Today I accidentally stumbled upon a few very old and rather unique traditions to ensure your home's protection from the outside rather than the inside. Some may be familiar, some may not.
Carving protective symbols into the wood of your door jamb, especially of a pentagram, is a primitive and pretty way to keep your home safe from evil. However, if you rent your home, your landlord might not take too kindly to having your spiritual beliefs artistically gouged into the frame of their front door. Instead you could paint and/or carve a small rectangle of wood that could be gently attached to the jamb above the doorknob, or paint your doors in protective color combinations, thus keeping your house safe from negativity without damaging the actual door or angering the owner.
Ornamental roof finials (think gargoyles) can be attached to the corners of your home to erect a boundary of protection in all four cardinal directions. The finials need not be actual gargoyles (because man are those things ugly!), but can be any creature or symbol you find appealing or potent, perhaps even small versions of your power animal that only you and the birds that perch on your roofline would know are there. Even little decorative pieces of iron can be used (purchased at a garden shop or a salvage yard), as iron has long been considered the metal of the gods.
If climbing up onto a ladder and attaching things to your roof doesn't appeal to you, driving an iron spike into the ground in front of your house will keep the entire dwelling and all its inhabitants safe from evil spirits and intruders of the physical kind as well. Most people are familiar with hanging an iron horseshoe over the door for luck and protection and doing this will also keep your house and family safe.
And if you're building a new home, you can always place broken iron tools within your walls to keep your home protected, though you might want to avoid another ancient tradition for keeping a home safe from the outside in: burying dead horses' heads beneath your floorboards to ensure night after night of restful sleep and protection against the "Night Mare", the mythical horse that carries evil dreams to haunt the living while they sleep. Just a suggestion.
Photo of antique iron finial courtesy of Ontheway2it on flickr.
Photo of antique painted door jamb courtesy of jwoodphoto on flickr.