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Wards of protection

Many fantasy novels and games involving magic involve magicians of various sorts invoking wards of protection. Usually there's a ceremony involved. The wards usually wear off after a certain period of time, and then someone - usually the person who put them up in the first place - has to reinforce them by performing another ceremony. The image I had in my head when these rituals were performed were of pentagram-drawing, or gestures which yield sparkles or light which linger in the air like the after-image of a sparkler on the eye. The only element of the physical world I'd associated wards of protection with were texts describing alchemic formulae.

Today though, I made my own wards of protection, and they weren't at all how I always imagined them. I ritually splashed a third of a liter of ammonia on the part of the roof nearest that where the raccoons climb over. I sprinkled a dusting of blood-red cayenne pepper powder over my flower beds and on the most vulnerable portions of the railing. And then I left the equipment just inside the door to the deck so that I can renew my wards again in the near future, when they've worn thin.

In a different way, C. maintains wards around our property too. He maintains the firewall which keeps our machines and our data secure from outside influence, a process which involves ongoing maintenance and the rare bit of tweaking. His ward doesn't need to be renewed, but it does require maintenance.

There were no sparkles or pentagrams, but my home is now a safer place.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 20th, 2004 08:49 pm (UTC)
Ammonia? Cayenne powder? You can call them protective wards. I call them chemical warfare. Don't be surprised if raccons in gasmasks and hazmat suits start digging trenches in your flower beds. They're persistent varmints.
Sep. 22nd, 2004 01:43 pm (UTC)
Clearly you are a science fiction fan, if fantasy were your only option.
Sep. 22nd, 2004 03:31 pm (UTC)
Though I dallied with fantasy alongside science fiction when I was an adolescent, I found that robots, spaceships, cybernetic implants, and whatsuch were more agreeable to my imaginative faculty.

Some greater wit than I once quipped that men are not like books, for with books, the good ones are all different and the bad ones are all the same. I found fantasy novels, good or bad, largely the same-- with a few noteworthy exceptions such as LOTR and Gormanghast. So if you can point me to fantasy novels that aren't about a rag-tag band of adventurers trying to move Ancient Powerful Artifact X from point A to point B to prevent Apocalyptic Doom Z, I would be grateful.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )