Magic does really work. 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. 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 many 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, someone else.

I will outline a few basic techniques for protecting yourself and your home. While these are essential while working with 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 erodes my ability to shield, so keep this in mind. Once you have shields, there is lots of awesome magic you can do with them.

1.Stand erect, feet shoulder-width, arms at your sides, breathing evenly and deeply.

2.Progressively relax your entire body starting from the top of your head working slowly down to the bottoms of your feet.

3.Mentally visualize that you are surrounded by a long ellipsoid of intense, bright blue light that extends 9 inches outwardly from every point on the surface of your body.

4.Continue to maintain this image and visualize a globe of brilliant white light above (but not touching) your head. The globe is inside of your bright blue aura.

5.Concentrate on this bright white globe so that it becomes brighter, glowing white like burning magnesium.

6.Keep both images of the bright blue aura and the brilliant white globe and mentally aspire to the highest standards of morality, good, and love that you can.

7.Next, feel the white globe showering you with glittering white light filled with silver
sparkles. This white light should permeate your entire being, coursing vibrantly through you.

8.The outer shell of your aura should be an intense bright blue filled with the vibrant,
sparkling white light. Concentrate on this complete image as long as you can, fully
believing in its reality. Feel your outer auric shell as a hard, sharply defined blue as you feel blissful and alert.

9.As you close, let the image fade slowly while believing that it is not fading from reality.

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 rare occasions, I feel a sudden energy drain as my shields (thank the Lady and Lord) go from stand-by 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 its 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. Evoking 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. 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) If this doesn't work, you can still call on the Lady and Lord in their warrior/protector aspects to help you.

The Law of Threefold Return

Within some of the Pagan paths this rule is followed: "Ever Mind the Rule of Three, that whatsoever you do, Be it for good or harm, shall come back to you threefold" They feel that this rule is the basis of the Karma they accumulate. There is also an older version of this, which says: "Unto this Law know each Witch should. Return Threefold the Bane, Return Threefold the Good." The idea of Karma is ancient but very simple: the things we accomplish in this life, be they good or ill, have an effect on us in the next. Our actions will be weighed by the Gods and they will decide whether we will have lessons to be learned. You never need to fear Deity in Wicca. Deity does not judge you or persecute you-Deity will only ever wish to help you. Though our actions come back to us through Karma, this is not a “Divine judgment” so much as a necessary balance -it is there to help all beings grow. Deity may give us difficult lessons in life, but this too is motivated by love, to help us grow -never to “punish” us. Whatever may afflict you, Deity wishes to help you move past it -for Deity wishes you only growth and happiness, in whatever Personal form you picture Deity.

Author's Bio: 

Athena is a 7 year Wicca who is studying Wicca further to be a High Priestess.