This talk was given by Mathair in the Craft Basics talk on Friday 3rd May 2005. The topic for the talk was Grounding & Centering.
To ground yourself is to connect your energy from your center to that of the earth, giving yourself a “lifeline” if you are going to do meditation, spellwork, or even astral projection. Grounding keeps your energy flowing, and keeps it cleansed. You will be able to keep your focus better, and you won’t lose yourself in the outer regions of the universe.
Grounding is useful in stressful situations. If you find yourself getting anxious, worried, or stressed, ground yourself and let the negativity flow away to be cleansed into energy you can use in a positive way to alleviate – not the stress or worry, but the cause of it.
Centering is the process of finding the center of your energy flow and your spiritual essence. After centering, you will be in complete control of your energies, and you will be able to isolate and get rid of anything that isn’t “you” or “yours”. Knowing the difference between “you” and everything else is a necessary starting point for anything that might contact other energies or places (like scrying or astral projection). The phrase “pull yourself together!” has its roots in this process. Centering sets up a perfectly controlled energy flow within you.
How to Do It
Sit in a comfortable position.
Breathing deeply, send your energy down through your root chakra (base of the tailbone), and send a lifeline or taproot of energy down into the earth to be cleansed and returned. You will feel only positive energy coming back up to you. With each exhale, send energy down, and with each inhale, bring new and cleansed energy back up to your center.
Some people also send a lifeline up through the crown chakra (top of the head) into the universe to serve as a second conduit. Personally, I feel this diffuses the energy a bit too much. I find the bi-directional exchange with the earth through the root chakra to be quite sufficient.
When all your energy is renewed and cleansed, and you have a solid root system into the earth, you are grounded.
Another method of grounding is visualization (this works best standing): Picture yourself standing in a field. Watch yourself slowly transform from the top down into an oak tree (or a tree that you have an affinity for). See the branches form, and watch the leaves grow. Watch your trunk and legs turn into the tree’s trunk, and your feet become the roots that actually grow down into the earth. When the tree is completely grown and you are completely the tree, you should be grounded.
Another concept of grounding is to give back to the earth all the power that wasn’t used during a ritual. If you have drawn in energy and given power to your spell, you usually have some left over. Take all the unused power back into yourself, and squat or sit down. Place your palms on the floor or on the ground, and send the energy down through them into the earth for the earth to use as it wishes. Eating also grounds energy, as you will use energy to process the food. This is why the cakes and wine part of the ritual always comes at the end of the working! Also, if you will be doing a particularly energy-intensive working, try not to eat beforehand. I will skip dinner before a celebration ritual, lunch and dinner before most spellwork, fast for 24 hours before a complicated working, and I fasted for three days before initiation and elevations.
Close your eyes and focus your attention on the center of your being, usually right behind your belly button. For some people it’s slightly higher, even as high as the heart. This place should make you feel perfectly balanced. If you’re a dancer or acrobat, it’s the same center you move from.
When you are perfectly centered, someone could come along and shove on your shoulder while you’re sitting, and you won’t topple over. You can also find your center while standing, lying down, or getting ready to do physical activity.
Take mental stock of yourself, and try to isolate “you” from anything that is not you. Your own energy should feel very familiar and comfortable. Other energies may feel sharp, spiky, ridged, too hot, too cold, or like it doesn’t fit you well. Take stock of your feelings – good and bad – and recognise them as part of you. Accept them. Take stock of your thoughts and dreams. As you practise, you will be able to find thoughts and feelings that have come in from outside sources, such as the problems your neighbour was whining about this morning. Roll all the energy that isn’t “you” into a ball or cylinder.
Send the energy that isn’t “you” down to the earth, but ask the earth to take it away, purify and cleanse it, and use it for its own purposes. This is a way of giving back to the earth as thanks for cleansing your own – you’ve given it more energy to work with. Continue sending and receiving until you feel totally refreshed and renewed.
When you are perfectly balanced, and you’ve isolated everything that isn’t “you”, you’re centered.
As you practise, and you should do this every morning to start the day, and every evening to relax before bed, you’ll be able to ground and center in one to three deep breaths. You may need a breath or two more after a very stressful situation. You can also do this in a bath or shower, especially just before a ritual, to feel cleansed inside and out.
You may also find that it works better to center yourself first, and then ground. Or you may find that you can do both at once. Experiment and see which way works best for you. We are all different, and our energy flows are very personal. Part of the joy of Wicca is self-discovery. You will be learning more and more about YOU with everything you do.
With thanks to Mathair for writing this and leading the talk.