Nails Spiritual Meaning

What Does it Mean When You Find Rusty Nails? Symbolism & Spiritual Meaning

Have you been encountering an inexplicable number of rusty nails, either on your daily trek, left outside your door, or just an abundance in a place that they logically shouldn’t be? Maybe you’ve discovered them in a jar buried on your property – what could that mean?

What Do Rusty Nails Symbolize?

Spiritually, nails hold an interesting duality. Made of iron, which corresponds with warding and protection against baneful magick, nails can also be used to cause harm to a target. When used in magickal spells and rituals, rusty nails function as a protective ward, but including a rusty nail in a hex jar can add a little extra bite to the injury. So it’s safe to say that nails – even rusty ones – can be used for both offensive and defensive magick.

Waterfall Ward Protective Magic Recipe
Waterfall Ward Protective Magic Recipe

Finding Rusty Nails – Is It a Sign?

If you have been encountering rusty nails lately, you may start to wonder: is this a sign? What’s the source of these nails, and how do you know if they’ve been sent as a message from your deity, spirit guide, or a loved one who has passed on?

First, when determining whether or not something is a sign from spirit, it’s important to regard the mundane explanation over a magickal one.

Are there other rusty nails around your property that may have recently been removed from something? If you’re just finding a pile of them along your daily walk, then it’s possible that someone simply dropped an old pail of nails while heading to work.

If the nails you’ve found are contained within a jar that you’ve dug up, then you may have encountered what some call a witch jar. If you suspect that’s what you’ve found, there’s no need to worry – witch jars are traditionally created with the intent of protecting the property on which they’re buried.

A Witch's Protection Bottle Video Thumbnail
Learn how to make a witch’s protection bottle.

That said, spell jars can be made for a multitude of purposes. Since there’s no way of knowing a person’s intent when creating a spell jar, it’s best to err on the side of caution when handling it.

According to the Museum of London Archaeology, if you suspect that you’ve found a 17th-century witch bottle, you should “treat it as an archaeological find.” If this is the case, try to leave it exactly where you found it and contact your local museum for further instructions.

Even if your jar is definitively a modern find – don’t open it! There may be harmful chemicals or gasses built up within the jar, or the contents may be under pressure. If you do find a spell jar that you believe is malicious, you can bury it again to nullify its effects.

Rusty Nails In Baneful Magick

Recently, a Redditor in r/magick posted a similar circumstance with a worrisome tone: a rusty nail had been placed outside of both their front and back door by their malicious neighbors… but what was their intent?

In hoodoo, rusty nails are used in what’s known as a hot foot spell, which is performed with the intent of driving a person from their home or another place in which the target isn’t supposed to be hanging around.

How to Detect a Curse
How to Detect a Curse

Rusty nails may also be used to control someone, harassing them by bending them to the will of the practitioner. They may even be placed with the intent of keeping someone shut inside their home.

With that in mind, someone looking to cause physical harm may strategically place rusty nails in your environment. These may be hidden to pop the tires on your vehicle, or worse, left somewhere that you or your loved ones may step on.

Rusty nails can also be used in baneful magick and as a component for spell jar hexes. A practitioner may drive nails into a lemon or even a pig’s heart to cause pain to a recipient.

What To Do If You Find Rusty Nails On Your Property

If you’re encountering rusty nails that you believe were placed by someone who means you harm, then it’s time to set up your protections – this means both spiritual and physical.

Using an evil eye, hamsa, a protective sigil, or even a ward you’ve made yourself (using rusty nails, if you wish) can be effective in warding off negative intent. You can also place a mirror facing out your window to deflect curses and ill-wishes.

Protect Your Home

If you can afford it, place security cameras on your property to capture suspicious activity. Always be sure to lock your door behind you when entering your home in case you are followed. It is known that magick cannot work on its own – you have to do the work to physically manifest the results you desire.

If you can rule out a physical source for the nails, then you may be receiving a message from Spirit. If you are able, you can try reaching out to these entities through divination, such as asking questions with the aid of a pendulum, dousing rods, or tarot cards. Just be sure to be respectful when communicating to ensure you don’t attract any other negative energies.

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