13 October 2019

Magickal Self-Defense 101 - PPD 2019

Today I presented Magickal Self-Defense 101 at our local Pagan Pride celebration.  For participants and those who missed it, here are my notes for that workshop.  As these are just notes, it's not the fully fleshed out writing that you're used to from me.  Feel free to ask for clarification or elaboration on any point.

Magickal self-defense is about securing the self.  There are four basic parts:

  • Cleansing - Get that which is “not me” out/off of me.
    • The magickal equivalent of taking a daily shower or washing your hands.  Enhanced by common cleansing herbs such as sage, cedar, lavender, or rosemary.
    • Asperging with herbs (or essential oil water in a spritz bottle) or censing/fumigating with incense are common techniques. 
  • Grounding - Get rid of excess energy and any internal negativity.
    • The act of flushing out negative or excess energy you have in your body into a place where it is naturally neutralized.  It’s basically the same as the concept of grounding electricity.  Some traditions refer to this practice as “earthing” because you send the unwanted energy into the earth.
    • Roots down.  Envision all of the negative or excess energy in your body as black static that you allow to sink into the ground to be neutralized.
  • Centering - Stabilize your own energies and connection to life energies/the universe.
    • Finding the place in your body where you feel your energies the strongest and aligning your energies to concentrate and flow from that place.  For most people this energetic center is in the lower abdomen, but could be other places. 
    • Branches up.  Breathe in and out while envisioning your energies flowing in and out of your center for a few minutes until you feel calm and stable, then connect yourself to your external source - whatever that may be (nature or the heart of the earth are good ones to start with)
  • Shielding - Strengthen the barrier between “you” and “not you.”
    • Shielding is the practice of forming a layer of protective energy around yourself in order to strengthen the barrier between you and the outside world.  Think strengthening the aura or putting a case around your phone. 
    • Magickal shielding is entirely energetic. That means that while shielding can protect you from all kinds of bad juju and unpleasant emotions, it won’t do anything to stop a physical attack.
    • To cast a bubble shield you just imagine a solid bubble of energy forming all the way around your body, creating a barrier that negative energy can't get through. If you've ever seen any of the Star Trek movies or television shows remember what it looks like when they raise the ship's shields. You are seeing the characters raise a bubble shield around the Enterprise. You can do the same thing by picturing a solid egg of energy forming around you, feeling the air thicken with energy around you, or even imagining a particular smell filling the space around you. This simple shield will protect you as long as you hold it in your mind. When you stop holding the shield in your mind the shield will fade away.
    • Suit of armor can also be effective - the trick is to find the metaphor/visual/idea that clicks in your brain.

Quick Defensive Preparation

Whenever you feel the need to be on your guard do the following exercise.
  • Take a deep breath, in and out.
  • Take a deep breath in and feel all the stress in your body vibrating like static electricity. Forcefully breathe out and see it all rush out of your body and into the ground like a torrent of water.
  • Breathe in and visualize a sphere of calm silver energy in the center of your body, breathe out and see it expand until it forms a sphere around you.
  • Breathe in and let your mind still. Breathe out.
The whole exercise should take the time of four breaths. If it takes you longer than that, you’ll need to practice until you can do it quickly.  This exercise should make you feel calm and focused.