Practical Protection Magick

Practical Protection Magick:
Guarding and Reclaiming Your Power

Ellen Dugan, Llewellyn, 2011 
4/5 Broomsticks

The occult spectrum provides many different ways to look at defensive magick. Some practitioners hesitate to perform such workings, and a few fear that self-defense could be a violation of the “Harm None” Wiccan rede or may result in some kind of karmic backlash. Others believe that if one doesn’t entertain the possibility of negative magick, it won’t happen to you. Therefore, the concept of protective magick is sometimes not acknowledged whatsoever, and, as a result, Witchcraft becomes all about pure love, peace, and a lot of white light — the “fluffy bunny” of magickal urban legend.

 On the other hand, a few seem to have watched a few too many episodes of  Ghost Hunters. To some, any paranormal activity is a reason to fear, and with this attitude, it’s easy to blame every negative event on a hex.

And then there are your everyday, run-of-the-mill Witches, who are simply wondering how to deal with those who do not have their best interests at heart. It is to these readers that Ellen Dugan is speaking. One of the recurring themes in Practical Protection Magick is that negative magick does happen. This book is about what to when it does happen.

Some of the issues addressed include: What’s the difference between emotional and psychic vampirism? How does a vampire differ from a wielder of negative magick? When should one utilize mundane means such as psychology (or calling the cops), and when is it time to use magickal means of protection? Ms. Dugan does not make a pretense of either magickal or mundane pacifism; her approach is practical, aimed at strengthening one’s self first, followed up by defensive action when absolutely necessary. One solid example: the book’s thorough analysis of emotional vampirism and both mundane and magickal bullies address the most common form of attack, and includes an example of a workplace bully in the author’s own life who required drastic measures. There’s also (refreshingly) a chapter dealing with physical fitness and the importance of taking responsibility for one’s own health; though some might find the material a wee bit ableist, it highlights an important approach often neglected in magickal works on the topic of protection.

Practical Protection Magick includes a sample Tarot spread to help determine whether or not negative magick is affecting the reader, as well as detailed lists of protective symbols, herbs, minerals, colors, moon phases, and deities. Throughout the book, there is a focus on connecting to the four elements, with a variety of invocations, spells, and meditations which will give the raw beginner a solid foundation, and more experienced practitioners a helpful reminder of the fundamentals.

This is a solid work by a well-respected author. Beginners and experienced practitioners alike will benefit from this information and from the author’s affirmation of the reader’s own personal empowerment.

FERN GREEN ASHEM.

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