This post is a carry-over from the old blog, one I never got round to sharing. I was in the middle of getting it ready to go when *certain* things happened on a *certain* social media platform (thankfully I’m not involved, so the timing couldn’t be better.
Hot. Scorching. Shifting. Disorienting. Draining. Extreme. Inhospitable.
These are all very accurate descriptors for the desert climate like the one pictured.
Looking for something in the desert is like looking for a needle in a haystack, multiplied to the nth power. Even if you have the skills, good. fucking. luck. Guess what? A sandstorm is blowing in and will reach you in 3.7 seconds. How about a nice flash flood? Oops, that thing that bit you? Probably venomous. Too bad the nearest hospital is you’re-definitely-gonna-die-horribly-and-painfully number of miles away.
Yes, there are plants and creatures – and even people – who survive there, but they are uniquely adapted and have learned to exist in an environment that doesn’t gaf about you through absolute ages of trial and error. The average schmo? Ehhhhh not so much.
This is why a desert visualisation exercise or shielding system is so effective.
It goes without saying, you have to be able to survive in the desert where you hide! If it is a desert of your creation, then it will be your natural habitat and you should be fine (you’ll also be able to adapt it to your needs as they change). In my case, my ability to operate under and thrive in the harsh conditions was a gift from an animal not-quite-guide, who also passed on the battery technique. Gotta give credit where credit is due! #thankslilbuddy
The reasons for needing a safe place to go-to-ground are many. I find it very helpful when I’m feeling overwhelmed and need a break from intrusive thoughts and too much shit in my own head – I can escape my own angry-drunken-gun-wielding octopus mind by chillaxing in sunnier climes. If you follow a magical practice of any kind, shielding is part of Majizz 101. It’s even useful as a kind of background operation for dealing with social anxiety especially. You set “yourself” up in the safe place before having to be around people, thereby protecting “you” from being affected by their energy.
When you get started with the visualisation process, first step is to get comfortable in the environment and learn how it works. It is helpful to have reference material to draw from; watch videos on youtube or look at image galleries; memorise how things like shifting dunes and drops of water hitting sand move and look like.
Feel the sun beating down on you and let it warm you, rather than burn; dig your hands into the sand – is it fine or coarse? note how the temperature changes the deeper you go; experience what it’s like when the air is still and oppressive and searing like the interior of an oven, and when it whips the sand into millions of knives.
Be wholly and completely a natural part of that place.
And then comes the good stuff.
Think of all the ways this environment actively works to protect you (defensive) and defeat the enemy (offensive):
- the sun shines directly in their eyes, blinding them; it is relentlessly hot, burning their skin, causing dehydration and hopelessness #giveupwhileyoustillcan
- the shifting sands make it difficult for them to move, while hiding your tracks
- the sheer vastness of the space makes it near impossible to locate you, and is psychologically exhausting to anyone who tries
- the heat that permeates that place disguises your heat signature
- you can bury into the sand like a sidewinder (remember: this is your environment), providing not just a place to hide from view, but also disguising your body heat at night when air temperature drops
- sandstorms are disorienting – they hide you, blind them, and when they clear, the entire landscape is changed
- haboob winds are just plain terrifying good gods
- mirages muthafuckaaaaa
Basically, play around with it. Research the different types of desert and adapt their properties to your needs. How you approach this – and why – will obviously influence your individual “setup”, whether you believe it to be entirely your own creation or that you are a visitor (or somewhere in between). The bottom line is, I’ve found this technique to be incredibly effective and I hope it can help someone else <3
Heat wave gif from Blender Guru