Iron is traditionally used for its protective properties and repelling negative energy, specifically due to the fact that spirits are thought to be unable to cross a barrier made of this material. Like salt, iron has been used for thousands of years due to its multitude of uses and ease of access. Over the years, cemeteries were built with iron fences surrounding them, and wrought iron fences enclose private properties to keep them safe.
The use of Railroad Spikes was made popular in defensive magick by the Hoodoo tradition, as many common practices today are. The value of the Railroad Spike comes from the forged iron and the fact that they have been used. You can think of a Railroad Spike as an anchor, and the longer it has been serving this purpose, the more ingrained that energy will become in the metal. Not surprisingly, few practitioners would utilize a shiny new iron spike in their magick with a rusted counterpart being available.
Using Railroad Spikes to Nail Down your Property:
Both homeowners and tenants alike can utilize Railroad Spikes on their property to secure and protect their home and land. You will need a Spike for every corner of your property. Once you have acquired your Railroad Spikes, anoint the metal with an oil of your choosing. Common anointing oils for home protection are: Fiery Wall of Protection, Go Away Evil, or Law Keep Away oil if the property is to be used for illegal activities. Traditionally, the practitioner would say Psalm 23 over the spike, in modern practice you may feel inclined to speak other words of affirmation. An example incantation you may use is: “As I anchor this spike in the belly of the Earth, I call upon Her forces of protection to secure my home against unwelcome spirits, and repel negative energy to keep my family and I safe from all harm.”
As you are anointing the Spike, focus your intentions on the outcome you would like to see. Envision the protective energies imbuing the iron before driving it into the Earth with a hammer. At this point, you can strengthen this work by placing a silver dime, Mercury dime, or Indian Head penny on the head of the spike. Make sure to place the coin with the head facing up. If you so choose, you can then cover the spike with graveyard dirt from the grave of one's own ancestors, calling upon them to protect your property. At this point, in traditional witchcraft the witch would then urinate on the spike to mark their territory in a feral and age-old demonstration of domination as mammals have been doing for centuries.
For clear reasons, urinating in your front yard may not be a viable option for most modern practitioners. It is common practice to fill a cup with urine in private and pour from this vessel over every spike as you follow the steps to ward your home.
If you live in an apartment, a modified approach would be to utilize square cut nails instead of a railroad spike. After anointing the nail with oil and speaking words of power over it as previously described, cover the nails briefly with dirt or graveyard dirt. You can then soak the nails in a container of urine before driving them into the floor at all 4 corners of the apartment.
A simpler method would be to drive a single railroad spike into the earth as close to the front and rear door as possible for a quick protective barrier. Be mindful of inner spaces that may be neglected such as fireplaces, you may find an additional protective talisman is needed in that space. There are many other protective talismans one can utilize aside from railroad spikes, such as anchoring stones or black tourmaline, if spikes are not readily available to you!