You're a "new" pagan. You've decided to explore the psychic realm. Welcome. But now, the whole world seems to be after you, whispering in your ear, terrorizing you. You feel that evil is stalking you. You wonder if you have made the right move.
BTDT, BTT-shirt. Welcome to the "beginners terrors." I know it well. It's what you get when your abilities, talents, and energies grow/activate faster than you can learn to control them (usually due to lack of information.)
What is causing this problem? Lots of possibilities, including what you fear most. If you are telepathic and/or empathic, the world can be an unfriendly place without the right precautions. Many new seekers throw themselves open to the entire universe, not realizing that the law of nature can be a lot like Bambi vs Godzilla. There are "psychic scavengers" that serve a valid and valuable function - they feed on random and/or scattered energy. They tend to feel "hungry", and a little dark. Then there are malicious or foolish practitioners who think that magic is just a method to get control of others. Most of these don't have the skill or energy to control a gnat, much less another person, but the occasional one does.
Best advice: protect yourself. Three techiques are fundamental to this: Meditation, Grounding, and Shielding.
How to go about this? Preferably, find a basic book on meditation (preferably non-religious) and learn from it.
For a quick and dirty method, try the following:
If you can, meditate daily, it helps clear the mind, and get rid of stress. Thinking of only trees can drive away a lot of tension!
Close your eyes, and find the center of yourself. (Mathematics - center of mass) It will feel like where your body and mind come together and mesh, and you can then determine what is your energy, and what is not. The feeling of "me" versus "not me" is fairly simple -- if it feels like something that is not literally part of you, then it's probably not. If you are uncomfortable in your clothing, it will feel like it's not part of you.
Then, when you know where you are, and are not, imagine yourself "plugging in" a line to the ground, and then dumping all of the "not you" energy that you want to be rid of down it. The best visualization I have found for doing this is taking the unwanted stuff, putting it in a virtual toilet (connected to the pipe you plugged in), and flushing. This is called grounding.
Now for the defense part. Imagine yourself surrounded on all sides, close to your skin, with an energy field that acts as a selective "one way mirror". This mirror allows only the energy, thoughts and emotions to pass through that you are willing to accept (net analogy - e-mail filter or killfile), and bounces everything else back to the sender (or to a ground). This includes curses, irritation, and just plain psychic noise. Renew this visualization (even add layers to it) whenever you feel as though something is trying to cause you problems. This is your basic shield. It can also be visualized as a "force field", a "second skin", or even a "psychic condom".
A shield is used to keep out that which you don't want inside, and that includes thoughts, feelings, and energy that is not you. It can filter out a lot, or a little. It's up to you. You can also put defenses such as these on rooms, cars, lockers, etc. You don't need to make it obvious from the exterior that they are there, either. A shield should not be a beacon for scavengers to feed on, but like a raincoat that sheds the wetness of unwanted external energy.
This is a basic technique, and is taught in many forms and variants by many traditions, and requires no props or symbols, only your imagination. Please feel free to pass it along to those you may think could benefit from it.
Copyright 1999 - 2007 by Ravan Asteris. Please don't plagiarize - attribute and link if you want to quote!