Witches can by spells kill livestock, make boats sink, make the grain fall prematurely from wheat and barley, and put all the local populace in fear. Fortunately, though they are powerful, they also have certain weaknesses which protect good Christian folk from them: for example, they are unable to go over a river, even by a bridge.
I don’t believe this, myself, but have heard of a woman being murdered in Inverness in 1811 because she was believed to be a witch, and African children in England recently being murdered during exorcisms. Go back further to MacPherson’s criminal law, the first printed criminal textbook in Scotland, and the writings of James VI, and you find Government belief in these “Assaults of Satan”.
There was a false belief in a dire threat, at a time when people in Britain died of famine, and at the same time a false belief in something which mitigates that threat, and protects us.
R, who attuned me to Reiki, told me that crystals can store negative energy, but that it can be removed by washing them in running water- she suggested once a week. She also told me that a person receiving reiki should not have their hands or feet touching, for this forms a circuit for the negative energy, which is not then replaced by fresh energy from the Universe; and that when I give reiki, I should have my fingers together and not splayed, for otherwise the energy can be dissipated. I have not worn my beautiful moonstone since, simply because the chain and weight constrict my neck slightly, not from fear of negative energy.
I see the value of ritual practices which are believed to make us well, and ritual objects to use in those practices, such as crystals, and even ritual practices to take care of the ritual objects: wrap a crystal in silk velvet, or indeed wash it under running water. I am less sure of the value of negative beliefs, that harm can come from failure to use particular rituals. I have never washed that moonstone, feel some resistance to doing so now, and prefer to think of negative energy draining away into the Earth, or being carried away by the Universe, and purified.
The positive belief that things will make me well seems actually to promote my well-being. The negative belief seems to trap me in fear and obsessive ritual. Can I choose simply to ignore it?