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During a recent chit-chat, it was pointed out that there are quite a few protection devices for sale in our shop and the question was raised as to whether they are necessary.

Necessary?  Well, I remarked, I don’t know what sort of world you live in but for a lot of people the answer is a definite YES!

Regardless of what some airy fairy folk would have you believe, we do live in a dog-eat-dog world whether we like it or not and as the economic climate deteriorates and the gap between “haves” and “have nots” grows, the scope for bitter people to make their presence felt also grows.

It has always been the same.  Hundreds of years ago, the cunning folk scratched a living by trying to help those who didn’t have the resources or social standing to access the law (such as it was), physicians and fairly paid employment.  So they turned to the local cunning person and their main reasons for consultations were for healing, protection, curse-lifting and to seek retribution on someone who’d wronged them.

Today it isn’t that much different; consultations are still frequently for the same reasons because although we have all the modern medicines, state of the art medical procedures and equipment, it is still difficult for some to access it or they have just plain lost faith in it.  Some like to back-up the orthodox approach with a”little extra insurance”.  The same goes for protection; we have all the modern leaps in police detection methods and all the new laws that have been put in place to protect us all but in truth the law obviously does not take into account the myriad ways in which someone’s life can be damaged mercilessly by such things as malicious gossip, subtle but repeated intimidation, ill-wishing, vampirism and the highly rare but possible “curse”.  For these things, people need help and protection from the cunning person as they feel there isn’t anywhere else to turn and they may be right.

This is where the request for curse-lifting comes in but the good cunning person will first make sure that it is in fact a curse they are dealing with; it is very easy for some to leap to the explanation of having been cursed when in reality it is nothing of the sort, so careful examination of the situation is required by talking, divination and other means and the best advice and magic is offered on the outcome of this detective work.

For those who know who has been harming them in some way but it is outside the remit of the law, then the request for retribution is made.  Again, a true person of the cunning will offer advice through divination and other means and if entirely satisfied that the client is correct in their assertions, the cunning will offer them various charms, powders and magical aids but the client has to do the magic for themselves, they have to follow the instructions they are given; the cunning will rarely do it for them as the strongest magic is worked with the strongest links and that is obviously between the client and their nemesis.

And so back to the beginning of there being so many protections in our shop.  It is something that there is a definite call for and because the other requests require a face to face consultation, or at least that is how I work, the protections,  ingredients and other protection aids are the most called for without the need for a personal visit.

So what sort of things might a person need to protect against?

Even in the humdrum existence of normal life, there are numerous reasons why a person might need to take a little extra precaution to protect themselves, especially if they are at all “sensitive”.  For example, a person might have to regularly have contact with a vampire.  “Vampire???” You may shriek, “Is she mad, deluded or watched too much TV????” Well no actually, I might be a tad eccentric but my marbles are all accounted for and in their proper place, if occasionally prone to rolling about in various directions at one time and as for the TV, I can probably count the number of hours I have watched the box in one year on one hand (I think the only reason I have one is to fill up a corner of the room and to be ready to be informed of what to do in the event of a national disaster).

Vampires do exist but not in the form of blood sucking, sexually hypnotising and handsome young men; no, THAT is the stuff of Hollywood and as my niece will testify to, the dirge of teenage books and films.  Real vampires are normal people but who have a nasty habit, either knowingly or not, of draining your energy and vital life force to replenish their own.  They may do it because life is taking its toll on them and they are left drained as a result or they may do it because they are ill and the illness drains them.  Some might do it because they know what they are doing and they like the “up” feeling they get from the surge of your vital energies coursing through them.  All of these people can become like drug addicts, even those who are not aware of what they are doing; they get accustomed to the feeling of wellness, happiness and just feeling better after being in your company and so they seek to do it more and more often.  But as with drugs, the effects wear off more quickly as time goes on and so they need to replenish from you more and more often.  You know when someone is “vamping” off you because after being in their company, you are left feeling drained, too tired to move, sometimes a raging headache manifests and occasionally nausea.  You notice that it happens every time you see this person and no matter what you talk about, you are still left feeling this way after they have gone.  If you can’t rid yourself of the person or stay out of their way for any reason, then protection is called for to stop them being able to “feed” off you.

Another reason might be the “evil eye”.  Again, this isn’t as daft as it sounds.  Today, just as back in the mists of history, there are always some people who become jealous, envious and malicious about what they think you have or have achieved and how they think you came by it.  If you are unlucky enough to have someone of this nature in your life or living near you, their constant negative and sometimes nasty thoughts about you when they see you, are sometimes enough to effect damage in your life, even if it is only in small ways but numerous small effects can grow to be quite a heap if not dealt with.  A variety of effects can be felt such as mail starting to arrive later and later until it stops arriving at all but with no good reason.  Silly and small things start to go wrong for no obvious reasons and you can begin to feel “crossed up”.  People in the house start to get tetchy and irritable or over tired, again with no obvious cause.  These are just a few examples of the effects of the “evil eye” and so to alleviate these effects, a protection hanging in the house is a good remedy.

Then there are always the situations we are called to go into where a person might make us feel little, vulnerable and turn us into gibbering wrecks.  They are the subtle bullies, they do nothing overtly to intimidate us but they have a “presence” and a way that reduces us to ineffective, powerless playthings for their amusement.  Here, personal protections can be very effective at negating their influence and once the bully realises that their influence has waned, they usually stop and our strength and resilience to them grows.

Some people are plagued by nightmares and so protections are put in place in the bedroom to stop this or just as general protections while they sleep.

In a few cases, it might be to protect against a spirit or otherworldly entity attaching itself to a person and  causing mischief.  This can happen occasionally when someone is ill, there are entities which can latch on to illness and perpetuate it but this is rare.  So some people like to put up protections in the house when illness is present to protect and ward off anything unwanted, or to put up once an entity has been removed to stop anything else attaching.  Many people like to use protective floor washes to stop illness from visiting the house in the first place or to act as a preventative to bad luck and bad influences entering the home.

Infrequently an entity can attach itself or cause problems when people go wayfaring into territory that harbours unpleasant beings.  These might be places where man has desecrated the land or greatly offended the nature spirits.  To prevent this, a personal protection is worn if you find you must visit such places but it’s usually advisable to stay away entirely and respect the fact that you are not wanted.

There is also the need for people who work or have regular contact with the spirit world to protect themselves and their homes.  Usually those that do work with spirit regularly know how to do this for themselves and don’t need help but there are always the dabblers or those just starting out and for them, a protection can be invaluable until they find their feet and can produce effective protections for themselves.

These are just a few of the reasons that protections might be required, there are many more and most of them emanate from the mundane world.  It just goes to show that not a lot changes really, either for the cunning or their clients and the same advice and protections are still needed, even today.