from: Aster Breo;71293
Does it matter whether/how the iron is worked -- e.g., cast vs. wrought iron?

This has not mattered to me. My father did quite a bit of blacksmithing with his metal sculptures and he often worked with wrought iron that he scavenged from junkyards. I have the pieces about my house and one in particular, since it was created, has served me in a protective way.

Though the pieces I use in my bedroom are not sculpture but found bits and they've worked well enough.

Quote from: Aster Breo;71293
If used as a protective charm, does it require cleansing and/or charging?  If so, are there preferred methods?

Are there reasons NOT to use iron as protective charm?  Any "side effects", do to speak?

I clean it so it can be clean, but I tend to think that charging it would be pointless as I envision the charge just being played with by the iron, absorbed, deflected and seeped out. Of course the milage has got to be wildly varied on that one.

Quote from: Aster Breo;71293
Any other interesting or important tidbits?

My father was the first one to tell me that some metals were elements scientifically and mystically. My mother has her list of metals that can serve as the fifth element in her Feng Shui and other energy dealings and iron is on that list. I am not certain of the names but there are at least a few systems that view metals (and iron is usually one of acceptable ones) as elements and different from the other five most people know.

St. Clement, who I fixated on a while back, is the patron of metal workers and his symbol is a cross with an anchor bottom. (Just looks like a regular anchor to me.)

Things I heard tossed about in conversations: Iron is what the bones of the Gods are made of. Iron is formed from and is the heart of stars. Iron is alive.

At foundries they get iron ore and make it into pig iron to use. There are bits that are cast away sometimes in this process.

I am in the rust belt and iron is easy to find here. Before the advent of the EPA, some foundries and steel works would dump into the lake and ships would also to this. Something about controlling ballast. The ships usually were bringing ore. As a result on some beaches close to where those places were lots of bits of iron can be found.

These were not exclusive to this area so if you are of the mind to search, finding where a foundry may have existed or currently does around you might be a place to find iron and in littler easier to carry bits too.

Very old railroad tracks are also a good place and they often can be found by looking for state and metro parks. Many times these parks were built over or through parts of old rail lines. If there is a ridge that is too long and too regular (like a couple of miles without variation at all) then it may have been an old rail line. Abandoned tressels are a give away.

There are rail line enthusiasts and they sometimes have online presences. They are a sect of historians and they, IME, carry the meticulous gene the way historians do about their interests. You can search those out online and they'd probably have maps.

There are the spikes but those can be very pointed and sharp if worn down and they are heavy. But there are these little O rings too. They are about the size of a half dollar and when I have looked, I see more of those than of the spikes. Here's a pic of my iron box bits so you can see what you might be looking for: [attach=CONFIG][/attach]

I hoped this helped some and again YMMV. I wish I had some definitive site to direct you too! :o

I just thought of another place you might find iron. Ren. Faires where there are old style blacksmiths working. If they are singing "Old Clem" you can have great expectations (bad pun - it is in the Dickens work sung by the smithy Old Joe Gargery. A very protective man.)
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 10:49:37 pm by Annie Roonie »

Annie Roonie

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Re: Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2012, 10:59:32 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;71293

Any other interesting or important tidbits?


I thought this was interesting. It mentions the Saxon myth of Wayland. I know nothing of this myth but have a hunch there may be lore about iron within it.

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Re: Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2012, 02:41:13 am »
Quote from: Catherine;71512
I keep hearing and reading this, but I've never known it to be true.


Right there with you.
The folklore and my experience just refuse to match in that point.
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That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
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Re: Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2012, 03:36:56 am »
Quote from: Alex;71494
It's really not that hard if you're not careful. It's like dealing with virus software--sometimes stuff comes up that's a part of the good stuff of a computer, but if you remove it you turn the computer into a useless brick.

 
Oooh, I really like that analogy - as an animist, I often get twitchy on the subject of cleansing (I'm all about the "cleanse what stuck to it, don't try to 'cleanse' what's innate," not just for iron - which I don't think I've ever had occasion to cleanse, actually - but for pretty much anything), but find it difficult to express in a non-animism-dependent way.

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Adaire

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Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2012, 07:34:12 am »
Quote from: Annie Roonie;71549
- iron did not protect from that Fae but she did think that it protected from "things that go bump in the night." So very vague. I am sorry. The only other thing I have is that it supposedly protected from the boogie man. (Who I thought was a snot ridden dancer for a very long time.)

I do recall, but do not know from where, that it was also protection from human spirits who could not pass through it in their state.

So could it be that there are different types of fae, some of which are sensitive to iron and some are not?

I seem to remember that it's more prevalent in Celtic based folklore, and then also that Scandanavian lore goes into detail about different types of spirits with different traits (or am I crossing entities?), so maybe there's fae with different sensitivities or resiliancies that hasn't survived in the lore. Brownies, for example would seem to be more resilient to live around people in the iron age.

Not sure that's clear, need coffee..

Finn

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Re: Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2012, 01:20:34 pm »
Quote from: Adaire;71606
So could it be that there are different types of fae, some of which are sensitive to iron and some are not?

I seem to remember that it's more prevalent in Celtic based folklore, and then also that Scandanavian lore goes into detail about different types of spirits with different traits (or am I crossing entities?), so maybe there's fae with different sensitivities or resiliancies that hasn't survived in the lore. Brownies, for example would seem to be more resilient to live around people in the iron age.

Not sure that's clear, need coffee..

 
No, I think you're right. Most of the lore surrounding iron's protective properties have to do with dealing with fairies (the Good Folk, not the "smaller" spirits, fey, and elementals). It's totally my own perspective that while elementals and fey are part of the realm of faerie, they're also... not necessarily "fairies".

If that makes any sense. :(
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Alex

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Re: Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2012, 05:04:30 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;71587
Oooh, I really like that analogy - as an animist, I often get twitchy on the subject of cleansing (I'm all about the "cleanse what stuck to it, don't try to 'cleanse' what's innate," not just for iron - which I don't think I've ever had occasion to cleanse, actually - but for pretty much anything), but find it difficult to express in a non-animism-dependent way.

Sunflower

 
That's my beef with cleansing--so many people want to wipe something 'clean' and forget that some things are there for a reason and, if you want your object/thing to function as what it's intended to function as, you best leave it alone.

Annie Roonie

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Re: Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2012, 09:20:45 pm »
Quote from: Adaire;71606
So could it be that there are different types of fae, some of which are sensitive to iron and some are not?



I am unsure. The "Fae" I was referring to was my aunt and she had a grip like iron.


The more I consider it, the more I suspect that the innate qualities of iron affect energy, so beings constituted mainly of that, spirits perhaps being one, may be affected. But beings who have feet in many worlds may have mass somewhere or in some form, so they might not be as susceptible. Fairies, as I have thought I've seen them at least, have forms, but the some things that seem to share their space do not.

I need to read much more to better understand though. There seems to be a relationship between fairies and spirits. Perhaps part of a kind of life cycle or shift of being? Just guessing there, but if at some point they are constituted mostly of energy it might explain why iron may affect some and not others. Don't know.

Finn

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Re: Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2012, 02:06:48 pm »
Quote from: Annie Roonie;71713
I am unsure. The "Fae" I was referring to was my aunt and she had a grip like iron.

 
Oh! This may explain some confusion on my end while reading some of the responses here in this thread.

I don't think of the dead as "fae" or "fairies" or "Good Folk." They are very interestingly related, and even occupy some of the same mythological ground (and literal ground, for that matter :p) but they are most definitely dead humans.
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Sharysa

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Re: Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2012, 09:37:27 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;71293
Why is iron considered protective against certain entities?

What kinds of entities does it protect against?

How is it used most effectively -- worn/carried on the person, hung on the wall, etc.?

Does the shape of the iron object matter?  If so, what shapes are preferred, what shapes should be avoided?

How pure must the iron be?  Does steel (iron + carbon, IIRC) have the same protective properties?

Does it matter whether/how the iron is worked -- e.g., cast vs. wrought iron?

If used as a protective charm, does it require cleansing and/or charging?  If so, are there preferred methods?

Are there reasons NOT to use iron as protective charm?  Any "side effects", do to speak?

Any other interesting or important tidbits?

Thanks!

~ Aster


You've probably already gotten enough responses, but here's my two cents on history.

From what I've read, iron is protective against the Fair Folk because it's a symbol of order/civilization versus the chaos/nature of the Folk. Iron is VERY hard to get naturally--99% of the time, it has to be smelted and worked in a forge. This is why blacksmiths were frequently ascribed magical properties. Some people believe that any iron will work; others believe that "cold iron" (cold forged) is the only type that will work.

The protectiveness of iron ranges from "It physically repels the Folk or unwanted entities" to "they cannot touch it, and therefore they cannot touch you if you're wearing it." The former is seen when people hang horseshoes or iron nails over their doors to protect their home, while the latter is seen when people carry iron around with them. As mentioned, it's most prevalent in Celtic lore. However, the idea does tend to bleed into similar cultures and there are remnants of it in American folklore.
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Aster Breo

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Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2012, 08:39:00 am »
Quote from: Sharysa;72038
Some people believe that any iron will work; others believe that "cold iron" (cold forged) is the only type that will work.


I've read varying definitions of "cold iron":

- iron that has been cold forged (which is apparently still a hot process, just not AS hot; has to do with the crystallization temperature of the iron, I think?)

- iron forged from ore found in a meteorite, rather than mined underground (not sure why this would be called "cold" since it would have been hot at *some* point)

- iron that is currently cool/cold to the touch, regardless of the origin or forging process

- regular iron (the word "cold" was added simply to make the line in the Kipling (?) source poem scan properly)

Anybody have thoughts on this?  Experiences that shed light on whether the kind of iron actually matters?

I'm also wondering:  It seems iron is mostly cited as protective against the Fae.  Is it protective against other beings?

Thank you all for sharing your knowledge!

~ Aster
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Re: Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #28 on: September 03, 2012, 03:07:56 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;72111
I'm also wondering:  It seems iron is mostly cited as protective against the Fae.  Is it protective against other beings?

Thank you all for sharing your knowledge!

~ Aster


It's my understanding it works against ghosts and that is why cemeteries have iron fences. To keep the spirits in.

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Re: Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2012, 04:09:27 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;72111
- iron forged from ore found in a meteorite, rather than mined underground (not sure why this would be called "cold" since it would have been hot at *some* point)


Meteorite iron would be called cold because it could be worked immediately or with very little adjustment after finding. Ancient people didn't know about the atmosphere, so they probably thought meteors just fell from the sky as they were.

Quote
I'm also wondering:  It seems iron is mostly cited as protective against the Fae.  Is it protective against other beings?


Iron is also protective against evil spirits, witches, the souls of the (unwanted) dead, and various malevolent supernatural creatures.
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