I recently had a question about shielding, so I thought that I would make a basic post about it. Shielding, even at its most basic, is a technique that I recommend anyone attempting any kind of magical or spirit work invest time in learning. There are a variety of techniques to shield, and you should experiment with them to find what is most effective for you. What works for one person may very well be a miserable failure for you.
Shielding is important because it allows you to maintain control over the energy that you’re putting out, and receiving from the world around you. Working on shielding techniques also gives you an added awareness of the energy around you, which is useful before you even approach trying to shield yourself.
This being said, the first thing that you should work on is “grounding”. Grounding is sometimes referred to as “earthing”, and it involves connecting yourself with the energy around you. Some people operate under the belief that they’re connecting to the deep, core, energies of the Earth itself — this concept may not work for you. You may find more connection with the belief that you’re connecting with spiritual energy, divine energy, or just generalized energy around you. Just like shielding, there are a lot of grounding techniques. I personally use visualization techniques and breathing exercises in order to ground myself, and I don’t continue until I feel comfortable doing so. Relaxed, clear headed — but hey, sometimes, I have to shield when it is impossible to get 100% relaxed. So, I go with “more relaxed”.
When you’re grounding, you’re supposed to let go of anything negative that you’re holding onto… within the best of your ability. You’re obviously not going to be able to absolutely let go of a trauma, but you may be able to get yourself into a more stable mental state. If you’re unable to calm yourself enough to be able to work, the negative emotions you’re carrying with you may very well have an impact and disrupt your concentration or ability to perform. It may also attract the attention of negative energies that you’re not wanting to deal with.
This isn’t to say that you’re screwed if you can’t let go of things, or get to a state where you can at least focus on what you’re doing. Instead, you may find it more difficult or have some issues in terms of performance. If you find that you’re attracting a lot of negative energy that you’re not prepared to deal with, work on cleansing and banishing. You may also want to look into warding the space that you’re working in. This can do a lot for you in the long run, even if you don’t have any complications with grounding.
I’ll write more on grounding at a later date.
A good shield will help protect you from the emotions of other people (if you are empathic), from energy around you originating from other people and spirits. It can also help protect you from the negative energy that is associated with a location — this energy could be left over from something that happened, could be associated with the presence of a sentient spirit, or could originate from something else within the environment.
Once you develop a shielding technique that works for you, it would be a good idea to practice it on a daily basis. Having a base shield makes it easier to add reinforcement to, when you’re in a situation where you can’t go through the whole process of thoroughly grounding. For example, if you unexpectedly come across an angry spirit — or, more mundane, a ticked off co-worker.
Now, please note that I primarily use visualization techniques to shield. If visualization absolutely does not work for you, you may need to find a workaround that does. This may be something like physically drawing a representation of yourself on a piece of paper, then drawing a barrier around that. It may also be a mental reassurance or mantra that you repeat to yourself. Find what works for YOU.
- Pure visualization. Imagine a barrier of white or gold light surrounding your body. You may also experiment with different elements (fire, air). Imagine the material of your shield forming around, starting at your feet and closing or finishing above your head. Breathe in and out as you imagine your shield enveloping you. Imagine how this material interacts with energy being directed at you… does it disintegrate in the light? Is it burned away by the fire? Make sure you specific about how your shield deters the incoming energy. If you’re worried about your own energy getting away from you, or being discovered (some people are) be sure to visualize how energy leaving your shield is handled.
- Gemstone based. Find gemstones that interact well with you, and perform the specific function that you’re looking for. Energetically cleanse that stone, while being aware of what physical cleansing can affect the stone — some are not meant to be placed in water, for example. Keep that stone on you, visualizing or reassuring yourself that you are benefitting from the qualities of the stone. I would suggest visualizing in the same way as I outlined above, but this is born of my visualization bias. You can also imagine the stone absorbing or deflecting the energy that you do not want to interact with. If you go the absorption route, be sure to regularly cleanse your stones — again being aware of what physical cleansing methods you can and cannot use with that particular stone.
- Object based. This is similar to the above, but instead centered on a specific object. This could be a necklace that you regularly wear, or some other piece of jewelry. Perhaps it is some small object that you carry in your pocket. I have a plastic squirrel in my car that acts as a ward or shield for the vehicle. It would be up to you to imbue the object with the quality that you are hoping for. Or, rely on the association you have with the object.
- Prayer or deity based. You could say a prayer or appeal to a deity in your chosen manner to provide you with shielding. This could be something that you say quickly to yourself, and visualize the result, or it could be the result of a ritual.
- Paper. I’m actually a huge fan of using paper because it is useful for people who have trouble visualizing. You could draw a representation of yourself, then draw a shield around yourself. Fold this up and keep this on your person, occasionally putting more energy into it by touching it or focusing on it in some other way. You could add runes to this, if you felt inclined and practiced enough in runes. You could add sigils, symbols, colors — anything that helps intensify the meaning of the drawing and barrier for you.
You could absolutely combine two or more of these methods, to make something that works for you. You could also end up thinking of something that I haven’t presented here — perfectly valid. It is more important for you to find something effective for you, personally, than to perfectly adhere to someone else’s recommendations. I mentioned that I usually use visualization. Stones don’t typically get along with me, so I don’t often rely on them — unless they’re being placed on a shrine or altar. I do sometimes use object based shields or warding (which overlaps with shielding). I use prayer, and I have used paper. Visualization is the undercurrent of everything that I personally use.
It is a good idea to get into a regular practice of shielding. Once you do, be sure to refresh your shields or occasionally tear them down and re-shield so that nothing is getting trapped in them that you don’t want hanging around you. Be aware of energy around you, so that you know when to shield or when to amplify your existing shields. If you have a bad feeling about something, shield. If you feel like someone is really draining you, shield. Trust your gut instincts about these kinds of things. Your body will tell you about the energy that you’re interacting with.