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At a virtual meeting of Pagans the other day the topic of magical shielding was mentioned several times as one of the things people found essential to protect their health and well being. In particular people felt that because they were psychically sensitive, that unwanted feelings from others would invade their space.
I think some folks see themselves as empaths, and think that part of being an empath is that you can’t turn it off. It’s as if the world is constantly playing a radio station broadcasting other people’s feelings and they can’t tune it out easily. As a result they construct elaborate magical filters, shields and screens to avoid cutting themselves off from this information, while limiting it to ‘good’ energies.
It looks like this works for people, although it does seem like a lot of work. I see it differently. I think that one of the benefits of my method is that it allows me to move in the world unshielded and authentic, without allowing unwanted others to intrude, but without an ongoing barrier. The more I do this, the more my energy body learns to maintain itself in health and wholeness on it’s own, and it becomes even easier.
Cord Clearing as Magical Hygeine
Instead of creating a permanent shield, or some kind of magical missle defense system, I energetically house-clean whenever I feel I need it. I go through my energy centres (which many call chakras) and clear out stale cords connecting me to others.
The process is a bit like brushing off cobwebs. Like a cobweb, an energetic link that is no longer fresh and active is just clutter. It is either draining energy or holding on to your energy resources, so that they are not available to you day to day.
Let me give you an example. We’ll start with a positive one.
Let’s say I have a great conversation with a good friend. It’s intimate and caring, and as a result, there is a connection between our two hearts. It’s not something we did on purpose, just an energy link that formed organically between my heart and theirs. We are both consenting to this, although neither of us is consciously making it happen. During the conversation, this link is active, sharing energy between the two of us. All is well. In the normal course of things, once we said goodbye, our energies would return to ourselves and the cord would automatically be reabsorbed. The next time we are together, we may connect at our hearts again, or mind to mind or not at all, but the connection will be fresh and new, and in the moment.
However, let’s say that I was lonely that day, and that this type of nice connection with my friend was something I really miss and I want to hold on to it. I am thinking about it, I miss her, and I want to reclaim the energy of being connected. As a result, without really thinking about it, I let my half of that energy connection stay in place. The cord is entirely made of my energy, but it is likely to be a slight drain on my friend and a larger one on me to maintain the link. Again, I’m not doing this consciously, it just happens sometimes.
This link will stay in place then, as long as I hold on to it or until I clean it out. In this case, it might dissolve on its own once I am not so lonely. It is relatively harmless and fairly short term.
Some links, however last a lot longer.
Parental Expectation Cords
For example, let’s say your mother always wanted you to be a doctor, but you are an artist. You might feel guilty about not doing what she wants, and so let the cord of her attempting to convince you stay attached. Parental cords are often some of the oldest and largest ones, and you may have very durable cord running between her will and yours, embodying this energy of her holding on and trying to change you, and you feeling guilt.
Cords with the Dead
Another common cord is if you are grieving someone who has passed over, and feel a connection in your psychic sense, perhaps at your third eye, between you and this person as you reach out to their spirit in your grief.
Argument Obsession Cords
A third common cord is that of the argument instant replay – where you are obsessing over an argument that went badly, rehearsing what you should have said, trying to convince them, which gets reflected in a cord between you and them, as you hold on to their presence and try to convince their mind or change their words.
Pulling cords back in or unplugging them so they retract to the other person
I like to think of these kinds of cords as being like retractible vaccum cleaner cords. One end has the plug, connected but detachable and the other end is permanently attached to me, because it’s part of me. That energy can be stretched out far, but it’s still part of me. If I can disconnect the plug in, just like that cord, it will retract up inside me, restoring that energy to me. If you want to use a more organic metaphor – am I the spider or the wall? Spiders as we know can absorb as well as extrude webs, but the wall can only let go.
If I leave stale cords in place, my energy and my power is going to be stretched out and thin, and not available to me. I’m going to feel like others are draining me, and I’m going to be experienced as a drain on sensitive others. I’m going to be energetically sticky, and have a hard time repelling unwanted connections.
So how does this tie in to self protection?
In order to influence you, communicate with you or curse you, another person must connect their cords to you. You get to determine whether you allow those plugs to remain connected, and even whether you have an ‘outlet’ that is compatable with the kind of connection they want.
So the housekeeping I do is to run through my energy body mentally and either unplug or reel in stale cords. How do I know whether a cord is stale? That’s easy – it is stale if it is about something that is not happening in this moment. If I am no longer actually interacting directly with the other person right now, then that cord is stale and doesn’t need to be there. I can trust that when I again have a live connection with that person, then a fresh new cord will form automatically.
I learn so much about clearing out cords. As I sense them, I can determine who is the one holding on, where it is attached, and how I can disconnect it. Some cords are really hard to yank out. I’ve experimented with thinking of myself as the soil where carrots are growing and just pull them out, or with making the surface of my energy temporarily slippery so that the unwanted cord cannot attach. Once it is out, it retracts back to the person, which is a kindness to them as it restores this stale energy to them if it was their cord, and additional wholenes to me if the cord was made of my own energy.
Cords and Boundaries – Building Energy Body Health
I notice that once I de-cord, it helps me set boundaries, gives me more focus, and over time, prevents stale cords from happening. My energy body becomes inhospitable to the wrong types of attachments coming from others, and allows me to connect freely, knowing that when the connection is done I can let it go, trusting that only the connections I currently want and need will remain. The process of removing cords helps me identify where I’ve gotten stuck and helps me let go. I have learned to consciously open and close each of my chakras, which feels to me like the aperture of a camera. If needed to sever a cord, I close that aperture up tight until the cord is released, and then am able to keep it closed for awhile if I feel drained, or open it again if I want to be more receptive.
I think the key thing is that it’s not necessary to be receptive all the time, that psychic and energy abilities don’t have to be turned on all the time, running the battery down so to speak. I can open when reaching to the divine, doing divination, seeking information or connecting with someone, and I can close again to be with myself. The dynamic is fluid, flexible and healthy. When I feel gunked up energetically, I find that a good look around at what stale cords I am carrying and if they are mine or someone else’s is very helpful and clears it up.
Good boundaries make for authentic, present, intimacy
As a priestess of Aphrodite, the naked goddess, I find that this way of managing my level of receptiveness to the energies of others fits well with being naked and authentic myself in the world. Good boundaries make for good compassion and the ability to connect intimately with others by choice.
Photo by Eleanor Crook on Unsplash