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Most magical practice begins with protection: we cast a circle not just to protect ourselves from the outside but also to protect what might cross our paths from us. We use magic to tend to the safety of our loved ones, at home and in travel. We look for ways to ensure life goes as smoothly as possible, because it frees us to practice our magic. To gain that ease, we must use protective magic.

In the process, even the most imaginative of practitioners can forget the world includes more beings than what we see. The entities we share the universe with can on occasion breach our defenses. Author and witch Emily Carlin helps us separate what we have to fear from what we imagine. From first identification, she guides her readers in the direction of freedom from fear.

From faeries to demons to ghosts and vampires, Carlin catalogs magical beings according to how common they and according to what degree of trouble they make. She also gives suggestions for reducing or stopping these visitors from wreaking havoc. While not always reassuring – Carlin indicates that a visit from an infernal demon or the Wild Hunt means you’re screwed – the numerical charts used make it clear such encounters are unlikely.

She follows her catalog with a collection of spells that break hexes, cleanse personal energy and establish general protections. She also includes rituals to help maintain courage and strength when confronting an entity that behaves poorly or that does not respond to an order to go elsewhere.

Carlin’s approach differs enough from other psychic self-defense books that it merits addition to a collection of them: her efforts to establish realistic expectations about entities and their behavior removes the “spooky” factor and brings protection magic and spirit relations back into the realm of sensible occult practice.

Recommended.

~review by Diana Rajchel

Author: Emily Carlin
New Page Press (Career Press, Inc), 2011
pp. 224, $14.99

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