Protection Spells is designed to be used by those with little or no prior experience. It makes a nice reference for anyone else needing an idea for any concerning situations. I would categorize this as basic magical hygiene. The spells here cover everyday needs and are not meant for advanced or rare situations. The instructions are clear and the materials used are basic. Most of the spices can be found in your kitchen. If you ever went through a rock collecting phase, you may well have the required stones already in your house. The book is almost devoid of any particularly religious/spiritual content as it was intended for use regardless of one' s beliefs. I can see a little bit of influence from Wicca with the circle casting and ethics discussion and Nordic traditions with the use of runes. The spells don't require any magical training or specific spiritual beliefs. These spells are very accessible and easy to adapt, but without a specific tradition read a little bit vanilla.
Most spells begin with grounding and centering. Some recommend putting up a circle. A how to intro appears in the beginning. Visualization is the most important element. As you would expect, trapping negativity, smudging, cleansing baths, using salt, sun, moonlight, herbs, oils and rocks are covered. The spells come under the categories of body and spirit, house and home, family and friends, and protection when out and about in the world. From protection of your car for safe travels, to making spiritual water, to putting up house wards and navigating office politics, there's a nice broad range of topics. There is also a chapter on rituals that covers situations that require more focus and another on protective objects that serves to introduce common uses of given stones and runes. The book is well-organized and has a bibliography and index.
Chapter 4, Family and Friends. is recommended by the author for use with children. The spells are good self-talk to help anxious kids. With spells for the First Day of School, Separation Anxiety and Protection from Nightmares, and Anti-bullying, it provides a good base that parents may have trouble finding somewhere else. Most of the book is the kind of safe material that I wouldn't mind my kid picking up and reading. The only spell in the entire collection that might bring up uncomfortable discussion is for protection from sexual harassment.
I would recommend this book for two kinds of readers: those who are inexperienced with magical practice and interested in exploring protection spells and for youth whose parents are looking for a safe, introduction to the topic of magical protection.
~review by Larissa Carlson Viana
Author: Arin Murphy-Hiscock
pp. 224, $16.99