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Author Topic: Warding and shielding: how do you do it? Any tips?  (Read 852 times)

Eastling

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Warding and shielding: how do you do it? Any tips?
« on: March 21, 2018, 02:44:13 pm »
In the last two years of throwing myself headfirst into religious/magical practice, I've heard a lot about the importance of warding and shielding, but I haven't really seen more than a handful of examples of how that's actually done. So I thought it'd be a good question to open up to the Cauldron at large.

What are your regular practices of psychic filtering and defense? How do you ward your home and other spaces? What has worked and what hasn't? For that matter, how do you tell if something works?
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Re: Warding and shielding: how do you do it? Any tips?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2018, 07:32:34 pm »
In the last two years of throwing myself headfirst into religious/magical practice, I've heard a lot about the importance of warding and shielding, but I haven't really seen more than a handful of examples of how that's actually done. So I thought it'd be a good question to open up to the Cauldron at large.

What are your regular practices of psychic filtering and defense? How do you ward your home and other spaces? What has worked and what hasn't? For that matter, how do you tell if something works?
I am an empath. I am almost always shielded. I ground and center and imagine a shield of light around me. How can I tell if it works?  By how much bs I feel from people around me. With a good shield, someone emoting strongly at me will feel as if it is flowing around my shield.

As for warding, my husband sets wards over every window and door while I tend to see a shield of light around our property. It seems to work.

And, of course we cleared/cleaned the house of psychic energy before we moved in. That’s also when we set up the wards.


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Re: Warding and shielding: how do you do it? Any tips?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2018, 11:04:51 pm »
In the last two years of throwing myself headfirst into religious/magical practice, I've heard a lot about the importance of warding and shielding, but I haven't really seen more than a handful of examples of how that's actually done. So I thought it'd be a good question to open up to the Cauldron at large.

What are your regular practices of psychic filtering and defense? How do you ward your home and other spaces? What has worked and what hasn't? For that matter, how do you tell if something works?

So firstly a little background information for you.  Our house sits 2 miles from a very old cemetery (think 17th/18th century old).  On top of that, all of this area used to be tobacco plantations and if you're familiar with the old South, plantations were not exactly known for their Southern Hospitality towards all of its residence.  Because of this (and probably other factors) I deploy a multi-layered defense system. 

On the outer edge of our property, actually roughly 10yds on the outside of our property line, I have a warning ward in place.  This is basically just to let me know someone/something is coming.  It won't really do anything, other than a light tickle sensation if you're tuned to the presence of wards.  It's a nice pleasant orange color.

Then on our property line is basically our first defensive ward albeit fairly light.  This stops a fair amount of things from coming any closer - most things don't want to deal with it.  It's a nice pastel pink/orange color. 

Then about halfway from the property lines to the actual house is yet another ward.  This is more of the "I'm not f----ing joking with you, back off" type deal.  It's a dark blue color.

And then when you actually get to the house is basically what I call the ass kicking ward.  If the first three didn't stop you, this one definitely will.  I channel the house's energy into it, in addition to any energy that's generated on the property.  Such as this weekend when we have our bonfire, all of that positive energy will be funneled directly into this ward.  This is also why I like to entertain so much - I funnel that energy into this ward.  It's a nice angry purple color with the occasional flash of white.

On top of the four wards, I have numerous plants in/on the property that act as a natural barrier.  Plus three crystals that triangulated around the property which are usually charged with storm energy.  The last little extra thing I have are some chicken bones buried in the exact center of the property.  The chicken was slaughtered humanely, his meat was used to feed my family, his organs were used to feed the plants.  (Little bit of voodoo for ya there.)

With all of this in play, there are days when the house feels like it's bristling.  Like a couple weeks ago I told y'all in the discord channel the house was ruffled.  Then I felt something slam into the wards.  So with this multi-layered defense, it's easy for it to get a little wacky sometimes. 

Basically homes have a unique energy of their own, just from living in it and creating memories.  For the three outer wards, I project almost like an energy bomb up into the air which kinda explodes and rains down.  For the ward on the house, I channel energy.  Basically just acting as a redirection.  I take all of the positive energy we've generated from things like bon fires and just family gatherings and I push it right into the ward.  That's why the one at the house is basically my ass kicking one.  It's the most alive one of all the wards I have.

And for me, Eastling, I read auras to start with.  So I see the ward fall into place when I reinforce them.  I can see the energy flow.
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Eastling

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Re: Warding and shielding: how do you do it? Any tips?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2018, 01:00:00 pm »
I am an empath. I am almost always shielded. I ground and center and imagine a shield of light around me. How can I tell if it works?  By how much bs I feel from people around me. With a good shield, someone emoting strongly at me will feel as if it is flowing around my shield.

That sounds like a good basic practice! I've had trouble with that sort of method myself because I'm bad at visualization, but it's probably worth practicing.

Quote
As for warding, my husband sets wards over every window and door while I tend to see a shield of light around our property. It seems to work.

How does your husband set those wards?
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Eastling

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Re: Warding and shielding: how do you do it? Any tips?
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2018, 01:32:19 pm »
Basically homes have a unique energy of their own, just from living in it and creating memories.  For the three outer wards, I project almost like an energy bomb up into the air which kinda explodes and rains down.  For the ward on the house, I channel energy.  Basically just acting as a redirection.  I take all of the positive energy we've generated from things like bon fires and just family gatherings and I push it right into the ward.  That's why the one at the house is basically my ass kicking one.  It's the most alive one of all the wards I have.

And for me, Eastling, I read auras to start with.  So I see the ward fall into place when I reinforce them.  I can see the energy flow.

I suppose it might help for me to try to get more in touch with my home's energy and figure out what the best way to individualize a ward to it would be...

Using colors to sort your wards is an interesting idea; it hadn't occurred to me. But then, I'm not very good at visualization and reading auras. It's probably a worthwhile skill to practice, for many purposes (after all, it hadn't occurred to me to apply it to warding).

Unfortunately I don't have the option of sacrificing a chicken and burying its bones, but maybe burying something magically significant in the planter once I set up my garden is a good idea.
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Re: Warding and shielding: how do you do it? Any tips?
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2018, 02:29:31 pm »
Unfortunately I don't have the option of sacrificing a chicken and burying its bones, but maybe burying something magically significant in the planter once I set up my garden is a good idea.

I am working around to time to actually answering your broader question, but this made me think that you might want to explore witch bottles.

The traditional version (which goes back to at least the 1500s in the British tradition) is specifically designed for protection, and they usually have a mix of sharp and or reflective things (to trap or reflect unwanted energy), plus liquids suitable to create a connection with the creator (or sometimes things like fingernails) and often a selection of other protective items (red thread, suitable herbs, etc.)

They're pretty easy to put together (a mason jar will do for the container, though I like melting wax over the lid as an extra seal) and you can use whatever materials make sense, though obviously it may affect the focus.
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Eastling

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Re: Warding and shielding: how do you do it? Any tips?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2018, 03:13:10 pm »
I am working around to time to actually answering your broader question, but this made me think that you might want to explore witch bottles.

That's not a bad idea. I've seen brief mentions of them in some of my readings, but I'll do a little research on them specifically and see how I can adapt the practice to my own practice.
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Re: Warding and shielding: how do you do it? Any tips?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2018, 07:49:33 pm »
What are your regular practices of psychic filtering and defense?

Shielding is one of the things I've been doing longer than I've been Pagan (since spring 1996, to be precise) for Reasons, and it's been a key part of my personal practice ever since.

That said, I've always worked from the principle of needing to center (what's me, what's not me?), ground (even out energy) before shielding, and I am also a strong believer in a regular psychic hygiene practice. (More at the top of the Seeking page, Doing, including a bit more discussion of applied shielding.)

(For those who might be wondering, the Mercedes Lackey book Arrow's Flight was central to me working out some of this and how it works for me, though I also poked at The Spiral Dance and some other materials. The mid-90s were rather more limited in resources for some of this.)

I've had periods in my life where shielding was very much a protective thing, but most of the time it's a filtering thing. My preferred 'how this thing works' model is like a set of audio mixing switches, where you can adjust how much of different things come through depending on what you need. I effectively have a bunch of presets for different circumstances (one thing at work, one thing when out in a crowd, one thing in a situation where I want to project competence, etc.)

In situations where I need more of a boost, I either set up a piece of charged and focused jewellery and/or there's a chant I wrote (um, in 1996), which I use to strengthen the protective focus.

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How do you ward your home and other spaces?
My wards anchor into my harp (who I've had, since, um. 1996. That was a year, clearly.)

I've lived (ever since the house I grew up in) in spaces that share walls with others, or were not my property - so I've always had to work on maintaining personal warding that didn't interfere with the larger building. I feel that getting my magical stuff into other people's space is both a tad rude, and also, it opens me up to whatever they're doing in that space, most of which I don't want to know about or have tangled in my stuff. (Also, in some cases, explicitly wanting to respect other people's religious beliefs and values who wouldn't be okay with the magical stuff.)

Usually when I move in (if it's a move, not just 'staying somewhere for a few days'), I do a bit of a cleaning, a bit of formal energetic banishing. And then blessing a bit of incense + salt water all over the place, and a bit of doing pentacles or some other symbol that's appropriate on the windows and doors, plus a little blessed salt water down anything you can put water down (sink drains, toilet, tub, etc.)

And then I move the harp in and set her up (again, if it's a longer-term living thing), and then I do a bit of settling, to create a bubble (much like Darkhawk described) and push it out to the edges of the space and up into the corners, and whatever else I need to do. Often this will involve walking the space again. Often, I make a point of spending that day doing pleasant things, the things I want to build in that space, like having music on I love, or cooking good food, or at least *eating* good food, or whatever else makes sense.

(Obviously, for 'in a hotel room for a few days', I may not bother with most of this, unless I feel I need a more stable space energetically. For times when I might, I have an old harp string I keep for portable warding purposes.)

Quote
What has worked and what hasn't? For that matter, how do you tell if something works?

Telling if something worked: Do I feel better? Do I sleep securely? (Modified for current health issues?) Are there repeated things coming up in dreams or divination or meditation that seem like they are messing with me in some way (again, mostly, this hasn't been 'trying to get me' but I've had a certain amount of 'very curious' and a certain amount of 'you go outside in mud season, you can track mud back if you aren't careful.)

I do also take some precautions about that last one - I've talked on here before about how I'm fairly careful about what I have on as background noise. I don't have a TV (I watch all my stuff streaming), and I don't have the news on routinely, and I limit watching stuff that is about making people smaller (in all the ways modern media can do that) pretty heavily. I focus on things that are about curiousity or chosen family or exploring for new understanding, or figuring out how something happened so we can not do that again.

That's a bit part of my 'keep mud out of the house' protocol, along with regular 'throw some sea salt in the bathtub' and more elaborate cleansing baths periodically (these days, it's every few months or more) if I feel I need it.
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Re: Warding and shielding: how do you do it? Any tips?
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2018, 11:41:03 am »
In the last two years of throwing myself headfirst into religious/magical practice, I've heard a lot about the importance of warding and shielding, but I haven't really seen more than a handful of examples of how that's actually done. So I thought it'd be a good question to open up to the Cauldron at large.

What are your regular practices of psychic filtering and defense? How do you ward your home and other spaces? What has worked and what hasn't? For that matter, how do you tell if something works?

Another empath here, so I've been working on shields pretty much since the beginning.  I can definitely tell if my shields aren't strong enough, because I become overwhelmed and feel horrible.

I've used a lot of different types of shields over the years, mostly swapping to a new variety when I read of something new, so I now have a catalogue of shields that I can use, when I need to.

The very most basic, for me, is a bubble.  I don't typically make the bubble much bigger than I am (though I can use the same method to ward a place, by putting a big bubble around it), and sometimes I shrink the bubble down to where it is right around my skin (think of it less as a bubble and more as a super stretchy thing, like a balloon, that could either be blown up or skin tight).  Most of the time, my bubbles are semi-permiable (letting specific things in while keeping other things out) or one-sided (letting nothing in but letting stuff out).

I also often work with more rigid ring type shields.  I started out with just a ring of blue fire (because that was what I read in a book somewhere), but I ended up making it a pentacle.  And I didn't like it being static (or just a ring and not a sphere) because in my mind, that didn't really protect you well.  So I spin my rings, so they rotate around me.

Right now, I use a very simple verbal reminder, in the morning, when I set my shields.  There are two I say, even though they are pretty well redundant (because, I read them together in a book, and was trying them out to see which one I liked best, and I kind of like them both).

North and South, East and West, in the center I find my rest.

Before me, beside me, behind me, beside me, above me, below me, within me, without.

I do kind of like the second one better, because it more clearly defines the boundaries (though when I visualize the first, each direction is one half a sphere, so it ends up making a whole bubble).  As I say each direction, I see light to that side of me and feel the energy (I feel more than see most of the times).

I actually do another one, which is much more involved, with rune risting (drawing runes in the air), that is based on an incantation, "Sith Galdor."  It reminds me a lot (in spirit) of some of the Ceremonial work I've done, as it is words, plus actions, plus visualization.  I find that when I combine the three, I am more likely to be able to keep my focus, when I do it every day, instead of just ending up rushing through it and not really paying attention.

For my house, every night, as I physically check the doors to lock them, I have a small chant I say, and I rist them again with a rune (though you could definitely use a pentacle or any other symbol that speaks to you of protection).  When I feel like I need to really cleanse and ward the house, I will take a candle or incense, and speak my intention into each room, and ward each door and window (risting with the candle/incense).

I often think of wards/shields like preventative medicine.  I do them, every day, because I know they protect me (much like taking a multi-vitamin is something you do every day, but don't necessarily 'see' what it's doing for you).  When things feel off, I adjust or add more protections.  If I know I'm going into a tough situation (holiday shopping, school event) I'll strengthen my protections, because I know I'll feel horrible otherwise.  When I feel like there is bad energy floating about, or if there has been more anger or sickness in our house, I cleanse and then ward.
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Re: Warding and shielding: how do you do it? Any tips?
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2018, 05:06:20 pm »
Another empath here, so I've been working on shields pretty much since the beginning.  I can definitely tell if my shields aren't strong enough, because I become overwhelmed and feel horrible.

I've used a lot of different types of shields over the years, mostly swapping to a new variety when I read of something new, so I now have a catalogue of shields that I can use, when I need to.


See for me, I guess in a way I project a mental shield or filter as it were.  I read auras, so I see them everywhere.  The library, the grocery store, McDonald's, and it's not just the people.  The buildings themselves have an inherent flow around and through them.  So I have to filter some of that out - otherwise I'd probably go insane. 

Over the years I've developed a filter/shield in order to block some of that.  I've learned to only see what I actively want to see, which is to say not nearly everything.  If we're going the visualization route, it's like I'm adjusting the color spectrum on a TV.  It's not to say that it's not there, because it's always there.  Thing is if I don't filter everything out, I can quickly become overwhelmed.  Like for instance if I have a migraine, it's so hard to concentrate on the filtering then everything comes flooding back at me at once, which in turns makes the migraine worse.  This is why when I have a migraine I usually have to go sleep it off for a while. 
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