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Internet Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at

                              Self-defense and Banes 
                                   Judy Harrow 

     I surely  agree that we have  every right to protect  ourselves and our
     "own  folk"  from  attack. But  I  do  believe that  shield  and mirror
     workings are more efficient, effective and elegant at accomplishing the
     goal  of self-protection. Consider this  - a mirror  working is perfect
     justice. If  I am mistaken, either that psychic attack is being done at
     all  or about the perpetrator, a bane will jeopardies me karmically and
     (if psychic attack truly is being done by somebody other than the one I
     suspect) fail to protect me. A mirror sits there passively, ignores any
     mistaken  paranoia that  I may  occasionally get,  does nothing  at all
     until  and unless  an  attack happens,  and then  sends the  bad energy
     directly back to  the exactly deserving person or  group in exactly the
     proper amount and kind. A mirror is perfect justice. 

         A grounding shield is perfect mercy, taking bad energy and  
     dissipating it harmlessly. I think  I already said this but I  recently
     talked one of my students into using a grounding shield where she would
     have been  perfectly entitled  to use  a  mirror. The  situation is  an
     ongoing  battle between my student's  lover and his  former wife. While
     the  ex-wife did  an  entirely unjustifiable  attack,  and would  fully
     deserve  to  have  it  returned  full  force,  all  this  would  really
     accomplish would be to perpetuate the  craziness, hostility and tension
     in the  situation -   and  both the couple's  innocent children  and my
     student are being hurt.  Better for all concerned to ignore justice and
     drain as much of the tension as  possible, to make room for the healing
     that all of them need.  A grounding shield is perfect mercy. 

             Butbanes and bindings, whilethey may giveshort term protection,
     risk your own karma, are susceptible to mistake, and may, if  
     misdirected, even fail of their well-intended purpose. Sure you're  
     entitled to self-protection. This is just a lousy way to go about it. I
     guess my kind of Warrior is Athena, the wise defender. 
                 warmly / Judy 

     From: Hugh Read 
          You have a gentle way.  For myself, I love Minerva who I feel is a
     Being unto  Herself.  The concept  of the Grounding Shield  is clear to
     me...would you care to share the  practice with me.  Justice has little
     interest for me.  That takes care of itself in the process of time.  We
     are all amply repayed for our varies deeds simply by  wearing this body
     of ours.  Healing is far more to the point.   The word Justice makes me
     cringe a bit, though  long ago I came to peace with Justice.  One of my
     more angry prayers  is May he/she have  perfect Justice, NOW!   Instant
     karma, NOW...and I always add, and so may it be with me. 
     I remember  telling this  to a  New Age teacher  a few  years ago.   He
     turned pale  and promised me auto accidents, fire, theft and robbery if
     I  did that.   Well,  I am  still bopping  along with  my share  in the
     chancier  aspects of  life affirming  perfect Justice  for my  self and
     every  now and  then in those  very rare  (!) moments  of anger instant
     Karma for me and whoever.  I love the idea of a shield that will ground
     and  disperse any nasties send grovelling in my direction.  Let Healing
     Be the Way!!!  Tender bliss and explosive ecstacy be yours as  the days
     pass softly! 


     From: Judy Harrow 
          It's visualization  either way.  For the  grounding shield,  it is
     velvety, absorptive  black (Oops, I should  say that MINE is  - you may
     alter this to whatever will convince your Younger Self). Every so often
     along it's  length, for me  every 2-3 yards,  there is a  post somewhat
     like a fence post that  extends deep into the ground and  is conductive
     like a lightening rod. Trust mother Earth to filter any  kind of energy
     back  into simple,  pure,  undifferentiated energy  and  recycle it  to
     wherever it  is most needed. So the  shield catches incoming energy and
     channels  it down through the purifying rocks. I don't know exactly how
     to describe physically how the shield can be 
     semi-permeable,  allowing in the  well-wishes of your  friends, but, as
     semi permeable membranes  exist in Nature,  helping each cell  maintain
     its  water/salt balance,  so  can this  shield. Can  you conceive  of a
     substance both velvet and mesh? That's how it is with me. 

             Onthe justice endof the spectrum, myown Younger Selfis a bit of
     a literalist. A flat mirror  will not work for  me, since the angle  of
     incidence is complementary to the angle of reflection, which means that
     bad  energy is  actually  diverted from  the  sender and  bounced  onto
     innocent  parties.  My mirror  looks like  a  waffle, and  is optically
     designed to  send stuff  back exactly  where it  came  from. It's  also
     semi-permeable, and that  is even  harder to explain.  I guess  Younger
     Self is not altogether consistent. 

             On the issue of  choosing between the  two modes. Justice is  a
     tautology. It will do no better -  and no worse - than getting you back
     to  where you began. It protects and  maintains, but does not allow for
     growth. Perhaps  you've read  Diana Paxon's  wonderful book  "Red Mare,
     White Stallion." At the beginning, the women of the tribe have a ritual
     opportunity to  make a wish for  the coming year. But  the heroine does
     something  even  better. When  her turn  comes,  she tells  the Goddess
     "Mother,  You  choose." Had  she chosen,  she  could not  possibly have
     received  anything more than she  was capable of  imagining. Taking the
     risk   of  not   choosing   was  opening   herself   to  surprise   and

             Reading that was a mind-blow forme. Since then, I have tried to
     take Diana's  dare  as  much  as  possible, and  not  limit  myself  to
     tautology. I don't do  it all the  time, but I  stretch toward it.  The
     mirror/shield question resonates with that for me. 

             Minerva/Athena wears a shieldand helmet, and carries aspear. My
     Sister is a Warrior, but always  in defense of the community and always
     for justice.  Never for greed  or domination.  It is worthy  to protect
     what you have, and worthy to reach beyond.
         warmly / Judy 


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