Psychic protection is as natural as putting on work clothes in the morning, checking your mobile phone is charged and that you have your ticket and money for the day. If you prepare in advance you arrive unhurried and do not leave yourself vulnerable, accident-prone and panicking if there are delays or problems on your journey. It is the same with routine psychic self-defence.
Equally, when you return in the evening, you may have a bath and change your clothes and can feel the tensions flowing away –these routine actions create a barrier against the outside world and this is the purpose of good psychic self-defence, to mark and strengthen the bounds between you and the outside world. In the morning you are increasing positive energies to resist stress and in the evening slowing down the pace to shed the day allows a calmer mood to predominate. If you are a shift-worker, you can modify the times to fit in with your life.
The earthly and psychic actions are linked. If you are permanently feeling rushed and late or you live in clutter and constant demands on your time, even when you are supposed to be relaxing, then it is easier for negative energies to accumulate. The workaholic needs really strong psychic self-defence – and maybe a re-ordering of worldly priorities.
Few of us in the modern world do have the time or space to withdraw for long periods to re-establish the still calm centre that enables us to interact with others without being overwhelmed or absorbing negativity, intentional or free-floating. But there are various stages that we can follow even in the busiest schedule to ensure that we are not dissipating our own energies or are vulnerable to psychic vampirism in others. The following stages to inner harmony can be practiced either separately or as a sequence. None of them takes more than a minute or two.
Although this process sounds very mysterious and complex, it is in fact, no different from having an earth wire in your electricity plug. Humans and animals are naturally connected to the earth, but this link can get clogged up or even forgotten, especially if you live or work in a tower block or spend a lot of time with high tech equipment or travelling, especially at peak times on crowded roads or modes of transport.
You should try to earth yourself whenever you feel anxious, jittery or unable to concentrate or after psychic work. Kneading dough or shaping clay is another way of reconnecting with basic earth energies and if you make something useful like a loaf or a pot to hold things rather than a decorative one, you are transforming free-floating energies into a rooted form.
Whenever possible go for a walk by yourself or with a friend or family member who will not ceaselessly chatter or analysing your relationship or career or family problems and allow the sensations to replace troubling thoughts, fragrances, sounds, colours, the taste of salt by the sea or spices in a market. Concentrate on the movement of your feet and absorbing the impressions. If you can walk across grassland, hills or sand, the reconnection is more easily made and even urgent anxieties will recede, giving your body and mind time to be restored.
When I walk along the beach near my caravan I sometimes reflect that the worries that were so pressing this time last year either never materialised or did happen – and that worrying had only increased my own inability to respond to crises. The battles I fought many times in my head were no easier in actuality for the rehearsal, but walking weekend after weekend along the wet sand or over the cliffs, did help to keep me grounded and not lost in mists of anxiety.
This is the logical progression after grounding and is very effective if you are receiving impressions from many different sources, conflicting demands on your time and energies or you feel that you are being drained of energy. As I have said before, some psychic vampires are not malevolent at all, merely have a lot of problems and an inability to accept responsibility for their own lives or to seek positive solutions. Children, sick or lonely relations and friends can also drain us of our natural reserves of strength. Sometimes you cannot shield yourself from them as you need to give out loving energies, but do need to centre yourself, so that you do not become so sympathetic or concerned that your own peace of mind and ability to cope is destroyed.
Even in the most positive relationship you may need to be yourself within your head. If you are centred, you are focused and you can concentrate or simply switch off from external pressures and allow your natural restorative energies to come into operation.
If this seems difficult or if you need protection from the demands of those you love who nevertheless are dissipating your energies, try the following ritual.
If you do not sense any direct hostility around you, all you need to do after you have grounded yourself, removed all unnecessary mental clutter, is to still your mind so that it can regenerate and in the space, work the unconscious work creatively.
The most successful instant method I have encountered is to picture a sky full of stars and watch them one by one going out until you are enclosed with a velvet blackness. Another method is to visualise sitting on an empty train that slows down and suddenly stops in the middle of the countryside and gradually all sound and motion ceases. Alternatively, imagine yourself in the state (if you enjoy flying) of being alone in a half-empty plane flying though cotton wool clouds as the strain of getting to the airport recedes and the arrival is hours away.
If you have longer, you can relax your body and concentrate on slow, steady breathing, while focusing on a single flower or repeating a word or phrase. Gentle rainforest music or oceans can also help the process.
When thoughts intrude, sit them gently on a Ferris wheel and let them ascend into the sky or release them tied to balloons to rise gently in the breeze or set them on water lilies and let them float away downstream. TS Eliot in his Four Quartets called this the still point of the turning world.
When you have established your own method of stilling your mind and these are limited only by imagination – create an instant short-cut to the till point, so that you can literally throw a switch and withdraw to your still point whether in a crowded commuter train, in the middle of an office dispute or a never-ending tale of woe from friend or neighbour, or domestic dispute when you can feel your temper boiling.
You may even see this mechanism as a switch activated by an imperceptible click of your fingers or touching your psychic eye in the centre of and just above your physical eyes and this can be, even without the preceding stages, a very powerful method of psychic self-defence.
There are a variety of reasons why you might like to erect a shield: whether to avoid intrusion of your personal space while travelling, for filtering out negative reactions to jealousy, spite or unfair criticism and later in this chapter I talk about shielding the aura from negative impressions. Why should we not keep a regular shield in place and so avoid any problems? The main reason is that although you can ask that only positive and higher energies penetrate, you are creating a barrier and as with all barriers they interfere with the flow of energies. So a shielded life would be a restrictive one, in which emotions would be muted and sensory impressions blunted.
We all need a certain amount of challenge in our lives and sometimes what seems an obstacle or unfair criticism, may turn out to be the spur we need to transform and to change. Equally if a friend or loved one is in emotional pain or a stranger who needs kindness, we do need to share the feelings in order to respond from the heart. In love, we cannot avoid the fears and anticipation of the early stages and need to experience loss or disappointment in order to move on.
This is not to diminish the importance of psychic shielding in order to protect oneself. But as you would close your doors and windows against an impending storm, rather than live in anticipation indoors all the time, so you can activate your shield quickly, whether your angelic guardians or your electric biofield defence by building into the ritual a psychic short-cut to activate your defence.
When I was a child there was an ancient rhyme/prayer that I believe comes from old Cornwall spoken by men who worked in the dark, dangerous tin mines. I think I must have been taught the rhyme by my mother, though it seems I always knew it. Before going to a dark place (and one of our bedrooms did not have electricity), I would spin round, chanting :
At Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I would stop, and cross myself. What fascinated me on researching this book was coming across quite separately from a Wiccan source and also a Jewish source, similar protective rituals that involved crossing oneself or touching different parts of the body and appealing to, in the former case, the various pagan gods and goddesses and in the latter the Godhead who might not be named. I have given what seem to be from asking around the most common forms, but I know there are several variations. What is perhaps of most use is that it is quite possible to create your own protective rituals and adapt them to dancing chanting or more solemn invocations as the situation and your mood demands. I have not used more formal rituals like the Lesser Banishing Pentagram ritual that really belongs to the realm of ceremonial magic.
What is more I have simplified the rituals so that you are not using unfamiliar words or the names of deities that perhaps you do not relate to. I believe that reciting invocations however powerful that do not have meaning for you personally can lack potency. I have, however, suggested books in which you can find authentic versions if you would like to work with these - or you can substitute deities or symbols of divinity or sacredness from a tradition that seems relevant to your own beliefs.
I use this in the unadorned form and allow the deity forms to appear in my mind. The cross is made within a circle by turning to face the four main directions, thus being doubly protective. In this version there is a balance between male and female energies, but you could equally make your protective cross by celebrating the growth of light from the birth of the Sun God at the Mid-Winter Solstice through defeat by the God of Light of his twin at the Spring Equinox ,the Solstices and Equinoxes, with the West as the time the God of Darkness overcomes his twin the God of Light on the Equinox and the rebirth of the new Sun at the Mid-Winter Solstice (see useful reading for details of different mythologies).
Or you could celebrate the life of the Goddess from maiden to mother (south) to wise woman (west) and the crone in the North who becomes the new maiden goddess in the continuing cycle. I like the version that combines god/goddess, creative/destructive elements as it seems especially protective. Sometimes, this is performed as a slow dance and chant.
The traditional version uses the names of the spheres of light or splendid sapphires on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, the bi-directional link via the 10 spheres and 22 pathways between the Godhead and the individual.
This tends to be more solemn than the Wiccan Cross and can be used when you feel afraid or especially vulnerable. Perform it very slowly, enunciating each word and visualising the cross of light forming within you. The movements are almost identical, but the words address a single source of divinity or light. You can visualise your own personal source of goodness – the first and top sphere Kether or the Crown at the top of the Tree of Light is described as an emanation of pure white light from the undifferentiated force of that has no beginning and end. This time you do not form a circle.
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