You Don’t Need Spiritual Protection, You Need Boundaries and Self Awareness

Nadia Hrynkiw
5 min readApr 18, 2024

I remember the first time someone told me about how they were taught to protect themselves spiritually and it still makes me cringe when I think about it. This topic comes up a lot in my work with clients and people who are entering the spiritual awakening process. It seems like an important thing to reflect on and share. I know my perspective on this topic is not likely to be a popular one, but I have found it to be true in my life and in my work as a Shamanic Healer.

When I heard about bubbling, a common technique to “protect” oneself in spiritual work, I felt the worst ick in my body. The idea is to encase yourself in a bubble of light to keep you protected as you conduct healing work and navigate the world as a sensitive person. And I must ask the question: Many people throw up this protection bubble, or some form of protection, regularly. What are we sending out to the universe by stating and reinforcing this idea that we need protection at all times? Are we not powerful enough to automatically diffuse anything gnarly that comes at us? Can we not transmute darkness by holding the light?

Well, these are interesting questions! Let’s explore a few thoughts on this subject:

Boundaries are Key

During your process of remembering who you are as a spiritual being, your boundaries will automatically go up as you come more and more into yourself (“coming into your power”). This process will take several years for most people — it took me almost 7. It means having to do some massive healing, awakening to the spiritual world, deep trauma work, shadow work, etc. This is where Shamanic Healing can be supportive. All of the things I offer in my donation-based community events help support this — Shamanic Journwywork, working with plants as allies, Ceremony and ritual, and Soul Retrieval. Eventually, so much of you is here and in power, that things just don’t stick to you anymore. When they do, it’s a great indicator of something you need to work on. What a gift to be given such clarity and not have to go looking for the next wound that needs healing!

Check Your Wounds

Along the lines of what I said above. If something is coming into your awareness or field, it’s because there is space for it to take hold and root. This is when we check ourselves for unresolved shadows and wounds.

Here are some examples:

Do you keep attracting people who are verbally attacking you? It’s likely that you are being asked to work with victim energy. This is tied to childhood, collective woundings, and deep ancestral wounds such as those related to pedophilia or abuse.

Do you have illness or other misfortune in your body? Your body is an avatar for your soul. Things that need to be looked at have manifested in the physical form. Your cancer can be unprocessed emotions that you tucked into a dimension just outside of ours. Your car accident is the universe asking you to sit the f**k down and listen to what she’s trying to tell you. These aren’t things you need protection from, they are symptoms of a deeper issue.

Are you encountering a lot of predatory energy? There is a very specific wound that makes you easy prey, and people living from the predatory energy can feel it.

Are you having nighttime visitors that torment you? Hire a Shaman to help you interpret exactly what these things are and what they represent — because you are attracting them to yourself for a reason.

When We Do Need Protection

There are some times when I know I need protection, and it’s usually pretty clear when it happens. But it is not anywhere near all the time. I may feel like I need to protect myself spontaneously and out of nowhere. I get this feeling in my body that says “I am not safe here for whatever reason.” If I can leave that space, I will.

Forms of Protection

When we do need protection, which shouldn’t be all the time, there are many forms it can take. I often call in a protector spirit if I am feeling unsafe or watched when I don’t want to be. This is where it is helpful to have rapport built with a guide who is here specifically to offer you spiritual protection when you need it. Sometimes the need is real and sometimes it is imagined, but the support is helpful regardless. If you need help identifying one of these guides and building rapport, a Shamanic Practitioner can help you with that.

When I go down to certain areas of Portland, I temporarily put some intentional walls around my energy field because when drugs are involved, things get dicey. This is mostly because I unconsciously dip into it when I see it. This has changed and morphed over the years, but the energy of meth insanity continues to be pretty strong if I choose to observe it even for a second. This experience helps remind me that I can dip my toes into any energy and immerse myself in it fully without being aware that I’ve done it. It’s a blessing and a curse lol.

Sometimes I feel like I need to work with a new plant that teaches me about protection. In this case, I will feel called to grow it, wear it, or ingest it for a period of a few weeks or months. The thing about Plant Medicine learning is that we are meant to learn our lessons, embody them, and then carry that medicine forward without having to continuously ingest them. It’s important to work with plants from a place of devotion and respect in order to understand this wisdom.

Once I felt as if I needed to buy an amulet from someone who crafted protection amulets. I wore it for about three weeks and felt like I had been attuned to the the power of that amulet after that time. Now I don’t need to wear it, I simply carry the energy of it. This is known as attunement.

Also… You don’t need to be a Shaman to do any of these things. You simply need to be taught how.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind the things I am describing in this last section require a tremendous amount of commitment to healing work. If you want to work with a protector spirit, you must cultivate relationship with them over a period of weeks to years. If you want to embody and carry the Medicine of a Plant, you must devote time and space to learning from that plant. You must respect it and humbly carry its Medicine while keeping your heart pure. This is ongoing work. The same can be said with attunement. I believe it is possible to be attuned to beautiful and healing things, but when fear takes over past a certain point, we lose the ability to hold that energy and must be re-attuned.

As with all things I discuss, nothing is black and white. Nothing is absolute. There will be times when none of these things apply, or times when you can’t see what the issue is. This is when you hire a professional to help. This is work I do, and I also have a list of other awesome pracitionors who can help.



Nadia Hrynkiw

Medicine Woman specializing in Shamanic Healing & Ceremony, Teaching, Community Building, and Founder of