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Lesson 1: Protection: Grounding, Centering & Shielding

Grounding & Centering

Have you ever found yourself in situations where you find your emotions are on edge, your mind feels like its in pieces with no focus? This is the result of being ungrounded and uncentered. 


In any type of energy work grounding and centering is essential. This process allows your energies to stay fluid but dormant, and the energies of the Earth to flow through you, keeping you grounded.


The process of "grounding" one's self is to visualize yourself connected to the Earth, the easiest way is by "seeing" roots growing down from your feet into the ground beneath you.


Centering is the process of focusing yourself in the here & now, not being distracted by things that are going on around you; your job, your kids, the bills, etc. This is the time to step away from these things and to completely focus on exactly this moment in time. This ritual work. Building this sacred space. And negative/stressful/mundane distractions have no place here!


In ritual, your mind must be clear and focused on the work at hand. Without it, your spells cannot manifest. And more than likely, your spell is for bettering all those "distractions" you've just put out of your head! So, FOCUS!


Why is this process necessary? What’s the big deal? You wouldn’t walk out into the street without first checking to see if there are any on-coming cars would you? Same concept. By opening yourself to the Otherside you are open to getting “hit”. 


Before a Witch begins their first spell they must know how to protect themselves from the energies on the Otherside. Consider this: a Witch who is new to the Craft becomes a little tiny light that shines through to the Otherside. On that Otherside are energies & entities of all persuasions, who may be positive or negative in their intent.


When a new member of the Craft does their first spell, their light is lit. As they continue on their Path they learn more, they get stronger in their powers, their light, gets brighter on the Otherside. 


Once that light becomes bright enough to draw attention those on the Otherside will begin to take notice and come to investigate. This is why protection & shielding are very important to master before any spells are performed. It is a skill that should be learned as soon as possible once started on the Path of, and beginning work in, the Craft. 



Grounding is the act of releasing excess generated energy into the earth before and after performing magick in a rite or spell. There are several methods to doing this. Touching the earth with the hands to release the energy. Shaking the hands, stomping the feet also help to release the energy. If at all possible, pass the energy into a stone and give it back to the Mother as it is already a part of Her. Another great method is to “hug a tree”. That’s right, grab a tree and send all that energy into it. That tree’s roots go deep into the Mother Earth and will release and transform that energy appropriately. Grounding is also called Earthing.



This is the act of grounding one’s energy through meditative focus on the “center“ of one‘s being. It is done before spellwork or other rituals to help connect with and direct the balanced energy.



This means to preserve one’s self and/or others from harm or injury. Protection spells are commonly placed on amulets to ward off negativity. On talismans, protection symbols are placed on it to bring protection to the bearer.


Forms of Protection

Circle casting prior to spellwork or ritual provides a sphere of protection and defines the Sacred Space. It is important to note that the Circle being cast is not just a linear circle on the ground. It is a sphere. A ball. This encompasses all the space around you; above, sides and below. "As Above, So Below" is the tome best used to describe its affect & use.


When a Circle is cast, quite often anyone outside of it will have difficulty seeing what's going on inside! Some of these Circles are like bubbles, pearls, etc. and can be clear, translucent, or opaque, depending on what may be consciously decided on or whatever "just happens". It is also dependent upon the power of the one casting.


Using amulets & talismans are also forms of protection. Keeping them with you at all times, on your person, in your car, your office, etc. Their uses are limitless!


Grounding & Centering Exercise

There are many ways to discipline yourself to learn how to ground & center. Visualizations, Meditation, Yoga, the Martial Arts are some of the more commonly known methods. The physical discipline necessary to accomplish these actions force the mind to center its focus on the task at hand. Ignoring all outside distractions. Obviously this takes practice! Don't expect perfection immediately.


Begin with one short time period, say 10 minutes, per day, and at the least, 3x's per week.


Here's one method:

* Sit comfortably someplace where you will not be disturbed (turn off the cell phone, phone, TV, radio, etc. and let others in the house know you need quiet time, so you can't be interrupted).


* Breathe deeply, concentrating on just your breathing: Try to make each intake and exhale to a count of 6, but 4 or 8 or what ever is most comfortable for you is fine. Just keep it uniform. imagine all tensions leaving your body.


* Some people have difficulty relaxing, so by gently tensing each set of muscles separately and releasing them as you inhale and exhale may help your body relax. Just find what works for you.


* When you begin to feel yourself relax, then visualize a ball of light, colored or not, it doesn't matter, just go with whatever you see. Don't force anything! Place this ball of light in your 3rd Chakra area - the Solar Plexus - your gut. This is the seat of your emotions and tensions. By stimulating it your stomach muscles will automatically tense and this then will bring release once the ball of light is accepted. 


* Bring the ball of light through your lower body, your legs & feet and send it into the Earth, where it will assimilate into the Mother's body - Her soil, roots & rocks. 


* Your feet will feel like they're adhered to the floor. They can't move, but your body may sway around a bit. Your head may feel like its trying to be drawn right through your body so it can "release" into the Earth. Slowly bring your attention back to your 3rd Chakra area - the Solar Plexus.


* Now, bring the ball of light upward. Fill your upper body with the ball's energy. Visualize your feet solidly on the Mother's Earth body and expand your body to be able to reach up and touch the Goddess Sister Moon, then the God Father Sun (this will take time, probably not on your first try, maybe not even your 10th try, but keep trying & visualizing). "Feel" yourself a large as the Universe. "Touch" the Goddess Creator with your mind. Your feet are already touching (grounded) in the Goddess Mother.


* Fill yourself with Light from the Divine. Feel Her love for you. Send Her your love back in return. 


* Mingle Her Light with Yours (you'll have to "find" your color - your favorite? something that just comes during this visualization? maybe it changes each time? It doesn't matter, just go with it.)


* Slowly return to "normal". Release the ball of light at your 3rd Chakra - Solar Plexus. Carefully move, but not quickly. Get something to eat & drink. Review what you saw and felt. If you keep journals, then write your experiences while they're still fresh in your mind.  


Various Other Techniques

While in the shower, as the water is flowing over you, imagine it cleansing you; mentally, emotionally & spiritually.


Bury your feet in the "body" of the Mother Earth - the soil.


Place your feet on the "bones" of the Mother Earth - the rocks.


Submerge your feet in the "blood" of the Mother Earth - the water.


You can find that which works best for you by experimentation. And NEVER think that its "wrong". Because if your gut doesn't wrench and get tight, then you know you're ok with it. If it feels wrong, then your 3rd Chakra - the Solar Plexus will be more than happy to let you know!  


Basic Magickal Protection & Psychic Self-Defense 

Merry Meet, all! 


Herne asked me to write an article on the basic dangers of Magic. I had to rewrite that article, because what I was ending up with was more about protecting yourself than about possible dangers. So I finished the first article, and here is the second.


Magic works. This is the first thing you have to learn. If you don't believe that magic gives you the power to reshape the universe, you're wasting your time. Because if you believe a spell or ritual won't work, it won't. Period. And if you do believe in the power of magic, then you need to realize that when you use it you are putting your hands on the same forces that move the tides and spawn tornadoes. And that by doing so, you have the potential to harm yourself or others. I have often compared working magic to rock climbing. It takes years of study and practice before you're ready to try it. It is fairly safe, if you know what you're doing and take appropriate safety precautions. At the same time, a mistake can ruin your whole day or worse.


In this article, I will outline a few basic techniques for protecting yourself and your home. While these are essential while working magic, they are also useful anytime. For example, there's no better night's sleep than in a room that's been magically shielded to keep out psychic noise.


Let's start with Shielding. This is a technique for creating a magical 'force field' around your person or a place, to keep out unwanted energy. This could be psychic 'background noise', nasty astral critters, or magical energy directed at you. Many people do this unconsciously all their lives. Others of us have to learn how. The method I use is to visualize a 'net' of energy around the area to be shielded. Remember to 'see' it in 3D, a sphere rather than a circle. (This is where those visualization exercises come into practical use.) I generally use my personal energy to power it. I visualize negative energy being absorbed by my shields and flowing into the earth. ("Ground and Center" here.) I visualize it as porous, though, so that energy I send can pass through. With practice, you will be able to shield yourself instantly, without thinking. 


I have found that exhaustion or alcohol quickly erode my ability to shield, so keep this in mind. Once you have shields, there is lots of nifty magic you can do with them. I'll describe some of these in an article for an advanced class.


Warding is a similar technique. I define a Ward as a Shield anchored to a physical place. Instead of using your energy, though, you let Earth energy flow upward to power it. With practice, you can create a stable, Earth-powered shield. This leaves more energy for spell work, or allows you to drop your own shields and recharge. Reinforce the visualization regularly, and it can be permanent, to protect your Circle or home. I tend to anchor wards with physical objects-a stone, carved runes, etc. But it is the visualization that really matters. If the mental image fails, the shield will fail, no matter how many runes you carve.  


Occasionally, when going about my daily life, I will feel a 'tickle' at my aura as some kind of psychic energy contacts it. Other times, the hair stands up on the back of my neck, and I quickly raise my shields. And on rarer occasions, I feel a sudden energy drain as my shields (thank the Lady and Lord) go from standby to maximum power before I know what's happened. In these situations there are a few shielding tricks I use. First is the mirror. I visualize the outside of my shields as a perfect mirror, reflecting any energy back to it's source. Next is making the inside of my shields a mirror. I use this to contain any psychic energy I might be emitting, hopefully making myself psychically 'stealthy'. Last is the 'iron wall' or 'stone tower' visualization, changing the thin energy shield into a massive fortress. This requires a lot of power, but when huge waves of negativity are breaking over you, it really helps. 


Now on to a few active techniques. If negative energy keeps coming at me, I don't sit back and continue to shield until exhausted. The ancient warriors knew that any purely defensive battle is doomed, if it goes on long enough. Invoking the Lady and Lord is probably the surest and simplest defense. Malevolent entities (whether astral or earthly) tend to avoid the presence of the Deity. In fact, the nastier they are, the faster they run. But like most kids, I don't like bothering Mom and Dad all the time with small problems I've been taught to handle myself. The most basic technique is calling White Fire. This is the Light energy of the universe, the silver-white of the Moon and the fire-white of the Sun, the sum total of the magical Elements. Let it flow in from all around you until you feel like a ball of lightning, then send a directed bolt of it back in the direction the negative energy came from. While the mind alone is all you need to do this, I find my sword/athame is a perfect tool for this. (I feel the Rede does not prohibit self-defense, but that's another article, too.) If this doesn't work, you can still call on the Lady and Lord in their warrior/protector aspects to help you. 


So, good luck as you study the Craft of the Wise. Remember, the Bad Guys are out there, and they're after us. That's how we know we're the Good Guys.

Erik ( Copyright © Erik Herne and The Celtic Connection All rights reserved.  



This is a “force field” built around you for protection to deflect negative energies from affecting you. There are many types of shields, most are to just keep negativity away. Others, such as mirror shields are to reflect back the negative energy sent by someone else. Some shields are close around the body, and others are formed at arms length or more. There are also shields built that are large enough to protect your property, neighborhood, town, etc. Usually, these would be in times of natural peril such as tornadoes or fire.


Types of Shields

Personal - These are developed and set to be "touching" your physical person. They can be whatever you can envision that makes you feel safe.


Mine is a thorny rose bush. It's there in different levels depending on the situation I may be in. For example, the thorns are "gone" when I go to bed at night - wouldn't be nice to keep hubby uncomfortable all night! Unless I'm pissed at him, then yeah, they're still "out". LOL But they're out in full force if I'm in a place where I have to be physically close to alot of people I don't know. Its amazing how well it works - they're all crowded and I'm not! Love it!


Other versions can be less obtrusive. It's just what you find that feels right for you.


Auric - These are developed and set to wrap around you at a slight distance from the body, from a few inches on out to arm's length, for example. It lets others "in", but not too close.


This one, for me, is a black pearl. Its iridescent and translucent. It swirls and allows in positive energy but holds out negative. However, it is also the one that has the highest potential of being bombarded and can be punched through, if I don't keep it strengthened.


I've heard of others who use bubbles, gemstones, etc. It's all in what comes to mind for you. I think of this one as the 'pretty shield', because it's always the one that looks the least obtrusive, has pretty colors, and is 'softer' than the others. That's how I see it - you may see & feel differently. What you see is what's right for you, don't forget that!


Repelling - This one is for repelling negative energies. Period. Nothing negative gets in and only positive is permitted & held within.


My Repelling Shield is a mirror sphere. No matter from which direction it may come, any negative energy will be bounced back at the one sending it. It also reflects their inner selves to themselves. People who experience this shield (from the outside) automatically take a step back or retreat completely. Those who approach you in anger will get a funny look when it (their own anger) "slaps" them back in the face. Usually, they retreat with a look on their face like "WTF!??"


Sleep - These are for when you are sleeping or meditating. They keep you safe while your subconscious is exposed.


Mine is a very large spherical Dreamcatcher. This one came about after waking from a nightmare one night. I never have bad dreams because I always shield the house and then the bedroom and then the bed after I get in bed at night. However, one night something got through and scared the shit out of me!


I instantly thought of a dreamcatcher, but it was in the form of a large ball/sphere around the bed, with us & the bed in the middle. Over the years when a "bad dream" tries to get through I can actually, in my sleep/dream, SEE & FEEL the dreamcatcher tighten around the bed to keep the negative energy out. Awesome realization that first time it happened!


It's like those kid's toys that are a tight ball, and you pull on any part of it and it expands out into this huge ball. The toy is a bunch of interlocking pieces in a multitude of colors - the way that thing shrinks & expands is comparable to the way my dreamcatcher moves. It's a very intriguing feeling when asleep and this thing begins flexing to keep something out. I'll be dreaming and I'll get this feeling of "something" on the other side of the dream trying to intrude. The dreamcatcher flexes, and for a second, I'm subconsciously conscious of the actions taking place 'elsewhere' in my dream state. Then I'm back to my 'regular' dream. Very cool!


Local - This shield encompasses your house, usually your neighborhood, and even your town. These are very power draining and should only be used in emergencies, such as tornadoes, storms, fire, etc..


I live on top of a hill just outside a very small town. When storms come through (tornadoes, etc.) I immediately cast a huge bubble/dome over the entire area. Twice now, tornadoes landed outside our town, but nowhere was anyone or anything (homes) destroyed.


When we lived in a small subdivision outside a small town in TX. A fire burned down the mobile home two lots over and the flames were flying across the dry grassy lot - the winds were high that day. I cast a tunnel shield to keep the fire contained inside it and aimed it so that it traveled along the property lines from our property out through the other empty lots, crossing two streets on towards the highway. Not one other house was affected and by the time the fire got to the highway, the fire dept. was there and put it out.


That one wore me out completely. I had to go to bed afterwards to rejuvenate.

National & World - Obviously these are much larger and are actually only for group work. A Solitary isn't powerful enough to produce and maintain a shield of this magnitude.


When putting up shields you have to get to the point where you don't have to think about it. What ever shield is needed at any given time will automatically produce itself.


Two books that are great on the subject of protection & shielding are:


Protection & Reversal Magick: A Witch's Defense Manual by Jason Miller 

The Witch's Shield: Protection Magick & Psychic Self-Defense by Christopher Penczak


These are "must have's" for a Witch's library! 


Begin by developing your "personal" shield and expand from there. Eventually, you'll have a shield "system" in place that is damn near impenetrable!


When I was scheduled for my first distance Reiki attunement. I couldn't figure out why it wasn't really all that great. So, I figured I was one of those that just wouldn't "feel" it. Ok, fine, I could deal with that.


Until I got the e-mail from the teacher. My protection & shielding was so powerful she couldn't get through! It had gone into over-drive when it felt something/someone trying to get in. I had failed (forgotten - duh!) to allow the attunement energies to come through. Lesson learned - program the shields to allow (only) positive energies at all times from any source. My mirror shield had automatically come up and it hadn't been told to allow the attunement to come through. My bad! But everything worked out ok in the end (I'm now a Reiki Grand Master and have felt all the other attunements!)


I mentioned these instances that I have experienced so you can see the variety of uses, and needs, for shielding and protection, as well as the necessity for grounding and centering yourself to accomplish these tasks.


So, basically, we need to protect & shield ourselves at all times. But we also have to i.e. remember to, program the shields to permit positive energies & intents to come through. Build them, use them, make them automatic - no thought needed, they are just there when and as needed.




I do a lot of energy work, it's the thing that I feel most comfortable with. It has been my experience that shielding techniques, especially good ones, are an invaluable asset. Some of these I have shared before, but I think I should be more open with my ideas and to others as well, as such I am including all of my shielding techniques and the basic visualizations needed to help manipulate the energy appropriately. These visualizations and occasionally some simple gestures (which are intuitive and not set) are all I use to set up these shields. Here for your perusal, enjoyment, and criticism in it's entirety is my shielding techniques taken verbatim from my BoS on my computer. In reference to the word "tearing" it is the synonym of ripping. This is my term for opening a "portal" through which to send energy long distances.



Shielding techniques are used for dealing with outside energy or influences. Shields can be used to block magic, emotions, or other types of energy. With practice you can wear an energy shield as though it were a second skin. Note that not only can you shield yourself, but you could also anchor a shield onto an object or person to protect them. In most cases, the shield will break down over time; so in order to keep your shied strong you should anchor it, or rebuild it from time to time.


Basic Shield

The most basic energy shield uses the energy within your own body without worrying about the types of energy that make it up. Close your eyes if necessary and feel your energy swirling within you. Envision and feel the energy building, until it is no longer contained within your body; but rather, it becomes an almost tangible sphere around you in all directions.


Elemental Shield

Elemental shields work on the same concept as the basic shield but instead work with one type of energy at a time. To make an elemental shield you will need to center a large amount of the specific type of elemental energy that you wish to use to create the shield. Once you have the energy, simply follow the instructions given for the basic shield, except only use the single type desired. Elemental shields have certain specific strengths and weaknesses. An earth shield will hold up well against water energy. Water will hold up well against Fire. Fire will hold up well against Air. Air will hold up well against Earth. Spirit shields hold up well against the other elements and are the basis for most other shielding techniques you may find elsewhere.


Pyramidal or Bi-Pyramidal Mirror Shield

These shields are not a specific element, and as such are not subject to the elemental strengths or weaknesses of the fore-mentioned shields. To make a mirror shield, you must focus the energy into a thin, but very dense wall. When you Visualize the energy, you should visualize it as having a very smooth, polished, reflective surface. Making the shield in this shape will redirect oncoming energies upwards in the case of a pyramidal shield, or up or down in the case of bi-pyramidal shields. As upwards is generally viewed as going towards the Gods themselves, this uses incoming energy as a sacrifice to the Gods. In the case of downwards, it grounds the energy.


Spherical Mirror Shields

The technique for creating this shield is the same as the one before, however the effects are different. A spherical mirror shield will tend to redirect oncoming energies back to the original sender.


Void or Black Shield

To form a Void shield, you will need to manipulate the energy in your surroundings to create an energy “vacuum” in the shape of a hollow sphere around you. Essentially, this surrounds you with Void energy. Oncoming energy drops into the void, before ever coming into contact with you. As you maintain this shield you can collect the energy that has stopped in your shield to replenish yourself or anchor it to yourself and allow it to do that for you automatically. 


Layered Shield

To create a layered shield, you need to create one shield inside another. The outer shield will need to be maintained more, as it is larger and requires more energy to be made as effective. Likewise, since it is larger it will break down faster because of exposure to the outside elements. You should not allow conflicting layers of shields to touch. For example, you would not want to touch a fire elemental shield to a water elemental shield since the water energy would consume the fire energy.


Basic Shielding Inside Others

As a Basic shield is made up entirely of your own energy, it is useful because it allows your energy to flow through the other shields that it touches. For example, a Basic shield layered inside and touching of a mirror shield would allow you to send energy out, while incoming energy would be deflected.


Skin Shielding

This is your second skin. Use any of the fore mentioned shielding techniques to create a shield directly and immediately outside of your skin. This type of shield will help prevent the ones who are proficient in tearing from circumventing your shield, since there is no space to open up the alternate end of the tear.


Anchoring a Shield

By combining centering techniques with shields, you get anchoring. An Anchored shield will feed upon whatever it is anchored to and will not move unless what it is anchored to moves as well, and in some cases not even then. For example, you may create an elemental earth shield around your home by expanding the shield out that large. Then you would envision roots sprouting from the bottom of the shield and burying themselves in the earth. This shield will then protect your home for quite a long time, with very little maintenance and without draining your personal energy reserves.


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