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?


7 responses to “Thorns

  1. Ironically, I have a post for that!
    My personal shields have varied from time to time and situation to situation. I’m one of the odd people who doesn’t really have to construct a barrier- it’s like my body defaults to having a barrier in place. However, if I’m smart, I will refresh it regularly and all that. Usually, I visualize barriers in layers of varying colors, materials, etc. I’ve done stuff that is pure out concrete. I’ve done mirrors, glass, webs, water… and any color of the rainbow you can imagine. I am a huge believer in practicing and experimenting to figure out what works best for you. Not sure if any of this is what you’re looking for. If you have questions, I am game 🙂

      • A little bit of both? I learned about barriers on the fly. I had something bothering me at my house. And it started to happen right before I moved. The last night I was there, all of my stuff was gone, with the exception of my bed. So all of teh things I had subconsciously filled with protective juju was missing- and I was more or less left in the open with this thing. Me and my friend called another friend who happened to know the basics about Wicca. We used a general circle casting mixed with barrier creation- and that’s really how I started/learned. I took it further when a friend of mine suggested I go into a mental space and create barriers there, which is where I really perfected it. Soo… a little bit of both, I suppose 😛 I think that the best keys to creating good barriers is- trust in your barriers/strength, visualization, and energy sensing (which I am in the process of creating a magix article on).

  2. Up until a few years ago I did not visualize shields at allor even know what they were in the context of magic. I did have my own ways of shielding and later I found out that is what they were, but they weren’t super effective. I didn’t and don’t like using them, but sometimes it is necessary.

    After learning about visualization and a few other things I was taught, I began to create a ball, kind of heated energy between my hands. I can see it and that makes me feel a little bit crazy, but I get over that quickly. Once I have a decent sized ball between my hands, I say a few words and spread it over myself. I can feel the heat of it penetrating and it has worked well enough to adhere it to me or to whatever I direct it at. I have used it not just on myself but on my surroundings. Not like a bubble, but more like a … wave or a whip. Like a whip it snaps out and cleanses and like a wave it coats in undulating energy until it is needed to snap out.

    I also use it to actively remove things, energies I guess. So it is not a stationary thing but a kind of living coat of mist that’s in constant motion. Can’t say as how I learned it yet. Still working on that not sounding completely nuts, but it does come hand in hand with the visualization (more like feeling sense though) that I can blend into the elements around me and be untouchable, unfindable, indistinguishable from the world around me.

    I don’t like to use it because I feel it limits my experiences and learning; however, when there is a goal and there is potential danger or energy drains that would impede the achievement of the goal, I employ it liberally.

    I have thought about why it is more of a mist and I think that it might be because the energy I am using may come from and thereby be applicable to spirits and other things that may not be on this plane but that have an effect here. These things often appear to me like clouds, fog or mists. The shielding seems to work on this plane just fine. I don’t know why. Perhaps because the energy is being channeled through me?

    I also started out with the bubbles and cones but that changed. I use other items for protection as well, so shielding is kind of the last best resort for when bigger and more specific protection seems appropriate. I am still learning though. Things may change again.

  3. My every-day shield is made of water, mostly because I feel a strong affinity for the element and water-themed magic-related stuff tends to come more promptly to me and because it’s the one shield I’ve tested that is strong enough without leaving me with that feeling of psychic numbness that had me prefering the no-shield situation.

    I noticed it comes with the appreciable side-effect of extra cleansing me and… it just feels soothingly good to me after I rose it, honest. 🙂

    I think you made me fascinated with this concept that the most effective shield for a person might be the one who has a stronger connection with their history/personality. Which would make sense, but it doesn’t get often considered because when most of people when thinking of shielding, tends to frame it in the most standard forms like something different is not even possible. Or at least, that’s what occurred to me.

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