This lesson is for a dear friend of mine who wants to learn more about shielding– both magickally and psychically. Many people talk about feeling pushed and pulled by people’s emotions and other things that aren’t seen. They wonder how can they protect themselves from this kind of incidental contact and prevent them from being overwhelmed.

Shielding is like the layers of the flame. You have inner, middle and outer layers. The innermost layer is what I call the personal shield. This is the shield that never truly goes away, but thins enough to allow you to touch emotions or anything else without a shield in the way. How do you create this shield?

Think of this innermost shield as a chocolate bonbon. You are the inner filling and the shield is the melted chocolate you’re dipped into. It’s a fine coating, one that completely coats every bit of you, but at the same time, feels like it’s part of you. That is what the personal shield is like. It’s part of you, it’s an extension of you that’s so thin, it’s like paper, but so resilient, it can withstand any strong emotion.

Now, practice keeping the shield up and bringing it down to where it’s just barely visible to your senses. How do you do this? Remember the lesson with the flame and making it move? It’s the same principle here. Concentrate on thickening and thinning your shielding. Practice so it moves like a pseudopod, think Venom from Spiderman 3 or even an amoeba. Once you’ve done that, you’ll notice that it happens instinctively, reacting to your subtle cues.

The next layer of shielding is the middle aspect or what I call the cushion section. This is a slightly less fluid layer of shielding that should come up when you’re in crowds or a noisy area where sounds, sights, and emotions are bouncing everywhere. This is where you think of yourself coated in a thick gel, that’s almost spongy in nature. It allows things to cling for a moment, so you can analyze them then slides off and away from you. This shielding is a bit more work. Again, just like the flame, you’re going to work on making it thicker and thinner, working it to where you can pull it up at will. The idea here is when you’re surprised that your shielding automatically thickens up both levels to protect you.

Now we come to the outer level- the exoskeleton of shielding. And it’s an appropriate analogy because in this area, we’re hardening the shielding to a shell that’s impenetrable for anything to get in or out. This is when you’re in danger mentally or even magickally. The idea here is to put up this thick shell of a shield and get help from someone else or to prepare your defense, so you can lower it and attack back if necessary. Sometimes we get in situations where people are hurt or the pain is so great because we’re near some kind of tragedy. The thick exo-skeleton helps us to get over the initial impact of emotions and magick thrown while allowing us to work. It helps us to get through that ground zero impact, working on doing things, while our own abilities are slightly dampened until we can safely come out from the shell.

How do you make this shield? Think of how ice forms or even Magic Shell ice cream coating. It hardens when it hits coldness. Ice forms when the temperature drops. It spreads as it cools, forming a covering over that can be thin or thick, but it’s resistant to anything. Think of this as the last, most outer part of the flame. It’s the basic shape of the flame and though it’s somewhat flexible, it’s not quick.

Consider your spongy layer of protection. Now imagine the topmost layer freezing into something hard, shiny and reflective. It’s become a literal shield of protection. This shield isn’t made for long term use but to use only when emergencies and no preparation can be made. The only way to develop this skill is to continue to bring the shield up whenever you think on it, then to make it disappear just as quickly. Set a mental note of what triggers it should react to. This will help bring it up to par with what you want from it and how it should come into play.

Shielding isn’t easy, but with practice, it can ease even the most sensitive person out there. Shielding is our nature, but sometimes we have to learn to reinforce this by creating our shielding in layers, providing greater protection for ourselves and others.