Written by: Michelle Belanger
Shielding is a technique which allows you to keep outside energies from intruding upon your energy. With shielding, you set up a barrier between you and everything you want to keep out. Shielding is an essential technique for sensitives and natural empaths, for without the ability to erect a barrier between themselves and the outside world, they can easily be overwhelmed by the assault of thoughts, emotions, and energies.
There are many different ways to shield, but in all cases, the concept is the same: you extend energy around yourself to form a solid barrier. There are innumerable ways this barrier can be envisioned and there are many advanced techniques for focusing and shaping the energy it is made out of. Size and thickness can vary, and the visualization process you use for erecting the barrier will be different for everyone.
For now, all we want is to learn how to make a basic shield. The simplest and easiest form a shield can take is that of a bubble or sphere. From a centered state, where you have gathered some of your energy inside of you (for more information on that see the article, 'Closing the Circuit'), take some of this energy and expand it outward. Push it out in front of you, behind you, above your head, and below your feet. As the sphere expands around you, envision its walls getting thicker and more substantial. When you are finished, you should see the energy as a large translucent sphere that encloses you on all sides.
The walls of the sphere should be thick but not so thick they're oppressive to you. Most beginners tend to envision a sphere of glass, but remember that your symbol -- and the associations you attach to that symbol -- strongly affects the character of the energy you're working with. So if you envision a glass sphere around you, it will be as clear as glass but it will also be as fragile as glass -- and it might just shatter the first time anything hits against it.
From my experience, it's best to think of the sphere like a thick polymer or plastic -- something that's clear enough to see through and thick enough to keep things out, but with a little give and toughness to it so it won't break immediately if something slams up against it.
The importance of envisioning a sphere as opposed to a wall, of course, is to make certain that all of you is protected. A wall, even if you build it all around yourself, still leaves space above and below where you are vulnerable to invading energies. The sphere should ideally cover the area above your head and extend a little into the ground beneath your feet to make certain that area is not vulnerable either.
The sphere, of course, should move with you, and there should be a little more give on your side than on the outward side.
When you want to let down a shield of this nature, the simplest thing is to just reverse the process of expansion and take the energy back into yourself. As the sphere shrinks, its walls get thinner and less substantial, until, when the energy you used for the shield is gathered back into your center, you can allow it to loose cohesion and disperse back among the rest of your energy.
When should you shield? The answer to that question often depends upon how sensitive you are, whether you feel you are in a hostile environment or not, and numerous other things. In general, if you feel that someone is consciously attacking you with their energy, that's a very good time to put up a shield. The shield will of course help to keep attacking energies away from you, although some attacks may get through depending on your type of shield, level of concentration, personal skill, and so forth.
In any situation where you feel someone is unconsciously attacking you with their energy (that really angry, grumbly room-mate for example, who has no idea that he's a projecting empath), that is also a good time to shield. When you are in a place with a lot of chaotic energies or energies that you find uncomfortable or unpleasant, shielding will help to keep these away from you.
In all of the situations recommended for Closing the Circuit, you can choose to shield as well. Again, this is a matter of personal preference and also a matter of severity. If you try centering yourself by Closing the Circuit and it's just not good enough, go immediately from the centered state to projecting a shield. If shielding doesn't help either, then you may just want to walk away from the person or place that's causing you such discomfort and find some quiet place where you can ground and recuperate.