With the Dark Moon upon us, and still considering the new year, now is a good time to evaluate any shielding practices (or lack thereof) we may have. It's always good to check-in with any personal practices we set up, though with the way life tends to go - I know that I regularly forget to do so. We do what we can, but the change in the Wheel of the Year marks a great time to reflect, and potentially change things up that aren't working.
People shield in different ways, and for different reasons. Some have all day, every day, shields; some only shield when they're going out into public, or to places not deemed "safe". I personally only shield when I'm in high-energy spaces (i.e. PantheaCon, theme parks, etc), or in other case-by-case scenarios. Every year, I consider adding in a better, healthier, shielding practice, and yet every year I never commit - at least, not for long.
Shielding can be a great practice for empaths, or other sensitives, and witches alike. They can be formed to let in as little, or as much, outside energy as we desire; they can also be used to filter any energy and transform, or otherwise neutralize, it. Shields can do just about anything that we can imagine, after all, our imagination is our only limitation.
However, this same practice has the potential to keep us from truly living our lives. We can become so wrapped up in keeping everything out, that we forget that sometimes we need to let a bit of it in - to experience the world around us. This is why it's good to check in from time to time, to see if we're really living, or if we're stuck in a pattern of hiding away. Likewise, if we're not shielding enough and find ourselves stuck at home all of the time, avoiding the world because it's literally hurting us, then it's a good time to check in and potentially add in a shielding practice.
I have 2 basic, go-to shields. One is a gyroscope, where each ring rotates continuously, knocking away any harmful energies, and purifying everything else into a harmless white light - which includes any energy I may be subconsciously sending out. And the other is a shimmery ball of goodness. It reminds me of a bubble, if bubbles were un-poppable, and it keeps out all negative energies, while letting in everything else. I use them for different purposes, though they do essentially the same thing. The gyroscope is more protection based for when I'm walking down the street in the middle of the night, and the bubble is more for day-to-day living when I need to sift out the negative bullshit.
I share this to give ideas for other ways one can construct a really basic shield. I've known people to use 2-way mirrors, they can see out, but all other energy is reflected back at the person sending it. I've also known people to construct shields based in the elements - waterfalls for calming peace, tornadoes for keeping people at bay, and so on. We each have our thing, find what you like and make it work for you.
The big key with any shield you make is intention, as with magick in general. Also, you can change it whenever you feel like. The shield that I used last year at PantheaCon is not going to be the same as the one I'm planning for this year. I've even had days where I started with one shield and found halfway through the day that it wasn't doing enough, so I had to up the strength.
In life, we use what we know and try to make the best of it. Though that shouldn't stop us from checking in, and learning new things that better fit our needs. It's okay to shake things up and to experiment. Without testing, we will never know what does and doesn't work.