The next several articles in this series focuses on active self defense techniques. Shields are static and function as a wall against incoming psychic attacks. They are good for a baseline defense and good for situations where there is a persistent and consistent level of attacks. If one works in a hostile workplace, a shield serves to provide a buffer against the atmospheric hostility's effect on your spirit. While they can be focused and strengthened, they do not work very well in instances where the threat level varies in a short span of time, unless that level is rapidly dropping.
Just as there are physical self defense techniques that turn attacks aside and uses the attacker's momentum against them, there are psychic self defense techniques that will turn attacks aside and use the attacker's energy against them. This was, to some extent, previewed with the mirrored shield. A mirrored shield reflects the attacker's assault back on them. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to put a bit of a push or some direction on how that energy goes back to them. These 'turning away' techniques are the simplest of the active self defense methods accessible.
Often accompanied with a physical gesture, the defender throws the attacker's energy back at time, sometimes adding a measure of their own for extra effect. Ancient gestures such as the fig sign have changed in their interpretation by the public in many areas, but they remain effective as warding gestures.
The fig sign is made by placing the thumb between the index and middle finger as the hand is closed into a fist.
The Mano pantea is an ancient Roman warding gesture. It is made by raising the right hand, palm outward, folding the pinky and ring finger.
The 'horns' sign is made by curling the thumb, middle finger, and ring finger towards the palm while extending the index finger and the pinky. As a warding gesture, it is presented with the palm upwards at waist level. As a gesture of grounding energy, it is pointed palm outward and down towards the ground.
All three warding gestures are made when the attacker has turned their back upon the defender, gesturing in their direction. The use of warding gestures have been used since antiquity and function to catch the attacker's energy and send it back to them along the line made between the gesture and the attacker. They are more effective when there is not something between the defender and the attacker but will still work when there is something between them as long as the gesture is made in the correct direction.