I’ve always been very sensitive to other people’s energies, and was often uncomfortable in situations where there are large groups of people that I’m unfamiliar with. All those energies overwhelm me, and I end up feeling very withdrawn and defensive (not the best mood to try and party in). I eventually strengthened my personal energetic bodies to the point where I wasn’t so susceptible in social situations, but I still feel myself reacting as my bodies try and adjust to the energies of new people and places. When I began practicing energy work, I had to take some additional precautions in order to remain safe and healthy as unneeded energies were sloughed off by my recipients’. Over the years as I’ve developed as a healer, my natural empathic abilities have also increased. For a period of about 2 years I rarely practiced healing on anyone but friends and family, primarily because I did not have a proper place to practice out of, but I was also going through an intense healing period of shadow work, thought re-patterning, and matrix shifts. I emerged out the other side a very different person than before – more stable, more confident, centered in my sense of self-efficacy, and with a rapidly expanding spiritual persepective.
I was eager to get back into my healing work and to begin working with others. I didn’t quite realize that all those changes were going to require adjustments to my personal protective measures when practicing the healing arts. My first client finally came, and I was thrilled. I went through my old routine of personal meditations and visualizations, along with the shielding that had served me so well before. About half-way through the treatment I started to feel a bit dizzy. I didn’t think too much of it, trusting my shields, and I thought that perhaps I had been standing with my knees locked and was just experiencing some poor circulation. I bent my knees, checked my posture and continued on. All of a sudden it was like a brick wall flew up off her body and hit me in the face and chest. I was immediately in the throes of a panic attack. Luckily I had some Rescue Remedy nearby and simply had no choice but to excuse myself for a few minutes while I attempted to regain my composure.
What had just happened?? I had shielded and done all the proper protections. Maybe what I had been doing just wasn’t cutting it anymore. As the Rescue Remedy took it’s blessedly speedy effect, and my heart rate dropped back to normal, I knew I needed to meditate and find out what was going on with me and my shields. At the close of the treatment, my client reported feeling as though a huge amount of anxiety had been lifted off of her. I had to laugh. Yea! It HAD been lifted off of her, and pounded right into me! That night I meditated a bit on what had happened, and asked my guide Ganesha to lead me to the information that I would need to make whatever adjustments I needed to in order to move forward as a healer. Within a few weeks I had found my answer – which was really a combination of awakening to newly recognized truths about my energetic make-up, and also what methods I could use to aid me.
Like me, most people who are called to heal are empathic to some degree – which means that they are especially sensitive to the thoughts, emotions, and energies of other people. This sensitivity allows them to more easily tune into the subtle bodies and enact positive change. It also makes them more susceptible to the negative effects of energies cast-off during a healing session. To complicate matters, there are a certain percentage of empaths who are naturally hard-wired to be (what I’ve started calling) “transmuters”. Transmuters naturally, and usually unconsciously, seek out negative energies and absorb them into their own subtle bodies in an effort to transmute the energies from “negative” to a more useful state. When properly trained and guided this shamanic gift can be extremely powerful – but will always carry with it a high risk level. However, when it remains unconscious or untrained this can cause a HUGE problem for the healer. Healers with natural empathic abilities, or who are transmutive empaths need to take extra precautions to keep their spiritual environment very clean, and to shield and protect their subtle bodies.
There are many very basic shielding techniques out there that are very effective for most people. Generally speaking they are all variations on the same theme of building a sphere of energy around their body, and programming it with the desired intent. Some use a simple sphere of Divine White Light, and some draw on their mental bank of sci-fi images by visualizing a proton shield being beamed around them a la Star Trek. The intent can vary widely as to how a shield functions. You can program a shield to only allow positive energy to pass through, but to block out anything questionable or negative. This kind of shield would be intentionally semi-permeable. If you do not wish for anything to enter into your immediate energetic area, you can program your shield to be built from mirror, which would reflect back any and all energies that came at you. If you are worried about a conscious attack on your shield, you may wish to program it to cascade like water, so that it is constantly being renewed and it less likely to develop weak spot. Some more ideas as well as links to more advanced shielding techniques and exercises read http://www.psivamp.org/shielding.htm, and also read the follow-up which discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each kind of shield from the perspective of something or someone trying to break through it here http://www.psivamp.org/counters.htm. (Psi-vamps are a very misunderstood group of people, but to go into that would be to veer far off the course of this article. Because of their intensely empathic nature, they require constant shielding and so have some of the most comprehensive archives of practical information on the topic. I encourage my readers to learn more about the truth about psi-vamps before passing judgment. I plan to do an entry on this topic at a future date. In the meantime, exploring the host site of the above 2 articles would be a very good place to start.) Finding a shield that is effective is an experimental process, for each different kind of psychic shield will take practice to become adept at, and each will have a different effect on how your own energy can interact with the area around it.
I happen to be a transmutive empath, so I had to play around with a lot of different protection and shielding options before I came to the perfect storm of protective measures that enabled me to perform accurately as a healer without taking any energetic risks to myself. I tried several different shields, from the standard sphere of Light, to the all around semi-permeable one, and a few others working from a similar perspective. I was still being affected by cast-off energies during healing sessions. The mirror shield actually worked quite well when I tried it – but the sphere was too much protection. I couldn’t interact with their auric field to the degree that I needed to, due to the fact that my mirror sphere was effectively keeping their energies from being perceived by mine!
I ended up making a mirror “suit” with semi-permeable palms. This suit fits tight to my body, like a wet suit (but completely covering me from head to toe), so that I can get into their aura. The palms of the mirror gloves are semi-permeable to allow me to feel their energy and project energy, but it won’t allow any energy to bleed upwards. I still get the intuitive messages from my own auric field, but any energies that get too close will be repelled. My aura is easily cleansed before and after a treatment by smudging; it’s when energies get into my chakras that I have the problems during a healing session. So, as an empathic healer it will be a process for you to figure out what shield, and then perhaps even what original variation on that shield will be most effective for you overall.
There are of course other options that you may wish to consider, such as wearing a protective crystal or gemstone, or several. Some gemstones are amazing allies for the healer, whether or not they are working with them directly through a crystal healing modality. Black tourmaline and smokey quartz are two of the more dramatic protective stones available. Both form their own protective and repellent shield against negative energies around the wearer providing an extra line of prophylactic defense, while at the same time strengthening the wearer’s own energy fields. Hematite is another excellent protection stone that grounds the energy of the wearer, and transmutes any negative energy that is encountered into a more useful form. What is interesting about these stones is that they all have a high iron content. In folklore and witchcraft, iron is used to ward off negativity and protect again malevolent spiritual forces. Iron can be used to fend off cranky or mischievous fae-folk, or to create a protective boundary around your house or property line to block psychic attacks. It would seem that the effects of iron remain the same when found in natural sources, rather than just in those sources created by the forge!
If negative energy seems to affect you more on a spiritual level rather than the physical, you may wish to keep some fluorite on you to protect at the psychic level of being. Carnelian and citrine both help keep the energies of other stones clear, while aiding to anchor and ground the energies of the wearer. Black onyx is helps keep your energies stable in times of stress or confusion. Generally speaking, any coal black or deep red stones have protective qualities, but knowing exactly HOW they are protecting you can help you make the most effective choice. Make sure to cleanse your stones before and after each treatment in order to keep them in working order, and also remember to charge them up from time to time to keep their vibration vibrant and healthy.
I’ve found that in addition to my mirror suit, I need to wear black tourmaline and smoky quartz when I am healing. The repelling and strengthening effects are just what the doctor ordered for this girl! I have my pieces contained in a metal coil which I tuck neatly into my bra, so that there are no dangling gems to interfere with the flow of a treatment. It also keeps them tight against my skin at the core of my chakra system which I’ve found to be the best place for them.
Another possibility which you may wish to explore is flower essences. There is a Canadian company called Canadian Tree Forest Essences, which carries a blend made specifically for healers! The Therapist and Healer Vibrational Essence blend helps strengthen the healer’s aura and energetic matrix, while providing a continual clearing effect. It is intended to maintain the energetic integrity of the healer and encourage appropriate energetic boundaries, while allowing intuitive connections to be established. I absolutely adore this blend, and found it to be the cherry on my protective cake! I use in combination with the Universal Healing Essence from the same line, which works to repair any weaknesses or breaks in the energetic bodies by providing a firmly knit matrix. The two together are a powerhouse, and I know several empathic healers that found that these essences were the only protective measures that they need to take.
There are other lines of flower essences, of course, each with their products created for psychic protection. The other line that I frequently use is the Australian Bush Flower Essences. They have a blend called “Meditation” that provides aura repair and psychic protection while facilitating greater intuitive understanding.
On the vibrational essence note, you can very easily make gem essences, which are also taken internally like the flower essences. Simply take your protective stone(s), place it in distilled water in a sterilized crystal bowl and place it out in the sun to allow the vibration to program the water. You may wish to use a pendulum or other intuitive method to determine how long you should keep it in the sunshine. Once it is through, you take a few drops of the liquid – the Mother Tincture - and place it into a sterilized dosage bottle, which you then fill with more distilled water. Now just drop some of that under your tongue, and the vibrations will be carried into your core and ripple outwards. You can combine gem essences for a synergistic effect, and even add flower essences to them for a truly powerful combination therapy. For a more in-depth article on making your own gem essences, see http://rainbowcrystal.com/crystal/gemessence.html.
We’ve discussed many different options for personal protection, but another factor that is just as important for your spiritual health is the spiritual cleansing of your environment. Just because cast-off energies can no longer effect you personally, they can still collect in the room or home and become troublesome to the emotional stability and overall energetic health of the place. For your own sake, as well as the sake of your healing recipients, and if you’re healing in your home the sake of your pets and loved ones, you’ll want to make sure the space is cleansed before and after each healing session. Smudging is one very simple and effective way to do this. Sage is the herb par excellence for this process, but there are equally effective plants from every area and culture the world over, so don’t feel limited. Light the dried herb and waft the smoke into every nook and cranny of the space – and I mean EVERY nook. Heavy energy has a neat way of retreating from cleansing smoke and huddling in whatever places are missed by a careless smudger. Open every cabinet, wave the smoke under every couch and chair, get it up into the rafters, behind the curtains, into the refrigerator and behind the sink!! EVERYWHERE. Keep your windows wide open as you do this so that the smoke can carry away the energies that it is clearing out.
If you don’t like the smell of burning herbs, try some frankincense tears. It works by clearing out the negative by raising the spiritual vibration. I personally don’t recommend using myrrh in your cleansing blend until you are positive that all negativity is gone. Myrrh facilitates the manifestation of whatever energies are present, so you want to make sure that you only have high vibrational and positive energies left prior to burning myrrh. But there are plenty of people who use a High Altar blend (which usually consists of frankincense, myrrh, and rose, and perhaps some other ingredients) to good effect, so don’t take my word as dogma.
If smoke is a concern due to allergies or asthma, you may want to take advantage of some of the truly excellent “smokeless smudge” sprays available out there. These usually consist of a blend of essential oils of cleaning herbs, such as sage, cedarwood, juniper, etc, and many combine that will gem and flower essences for a beautiful uplifting product. I have started offering my own Smokeless Smudge blend, which combines the cleasing ang protective qualities of sage, cedarleaf, juniper and lavendar, with clear quartz elixir charged by a waning moon for greater clearing effect, and finished with Pear flower essence to facilitate calm and centeredness.
It really lifts and clears the energy of a room in an amazing way! You can also use it to cleanse your crystals (just make sure you only use it with stones that fare well when damp or wet), or your aura. I find spraying some on my hands before beginning energy work helps focus my energy and increase receptiveness to intuitive signals. Most of my clients always ask me what it was that I used, and I’m happy to tell them.
And of course Reiki practitioners can always use their Reiki and Reiki symbols to clear and charge the space…but honestly, I prefer these other methods. You may feel otherwise, so try some different ways and see what works best for you. Learning good spiritual hygiene is a skill that will not go unused. Knowing all the various ways to deal with all the energies that make its way into our sphere and our homes through psychic dust, negative emotions, illnesses, etc is very empowering. I teach an 11-week online class, Spiritual Cleansing 101 through my online campus The Lotus Academy of Spiritual Arts, so if you’re interested log on and check out the detailed course outline.
If your are an empath, or even a transmutive empathy, there’s no reason for you to ever be at risk in your healing work – or even in your mundane life. It may be a bit of a journey discovering what protective measures are best for you, but it’s actually pretty fun, and along the way you can learn a lot of things about yourself and your energetic make-up. Overall you will learn how your energy interacts with the energy around it, and by having a grasp on that, you can proceed into the world properly prepared for nearly any situation. As a healer, you want to keep your own energetic health in the most healthy and vibrant state that you can. There’s no better defense than a truly powerful and healthy energy body. Yoga, pranayama, meditation, and ritual work (such as the Hermetic LBRP, and Middle Pillar; or the Merkaba meditation from the Ascension Paradigm) are just some of the ways that you can strengthen your Body of Light. But even the best and strongest need a helping hand from time to time, so make good use of the protective tools that are available to you so you can shine your healing Light far and wide!