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Shielding
by SphynxcatVamp
 
This page combines Shielding 101, Shielding 201 and Shielding 301 from the articles library of SphynxcatVP's Real Vampires Support Page - Psi Defense Section.

 

SHIELDING 101

WHAT IS A "SHIELD" ANYWAY?

In this usage, "shielding" refers to psi-based defenses around yourself, commonly either within or along the "edges" of your aura/energy field. "Shields" are often called many things by different people, including "wards" or "personal wards", "psi defenses" and so on, all depending on the person's experience and preferences. No matter what you call it, it's still a form of protection from outside influences such as psychic attack and empathic/telepathic overload.

WHAT DO YOU USE THESE "SHIELDS" FOR?

A common use is to keep other people's emotions, and sometimes thoughts, from affecting YOUR mood. If you pick up on other people's moods automatically - without conscious effort - then learning to shield yourself will be very useful. Otherwise, you can get confused by the mix of other people's emotions, especially in a location where you're forced to interact with others, like school or work. The type of shield best for this purpose is what I call, appropriately enough, a "filter shield" - this is a shield that filters out the components of the energy you don't want, and only lets through what you do want. Think of it like a firewall for your brain. :) You just have to work with it to figure out what works best for you.

Another common use is blocking other people's psi-based attacks. This is a more complex type - people can psi-attack in various ways ranging from throwing energy balls at you to draining your energy, and anything in between. You have to be flexible enough to adapt your shielding methods to the attack being used against you.

WHAT TYPES OF SHIELDS ARE THERE?

I tend to put them in two VERY basic categories:

Active shielding styles - These need constant attention and energy input to maintain. Attack-blocking shields that attempt to be "solid" 24x7 would be an example of an active shielding style. Because they require continual, or at least frequent, energy input, they are also very noticeable to people who are just casually looking to see if you're shielded. (Compare a person physically walking around with kevlar body armor vs. a person who isn't - the additional bulk is noticeable. Same principle here, even if you're not dealing with anything physical.) Additionally, to a psivamp, an active shield is like hanging a sign on you saying "Free Lunch!"  *chuckles*

Passive and Reactive shielding styles - These tend to appear inactive most of the time. Shields that block attacks, but are only activated when you're actually attacked, are an example of a passive shielding style - which in this case, also happens to be reactive. Additionally, because they're not obviously active a lot of the time, they're more likely to be unnoticed by most psivamps. Very much in the "set it and forget it" style. :)

The passive/reactive shield types work best if you maintain constant awareness of what's going on around you - sometimes *just* a reactive style isn't appropriate, if there are cases when it wouldn't react in time. Depending 100% on this type of shield to defend yourself is like walking into a war zone without any armor - you might get lucky, or you might get hit. Being aware of what's going on around you increases your likelihood of not getting hit. :)

There are a lot of shielding principles that fall in each category, but most *types* of shields can use either active or passive methods to create them (not exclusively one or the other - it depends on the individual's personal style), so there's not much point in saying "xyz shield is just an active shield" or "abc shield is just a passive style shield" - the method used will depend on the person creating the shield.

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SHIELDING 201

BASIC SHIELDING PRINCIPLES



CAN YOU USE MORE THAN ONE SHIELDING TYPE AT A TIME?

Yes, absolutely. I use several all the time. :) However, if you're just starting out, you'll need to practice to get the knack of having all of the ones you choose up at once without conflict. (For anyone who's been doing it for a long time, it will seem automatic, like breathing.) Think of it like juggling several objects. Someone who's used to juggling several objects has no problem keeping them up - someone new will keep dropping them left and right, and are lucky if they can get them to "bounce" more than once. Depending on how focused you are will determine how fast you can master this skill.

Or, if you choose to only use one type at a time, that's OK too. You don't *have* to use more than one. It all depends on your comfort level with the idea.

WHAT AFFECTS YOUR SHIELDS?

Besides someone else attacking you, they are affected primarily by your belief in their effectiveness. In other words, you need to have faith in yourself and your ability to set the shields. These - truthfully - have nothing to do with anything physical, however if you wish to use something physical as a focus, such as a necklace or an item of clothing ("If I'm wearing this, it means my mind should be protected"), feel free to do so if it will help. Just don't expect working out at the gym to do anything for it. *smiles*

Other factors include your current state of mind - if you're focused, it will be easier than if you're in a panic. How you wish to focus, of course, will be up to you. Spells could be used, I suppose, but they're really just a focus tool, a method of getting your mind to do all the right things. Some people have success using a strong, highly charged emotional state to give an extra "kick" to their psi working. Don't let your emotions run away with you. If you choose to do this, use the strength it gives you but don't let it run rampant. Control is part of being focused.

Several Asian lifestyle philosophies, such as Zen, emphasize a calm or relaxed "no mind" state. I recommend learning something like this if you have trouble keeping your thoughts focused. Your health can also be a factor - because it will influence how well you can concentrate. You'll have to be very focused in order to avoid worrying about your health or to avoid being distracted by your illness symptoms if you happen to be severely sick at the time.

WHAT ARE SOME BASIC SHIELDING TECHNIQUES?

I'll start off with a few basic principles here. These are the ones I commonly tell people about in IRC when they're just starting out.

MIND FOG
You know the ambient sound of people gets quieter when you walk into the back of a bookstore from a crowded mall? That's the mental effect you're looking for with this technique. It's the mental equivalent of walking into a dense fogbank, separating you from everyone else around you. It's primary purpose is to keep you unnoticed, however if you're sensitive to people's thoughts and/or emotions, you can also use it as a filter so that other people's minds aren't as much of a distraction. For a pretty basic shield, this can be quite versatile.

SHIELDING VS. PSIVAMPS AND OTHER ENERGY FEEDERS
There are several points to remember about shielding against people - or things - that feed off your energy...

First, the more energy you pour into your shields, the more noticeable they are. It's like hanging a sign around your neck saying "Free Lunch!" A passive/reactive method of shielding is more appropriate, something that doesn't use a lot of energy until it's needed.

Second, don't make yourself stand out from everyone else around you to an energy feeder's casual scan - in fact, the best bet is to make yourself less noticeable. If they don't notice you're there, they (usually) won't bother you.

Third, remember that they'll feed on energy - throwing more at them in a return attack isn't exactly going to discourage them. However, if you can make your energy undesirable to them ("Souring the milk", so to speak) that will be more effective in stopping an energy feeder attack.

ROCK SOLID BELIEF
You have to believe your shields are working. Plain and simple. It always seems like I can't say this enough. If you have a shred of doubt about the effectiveness of your shields, then their actual effectiveness is reduced.

REMEMBER....

It's not "power" that makes you better, it's not "being psychic" that makes you better - it's what you do with it. It's just a tool, like anything else. How you use the tool determines what opinions people have about you.

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SHIELDING 301

OVERVIEW of SHIELDING TECHNIQUES


CAN YOU USE MORE THAN ONE SHIELDING TYPE AT A TIME?


Shields are your primary method of protection from psychic/psionic attack and possible damage, with a variety of different styles used for different purposes. While some people may settle on a preferred shielding method and stick pretty much to that, it is recommended that you learn and practice multiple shielding methods so that you're better prepared in different situations.

This overview is not a complete list, since anyone can develop new methods. As with any situation, you should become proficient at analyzing a situation and determining the best shielding type to use. As with all Workings, intent is the key - you have to be 100% sure of the intent you give to the shields. Shields can also be given different colors or shapes depending on your preferred operating style.

Note: To anyone with enough advanced knowledge, any or all of these methods may be broken, detected, or worked around. An opponent may or may not have enough knowledge to work past multiple methods. And, last but not least, don't go developing a "I'm using uber-shields and you can't attack me!" attitude, because someone, somewhere, will most likely take potshots at you to test them either out of boredom or because they find that attitude annoying.

Energy and focus/concentration requirements for any of these may vary depending on your skill and practice.

ABSORBING

Self-charging:
Uses incoming energy to power the shield. If needed, you can filter out the energy you don't want out of an incoming attack and just use the parts you do want. An example of that is to filter out emotions and just use the attack's base strength. Or you can use all the incoming energy and convert any unwanted types to a wanted type. This is generally a low-powered variety good for everyday use.

Retaliatory:
An absorption shield that also attacks the user. Retaliation can simply be using the energy to generate your own attack using the same or a different method, or the retaliation can be latching onto your attacker and draining their energy - particularly useful for psivamps.

Healing:
Uses the incoming energy to heal any damage you've already taken. You have to understand how to do this

Attracting:
Absorbs, but preferentially seeks specific energy types. This can be used as a method of setting up a link to someone else, and aids in detection.

MORPHING TECHNIQUES

Shifting:
Constantly altering the appearance of your shield. This technique can be applied to many types, provided you can maintain it. The Borg in the Star Trek TV show use ship shields that constantly change in frequency in order to defeat things like tracking beams - this is a similar idea.

Camouflage:
By pulling in bits of energy from people around you, you can alter your outside energy "appearance" to look less like yourself and more like, say, the mundane person standing behind you in line. This is often used as a cloaking method. An example would be pulling fresh-dropped branches over your hiding place in the woods.

Confusion:
Generates random amounts of "psi noise" in an attempt to confuse any scan or attack attempts. Mix with a redirection method for better results. An example would be turning on several radios at once, each tuned to different stations.

REDIRECTION

Simple:
This method redirects incoming energy and sends it back out. While it sounds similar to a mirror shield, it's different because you need to interact with the incoming energy in order to redirect it.

Disguised:
As above, but in the process of interacting with the incoming energy, you can alter it's "fingerprint" to hide it's initial source or characteristics. For example, you can change an attack blast's "fingerprint" so that it no longer reads as an attack and fire it back at a person who's shields are designed to block their own attack energy.

REFLECTIVE

Simple:
This is a mental mirror surrounding you that causes all incoming energy to be reflected back out without effect. Can also be thought of a a "rubber ball" shield. If you like, this can also be modified to form a filter, only letting in the energy you want. Two or more people with mirror shields may end up with a "volleyball" effect, bounding energy back and forth between them, until one person's concentration slips, or one of them does something else with the energy being tossed around. An example would be a completely shiny surface, similar to hematite.

Multidirectional:
As above, but instead of reflecting energy back the way it came, reflects energy in any random direction, or ricochets off at particular angles. An example would be multifaceted crystal that throws light everywhere.

WALLS

Basic forcewall:
This can be visualized as a ball, egg or some other shaped mass of energy surrounding you. You can give it particular colors if you desire, or leave it colorless. This form of shield blocks incoming attacks without reflecting them back to the attacker. It it very versatile, and good for a beginner to start with. Because it's so basic, though, it can be easy to break by more experienced people.

Fire/elemental wall:
Often visualized as a ring or ball of fire (or blinding white light) that destroys incoming energies similar to how meteorites are destroyed coming into earth's atmosphere. It requires either "set it and forget it" programming, or awareness of incoming attacks to be able to neutralize them. It IS more energy intensive, and not recommended for long-term defense.

Spinner walls:
One or more layers of shields that also rotate on an axis. Commonly used with basic walls, but can be modified to use most shields. The spinning makes it difficult to attack the same spot multiple times, and can also make scans difficult.

OTHER TECHNIQUES

Combinations:
Interlocking two or more types of shields to make a more robust defense system. You MUST be skilled with the shields you intend to use in a layered format. This will take practice if you're not used to it, and some common sense is required - for example, don't put retaliatory/attacking shields under a simple reflective shield, for example.

Filtering:
Nearly any shield can be modified to filter, but often the filter capability adds a weak point in the shield where the preferred type of energy can be let in, so this is something to keep in mind in combat situations. A non-combat example are empathic filters that tone down the noise level of people's emotions.

Invisibility:
More potent (and thus takes more concentration/energy) than simple camouflage, This is much closer to "I'm not here" compared to camouflage's "I'm not the person you're looking for."

Residence shields:
Typically these are basic wall types, however they can be any type depending on the person making them. These operate on a larger scale, covering the space you live in (house, apartment, etc.) Residence shields are commonly used to dissuade wandering entities from entering, much like an alarm system discourages burglars from breaking in to steal your stuff. (While these are commonly called "house shields" I use "residence" in an effort to show that you do not have to have a house in order to use them.)


SphynxCatVP©2003 All Rights Reserved
SphynxCat's Real Vampires Support Page
Re-posted with permission of the author 

This article is part of an effort to present things representative of various points of view held within the vampire community. Views can, and often do vary greatly among individuals. The reader must seek his or her own truth and decide what is applicable or useful to them.

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