energy work: 1st efforts, shielding / a funnel not a source / avoiding manipulation

icon: "ethereal (a photo of me looking at the camera from behind a lacy green plant, while wearing makeup that includes a glitter goatee)"

What do I think is happening when I do energy work? I think that people's electric fields get dirty and hungry just like bodies, but since people don't often think about them or practice tuning in, they get neglected a lot. I think that what I am doing is using my energy field to interact with theirs in a way that clears it and pulls in nourishment for them. I think that it's really pretty simple and small, but just like a snack can totally change your outlook if you really need it, or pulling a splinter out can provide huge relief, it can feel really intense. I don't think that anyone needs energy work from another person (except maybe in rare circumstances) because your subconscious is pretty good about pushing you toward things that your energetic self needs. It's just a help.

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Before I ever deliberately practiced interacting with energy, I prayed and practiced "laying on of hands" which is christian-speak for energy work. I remember the first time was when I was maybe 6 or 7, and the pastor had me stand on the stage at the front of the church and put my hands on the head of a middle-aged man who stood below. I asked what I was supposed to be doing and the pastor said "just pray for God to help him." I was devout from the age of four so this was not uncomfortable or difficult for me. I prayed, and after a little while the man fell over. I was used to people being 'slain in the spirit' but I felt very surprised that my prayer could have such an effect.

----------TW/content warning for this paragraph: pregnancy/baby scare (everything turns out okay)-------------
Later when I was about 9 or 10, I was babysitting (as a "mother's helper") for a three year old when the pregnant mother started having pains. They were really worried while waiting for a ride to the hospital and I asked if I could put my hands on their belly and pray for them. They eagerly said yes, so I did, and it calmed them and helped them to feel better. Then they went to the hospital, and everything was okay after (no one told me any details). They later thanked me effusively. It might have just been that my faith was calming in a moment of panic, but their reaction made me feel like I did something profound.
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The next time I remember affecting someone was when I was maybe 21 and my mom's back was hurting, and I rubbed it. Afterward they asked me if I had used a hotpack or something because they were feeling so much heat out of my hands. A few years after that I was at a free energy healing and someone passed their hands in front of me and so much heat was radiating from their hands that I thought they were holding a candle up next to my face. I opened my eyes, prepared to stop them from waving open flame at me, but their hands were empty. I was still feeling just as much heat from them so I know it wasn't some kind of trick. Since then I felt sure that energy could be shifted in a physical way by thought alone.


I definitely have felt physical sensations in my hands when doing energy work, especially with migraines. They feel like really intense static most of the time, like a constant yet inaudible screeching. I feel like these are more workable than most physical ailments because they have possibly an electrical cause? I dunno, it might just be that I try to help with migraines more than other physical ailments because since nothing else will work, might as well try. I did have one experience with Abby where they started to have a migraine and were losing vision and I did energy work and stopped the migraine (either stopped it from getting worse or put it to the 'hangover' stage, I don't remember). They said that usually once they start to lose vision even their meds don't help, but this did. I was really glad to be able to do that. When Topaz has a migraine, I can sometimes help, but it varies. They described it thus: a migraine is usually like an exposed and splintered broken bone where someone is jabbing at the wound with a finger. I can't help with the broken bone, but I can stop the person from jabbing at it. Topaz says that usually they just feel relief while I am actively working but sometimes it lasts after. Sometimes when they have just a regular headache I can make it go away completely during, and feel somewhat better after.

The most pronounced physical sensation I ever experienced was when I was doing energy work unintentionally on someone with MS. They had asked me for a massage to help with their chronic pain and explained how to do it (in a way that I would now clearly envision as energy work): I was to do light sweeping rubs all over, in a direction from the outer limbs to the heart. I wish I could remember more specifically. Anyway, it was the second time I was doing it and my ears started ringing, I got intense vertigo and felt weak and I had to go lay down on the floor for like 15 minutes, while my head wouldn't stop spinning. I felt very bad about it but even though I tried to push through I just couldn't. I only recently learned (or remembered) that vertigo and physical weakness are symptoms of MS -- I think I was probably tapping in to their experience without realizing. All I knew was that it was kind of scary and I must have made some kind of mistake. This was before I had ever practiced shielding.

I used to have such a problem with picking up other people's energy that going out in public was hellishly draining. I went to a "woman's healing" group for survivors of sexual abuse and one of the things they taught us was how to not pick up other people's burdens. They emphasized that we couldn't help others by taking on their pain. Instead, they said that we should put up shields and if we wanted to help someone and that person wanted our help, act as a facilitator to let 'God' take their burden. I felt such a huge difference when I began to shield against the randomly broadcast emotions of others: I could go out in public without coming home feeling raw and wretched. Also, when I practiced being a funnel for Godde's love I could help others without making myself useless for days. Later (last year) I took a class on energy work and they said the same things in different words, affirming my experience.

I almost always do energy gifting/blessing as a funnel from the universe or from the person's own deity if they have one who wants to give to them at the time. When I do energy work on people, it's mostly me sensing where something has attached to their energy that is hurting/blocking them or sensing where they feel a lack, and then pulling out what doesn't belong or calling for what they need and sending it in. All of this is happening not with my eyes but with my hands - sort of. I use gestures because that helps me to focus my intention, but I don't often have a physical sensation in my hands unless the issue is something malignant or physical. I feel safe just feeling around and going by intuition because I don't think people can be damaged from energy work as long as the worker isn't trying to assert their own will.*

I consider it a very bad idea to try and give away my own energy. I consider doing that to be damaging myself and probably influencing the other person in ways I can't fathom. One of my early healing processes was pulling back the pieces of myself that had been given away or stolen by others, and it astonished me how much more control I had over my own thoughts and feelings without these constant influences from others. Considering this, I feel that it would be unethical of me to accept other people's energy if I feel that them giving it would damage them. So, if someone uses a method of energy work or prayer that involves them giving a piece of themselves, I am not okay with them doing energy work on my behalf.

Also, if someone wants something from me that I'm not wanting to give right now, I am not okay with them doing ANY kind of energy work or prayer on/about me, because I feel it's very likely that they'd end up subconsciously trying to manipulate me. I don't think it would work because I shield from that, but it would take energy from me to push that away. I got a birthday card from a relative once that seemed harmless enough, but just touching it made me feel terrible, and I think it's because they were trying to pray the gay away.

*I do my best to only do energy work that is NOT manipulative. What this means in practice is that I won't do energy work or prayer that involves choosing a particular path to a goal or anything that involves pushing someone toward a specific choice. For example, I consider it okay to do a spell for getting closer friends, but not okay to do a spell for a particular person to become a close friend. It's okay to do a spell for my work to be noticed, but not to do a spell for my boss to think that I am smart. I will do spells for anything that could happen by chance. I will not do spells that push on someone's will. I feel that a lot of magic is about chance, randomness, so I will always be vague enough that there are at LEAST three ways a 'yes' could happen.


Recently I asked who would want to be a name in a jar for me to occasionally send energy to, but I didn't explain. Here's how that would work:

I would sit in my sanctuary and pull a circle from the jar, read the name aloud a number of times while picturing the person, and then I would reflect on what I know about them and 'ask' what they need (or go check my list to see what they had said was okay to send to them). Whatever came to mind, I would envision coming their way. So, if I got the sense that they needed rest, I would picture them sighing in relief and relaxation and I would come up with a short phrase to repeat over and over while thinking about them, something like "all chances for rest are extra nourishing." (I would NOT say something like "plenty of sleep and plenty of down time" because that might be the opposite of what they need!) I'd then open up my crown and pull in energy from the universe which I would envision flowing into me, out of my hands, to them. I'd do this until I felt done.

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pallid_regina ══╣╠══
Interesting read. I find energy work fascinating. I was at a public event a few years back and actually felt someone manipulating me, rounded on her and asked her just what the heck she thought she was doing. Turns out she was a Reiki practitioner and she thought I wouldn't notice. Um, WHAT?! Energy rape is NOT OK, you always ask! It was very strange and it kind of kick-started a consideration of energy work etiquette in my mind, what if I hadn't been able to feel what she was doing? Such a strange and interesting area of interaction.
eristic_writer ══╣╠══
I'm not trying to be a jerk here, but I feel like using the term energy-rape to refer to someone sending thoughts/energy your way against your will is not only extreme, but diminishing of actual rape, which is a lot more than just a "strange" experience.
pallid_regina ══╣╠══
As a rape survivor, I respectfully disagree. Being raped is having someone take your power away - your right to choose what happens to your own body. Manipulation of one's personal energy without consent is absolutely rape, even if it is meant in a positive way, because I didn't get to choose to allow that person to be in my personal space, my personal energy, and I didn't even have the right to say, "Hey, fuck you, I WANT to wallow in my own psychic filth" which I absolutely have a right to decide for myself. Positive priviledge isn't a valid excuse to enter someone's space - physically or energy-wise - and realizing that is what made me start considering energy work as more complex than it initially seems. It's an interesting consideration, really, and one I've spent some time on. I might send general energy out into the world, send some love to someone I know is struggling, but to actually enter and manipulate someone without asking them? That's not positive, that's thinking you know what is better for someone than they do and, on some level, knowing it because you won't take a moment to offer basic human courtesy and ASK.
eristic_writer ══╣╠══
Thanks for your feedback. As a rape victim myself, though, I continue to find the term offensive. I'm not disputing how upsetting it would be for someone who believes in energy to have this done to them against the will. But lots of things are morally reprehensible and deeply damaging without being rape.
belenen ══╣contemptuous╠══
I cannot believe someone would do that. Well, I can, but it is so INCREDIBLY vomit-inducingly wrong. I understand your reaction! It's a very intense intimacy and a massive violation to have someone do it without consent, especially deliberately.
endless pencil
song_of_copper ══╣endless pencil╠══
Hm, considering some recent health issues, I feel like I'm reading this at a very appropriate moment. Are there any resources you would particuarly recommend re. shielding oneself from others' energy?
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
sorry it took me so ridic long to get back to you on this comment, I never saw it! (btw, you can always email or message me if you want a quicker response) If it's still relevant, I'd shield from others energy in several ways.

If the energy is already in/affecting me, I'll clear them out by taking deep breaths and envisioning breathing out the negative feeling and bringing in positive, or by burning incense, or by shaking bells. Sometimes I envision sending down roots to the center of the earth, burying them in plasma, and having bolts of bright energy come up the roots and burn out anything that isn't good for me.

When I know I am going to be around someone from whom I will need to shield, I tell myself affirmations. I repeat several times "I am calm and nothing can harm me" or "I am safe and whole" or something similar while envisioning a protective bubble forming around me and then thickening to only let good in.

When I am in the moment and feel waves of someone else's feelings coming at me, I envision myself pushing it away, and will often do a small gesture to make this more real to myself (like, just holding my palm vertical to the floor and flicking my fingers from touching my palm to straight up). Then I do the bubble thing, with eyes closed, just visualizing it.
song_of_copper ══╣francoise╠══
Thank you for this reply, and no worries re. time taken! :-) I feel like these kind of techniques could definitely be helpful. It's when someone has good intentions but inappropriate volume/intensity that I find I have difficulties, and something that gently and positively reinforces oneself and one's boundaries sounds like a very helpful thing.
kiwi ══╣╠══
Your statement about not being able to help others by taking on their pain hits close to home, as I have been on the receiving end of similar statements more often than I can count.

What it took for me to finally get that thought through was when someone changed the wording slightly and while it may not be completely 100% accurate to what you're describing, it strangely helped me to take this approach - don't try and take away the experiences others have had or are having. It's their experiences and by trying to take it on, it can be mistaken as "you're not strong enough or well enough to deal with this, let me deal with it for you". (I had a couple of people actually tell me those words.) It's one thing to's another thing to over-help.

Again, probably not 100% "right" but you made me think of it when I read what you said. I have to remind myself often (daily, hourly sometimes) that I can't help others if I don't help myself. Yet I still won't take bathroom breaks. ;)

Regardless of the wording, it's a valuable lesson.

I love the idea of sending out energy. I think it's an amazing gift.
belenen ══╣artless╠══
It's their experiences and by trying to take it on, it can be mistaken as "you're not strong enough or well enough to deal with this, let me deal with it for you"

So true!
chillychilly22 ══╣╠══
I think energy work is interesting and I really enjoy reading about your experiences with it. I'm of the mindset that it won't work for me because I'm too dense to "get it". I also am afraid of what will happen if it does work, so either way I cut myself off from the experience. Have you worked with people who said they were open to energy healing but unknowingly blocked themselves off to you?
belenen ══╣aquarius╠══
I don't think you are too dense to "get it" but I understand this fear! I had the same, especially with worrying what would happen if it did work. Setting out a block of time to explore it helped, as well as practicing with other people.

Yes, I have, but not long distance -- usually what I do is tell them I feel blocks and ask them if they want to break those down and if they do, I'll do eye contact and synchronized breathing or something like that to start, and maybe ask them to try to feel certain things (like, they put their hand out and close their eyes and I ask them to feel the color of the energy that I am sending into their hands from mine an inch above). If they are trying to sense me, it makes it easier to receive from me.
meri_sielu ══╣mabonlady╠══
I feel much the same about not being able to take away other people's pain through my own energy. I'm very empathic and so feel others pain physically within my own, and sometimes even as a physical affect on my body. It can sometimes be incredibly painful. :(

Interesting read, thank you for sharing. <3
belenen ══╣connate╠══
*offers hugs* I feel you.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
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Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.