A Study of Shields
A dear friend of mine recently explained the difference between blocking and shielding. A block is an attempt to stop one move at a time and is focused only on the direction of that strike. A shield is different. It is intended to block many strikes from any direction. This made me want to explore different kinds of shields, and more importantly not just physical shields, but mental, emotional and spiritual shields. Today I’m doing this using the Way Home Tarot and the Enchanted Map Oracle.
Shields can be barriers and these barriers can be both helpful and hinder us. Sometimes we need to hibernate like the Hermit above. In this case we are shielding ourselves from the world in order to heal, but if we stay there too long we are just hiding from life, and that’s not protection, that’s stagnation.
Some barriers are helpful tools in order to allow us to complete a task. The frog in the four of pentacles is using the lily pads as a barrier to the water. The structure of the lilypad shield allows the frog to walk on water.
In many ways shields are a show of collective strength. A community is a type of shield, like the ant colony in the Three of Pentacles above. By working together we are able to protect ourselves by building one bigger stronger shield rather than each of us holding our own.
A shield can also be used as a weapon, although if that’s what you are doing, you should know that you are going back more to blocking than using the shield as its truly intended. The minute you aim a shield at something it becomes a block. But it could be a very effective block at the right time – two swords crossed together can be a shield.
I know what you are thinking – how the hell is this thing a shield. In my study of shields this week I have decided that the most powerful shield we can have is the ability to connect with the present moment. We cannot live in the future, it doesn’t exit yet – if we live there we are living in the ghostlands where no sheild is possible. Yes we should plan for the future and have goals, but we can’t live there. We also cannot live with the ghosts of the past, in a place that we have frozen in time and are trying to use as a shield to keep us from joining the present. That place no longer exists as well, and staying there is only harming yourself and not anyone else.
When we can truly connect with our present we are able to send energy out in all directions, farther than the heart or soul can see. Its the biggest shield of all, and maybe the hardest one to build in a strong way.
I wish you peace in whatever shield you need this week, and I wish all of us progress in staying in the present and out of the ghostlands.
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