The shield is the weapon of the Southern Gate — of Earth and Goda. It is the weapon of ThisWorld. It is a defensive weapon, used to guard against and deflect the dangers and assaults of day-to-day reality. It also represents the ways in which the physical realm affords certain protections and defenses against the slings and attacks of the other magical realities.
A simple shield is very easy to make and really adds to the protective, defensive magic of your home and magical space. Once it is finished, place it in a prominent location to guard your home or altar. When laying the compass for ritual, the Shield would be placed in the South.
Building the Shield
o Wooden round (a pre-made table top works beautifully)
o Heavy duty felt (available by the yard at fabric stores) – need enough to cover front of wooden piece
o Leather – enough to cover the face of your shield plus have an extra two inches all around; buy it pre-dyed or dye it according to your tastes
o Furniture tacks – to keep leather from slipping across the wood; also for creating a design; any style of furniture tacks works
o Cabinet handle – one that you can screw/nail from the front side of the handle (counter-sinking a nail or screw from the back will be difficult before you buil the shield and impossible afterward)
o Measuring tape or ruler
o Staple gun with staples
1. As with any magical crafting project, you should create the targe in sacred space. Wear your cords and call the Grove, complete with any Deities whose energy you would like to include in your shield.
2. Place the leather face down on your worktable. Put the wooden round on top of the leather and trace the shape plus 2 inches all the way around. Cut the leather and set it aside.
3. Do the same with the felt, except cut just shy of 2 inches. You’ll want the leather to cover the felt completely.
4. Place the leather face down again on the worktable. Put the felt on top of it, followed by the wooden round.
5. Fold the leather and felt over the wooden base at the top-most point of the circle. Staple it in place on the back of the shield. Do the same at the bottom, making sure that the fabric and leather are snug but not too tightly stretched.
6. Repeat the folding and stapling at the two sides, and then work your way around the entire circle. Remember to staple one side and follow it up with its exact opposite. This will keep the leather and fabric even and smooth.
7. You’ll end up with staples all around the backside of the shield, holding the leather in place.
8. Next, use the furniture tacks to tack down the leather on the front of the shield. You can make a simple circle of tacks along the outer edge of the flat circle, or tacks the outer rim of the shield. Another option is to incorporate a personal design, using the tacks, on the face of the shield. Any of these options will serve the same primary function – keeping your leather snug and secure.
9. Affix your handle onto the back of the shield in place that will be comfortable when you are holding it.
10. Use a strap of leather (or fur, if you want) to create a strap for your forearm. This will help your shield wear comfortably when you have need to hold it.
11. Finish by placing your sigil and/or bindrune on the back of the shield, if you have one.
12. Dedicate it to magical use after the Shield is complete by cleansing and consecrating the shield using your preferred method. It would be wise to call on Goda, Horse, Swan, Apple Tree, and the Southern Gate to empower this weapon.
Incorporating a Design
It isn’t entirely necessary to fashion a design onto your shield, though it certainly adds to the personal connection between Witch and Weapon. You can draw the design in pencil onto the leather, or use a paper pattern that you nail onto the shield and then remove once the design is complete.
If you do put a design on the shield with tacks, do it at Step 8.
You may also paint a design onto the leather, but be sure to do two things in this case. First, be sure to use some tacks around the edges to secure the leather. And second, use a sealant to preserve the painted design. It will flake off of the leather, otherwise.