A Shocking Lack of Protection
The other day I was having a conversation with an older woman who has been studying Witchcraft for the last several years. In the course of our conversation I asked her what kind of shields and protection the tradition she was learning teaches to their novices. To my shock and dismay, her reply was, “None.” She seemed genuinely confused as to why anything like that would ever be taught.
Unnerved, I started to do some research on my own into the books and information that is available on the general market about protection in magick and about the dangers of magick as well as the good. What I found has shaken me; there seems to be little information of any practical nature. What psychic shields I found were basic “bubble shields” with little explanation of any of the dangers involved in magick. It seems to me that in an effort to distance ourselves from being labeled as evil, we have attempted to fill and teach nothing but an “all is white light and nothing bad can ever happen” mentality.
This strikes me as irresponsible on the part of Pagan teachers and authors, as well as downright dangerous for potential practitioners of the Craft. While I can understand and empathize with the desire to view the world as a Utopian paradise where nothing can ever go wrong and evil does not exist, the world simply isn’t there yet. Magick is a tool and as any tool it can be dangerous and deadly in the hands of those who would, either by accident or intent, misuse it.
While we should always look to the light, it does not behoove us to forget that the darkness exists as well. No beginning practitioner should be unaware of the dangers that come with the misuse of magick, and of the ways to recognize and combat those misuses. Leaving them in the dark on this subject not only leaves them open to falling prey to numerous forms of psychic and magickal attack, but also can leave them with their power stolen and corrupted by those who walk the darker paths of magick.
No one likes to admit that there are those who would abuse and malign their teachings, but not wanting to admit it will not make them go away. While the basic “bubble shield” is a good shield to start with there are many other shields that are useful and sometimes more appropriate as well, for example the shield of roses.
The shield of roses is an absorption shield and is an excellent shield for any situation where you know that you will be around upset people. All people when they are angry or upset give off bursts of psychic energy; think back to any time you have ever had to face a really angry person. Have you ever noticed that when the situation is over you are weak, tired and upset yourself? This is because the person was launching a psychic attack on you; not a purposeful one, but when we are angry we tend to want to strike out and for those with no psychic training but some psychic gift, their energy will often act on their inner desire and attack for them. This shield will allow you to absorb those attacks and ground them out around you so that they never actually touch you themselves.
To begin this shield, visualize at your feet, growing out of the ground, a bunch of rose vines. Slowly the vines begin to wrap themselves around your legs and climb up your lower body, chest and arms, completely wrapping you up in vines. See them covering your head as well so that you are totally enclosed in a protective shield of vines. Then pause for a moment and feel the vines’ connection to the earth. Feel how they are rooted in the ground beneath you. Now imagine that the vines suddenly burst into bloom, covering you totally in roses, bright red roses from head to toe. Feel how these roses draw in outside energy and send that energy into the vines, the vines then transfering the energy into the earth itself, grounding it out so that it cannot harm you.
Now, a note on the maintenance of this shield: Any time that you check on the shield all the roses should be healthy and in bloom. If you are under any kind of psychic attack you may notice that the roses will absorb the power thrown at you and then wither or close, leaving you vulnerable in that spot. The shield again is your creation; simply noticing those spots and willing them back will cause the roses to reopen or re-grow. Be sure to do the visualization once or twice a day and to check on the roses on a regular basis: The more you practice with this shield the better you will be at maintaining it in an attack. Don’t be upset if the first time you run across an upset person your shield absorbs the blows and then collapses; the more practice you gain the better you will get at it, and even at first when you are still learning it you will notice a definite difference when dealing with upset people and other similar attacks.
In the case of an actual purposeful psychic attack, if the attacker can figure out what kind of shield you are using they will try to disable it in one of two main ways. One, by throwing more power at you then the shield can absorb, causing it to collapse in on itself and leaving you defenseless. And two, by attacking the roots of the vines themselves where they connect to the earth, causing the power absorbed by the roses to back up instead of flowing into the earth which would again cause the shield to collapse in on itself. This section of your shield where the vines connect to the earth is called the “shunt” and it should be noted that the shunt will always be the most vulnerable part of any shield. Practice the rose shield for a couple weeks until you are confident in your ability to maintain this shield all day long.
Another good thing for beginning practitioners to keep in mind is to always trust your instincts. If someone is offering to teach you magick, or is promising you something that sounds too good to be true…it most likely is. If a teacher makes you nervous for no reason that you can figure out, or is asking you to do something that doesn’t feel right to you, then do not do it. It might be that that teacher is asking you to do something that would lead you down the darker paths or could hurt you, or it might be that what the teacher is offering is perfectly good but you are just not ready for it yet.
Always practice your shields and always remember to take all information with a grain of salt. We are all students, and no one has the right to tell you what is right for you except for you. On a side note, I would like to add that while true purposeful psychic attack is rare, it is still something that you should be prepared for. A fire may be rare as well, but you still want to have a good evacuation plan and a fire extinguisher handy.