When danger and uncertainty were ever-present realities the necessity of the shielding of God became equally important. In Scotland prayers for protection were often accompanied by the ritual of encompassment or "caim." Anyone in fear or danger or distress would make an imaginary circle by stretching out the right hand with the forefinger extended, and then turning in the direction of the sun they would draw this circle around themselves to enclose and accompany them and safeguard them from all evil, whether internal or external.

Esther de Waal, Every Earthly Blessing