When I was a little girl playing “Let’s Pretend” with my friends, my superpower of choice (largely because flight and invisibility were snapped up first) was almost always a force field. It was impenetrable and invisible until one touched it, whereupon it would spring to life and attack. My friends would, at first, laugh and and ask how a force field could attack people and I would reply that it was made of thorns.
This sufficed, because we all knew that thorns would reach out and bite. It was my own experience – my grandmother’s roses tried to bite me whenever I walked by and the raspberries and blackberries didn’t allow me to pick their fruit without tasting my blood in return. I remember my mother reading Briar Rose out loud and knowing, without her saying so, that the wall of thorns would attack anyone who happened near. Of course it would!
I still carry this mindset to a certain degree. Case in point: in shielding, we are told to envision ourselves as surrounded by something protective – a bubble, an energy force, a wall. My own shield is made of thorns. It has been since I first learned to shield in my Wiccanoid days, and although I’ve occasionally switched it out for other things, none have spoken to me the way my thorns do. They coil around me, head to toe, with tendrils snaking into the ground beneath my feet. Sometimes they are small and straight as pins and other times they are large and sharp as daggers…and as long as I remember to periodically renew it, it keeps out everything I don’t specifically allow in.
(Of course, consent can be a funny thing…but that’s a post for another time.)
I can hear/feel my shield rather than see it (I do see it, sort of, behind my eyes? Does that even make sense?); it is a deep thrum that I can feel when I look for it. The thrumming moves along the coil, into the ground, and back out. I can pretty well tune it out since it becomes immediately apparent when it isn’t there. The coil, and the sharpness, and the sound all work together to trap things that might try to get through. I feel safe within it.
As with any shielding, though, mine has…well…let’s call them ‘adverse effects’. My shield is extremely good at keeping anything from the outside from getting in, be it positive or negative. I often come across as hard to get to know, or abrupt, or even prickly (pun intended) unless I compensate for it. I have to actively consider what I want to encounter and what I don’t and, when I’m not careful enough, I end up with either a completely empty space or a headache from overload…although that last bit may largely correlate to my not wanting to continually monitor and regulate it.
Then again, since I’m no longer in survival mode, I should probably start figuring it out. Why is it that I always come out of these posts with more work to do?
I’d be interested to hear how other people shield. Of what is yours made? Do you use it on a daily basis? How do you put it in place?