Visualization is just part of the key to effective magic. What you want
to do is see, feel, smell, and sense your energy all at once. Sit down
or stand with you back straight and your shoulders slightly back and
down. Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth, relaxing
and focusing....Imagine projecting a bubble around your body. feel
warmth and "electricity" throughout the bubble as it surrounds you.
"See" the film that makes up it's walls. Smell your own scent trapped
within the bubble. Imagine warm soft feelings of love passing through
the surface like light without "popping" your bubble. Visualize and
negative attacks "bouncing off". Try to make the bubble large enough to
encompass your body, or at least your head and torso.
You can add energy to your shield by breath out slow, powerful, "hot"
breaths of air and drawing energy into your body from the earth below
you (see recharging spell). It takes practice to master, but your inner
energy is warm, pulsing, and vibrational. this is what you are pushing
outward. If you cannot "see" the boundary of your shield, very slowly
and gently try to reach out and touch its borders, at its edge you may
feel a "film" or a very slight change in temperature. if you still are
having trouble "pour" more energy into the bubble until it is more
In time you will be able to sense "weak spots" in you shield while it is
up. You will know through intuition. Don't be alarmed if you have a
hard time strongly visualizing your shield. Some people are not visually
inclined and that is ok! How do you think blind people practice Wicca?
They use their other well developed senses of course! Use your strengths
while you develop your weaknesses!
To take down your shield you can either let it "pop" and the energy
disperse into the air (good way to charge a sacred space) OR you can
suck the energy back into your body, and drain any excess energy through
grounding and centering. I don't advice sleeping with a shield up - at
least not until you are practiced enough. Shields can be useful tools
but they often draw out a lot of energy.
One last note; shields can be passive or active. A passive shield is one
you cast with minimal energy that once it is up you don't add energy
to. It is not as strong as an active shield, but does not draw energy
from within you during use, also passive shields will dissipate on their
own after a few hours. Active shields can be very strong, but they
require you to add energy to them frequently while they are in use,
which can be tiring if you don't use them often. They are the most
useful if you feel you need serious protection, but they MUST be
grounded, or they will leave you exhausted. However active shielding is a
great way to strengthen your ability to gather, project and manipulate
energy... crucial to effective magic and powerful ritual.
I hope these tips helped!