On Psychic Protection ...

I recently had a lively discussion with a colleague about psychic protection. I’d like to share my own view and the view of my many teachers on the subject here with you. My thoughts come from and have been formed by three of my great teachers, Tom Cowan, Betsy Bergstrom, and most notably, Adolfo Ttito Condori, an Andean Medicine paqo of the highest order who is teaching from his 5000+ year-old sacred lineage:

Energy Follows Mind

The world is as we dream it. Many traditions, the Andean Cosmology included, teach that our thoughts shape the energies of the world around us, creating our experience. Look at those last three words carefully:

creating our experience

The thoughts we hold shape the energies around us and create the experience we live in the world.

When we hold thoughts of vulnerability, of the fear of being attacked in some way, that is the Field we are setting for ourselves. Remember the phrase, “dogs can smell fear”? The same holds true for psychic phenomena.

Setting your own Field and holding it strongly is our best defense.

In the words of Tom Cowan in his book Yearning for the Wind,

“The Creator is inseparable from creation, and so divine power and protection are always encompassing us for the simple reason that we are always encompassed by creation.”

Yearning for the Wind by Tom Cowan, p. 97

“These old prayers are more in the nature of reminders than petitions. They often don’t so much ask for divine assistance as acknowledge that it already accompanies us. We merely need to be reminded of it.”

Yearning for the Wind by Tom Cowan, pp. 98-99

That’s the crux right there: we are always protected, but sometimes we forget. Forgetting this, believing that we are vulnerable to psychic attack, is what gets us in trouble.

There is an old folk method for casting this power and protection around oneself. It is called the caim, a Gaelic word that means “loop”, “bend”, “crookedness”, or “distortion.” The word is also used in the expression “to refract a ray of light.” To make the caim, you extend your right arm outward in from of you, with your index finger pointing, and turn sunwise, or clockwise, while reciting a prayer similar to the ones above. In effect, you are ritually drawing, with your finger, the circle of protection around yourself. If harm comes your way, this circle of power refracts it away from you.

Some people, of course, claim that such a practice is superstitious. And indeed it is! That’s why it’s so wonderful and powerful to do it! Superstition means to “stand above,” and that is precisely what a ritual reminder, like the caim is: a call to stand above your present situation and view it from on high, to overcome myopic, low-level vision, and to see what is really going on around you.

Looking down at yourself from above, what do you see? Circles inside circles inside circles of divine mystery! Or to put it more simply, as the old prayers do, you see the arms of God around you.

Yearning for the Wind by Tom Cowan, p. 99

Rituals of protection are to remind us, to help us reset our thinking so that the energy will follow.

Here is another practice of reminder, a call to remembering who we really are. It’s by my teacher Betsy Bergstrom, and it’s called the True Self meditation. You can find it here, on my self-help page on my other website, Water Willow and Moon shamanism:


Remember who you are.

Remember that when you are in harmony with all that is, you are always protected, in beauty, and with great power.