A shield is used in the psion and magick communities for several reasons, primarily for protection. The idea about protection extends to keeping energies contained within as well as exterior to one's shield. Those that take personal responsibility of their projections of energy and emotions understand how important this can be. The empath trying to buffer one's self from outside projections will also understand the importance of this, especially when they are being overloaded and need to keep their sanity to shut projections out. Then, of course, is the shield for protection from attacks which are rare but the more common sparring is, the more important shielding will become as a means of an energy bullet proof vest. Everyone will have their own methods for making shields and their own designs, this tutorial is ment to give basic ideas of general designs starting from the most basic to the more advanced. The important key here is that you tailor the shields to your own needs and that your creativity becomes a strong role in the design because if the sheild appeals to you, the more comfortable you are with creating it, maintaining it, and also that confidence that comes with these things to boost the shield.
To start with, the shield is a construct of energy. That means it is a quantity of energy combined with intent or programming instructions to tell the energy exactly what its function, purpose, duration and strengths are. What is it you want to achieve with the shield? You can start with a simple intent to test them out and progressively get more advanced. The common intent is to protect but think in what specific ways you want to protect. Do you want to keep energy out or in? What sorts of energy do you allow or disallow? Many of these things will fall under the category of "filters" A filter is a subconstruct that will allow some things to pass thru while stopping other things you specify. Each shield will have advantages and disadvantages but no shield is impenetrable. All shields can be breached with enough time and patience and skill even for the most advanced psion.
One of the most common mistakes of a beginner is to think that a shield is constructed and that it stays inevitably. Once energy leaves your body, it will begin to break down and dissipate unless its regularly maintained. One solution to this is to not solidify the surface of the shield, that is, to keep the energy moving and smoothly flowing, however, this is difficult to maintain the energy consumption and focus for most beginners. Also if the energy is kept circulating and flowing, the hits you take on your shield take less damage. This type of shield is harder to read for those scanning you for defences. You can also chose to sustain the shields from a variety of sources. Those comfortable drawing universal energy might decide to use that as a source as it frees up your own energy to use for other things. This is what is referred to as energy management, or watching how much energy is spent in one single area, as shields can be very energy draining. Those that chose to use only their own energy to shield can run into problems when they become low or get into energy debt, there is so little energy to use for maintaining body energy that the shields will simply disappear.
The question of why shields should even be used has been raised many times in the palatium chat channel. As mentioned before, empaths can vouch for the necessity of shields when trying to maintain some sort of sanity from empathic overload. That is the very reason I started out in the psi-palatium, learning to shield for empathic reasons. Now I personally only use shields when I feel I need them, I do not run them on a consistant basis because they consume too much energy. The times I chose to use them are usually when I am stressed and overloaded because I haven't got time or patience to filter out other energy. Quite frankly, the ones that need shields are *usually* the ones that knowingly or unknowingly cause problems and make people push back. If you are connecting to someone without permission, they can take that as interference in their space and may decide to send energy in your direction to make you back off. It's always a good idea to know psion etiquette and approach situations with caution to begin with, especially when going into other psionic communities. Some communities will automatically "scan" new people just to see what sort of defences they have and get an idea of who they are dealing with. Your biggest weapon is your awareness.
What happens if my shields are breached? You might feel a variety of effects from illness, to a royal headache and I've heard of people having their nerves fried, but I believe those to be extreme cases and I've felt anything ranging from a slight pressure to headaches and discomfort. My biggest suggestion is to not do anything to make other people pissed off. Don't draw attention to yourself. In some cases this isn't an option but I find it makes a big difference in the psychological mindset. If you think you need protection, and you feel weak, your shields aren't likely to help much because you affirm with that thought that you are weak. If you are confident (not egotistical) in your abilities, you think you are stronger and you will be stronger. The mindset is instrumental to believing that you can handle any situation with ease.
The basic shield designs for beginners are egg shaped and bubble shields, fairly self explainatory. One molds energy around them in those shapes but they are also the easiest to breach. These shields can be squeezed from the top and the bottom simultaneously to the point of bursting. This causes so much discomfort to the person shielding that they are usually forced to drop their shield. This is however a good beginner exercise to practice intents and intensity of shields and try new filters and intents.
A more advanced shield might contain layers of different kinds of filters. These take far more concentration and skill and are much more energy intensive. A more advanced shield might also be closer to skin level following the surface of the body with all its curves and angles. The problem with this sort of shield is that its so close to the skin that you don't have reaction time to defend yourself when it's breached but its also harder to read when you are being "scanned". Then there is the power souce you chose to power the shileds. Internally powered shields use your own energy. These are ok for beginners just learning and those not comfortable with using universal energy but when you get ill or need to use energy elsewhere, it really drains the system fast. A good psi vamp can easily drain your shield and you in no time flat. If you chose to use hybrid or universal energy, at least you have an endless supply of energy but these shields can be breached if someone were to put a shield around you, thereby cutting off your source. There are a lot of things to consider when making a shield, so don't throw up a shield without considering your needs first.
A shield can be as easy as visualizing, but also frustrating and difficult when starting out because you will have spots your forget or are weaker on "seeing" and you have to focus and learn to recheck often. The best thing to do is have someone else give your shield a look over, even if it doesn't look the same to them, they will be able to point out weaknesses. Don't forget things like the back side of your body, especially the backs of the shoulders, knees and feet. With this advice, to start one should relax, clear their mind to calmness, put the worries, stress and frustrations of the day aside and center themself in whatever way they are most comfortable. Next one needs to gather energy, either internal energy or universal energy. Get the energy moving and flowing by whatever means necessary and push the energy out of the body to form the shape of the shield. While doing this, repeat in your mind what the instructions are with authority, feel strong and confident. Visualize the shield in a way that symbolizes protection for you whether it be a metal sphere made of titanium, mirrored, a suit of armour or retractable batmobile shields. As long as it makes you feel strong and secure and it appeals to you in your personal style, go for it. Learn to be flexible as to try new things once you have one shield mastered to add to your repertoire. And double check your work often, or when you are feeling weaker. Another suggestion is to change or shift shields often. Many of the people I work with will tear down their structures and rebuild them on a daily basis or weekly depending on the needs.
under normal every day conditions, a single energy feed line is all thats needed to keep errant energies at bay. When in a defensive shielding position, it is always good to keep in mind that the farther away from the energy feed, the weaker the shield would be. For instance, if the feed line is at the solar plexus, then breeching the shield at the feet or the head would be the easiest. The shielding where the energy comes out the waste and circulates to the feet and to the head keeps the energy moving in opposite directions and makes it much harder for someone to breech the shields in any one spot.
There are times when having a semi-permeable shield is also desirable, especially for those that find shielding to be too clausterphobic for their comfort. This is when filters come into play and a person can choose to let certain energy in but omit others. The clausterphobia feeling is very common amongst beginner empaths just learning control. To shield completely keeps everything out and makes one feel extremely cut off from the outside world. While this can be an advantage for those learning to block incoming energy in order to control what you have and then allow energy in slowly increasing the levels as you progress, it also has a negative effect that can be likened to being locked into a dark closet, making learning controll harder then it has to be. You also have to remember that when shutting out incoming energy, that its a conscious choice to balance your energy and emotions and to be neutral. Most people like a little drama because it makeslife exciting but we have to choose between getting caught up and swept away with the drama and being a part of it rather then watching it as a neutral bystander.
An advanced technique is to add anchoring to the PCC and learn to add things like dials or knobs, levers, gauges for shields and other functions so that you can mentally adjust the level of shields when the occasion arrises. Think of this in terms of DEFCON levels that you can upgrade or downgrade by stepping into your control center and turning a knob. To anchor, the shielding must first be accomplished to an adept level and then repeat the technique several times several days consecutivly. Soon it becomes automatice when maintained and it can be done in a matter of seconds or as much as it takes to think to yourself "upgrade shields to level red" or any command of your choosing.
With this being just a basic guide, it is my hopes that you take the information and learn to design your own shields and defences and to think outside the box, not forgetting how you would breach your shield to learn how possible attacks might be effective. There are plenty of advanced people around to ask for help from.