This is a reprint of an existing title, with a nice new cover design. appropriately featuring a hamsa. The core text is slightly over 100 pages, and there is an Introduction, a Word of Caution, Recommended System of Treatment, Index of Bible Verses Cited, and an Index.
For those not acquainted with the author, he is an old-world Slavic spirit-worker who has lived in the USA for a long time. He’s obviously deeply versed in his craft. You might find his repeated cautions against improvising before one has the training and skill to do so off-putting, but he has a point, especially since this is a book primarily aimed at laypersons, with many ideas for “what to do until the root-doctor comes.”
I have read his The Practice of Magic and A Century of Spells and found them useful as well. The present book contains around 100 different cleansing and protective methods for persons and spaces. They include incenses, washes, spirit baths, and so on. I can vouch for a number of them, and I intend to try quite a few more.
Pagan and secular readers will have to make allowances for the Christian slant throughout (for example, on page 62, it appears not to have occurred to Mickaharic that the Catholic Church did not invent holy water, or that one could derive one’s method for consecrating it from Agrippa or from older sources). He is also strident about the need to remain in one’s birth religion, at least until its lessons are well-learned; and actually, this is not such awful advice. There is a cleansing method in the book for easing just such a transition, when one is ready.
The book is full of interesting insights on how things work, and contrasting ways of doing the same things. Although he’s writing for a lay audience, experienced magicians will find much value here simply because of the variety of methods listed, in addition to the explanations. For example, you may have used spirit baths for various reasons; but did anyone ever explain to you exactly how to take one? The explanation of the properties of various kinds of water is excellent; it accords well with what I have from Native sources.
The chapter on protection during sleep is very good. Occultists should certainly be using some of these methods, as should parents of sensitive children. There is also a whole chapter on cleansings using eggs, something I had never considered.
He closes with a chapter on how to find a spiritual worker; if you are one, you will definitely want to make sure you’re not doing any of the things he says good ones don’t do!
In all, I can recommend this book to anyone with a passing interest in the subject, right up to people deeply versed in natural magic. After all, given the cover design, the book itself is an amulet; so be sure to consecrate it before first use.
A Handbook of Psychic Protection
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
May 1, 2012
[Complimentary review copy from Red Wheel/Weiser gratefully acknowledged. Opinions my own, YMMV, etc.]