Grounding as a practice is not exclusive to witchcraft and other mystical traditions. It is a tool often recommended by psychiatrists to help manage stress and deal with mental illnesses like anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder.
According to Psychology Today: “Being grounded means that we’re content with who we are. We’re sure of ourselves and have confidence in the decisions we make. Becoming grounded is about getting rid of excessive energy in the body, allowing clean energy to come through. When we ground ourselves, we’re calming or slowing down our emotions and getting more in touch with our internal and external worlds.”
I have two anxiety disorders, and I learned grounding in therapy as a way to help me cope with stress and prevent panic attacks.
Like meditation, grounding is not an exclusively spiritual practice, and everyone can use it and benefit from it regardless of their personal beliefs.
The reason grounding is such an important part of witchcraft is because, as we discussed in Chapter 1, doing magic means working with and manipulating spiritual energy. Grounding techniques help witches stabilize their own energy and increase their ability to connect with and control energy from outside sources.
Grounding is especially important to pagan witches, who have a spiritual connection to nature and draw their magical power from the earth. For pagans, grounding is a way to reconnect your personal energy to the energy of Mother Earth.
However, you do not have to be pagan to do magic, or to use grounding. Anyone who wants to work with energy needs to start by learning how to ground.
Here’s a quote about grounding in a magical context from the book Green Witchcraft by Paige Vanderbeck: “Grounding is one of the most important ways for green witches to both receive and release magical energy. Grounding is a meditative practice where you create a connection with the planet using a combination of physical contact and visualization or imagination. This creates an invisible thread that allows you to bring energy up up to you from the earth and release it back into the earth afterward. Think of it like a lightning rod, helping us channel the power of electricity and neutralize it when it becomes too much to handle safely.”
That’s one important thing to note about grounding — it creates a two-way connection that can be used both to bring energy in and to drain it out. In mental health, grounding is mostly used to vent or release excess energy, especially in the form of stress. In magic, it can be used to draw life energy up from the planet — or to release leftover energy after a ritual.
For these reasons, most witches do some sort of grounding activity before and after every spell or ritual.
Here’s a quote from Wicca For Beginners by Thea Sabin: “Before you raise energy, you should know how to get rid of it. If you carry it around in your body, or allow it to zip around your home without direction or purpose, it can have all sorts of weird effects, not the least of which is that you will feel out of whack until it dissipates or you manage to ground it out.”
You don’t need to worry about sending “bad” energy into the earth. The earth is really, really good at neutralizing energy, so if you’re dealing with stress or anger, grounding is a great way to get it out and let it go.
My favorite technique for grounding is one from Wicca For Beginners: “Sit comfortably and relax. Take a few deep breaths. When you are calm and relaxed, imagine that there is a thick, golden, glowing taproot that extends from the base of your spine all the way down into the center of the earth. It is vibrant, and it draws its energy from the earth’s molten core. See it and feel it in your mind as strongly as you can…
When you can see the taproot in your mind’s eye and you ‘know’ its reality within you, gently draw warm energy up from the earth through it. Feel and/or see the energy flow up the taproot to the base of your spine…
Feel your whole body full of glowing earth energy. Know that you are connected to the earth and the web of all life…
Once you have visualized the energy filling your body, imagine gently pushing the excess energy out of your head, arms, legs, and spine back down into the taproot, and from there into the earth. Keep your body energy, but see any energy that you do not want flowing down through the taproot and neutralizing in the earth. Feel it leave your body. You are not drained because you are not pushing out your own energy.”
For baby witches, my advice is to practice this grounding exercise several times a day. If you’ve been following along with the series you should already have a meditation practice — now try grounding yourself before and after every meditation. You can also practice grounding any time you feel stressed or overly emotional.
Some other easy ways to ground yourself are:
- Get in or near running water. Even running cold water over your hands in the sink will work. (This is my Reiki teacher’s preferred grounding method!)
- Connect with the energy of a plant, crystal, or animal.
- Eat a small portion of food, or drink a cup of tea. Really take time to savor what you’re consuming.
- Touch something comforting. This could be anything from a stuffed animal to a soft carpet to your favorite sweatshirt. Some people carry around small, smooth “worry stones” specifically for this purpose.
- Walk barefoot outside, with your feet in the grass and dirt. Grounding by physically touching the ground is also called “earthing.”
- “What Is Centering? What Is Grounding?” by Diana Raab PhD
- Green Witchcraft by Paige Vanderbeck
- Wicca For Beginners by Thea Sabin
- “30 Grounding Techniques to Quiet Distressing Thoughts” by Crystal Raypole, medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., PsyD.
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