The most beautiful and elabourate shields I've seen in museums and exhibitions were created by our ancestors, not for the heavy blows of battle, but for the more spiritually bling realm of ritual and ceremony.
One of my favourite examples of this is the Battersea Shield, displayed in the British Museum, London (pictured below) a shield emblazened with jewels and intricacies to display the owners power and cultural class.
Perhaps this shield was made to protect the bearers spiritual life, to impress the Gods or to show their tribe/family name as worthy and strong. Whatever the reason, the Shield has been for thousands of years the ultimate symbol of protection for people all over the globe.
In this day and age in the UK we thankfully, currently do not require shields to ward off physical attacks, however the power of the shield can still empower and protect us in our spiritual and personal endeavours.
The shield can keep the world at bay whilst we do some profound inner healing work - and sometimes the most profound healing work we can do *is* to keep the outer world at bay and allow the deeper healing to take place.
For those working in the spiritual, psychic and healing domains the 'psychic shield' is a commonly used term to be sure that other people's energies don't interfere too much with our work.
For me the shield is also a symbol of our highest ideas, and demonstrates our alliances with certain totem animals, deities or angels. The shield can be a sign of a community, a clan, a joint tool which connects the bearers.
Painting our power animals and power symbols onto anything with focused intent is a hugely powerful experience in itself, (as is over using the word 'power') but painting them on to an object like a shield has for me been a really special experience, reminding me of the protective aspects of certian animals which we work with.
Over a year ago i was mulling over the idea of painting shields, and it was left in the official 'Huge Laura Treasure Chest of Ideas and Half Remembered Dreams (as a half forgotten dream is a sad thing indeed!)
Recently, potentially when I needed it most, the idea came back to me as a reality and I painted my first shield which was inspired by a beautiful experience I may well share another time.
So here is my first Totem Shield, the White Stag Totem Shield.
For me personally this represents sooo many things and much magick, however in general the myth and folklore of the White Stag is pretty awesome. In Celtic myth the White Stag appearing meant the Otherworld was near, this Stag is a creature of Faerie, a king and deity in his own right. He is the magical heart of the wild wood, and appears at times of emotional cleansing, clearing and release. He can represent strength through purity and gentleness. Depsite the White Stag's pure and gentle energies, he can charge and disapear if his kind heart is taken advantage of.
The wildness of nature and the highest vibrations of life, love, change and rebirth are what he brings, as well as the power to help you hold your own ideals high and to stand up for what you believe in.
The colouring and symolism of this piece resonates with the heart chakra and the beautiful green world.
So, Shield Maidens and Shield... erm Dudes (?...Not sure what the best word is for a Sheild Man) what does or would a sheild represent to you? A reminder of power, protection, a symbol of what you hold dear? Let me know!
If you are interested in commissioning your own Totem Shield please use the Contact Page to message me or leave a comment below.