Some people fear every aspect of the paranormal and are convinced that even the most superficial flirtation with these topics will quickly result a complete loss of autonomy and forcible invasion by some dark aspect of the spirit world.
Other people believe that just about any activity is safe so long as you 'cast a circle of light' around yourself and ask your Higher Power for protection.
Still others believe that only relentless positivity and prayer can protect you from demonic assault. And then of course there's the idea that 'the devil made me do it!'--The belief that just about any negative behavior or attitude is the direct result of spirit possession.
I personally believe that all of these ideas about possession are misguided or wrong.
Let's look at them one by one:
Flirtation with paranormal topics is dangerous and invites possession.
This is akin to saying that reading chocolate cake recipes makes you fat. The question of intent and self-discipline comes into play here. Are you reading chocolate cake recipes because you have a chocolate cake problem and can't think about anything else? Are you a person who eats NOTHING except chocolate cake and you are now exactly one pound away from death by morbid obesity? Are you one of those people who is powerless in the face of chocolate cake and have you been skipping your meetings?
People with a weak sense of self and people who have fantasies about power and control can get into trouble dabbling with the paranormal, but such people get in trouble with ordinary life, too. You may run into dark forces in paranormal work, that's true. You may also get robbed at gunpoint when you leave your house.
Or, you may be the victim of a home invasion even if you NEVER leave your house for fear of being robbed. Stuff happens. As with everything in life, what happens during paranormal investigations is partially about you, but it isn't ALL about you. Possessing a living human being is not that easy a feat for the disembodied. I don't say it never happens, but it isn't that easy to accomplish.
Cast a circle of light and that will make you safe.
In dealing with the paranormal or any other aspect of life, NOTHING will make you 'safe no matter what'. One of the most dangerous attitudes you can adopt in any context is that some trick of consciousness or ritual makes you 'safe no matter what'.
Discernment is a necessary skill for all aspects of life, and you can't put it down when approaching the paranormal, not ever. All that glisters is not gold. Much of what looks bright and shiny and good in the world of the paranormal is dangerous, in the same way that the best con men are usually the most likable.
That said, tremendous confidence and an understanding of who you are and where you begin and end is an asset when dealing with the spirit world.
Much of what is hanging around the ether waiting to chat is akin the the guys who hang around dive bars all the time and want to buy anything in a skirt a drink. Keep your wits about you and don't be chatting up every stiff that floats by your Ouija board no matter how lit up your circle is. You have to know when to say 'buzz off' and when to call it quits. Not all inquiries are productive.
Protection from demonic assault/recovery from demonic assault.
I have long noticed that the people most often featured in stories, books, and movies about possession are people who are trying very hard to be perfect, nice, and good every single minute.
Christians are especially susceptible to possession because they frequently believe that they must push away and deny their own personal darkness, and additionally, they are already used to giving away all personal authority and power to an outside entity: the Church. When dark forces invade their lives, they believe it is their piety that has attracted them, and in a way it is.
These people are are unbalanced; they have allowed another parasite (the Church) to make them weak and ill and now they are food for wraiths. Their fear of darkness is so huge, and their shame at their own darkness is so equally huge, that any kind of darkness can now use that huge reservoir of fear to magnify itself. The best possible protective course is the hardest one: Face the fears, look inside, make friends with yourself, all of your parts, the pretty and the ugly and the not so nice.
Often you hear these debates about, "Is it darkness coming from inside (psychological projection) or is it an actual dark external spirit? (demon or entity)" I think this is not really a useful question. The answer is often: "both, all of the above." The real issue is not where the dark force originates, the issue is the lack of balance, self-possession, and enormous fear present in the person under psychic attack.
Just as predators in the material world look for the weakest animals to eat, dark psychic forces look for people who fear their own darkness and are used to be being bossed around.
Check your intent
When approaching paranormal topics, check your intent and your attitude. If you are goofing around, expect goofiness and mischievous responses in return. If you are very fearful, expect to be intimidated and harassed. If you are curious and centered, expect to learn a few things.
Be careful. Don't isolate. Proceed with caution always.
And to thine own Self be true.