Grounding is the process of connecting with and becoming aware of our physical body and its connection with the Earth. It allows us to siphon excess (nervous) energy into the Earth while allowing us access to the limitless energy of the Earth. Grounding has the effect of settling the mind and body and allowing the practitioner better focus and is considered by many to be a foundational spiritual activity.
As a daily meditative practice, grounding is said to improve and maintain health; physical, mental and emotional.
As a part of magickal practice, grounding assists in the direction and maintenance of the flow of energy while reducing the stress upon the channel or practitioner.
Grounding may also be called Earthing. Earthing is a term more commonly used among the New Age and alternative healing community. Grounding is the term used most often by magickal practitioners, though I expect there are geographical differences in the terminology.
Grounded States and Grounding Things
(A note about terminology and colloquial use.)
If you have heard folks talk of being grounded, we are generally talking about our state of mind relating to our physical body and the physical world. An un-grounded state is a scattered, unfocused state. Our minds are not in tuned with our bodies, which are our own personal representation of the Earth in our Selves. Someone in an un-grounded state may be moody, unable to focus, easily distracted or feel disconnect. A well grounded person has their "feet on the ground", is focused, confident, practical. Some people are better at acheiving a grounded state than others.
When we speak of herbs, crystals, fragrances and other objects as being grounded, or having a grounding effect, we are saying that it helps us acheive a grounded state, usually by helping us focus on the element of Earth or on the physical part of ourselves or simply by improving our focus and reducing the likelihood of us falling into a scattered state of mind. A person who has difficulty acheiving or maintaining a grounded state may wish to make use of these tools.
Some adherants of grounding practice believe that grounding can be accoplished quite simly by being in contact with the Earth and touching bare earth or grass with your bare skin; walking on it with bare feet, touching it with your hands, or sitting or stretching your whole body out on it.
Others believe that grounding is a more complicated operation, requiring meditation and visualization in addition to making contact with the Earth.
Some will say that meditation and visualization are only necessary when direct contact with the Earth are impossible.
Grounding meditations often involve visualizations connecting the practitioner with the Earth. A cord my be visualized from the practitioner to the center of the Earth, or the practioner may visualize themself as a tree with roots reaching deep into the Earth. Many utilize the chakra system, activiting the solar plexus and/or the root chakras as part of their grounding exercise.
Grounding for Magick
Grounding is a basic technique that is often taught early on in a magic-user's training. It creates an energetic foundation that allows magic-users to use personal energy to perform spellwork without depleting themselves. Often, an involved ceremony or spell can leave magic users exhausted, physically and mentally and feeling disconnected and spacy and may suffer headaches as well. Grounding can serve as both a preventative and a remedy for this situation.
Grounding before a spell or ceremony helps magic-users focus and improves the chance of success by reducing the likelihood of internal distractions or that practitioners will become exausted or distracted and lose the "thread" of the ceremony or spell before it is complete.
Grounding after the completion of a ceremony or spell helps return practitioners to a "mundane" state. It brings their minds back into the "real" world, allowing them to function and perform mundane activities, like driving home after the ritual.
Grounding before a ceremony is often accomplished through meditation and visualization. In a group setting, the group leader will often lead the participants through a guided meditation to accomplish this. These meditations are often combined with centering. (Grounding and Centering Sacred Tree Meditation. Also, the quarter calling ritual done as part of the opening (and closing) of many ceremonies is often effectively grounding.
After a ceremony, assuming grounding took place at the beginning, re-grounding can be acheived by simply reminding practitioners of their physical bodies. Eating food at the end of a ritual is very helpful here as it not only forces a return to the physical, but it helps to replenish energy that may have been lost during the activity of the ceremony.
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