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An Introduction to Psionic Shielding
By Rainsong (
RainsongC@netscape.net)


Once again, it is useful to define one's terms. In a field where very little has been openly discussed until recently, it is natural that there should be some variety in the words used to express the concepts, varying according to tradition and physical location. In this context, "Shielding" refers to the construction and maintainance of psychic, psionic, and/or magical defences around one's person, most often within or along the 'edges' of the aura. Much as felis concolor is known in various regions as 'cougar', 'puma', 'mountain lion', 'panther', 'mountain varmint', 'gentleman longtail' and so on; so too are Shields also known as 'personal wards', 'bubbles', 'force-bubbles', 'force-fields', 'barrier-shields', 'psychic defences', 'shells', 'cocoons', et cetera. Many of these terms may also refer of other kinds of defences depending upon the usage at the time.

How important Shielding is depends upon one's situation. Obviously, anyone unfortunate enough to be embroiled in psionic combat needs thorough knowledge and a high level of skill in several kinds of Shields. People with a natural tendency toward telepathy or empathy, but otherwise secure, can probably get away with learning two or three. Becasue many telepaths and empaths need to Shield almost continuously, they get lots of practice, but are likely to favour the less fancy forms that maintain themselves. Those who find themselves the victime of a psychic vampire generally tend to something in between these two groups. Everyone else involved in psychic or magical activities probably ought to learn at least one Shield, but is most likely to use it only on an as-needed basis. The mind has rudimentary Shields that occur naturally, and these seem to be sufficient for the average person in a normal situation.

Shielding is sufficiently standard a skill that practically any book on how to do magic or psionics, and most on psychic development, includes instruction on at least one method. There is little agreement on exactly when to start learning it. (Personally, I figure it ought to be taught in kindergarten, but I must admit to being seriously biased in this matter.) This little article is about psionic Shielding, simply because that is what I know, being neither mage nor witch. If you can produce a psi-ball, you can make at least a simple psionic Shield. Once you can do a basic one, the rest is just practice, study, and playing.

Start with choosing your favourite method of making a psi-ball. Next, consider exactly what you want your Shield to do. An example of a nice, basic, Shield intention is to "keep unwanted thoughts and energies from passing through from the outside, and keeping all but deliberate Sendings within". Now, form a psi-ball while concentrating on our 'intention'. Put lots of energy into it. Allow the psi-ball to grow, first enveloping your hands, then gradually your whole body, and a goodly amount of your aura as well. Add more energy until it feels nice and strong. At this stage, visualize a shell forming around the edge of the ball, which is probably no longer round, but might be. Visualize the shell as being made of something strong that makes you feel safe inside it: it could be bullet-proof glass, bright light, titanium steel, diamond, thick bark,...whatever feels right to you. Make sure your shell is big enough not to make you feel claustraphobic. When its shape, size, and material all feel right to you, will it to stay put without further attention until you choose to dispell it. If you want to, you can state these intentions aloud, or even make it into a little rhyming ditty; or it can be entirely mental.

Dispelling the Shield is a simple matter. The method I use most often is to visualize the shell dissolving into what look like 'pixels' which gently collapse to the ground and are absorbed back into the Earth, while intending to release the Shield. This is often called 'dropping' one's Shields. Don't take the 'drop' part too literally, however. Letting a Shield collapse too quickly or too violently can result in a truly monstrous headache, and occaionally knock you senseless. Visualize it rolling up like an automatic garage door, or irising open, or dissolving into nothing, or fading out...whatever you like. Just be sure the process is nice and gentle. As in the casting of the shell, a spoken component is optional. Likewise, you can incorporate physical gestures, if you want to.

Another common form of basic Shield is cast by, after going through the preliminary preparations, visualizing the protective energy forming a bell-shape or dome of thick glass or light around oneself. The dome may be called into existence whole, or gradually 'grown' around oneself.

If you favour more solid-seeming construction, picture building the barrier, bit by bit, of bricks or stones, or sheets of metal being welded together.

As you can see, the construction of a Shield can have many variations. So can the Shield's programmed intentions. Rather than simply blocking negative energies, you can tell your Shield to absorb them to fuel itself. Or, you can make the outside mirrored, to send the negative energies back where they came from. For combat, it can even 'fight back', but that is a specialized application outside the scope of this article. Combat Shield configurations are certainly not for everyday use.

There are other specialized applications. For example, there are times when avoiding notice is desirable. Concentrating on diverting unwanted attention, on being totally uninteresting, while casting the Shield is often very effective. In fact, go ahead and concentrate on not being seen at all. I am not the only one who has used this to avoid physical attack.

On the other hand, sometimes giving the impression of being more capable than you are is the way to go, the way some animals puff themselves up to scare away an enemy. "Tell" your Shields to give off an 'aura' of strong, graceful self-assurance. There is no need to be cocky or obnoxious about it. the idea is to avoid a fight, not provoke one. No matter how good you are, there's always someone better.

If you happen to be 'into' visible psi-balls, you may find it amusing to make your Shields visable, too, sometimes. They can glow, or take on any colour or appearance you happen to feel like. Use your imagination. Most of these nifty special effects take a lot of effort and energy, so you probably will not want to use this variation often, nor for very long periods of time.

Among friends, extending a bit of a tendril from your Shield to brush gently against your buddy's Shield is a friendly hello. It is a little like a cat rubbing his cheek against his person, in effect if not in exact meaning. Just how friendly a greeting this is probably varies from place to place, and it is far from universal, so check local customs first, if there are any. Snuggling your mind, and therefore your Shields, up against someone else's is a greeting that goes rather beyond a friendly 'hello'.

In an emergency, it is quite possible to Shield another person's mind, in much the same way that you can Shield your own. This is a relatively advanced variation, and outside of combat itself very rare this is an unusual sort of situation: and exhausted and overloaded empath in the city, for example; or a telepath in poltergeist difficulties in the midst of his or her own personal tornado. Shielding someone else is a possibility of which you should be aware. However, it is unlikely that you would ever be in a position to require its use.

Rainsong

PsiPog
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