Dance of the Maenad: Shielding

Dance of the Maenad: Shielding December 24, 2018

Moving through the world, we all collect energetic debris, come into contact with people who leave us feeling drained, and may leave ourselves mentally and spiritually vulnerable. First of all, there is not any one right way to shield. Trust your gut.

“Venus and Cupid” (detail) by Théodore Gericault, from WikiMedia and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

You can prepare the days shields the way you pick out clothes: sometimes you need a bulletproof vest, sometimes you only need a sundress. There are few places where you can be completely bare, though.

Shields don’t have to be elaborate, they just need an energy source. I have been shielding subconsciously and unintentionally for most of my life- a fact I discovered as a teen when a community member taught me to recognize the tactile sensation of the auric shield. You may find that you have shields you didn’t consciously erect. Evaluate these. They may be better left in the past, replaced with protection of your own design. Unless you intentionally “hook up” an alternate power source (the earth is a good one, or have an offering schedule), you’re siphoning off your own energy to power these shields. Perhaps that energy could be better used elsewhere.

Here are a couple practical methods of shielding that have plenty of room for modification. Like I said, go with your instinct. The strongest magic is magic you feel empowered by.

Sympathetic

Sympathetic magic uses representations to create a literal model of the desired situation. Poppets are a great example, but you can use any object to identify anything else. Tell it what to be. In order to shield with this method, you will need something to represent the subject of shielding and a representation of a shield. Some examples being:

SUBJECT:

• Get polymer, moldable type clay, even if you just get one color. Create an image of yourself/ a loved one/ your house/ whatever to the best of your ability. Bake per the instructions. Pro tip: err on the side of over baking (just a little), as long as you keep it at or below 275 degrees Fahrenheit it shouldn’t be an issue.

• Use a treasured, well worn piece of jewelry, your own or someone else’s’ (with permission of course, please do not steal your loved ones’ belongings).

• Draw the subject to the best of your ability. Have the subject put their signature on it.

• Use a toy car to represent your actual car. Bonus points if it’s the same kind. Double bonus points if you keep your backup insurance card in there with it.

SHIELD:

• Use a bowl (when I say bowl, I mean literally any item that can contain empty space and be placed over your subject), and assign different properties to different materials. Protecting your car? Use glass because being unseen while driving is a great way to get in an accident. Don’t want people to notice your house or want to go about your business without being noticed? Use a translucent or opaque bowl. Add a reflective line of defense with metal.

• Draw a circle on a piece of paper. This is now your personal bubble, the boundary of your home, or wherever else the line in the sand is. The subject goes in the middle of its territory.

• Build a model fortress/boundary with collected stones and hot glue.

• Create a protection sigil on a piece of paper, and put that under your bowl.

To put all the pieces together you’ll just need a:

1. flat surface, such as an altar or book, big enough to place
2. Your shield and
3. Your subject.

Reaffirm the connection between your objects and what they represent. Verbally tell them “You represent me. You are (your full name.)” Collect some of your own energy in your hands and transfer it to the item. If you’re the subject, the energy you imbue your item with should be yours. If this is a working for someone else, only pull from their energy with their explicit permission. Being an energy vampire, even a well intentioned one, is rude.

Place your subject in the center of your flat surface, with or without a sigil underneath. Cover it with your shield like a dome.

Reaffirm the shield the same way you did the subject, focusing on its protective role. This time, pull the energy up from the earth through the base of your spine and up into your hands. Consider adding items that are associated with entities/beings that have a protective role in your life around the edge of the shield. The moon can also be a great source of energy, particularly if you perform this on the full or new moon. Bonus points if you perform the working during a storm of some kind and weave that energy into your shield too.

Keep this set up on your altar or somewhere it won’t be disturbed.

Supernova Method

This is a self-sourced method, best used only on your person and for deliberate, short-term use. (Think walking in public in the dark, visiting emotionally draining family members for the holiday, or meeting a tinder date.) Start by grounding. You need to establish a firm root into the earth to avoid burning out. Feel the energy flow with each breath; breathe in and suck energy up into your crown from the ground through your feet and/or tailbone, breath out and send it back down. This sort of cyclical exchange can really saturate a person with energy, so pay attention to how your body feels and don’t hold more than you can comfortably handle. You need to be able to focus.

Then it’s time to center. Extend yourself to the left, physically and/or energetically. Then to the right, then forward, behind, above, and below. If it helps to honor and call to the directions (North, South, East, West), or elements (Earth, Fire, Air, Water, respectively) do so.

Extend your energy in all directions at once. Connect to the outside forces of the elements or directions, the less self-sourced energy, the better, as far as sustaining goes.

Then, pull it all into a single point in the center of your core and let the energy continue to build, pulling from outside forces, increasing the pressure of that point and then…

Releasing it, all at once. With the release feel the edges of your shield extend out into a sphere, layered over your aura or personal bubble.

When you’re ready to take it down, feel the edges of your shield, and pull it back into its origin point. Push the shield energy down through your root, into the earth. Pull filtered energy up through your root to your crown, and back down. Let go of all your excess energy through this exchange and come back to baseline. Eat good food. Take a nap. Have a drink (if you do that). Let your everyday shields handle it for a while.

Image from MaxPixel. Public Domain Image.

Warded Objects

Enchanting objects to contain protective energy is a great way to protect yourself and your home. You can charge any object- a stone that feels protective and homey, a coin, a “live, laugh, love” kitchen plaque- using a method similar to the above. Instead of pulling energy only from ourselves, releasing your energy in a sphere around you, channel it into the object (s) in question.

• Charge a necklace or other accessory with strong defensive protection, and wear it when you need a little bit more security- walking late at night, meeting someone new, etc.

• Enchant pennies to create a protective network by charging and placing one in each corner of your home.

• Charge some sort of decorative item with general protection and peace as a gift.

Filter

Sometimes you don’t need an entire wall or thick shield; you just need to filter out some everyday energetic debris. If this is the case, visualizing a net is more appropriate. The size of the holes can vary based on how much filtering is needed. You can do this the same way as the Supernova method, but on release visualize the edge of the energy as a net or web.

Maintenance

Just like the water filter on your Brita, you have to clean and replace your shields. They can accrue debris, especially when using a filter-focused method. External warded objects can also fade and wither without a direct line to an energetic source. Renew every lunar cycle, or numerical day, unless otherwise intuited. Make sure you feed that which you want to protect you.

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