The proto-coven was blessed with an overabundance of exceptionally watery Scorpios, each with radically different approaches to shielding. While the differences were intellectually fascinating, however, I never had call to use any of them, as they were alien to my native ways of practice and all had various side-effects that I was unwilling to tolerate.
One such took a rather literal view of a watery aura: viewing it as a watery planet, with the most dense and personal things sinking to the core and the “garbage”—the psychic flotsam and jetsam of the outside world—floating and forming a hard crust on the outermost surface. I hesitate to go into greater detail for obvious reasons, but suffice to say that the negative side effects were exactly one one would imagine, and were entirely invisible to to the individual in question as they largely reinforced his male-socialized solipsism and emotional disconnect. Thus, I initially dismissed the technique, despite its magical efficacy, because—despite my continuing attempts to deconstruct those—I already suffer from an exceptionally bad case of those same toxic masculine narratives.
It occurred to me, however, that those side effects would be totally neutralized by abandoning the shield once I had gotten home and banished, and only rebuilding it when needed. With that in mind, I used the technique to augment my various protection talismans when I went back to the mall to work Christmas season over my winter break. Combined with my various talismans, the effect was near-perfect.
Unfortunately, I had an entirely different set of psychic challenges to overcome when I was not at the mall. Being a generous hippie soul, Aradia had permitted her room mate (also her brother) to bring in a friend who was out-of-doors. And, when it came to light that the couch monster had neither car nor job, and no real prospects of or interest in acquiring either, she did not promptly throw both both unemployed alcoholics out onto the street. Further, working two jobs already, she had neither the time nor energy to maintain her magical dominion over the space, which took on more and more of the psychic malaise of the two young men who never left it except to go to the bar. (No, we don’t know where they got the money for that.) In short: “home” was not as safe or relaxing as it ought to have been. I have found, however, that shielding and the use of protective talismans within one’s own home leads to an unpleasant sort of disconnect. So we tried other things.
My daily banishings—both before and after work—helped some. As did evicting the couch monster about a week after I arrived, and the wave of sage fumigation we did to clean out his lingering presence. As did the fiery wall of protection I threw up around the building after a particularly nasty incident between the downstairs neighbor and her own family. A major cleaning spree did wonders. The whole mess was so toxic, though, that, while things were better, it didn’t start to really get right until the dark moon, when Aradia and I burned through an entire wand of white sage over the course of two days of fumigations in conjunction with white-light bombing.
The dark moon fumigations were the most effective, after physically getting rid of the couch monster, but the fiery wall of protection was the most interesting. I started by daubing my fiery wall of protection oil (of course I left some with Aradia. duh.) on the entrances to the apartment. Then I did the same for the entrances and doorsteps of the building. Then, standing at the threshold of the property, I performed the full Qabalistic Cross and, using the power I drew down in that fashion, cast three nested circles: one around the apartment, one around the building, and one around the entire city block. Finally, I anchored the circles to the fiery wall of protection and made that structure into a semi-permanent (“semi-“ because I didn’t anchor any of it to a talisman of any kind) ward structure. The whole thing was done empty-handed, save for the oil: my ritual robes and blade were left in the temple. I haven’t practiced that sort of energy-shaping work very much over the last year and a half—it didn’t fit very well with the ceremonial experiment or Project Null. The last time I’d attempted anything on that scale, it took the aid of a half-dozen other similarly experienced witches. Perhaps if I had been more in practice it would have accomplished more.