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How do you ground and center?

This post was written by Elysia
on October 15, 2009 | Comments (10)

I love trees, but I really don’t enjoy being one.

Let’s talk about grounding and centering for a minute today. Everyone who’s read books on witchcraft, Wicca, magick or even New Age topics will likely have read umpteen versions of instructions on this important practice. One of the most common is to imagine you’re a tree – your roots plunge deep into the earth, drawing life-giving sustenance and energy from the core of our planet, and your branches reach into the sky, drawing down the light and energy of the cosmos. Or something along those lines.

My problem is, I really hate growing roots. It gives me the feeling of inertia, of being trapped, of being pinned to one location. In my twenties my motto was “a rolling stone gathers no moss” and that’s exactly how I wanted my life to be. I wanted to keep moving, rootless, accumulating nothing – no moss, no house, no car, and so on. And that’s exactly what I did for many years.

Now in my thirties, I feel pressured to “settle down,” especially in terms of buying a house. That’s just another thing I can’t come to terms with – committing to one plot of land on the planet, and being a slave to it through mortgage payments, upkeep and the like.

So it’s definitely a personal, psychological issue when I say that I don’t want to imagine myself like a tree, much as I love them. I don’t want to put down roots – they’re so terribly permanent. How do you move on with the rest of your day if you’ve just planted roots while grounding and centering? It’s not a literal question of course, but metaphorical. Does grounding slow you down? Fix you in your thinking? Leave you pinned to one moment of your day? Or does it somehow give you momentum to get through it all? Or do you practice another form of grounding and centering which does not involve becoming a tree? What are your favorite practices for grounding and centering? Does it make you feel at peace, or does it fill you with energy and drive? Can it do both?

Reader Comments

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#1 
Written By Abby
on October 15th, 2009 @ 10:48 am

I use exercise to ground myself. For me, it both gives me energy and peace at the same time. I can release stress, both physical and psychological, and afterward, I feel calm, driven, motivated, and free. I’ve been so frustrated since starting grad school because I haven’t had as much time to get that release. It’s affecting me in a very negative way. I’m much more unhappy and moody, and I feel like my life is chaos. Thurs/Fri/Sat I get the chance to exercise most weeks, and I feel SO much better.

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#2 
Written By Amy
on October 15th, 2009 @ 12:59 pm

I feel the same way about buying a house. It’s way too permanent. I guess I like being able to pack up and whisk away to somewhere else at the drop of a hat (or when your lease is up). But I found I do need a bit of a grounding in order to not feel chaotic. During one of my many office moves, my apartment flooded and my roommate and I had to move to another unit. Moving in two main aspects of life within a week was too much. One morning I burst into tears while getting ready, which prompted my boyfriend to say “Why don’t you take the day off of work and get your life a bit more settled.” Just a day to center yourself (mine usually involves running and then cleaning and organizing my home) while life is in chaos around you is what I need to ground myself.

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#3 
Written By Barbara Moore
on October 15th, 2009 @ 2:02 pm

Good question! I ground in a few different ways depending on what I’m grounding for. For magic or tarot readings, I do a kind of tree thing, but more active, like a straw where I suck in grounding energy and connect to the flow (slow and steady as that may be) of the earth and release unneeded energy back to the earth to be redistributed as needed. This calms me and energizes me in a controlled way that is easy for me to direct.

For other grounding needs, I sit or lay down and do a chakra meditation, just a short one. This mostly calms me.

Or, hold a rock. Or exercise. Or hold one of my dogs. These just make me feel good.

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#4 
Written By lada
on October 15th, 2009 @ 3:29 pm

my son had a relaxation disc to listen at night (“Indigo Ocean Dreams”) wherein an angry octopus is taught to dispel his negative emotions by lying back on the ocean floor, squiggling his back down into the sand, and tensing and relaxing each tentacle.
I find this imagery grounds and centers me…I am cuddling into the firmament of the mother, still rocked by the currents.

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#5 
Written By Miles
on October 19th, 2009 @ 11:27 pm

Not quite sure if this counts as ‘grounding’ and centering, but I usually breathe deeply and calmly, focus on becoming one with the air, and then draw in energy via breathing with each gust of wind. It’s great – my mind is cleared, I feel enegized, happy, and, most importantly, at peace.
_
Note:
It’s probably not that hard – I figured it out when I got the idea one day to re-enact a video game. Before long, I had moved away from copying the video game and before long I figured this out – in the fourth grade, before I had any clue whatsoever about real magick. But, yeah it works, and it doesn’t ‘root’ you in one place (how could it? it’s the wind!) and is quite calming. I hope this helps?
(Sorry if my mind began to wander, it does have the tendency to do that)

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#6 
Written By Miles
on October 20th, 2009 @ 12:21 am

Oh, and it works best outside where the air isn’t ‘stale’. Also, it doesn’t work as well when there’s no wind.

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#7 
Written By James
on October 23rd, 2009 @ 8:27 am

My favorite way to ground and center depends greatly on how stressed I am. If my stress levels are hitting epic proportions (which can happen when you have three sisters and two brothers at home) I find if very effective to lay in baby pose (yoga) put my third eye chakra on the ground and visualize all the negativity I feel forming into a ball, and pushing it into the Earth. I also love dancing in the rain, and have found water to be very helpful as well. While your in the shower just imagine that the water is soaking deep into your being and with it drawing out all the mal energy you’ve collected. I find that it’s particular helpful when I’m doing energy work, or casting. And when I’m outside which I’ve noticed I am quiet frequently I focus that ball of negativity I was talking about in the beginning into my hand, and send it into a tree. That way I don’t have to immobilize myself but just stop for long enough to send the energy into the tree and threw its roots back into the Earth. I love using all of the elements when I do energy work after my circle is called. So I use the earth to help me ground (tree technique) which usually segues into my energy raising (dancing). I’m a visual person so I see everything in my head which to me makes Grounding & Centering quite easy. 

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#8 
Written By Byron
on December 3rd, 2009 @ 3:55 pm

I just recently came across this blog and was intrigued by the topic and the comments in it.Yes! I do ground and center, probably not often enough(daily), but it works.Amazingly at times! And it is practical too! By practical,I mean that it can be useful to use outside of the magical circle and related practices.Once I was at work at a large nonprofit organization.I had two bosses and a self righteous secretary to deal with.On one occasion an loud emotional,argument insued between all three of them that was focused on me,while I was physically in their midst! It dealt with a job task that one of them gave me that was opposed by the other two! Needless to say,with me being the focus of their shouting and arguing with each other gave me a huge,pulsating,headache!I immediately,silently, focused upon grounding, using the tree meditation technique. I pulled energy up from the core of the earth through “my roots”.Simultaneously I drew energy down from the heavens,specifically the star “Polaris” and had the energies mix together in my solar plexis.Automatically the tension of the headache and related pains immediately disappeared much to my delight and surprise!To further balance my inner energies, I imaginatively linked to the energies of the four quarters and elements and drew their energies into the mix.At this point I was calm and peaceful within, despite the emotional storm still occurring around me! It is vital for all practicioners, regardless of what they refer themselves as,(i.e.witches,wiccans, magicians, psychics,occultists,mediums,sorcerors,)to learn and master this skill.I have attended a couple of different local pagan group ceremonies,where a newbie(newcomer)or untrained wannabee guest/visitor does not know how to ground and they get too much power from the ritual and have an emotional crisis right there on the spot,which disrupts everything!Us more experienced “heads” had to come to her/his rescue at the time! These type of occurences underline the importance and relevance of this skill.

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#9 
Written By Woogle
on March 15th, 2011 @ 7:39 pm

I tend to hop int he shower when I can, And the water calms me I direct energy from it and yes. Also the wind idea is a good one indeed… Speaking of that I’m taking a shower now.

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#10 
Written By Random Al Askendir Xtranj
on June 20th, 2011 @ 10:56 pm

I learned a technique to empower my Astral Projection (The ‘fountain’ from Llewellyn’s guide to Astral Projection), but found it didn’t really satisfy or work for me. Then I found a book about “New Avatar Power”, which included a bastardized version of the ‘middle pillar technique’ from the Qaballah. I merged the two, and discovered a work that has been the foundation of most of my practise for decades. Doing it grounds me, cleanses my aura, activates my chakra-s, and prepares me for all sorts of psychic/ magickal workings. It’s a bit long to fit in a comment, but basically you inhale ‘sky energy’ into your top chakra several times until it overflows down to the next, rinse, repeat, etc until you have filled a chakra between your feet and in the ground or floor (look up Reiki’s “developing chakras”). Then you spiral the energy down (as you exhale) into the ground ‘like’ roots (not as roots), thru the dirt, soil, rocks, crust, magma, and into the white-hot nickel-iron core of the planet. Suddenly some great female-ness ‘notices’ you, and the energy-roots you are extending become earth-energy and shoot straight back up to you as you inhale, and shoot straight all the way up thru you to cascade forth (as you exhale) from you top chakra to rain down all around you and pool at your feet; as you inhale, it shoots straight up thru you, rinse, repeat, going faster and faster until you are inhaling and exhaling as fast as you possibly can, then blast the extra earth-energy back up into the sky with one great big exhale.
Years later I found that there are some big tantra similarities, and that the end part makes each fountainer’s aura resemble the magnetic field of the earth.

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