A Book For These Uncertain Times….

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Protection Spells: Clear Negative Energy, Banish Unhealthy Influences, And Embrace Your Power by Arin Murphy-Hiscock, Adams Media (An Imprint of Simon & Schuster), 978-1-5072-0832-8, 224 pp., 2018

I have read and reviewed several of Arin Murphy-Hisock’s books and have always found them useful and relevant in both content and presentation.  This title is no different in that statement but all the more important during these times of uncertainty and the challenges of COVID-19.

Protection Spells: Clear Negative Energy, Banish Unhealthy Influences, And Embrace Your Power is an invitation to step into our power and use the magick that we know and trust to move with more confidence and strength in the months ahead. This statement is the first paragraph of the Introduction and I cannot think of any that speak more to our current situation.

…Whether you are seeking to protect your emotional well-being, reinforce your confidence, or find some comfort in a stressful world, protection spells can help. Feeling unsafe puts a strain on your emotional state and robs you of energy, but the spells in this book can strengthen your comfort and security and heal your body and mind… 1.

Protection Spells is thoughtfully organized in three (3) parts; giving the impression of a lean and simple text. There is nothing lean, nor simple in the work that you are called to. The flow is organic in moving from Part 1: Spellcrafting into the work of crafting Part 2: Spells and coming to a practical application in the final Part 3: Rituals and Protective Objects.

Chapter 1: An Introduction to Spellcrafting gives the reader a concise definition of what a spellcraft is, and the reason for employing its use as a routine part of your spiritual/magickal work…

…What is spellcraft? It’s the art of using energy to help regulate your world, to attune yourself to the energies around you, and to work with those energies for a beneficial outcome….Using spells to protect and defend yourself, the people you care about, and various areas of your life can be part of supporting healthy living…2.

The foundations are laid in plain language regarding what spells are and what they are not, the components that are required, and I don’t mean the decorative items; and the ethics of spell work. This last are, ethics, is a biggie when it comes to spellcraft; the most prevalent breach is in many of those oh so popular love spells. We are reminded that even the best intentions can go awry if permission of the parties involved is not given.  The chapter concludes with some basics including guidance in creating sacred space, altars and the adjuncts to and types of spells you may wish to use.

Part 2: Spells is broken down into four (4) chapters that give ample overview of how spell craft may be used for Body and Spirit (Chapter 2); House and Home (Chapter 3), Family and Friends (Chapter 4) and Out and About (Chapter 5), which takes into consideration the needs in more public locales such as work or school.

Chapter 2: Body and Spirit is filled with spell work that takes into consideration preventative measures and actions that compliment a daily spiritual practice as well as the challenges met in mundane work. Offerings such as: Protection from Oversaturation, Defense Against Social Media Overload, Saying No, Defense Against Burnout, Protecting Yourself Emotionally and many more cover all of the bases of need as well as encouraging the establishing of healthy boundaries and general well-being. There is even a Safe Deposit Box Spell for protection of your home!

One of the spells that caught my attention in Chapter 3: House and Home was the work to Enchant Cleaning Supplies for Protection with the rationale that…

…Magically programming your cleaning supplies is one of the easiest ways to support the magical maintenance of your home. You houseclean on a regular basis anyway, so why not tie magical cleansing into the physical part?…3.

Simple, smart and intuitive and I must confess a use of spellwork that has been completely off my radar. Each of the spells is given additional support with tips and maintenance reminders and considerations, which compliment a weaving of these actions into the routine of magickal and mundane work.

Chapter 3: Out and About continues the broadening of spellcraft use in very practical ways. I thought the Transit Pass Spell was wonderful and the suggestion to couple it with the prior given Visualization Spell for Vehicles added another layer of support.

Protection Spells: Clear Negative Energy, Banish Unhealthy Influences, And Embrace Your Power completes its work of self-empowerment in Part 3: Rituals and Protection Objects.

… Sometimes you need more than a spell. These rituals are longer and more detailed, and they involve more energy and more focus. They accordingly provide a more complex level of protection. These rituals are excellent foundations upon which to add levels of defense with spells…4.

Chapter 6: Rituals delivers of what is promised with rituals that are both easy to do and call for supplies that are easily obtained and many of which you probably already have in your home. Categories include rituals of protection for the home, objects and a person, with the reminder of need for obtaining permission.

Chapter 7: Protective Objects provides a buffet of supports to bolster your spell work using appropriately corresponding energies. Colors, herbs, crystals, Gods and Goddesses, Saints and Angels, sacred symbols and talismans and more are all woven into the why’s and how to incorporate into your workings.

The Bibliography has just enough reference resources to deepen your understanding and knowledge of effective magickal work in general. And, I always appreciate the addition of an Index for this type of book, making it easy to return to as reference frequently and find exactly what I need effortlessly.  

Would I recommend:

Protection Spells: Clear Negative Energy, Banish Unhealthy Influences, And Embrace Your Power by Arin Murphy-Hiscock is filled with everything you need to begin the art of spellcrafing and use its inspiration for writing and acting with intention and power. The approach is one of not only informing, but I believe instilling self-awareness as well. In order to effectively make use of this spells, you have to understand the mechanisms of your own personal energy, intent and all the while be fully present and aware of how your actions are impacting and affecting the world around you. That world is both the greater expanse of locale and the microcosmic domain of your inner workings.  There is much to read between the lines of this book and as I commented at the beginning, that reading is timely and exceptionally relevant now.

About the Author:

Arin Murphy-Hiscock is the author of SpellcraftingWiccaThe Way of the Green WitchThe Green WitchThe Way of the Hedge WitchPagan Pregnancy, Power Spellcraft for LifeSolitary Wicca for Life, and The Hidden Meaning of Birds: A Spiritual Field Guide. She has been active in the field of alternative spirituality for over twenty years and lives in Montreal, Canada.


  1. Introduction
  2. p. 11
  3. p.  83
  4. p. 181

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Protection Spells: Clear Negative Energy, Banish Unhealthy Influences, And Embrace Your Power

Book Review: The Book of Ceremony

Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life by Sandra Ingerman

ISBN: 978-1683641490, Sounds True, 216pp., 2018

Although I do not follow a Shamanic path, I have long been a fan of Sandra Ingerman’s work ad fold much of her teachings into the practice and teachings I offer to my coven mates and students. I particularly enjoyed this book as a reader friendly and generic template for incorporating ceremony into any practice.

The Book of Ceremony by Sandra Ingerman reminds us that our focus is often distracted as we attempt to recreate or analyze ancient teachings and wisdom and that the most important piece in ceremony is our intention and desire to affect change.  The approach to ceremony that Sandra uses guides the reader towards healthy expressions of emotions that could otherwise become more negative energy feeding situations in which we feel helpless.

The book is divided into four parts beginning with the basics of what is considered a “ceremony”; moving to specific types of ceremony; work to create balance within ourselves and the energy that moves through us and concluding with practical application of ceremony and creating your own definition of what these actions enable within your practice.

One of the key points brought to light early in the book is the difference between the terms of “Ritual” and “Ceremony”. The author uses her perspective of ritual being more repetitive in nature, whereas a ceremony is designed for specific outcome and at a specific time. I don’t fully agree with this definition as I believe that the two overlap in a myriad of ways, however, I believe this to be a good starting point for those exploring the use of “sacred action” filled with intention and hoping to create something new from what is acted upon.

The sections throughout the book, cover all of the information anyone would need to begin crafting ceremony and weaving it into their specific practice. Altars, tools, music, preparation of yourself, seeking Spirit guides, ancestors and more are presented in a useable way and offer both background and reasoning behind the selection offered. 

I especially liked reading the section, “Turning Points and Rites of Passage”. It is richly illustrated with actual ceremonies that have been created and executed that were powerful examples of what can be accomplished in sharing the gifts of ceremony as a working tool.

All in all, this is an excellent book to begin the process of aligning yourself more deeply with your inner wisdom and intention-filled practice in honoring the sacred in the work you undertake. To quote Sandra…

“In shamanic teachings, every spiritual and sacred act we perform is a ceremony. When we recognize the sacredness of each moment, miracles happen.”

About the Author:

Sandra IngermanSandra Ingerman, MA, is an award winning author of twelve books, including Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self, Medicine for the Earth, Walking in Light, and The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred into Everyday Life. She is the presenter of several audio programs produced by Sounds True, and she is the creator of the Transmutation App. Sandra is a world-renowned teacher of shamanism and has been teaching for more than 30 years. She has taught workshops internationally on shamanic journeying, healing, and reversing environmental pollution using spiritual methods. Sandra is recognized for bridging ancient cross-cultural healing methods into our modern culture, addressing the needs of our times.

Sandra is known for gathering the global spiritual community together to perform powerful transformative ceremonies, as well as inspiring us to stand strong in unity so we do our own spiritual and social activism work while keeping a vision of hope and being a light in the world.

She is passionate about helping people to reconnect with nature. Since the 1980’s thousands of people have healed from past and present traumas through the classic cross-cultural shamanic healing method Sandra teaches called Soul Retrieval.

She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and professional mental health counselor. She is also a board-certified expert on traumatic stress. She was awarded the 2007 Peace Award from the Global Foundation for Integrative Medicine. Sandra was chosen as one of the Top 10 Spiritual Leaders of 2013 by Spirituality and Health Magazine.

Sandra has two new books released in 2018. The Hidden Worlds was co-written with Katherine Wood and is a novel written for young adults to help them navigate the changing world. The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred Into Everyday Life was written for a shamanic and general audience on how to bring the sacred into daily life by performing shamanic ceremonies designed for our times and the challenges we are facing today.