Practical Protection Magick, by Ellen Dugan
published 2011 by Llewellyn publishing
Author information here.
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Copy is a review copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
About the Book: Using humor, personal experience, and a good dose of candor, Ellen Dugan explores the essential topic of psychic self protection. She helps the reader discover their individual strengths and weaknesses and takes the reader through a detailed discussion of psychic abilities and how to use those abilities for psychic protection.
Dugan covers personal psychic strengths and weaknesses, psychic vampirism, hauntings, the interaction between healthy body and good psychic protection, hexes and curses, and then other various ways for protection that she hasn’t covered in the previous chapters. The other information includes some of the basics of using cleansings, herbs, colors, stones, and ritual to raise and strengthen protection.
My Thoughts: I very much liked this book. I only have a few qualms with it. First, I really hate the prolific incorrect usage of the word “disease” in the metaphysical books I’ve read, and it’s continued here. People, “disease” is not meant to be spelled “dis-ease.” I get what the authors are going for here, but really, does no one remember the word “unease/uneasy/uneasiness”? It’s still a word, and should be used instead of this stylistic version of a word that indicates illness. I don’t know who started using “disease” in this fashion, but future Pagan/metaphysical writers, PLEASE STOP. It’s annoying and makes me think you don’t know English.
Now that my linguistic rant is done (and a much shorter one this time than the last), let’s move on. I found the introductory section interesting, but kind of unnecessary. I’m going to read the book, so why is it necessary to tell me what I’m going to read before I read it? If you’re at all unsure of what you’re getting in this book, the intro will tell you pretty much everything you need to know about what’s between the covers. However, I’m going to classify this as a minor issue, since it doesn’t detract from the book–but it doesn’t add anything either.
Also, I’m curious to know where Dugan gets her information on vampires. Not that I think it’s incorrect, but simply because I’d like to know if it’s mostly experience or mostly research. Either one is fine with me, as this section feels well-supported, interesting, and covers a lot about vampirism and what exactly that is.
What I like about the psychic vampire section (chapters 3 and 4) is that the information is presented in a matter-of-fact, sometimes humorous, not frightening way. The fact that it’s not frightening is important. This allowed me to assimilate the information and think about it without feeling that horrible stab of fear and anxiety that other books try to instill in an effort to get their point across.
I like that Dugan emphasizes knowledge of the self, because knowing yourself is critical to being a better practitioner as a whole, not just in the area of protection. This is something that is emphasized throughout the book that I don’t think is covered enough in other works about psychic protection. How can you protect yourself when you don’t really know what it is you’re protecting?
What I really like is how Dugan explains the link between a healthy body/spirit and protection. Having a body that is taken care of and respected helps enhance protection magick because it takes away some of the burden of the magick. Sort of like how having a strong, sturdy base supports and eases the burden on the rest of the house’s structure.
I disagree with Dugan’s assertion that you can do magick while sick. I’ve always thought it’s not the best idea. When you’re sick, all of your body’s energy and resources are going toward fighting off the illness. If your body is fighting it properly, you shouldn’t have anything left over to perform magick, in my opinion. I know I never do, but I haven’t been sick in a few years, so I can’t exactly test or prove this portion. I do think it’s unusual that she puts healing under the chapter with fire. Usually healing gets put in with either water or earth, not fire, though the way Dugan has things organized it does make sense.
Overall, I really liked the book. I think it’s a very good book for beginning to build and understand psychic protections, and the spells and exercises within are things that I think any level of practitioner could reasonably do and understand. While I disagree with a few things in Dugan’s book and portions of her style, there is nothing dangerous or greatly objectionable contained within, and I don’t think the objections I do have are great enough to not give it a good rating. So huzzah, 4.5 out of 5!