What is it?
Shielding is a magickal technique used to protect your energy from being drained or used without your permission by people, places and situations.
Shielding techniques use visualization and energy to create a psychic barrier or bubble around you to protect you from overwhelming and unwanted psychic, mental, or magical influence from others. A bit like the concept of deflector shields in Star Trek.
It works by blocking the energy from external sources, like a group of people or just one person. It can help protect you by preventing other's energy from reaching you so you're not under the influence of their feelings, thoughts, energy or intentions. It can also help protect you by preventing your energy from being drained by those around you.
What It's Not
A 'Shield' is not a physical form of protection and will not prevent physical injury or harm.
How to Shield
When you ground, you push excess energy out of your body. When you shield, you surround or envelope yourself with it with that energy. We covered Raising & Directing Energy in Part 1 of this series. Practicing this skill will help you form a strong shield.
Focus on your energy core, and expand it outward so that it covers your entire body. Ideally, you'll want it to extend past the surface of your body so that it's almost as though you're walking around in a bubble.
Visualize the energy as something you can see. A clear bubble, white or blue light or a distortion in the air all work well. Experiment until you find a representation of your energy that feels right for you.
When you're forming your energy shield, try visualizing the surface of it as being reflective. This not only protects you from negative influences and energy, but it can also repel them back to the original sender. Making your shield reflective is completely optional, but can reduce the burden on you to decide in the moment what is reflected back and what isn't. It may become exhausting to perform this manually.
Another way of looking at it is like the tinted windows on your car—a good shield is tinted or reflective just enough to let in sunlight and good things, but keeps all the unwanted elements out.
When is a Shield Needed?
When you use a protective shield is entirely up to you. Only you can determine how much energy or psychic entanglement you can tolerate or want.
A good place to start would be determining what situations or people tax your energy the most. What environments are you more at risk or susceptible in?
Consider: Imagine energy is a little like the flu, or COVID. Every time someone coughs, breaths or sneezes they send out some of their virus that can infect the people around them. So, when do you need to think about protecting yourself from the flu?
Times you might think of using extra precautions to keep yourself healthy might include...
• When you're around sick people
• In an indoor space or crowded area during flu season
• When you visit a hospital, pharmacy or doctor's office
Precautions you might take could include wearing a mask, washing your hands more, using hand sanitizer, at the store, not shaking hands or kissing, maintaining a bigger distance between people, taking extra vitamins, or staying away from places you are likely to encounter the flu altogether.
A shield can similarly be useful when you are likely going to be in proximity to people who may overwhelm you on an energetic or magickal level, psychically drain you, etc.
Often certain people or situations seem to drain us more than others. There are also times when we feel especially vulnerable or at risk emotionally and mentally, such as being at a family gathering with an unkind or vexing relative, attending a public gathering where you'll encounter lots of strangers, or having to work with someone who gives off a 'predatory' energy.
Limitations & Drawbacks
Shields Take Energy to Block Energy
Creating and maintaining a psychic or energetic shield takes some energy. It's difficult to sustain for long periods of time. They are most effective for short period, such as a few hours. When you try to hold a shield in place too long, your focus and energy wane and your shield becomes weak.
How Long Should a Shield Stay Up?
Shielding is great in a pinch, is easy enough for beginners and works beautifully when done properly. However, a shield should be temporary and fairly rare, especially around people you know or interact with regularly, like family, friends and even co-workers. It's just one tool in a sea of many, and it's usually not even the best tool you have access to.
Let's explore some of the potential drawbacks of relying too heavily on shielding for spiritual and psychic protection:
Keeping a full-time shield up is a form of hypervigilance.
Hypervigilance is a state of increased alertness. If you’re in a state of hypervigilance, you’re extremely sensitive to your surroundings. It can make you feel like you’re alert to any hidden dangers, whether from other people or the environment. Often, though, these dangers are not real.
Hypervigilance can be a symptom of mental health conditions, including:
• post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
• anxiety disorders
These can all cause your brain and your body to constantly be on high alert. Hypervigilance can have a negative effect on your life. It can affect how you interact with and view others, or it may encourage paranoia.
Being hypervigilant against Spiritual threats can have the same root causes and symptoms. To use a shield well, you'll need to learn to objectively asses when you really need a shield and when you can relax and let your guard down.
Attempting to never interact with the real world without a shield puts you in a Spiritual bubble. It keeps you disconnected from the the energy flow around you. So many of our instincts are dependent on being able to tap into the psychic, emotional and spiritual energy of the people, places and things around us. When we cut ourselves off, we deprive ourselves of vital information. We also lose out on the energy exchanges utilized to bond with people, to communicate openly and to form relationships & attachments.
SHIELDING CAN BECOME LIKE HAND SANITIZER
(Pandemic aside...) When we overuse germ-busting products in our life, like anti-bacterial soap, we can actually lower our ability to fight off illnesses.
Instead of looking at the world as being full of Spiritual dangers that requires you to use excessive amounts of hand sanitizer, ahem, I mean, shielding, try taking a more measured approach and realize some things are going to get through, and that's OK. Your immune system will get needed practice fighting off the small things so it's strong enough to handle the big stuff when it's time.
In other words- save your hand sanitizer (shield) for when you are heading in or out of a room full of people who have the flu, and maybe leave it at home when going to your mailbox or the dog park.
FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY
If you think your shield is doing its job 24/7, you might convince yourself there's no need to pay attention and listen to your internal warning system/intuition/psychic radar. Your internal security system still needs you to pay attention. A shield that never comes down can hinder staying in touch with yourself.
SHIELDING IS DEFENSIVE MAGICK
This is energy spent on blocking others’ energy. A shield waits to be bothered or attached. It doesn't actively seek out threats, it's a more passive defense system. That's OK - sometimes.
Be careful not to put all your energy into any one form of protection.
Passive and defensive magick have a time and a place, but they also rely on the fight to come to you while hoping your wall holds up against intrusion.
Don't sell yourself short. If you feel the need to constantly shield, even around your friends, you might need new friends. Shielding around people you know really should be rare.
When mastered, the skills below often negate a need to use energetic or psychic shielding. However, at the very least, work on developing these skills to reduce your dependence on shielding, sharpen your shielding techniques, and reduce your energy drain.
Sensitive people attract needy and sometimes toxic people. That's a fact.
Take responsibility for yourself.
By setting your own boundaries, you’re telling others how you want and expect to be treated; in other words, you are setting your limits about who can come into your space and what you expect of others once they’re there—how you want to be spoken to, touched, and treated psychologically and emotionally. Whatever you say goes, no matter what others may think, feel, or believe.
You are not responsible for the feelings, actions, and beliefs of others, or for the way they react to the boundaries you’ve set.
Resilience is the psychological quality that allows some people to be knocked down by the adversities of life and come back at least as strong as before. Rather than letting difficulties, traumatic events, or failure overcome them and drain their resolve, highly resilient people find a way to change course, emotionally heal, and continue moving toward their goals.
Specific resilience-building skills can be learned. These include breaking out of negative thought cycles, pushing back against catastrophizing, and looking for upsides when faced with setbacks.
Science shows multiple factors make a person more resilient, such as a positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback.
Optimism, for instance, has been shown to help blunt the impact of stress on the mind and body in the wake of disturbing experiences. That gives people access to their own cognitive resources, enabling cool-headed analysis of what might have gone wrong and consideration of behavioral paths that might be more productive.
WALK IN YOUR POWER™
Self-empowerment is about taking control of your own life, and making positive decisions based on what you want. It's closely linked to attributes like self-esteem and self-confidence , but true empowerment comes when you convert intention into action.
Walking in your Power means giving yourself permission to succeed. Bear in mind that "empowerment" is not the same as "entitlement." People who feel entitled tend to believe that benefits and privileges should come to them automatically, while empowered people achieve success through hard work, reflection and cooperation.
Tips for How to Walk In Your Power
• Develop Self-Awareness: Examples include considering the needs and feelings of others, taking responsibility for your mistakes, being humble about your strengths, being mindful with words spoken (rather than thoughtless), being aware of how your words and actions affect others...
• Consider Your Locus of Control: Your locus of Control has a bearing on your long-term success. People who develop an internal locus of control believe they are responsible for their own success. An internal locus of control is needed to Walk In Your Power. Those with an external locus of control believe that external forces, like luck, determine their outcomes, blocking their path to empowerment.
• Adopt a Mindset that Fosters Learning and Growth: A fixed mindset is the belief that your intelligence, talents and other abilities are set in stone. You believe that you're born with a particular set of skills and that you can't change them. If you have a growth mindset, you believe that, with effort, perseverance and drive, you can develop your natural qualities. A growth mindset is needed to Walk In Your Power.
• Analyze Your Strengths and Weaknesses: Listing all of the things that you're good at – and that you could be great at – can be hugely empowering in itself. Building on those strengths, and knowing how to deal with your limitations, can give you an even bigger boost.
IDENTIFY WHAT YOU WANT
• Download , print and complete the Wheel of Life PDF (below) to get in touch with what you want.
• Create an Action Plan: After identifying what you want and what your goals are, it's time to make a plan and put it into action. Answer yourself these questions to get started... "What needs to happen?", "When does it need to happen?", and "In what order does it need to happen?"
GROW YOUR SKILLS
• Learn New Skills and Refresh Existing Ones: Instead of sitting around whining about why you just can't even, take action and go out there and develop your competencies. No more excuses. A lack of skills is a temporary situation- skills can be learned and relearned. Go improve your game and feel good about yourself!
• To avoid becoming overwhelmed, start small, and work your way up to bigger steps.
Name at least three shielding alternatives you would consider using.
Defensive Magick v/s Offensive Magick
Defensive magick is passive. There are many types of defensive magick, such as wards and shields. In the last set of lessons, you learned about Shielding techniques. Shielding is a defensive form of magick that focuses on blocking the energy being directed at you. This protection only works when the ‘fight’ or unwanted energy is brought to you or comes near your space or boundaries you’ve designated. Without harmful or undesired energies the protection is not activated or used.
When choosing what type of protection to employ, you really are deciding between being the attacker (offensive) or the defender (defensive).
Most Witches employ both methods in their protective magick. Both serve their purpose and well-done protections use multiple layers that cover many angles where an enemy might get through.
There’s a careful balance to maintain when using protection. If you focus solely on wild attacks against your target, you’re more likely to employ protection without any real plan. This can result in an excess of spent energy that’s poorly directed, and ending up in an even more vulnerable position than where you started.
If you put all your eggs in a defensive position, building up your castle walls and fortifying them while you passively wait it out as your enemy attacks over and over, eventually you’ll be backed into a corner with no options left. This defensive position doesn’t advance you toward your goals, either.
Knowing when to attack or defend is crucial when using protection magick. To a beginner, the choice is not always clear. The reality is both are often necessary.
Another key to success is how mu