When I was younger, I use to watch a telenovela with my mother called Pasion de Gavilanes. I’ll spare you the finer details of the plot (because in true telenovela fashion, it’s insane), but there was one point near the beginning of its run where three brothers decided that the best way to get revenge on a wealthy family was to pretend to be hired construction workers contracted to build a house on the property. If you’re thinking that doesn’t make sense, you’re right, and also don’t worry about it. It’s not the point. The point is, these brothers were not very good at building a house. For one, they started with walls… No blueprints or concrete slabs… Just bricks that they stacked like adults playing with a Lego set.
Some of you immediately know why this is a problem. As you can imagine, it wasn’t long before the walls came tumbling down, nearly crushing the very woman who hired them. The remake, Tierra de Reyes, does at least try to rectify this stupidity. When THESE brothers built the house, they laid a foundation before building the walls and they followed the blueprint left by the architect. They even consulted with one of their contractor buddies. But, we find out later that one of the brothers was purposely messing with the concrete mixture, adding saw dust to cut costs and pocket the profits. So, at least when this house collapsed on itself, it was less to do with stupidity and more to do with one of the brothers being criminally liable.
Who knew that one day these shows would one day serve as a perfect metaphor? In both cases, the critical problem with the house began with the foundation. It was either absent completely or the integrity was compromised by an outside force. Needless to say, in either scenario, had a proper foundation been constructed, both houses might still be standing. I say ‘might’, because let’s be real… That first set of brothers weren’t the sharpest swords in the armory.
It’s easy to look at them and shake our heads, remarking on their foolishness. But, on a spiritual level, some of us are guilty of doing the exact same thing. We try to build upon a weak foundation or, in our haste, we begin constructing walls and working with energies before we have a place for all of it to center. This is why one of the most important things we can do before any meditation, ritual, or performing any spell work is grounding.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the best at grounding. I tend to have a very distracted mind, and shutting it off is a challenge for me. I am a tactile learner, so unless I’m touching it or manipulating it, it’s difficult for me to focus my thoughts on a single thing. But this is exactly why I have to ground. Distracted meditation is not meditation. Being distracted during rituals and while working spells increases the likelihood that neither will accomplish what you intend. The walls can’t hold up because they have nothing to support them.
We know that a person is more likely to perform a task successfully if they are feeling energized and well. Being sleep deprived, anxious, emotional, uncomfortable, and unfocused make all tasks difficult, not just spell work or meditation. Thus, grounding is essential because it helps to balance the flow of energy within a person which is particularly important if you are carrying negative energies. Though meditation without grounding is frustrating and generally hard to do, magic and rituals without grounding can potentially be disastrous. Aside from the spells not working or doing what you want them to do, you could walk away feeling even more out of alignment than when you began.
How to ground
The generally accepted rule is that it is best to be outdoors, barefoot, on a patch of grass or dirt. After all, grounding is about calibrating your energies with the unlimited energies of the earth. In order to tap into these energies, close your eyes and imagine roots descending from the soles of your feet into the earth. Visualize the energy as it flows from the roots throughout your body, feeling as it balances and centers you, clearing away negative energies and distracting thoughts. The process may be quick for some, but for others who are like me, it may take a bit longer. It may also vary. There are times it takes me only a minute or two before I feel relaxed and grounded. The more you do it, the easier it becomes to calibrate your energies through grounding.
One of my all time favorite methods of grounding is through water. Bath time is an important time for me, and it is where I do a good deal of my grounding and meditation. Water is a strong and cleansing element, and so often I find it helpful before casting my circle and working spells or performing rituals. If you don’t have a bath in your house (I’m sorry), it’s the same principle in the shower. I also strongly recommend rain cleansing to help balance your energies. However, I do not suggest doing this during storms that produce lightning or damaging winds. Safety first.
Grounding can also be done through meditation. As a Reiki practitioner, I find it beneficial and essential to ground before each session. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to go outside to do this. Instead, I find a comfortable place to sit, hands in prayer position (gassho) as I visualize energy flowing through me. There are techniques specific to Reiki, but you don’t have to be sitting to ground. You can stand or lay down as well, whatever is most comfortable for you, and as you breathe, imagine your roots going down into the earth as if you were outside.
While one should ground before casting spells, it is also good to ground afterward. In fact, with some activities such as spirit work, out-of-body or astral projections, certain hexes, or dream work, it is actually better to ground after and not before as high energies aren’t ALWAYS a bad thing. A good way to do this, aside from the previously mentioned methods, is to eat a good meal. I personally like to fast before I work any spells or perform rituals, so afterward, I treat myself to a hearty meal. It is easy to want to scarf it all down, but you should take your time, concentrating on each bite, noticing the different tastes, textures, smells, colors, etc. Think of it as running a marathon. At the end of each race, there tends to be an area where athletes are given foods that are high in nutrients and vitamins to help them recover after putting strain on their bodies. It’s the same principle.
Stones are also sometimes used to aid in grounding. The best stone for this is hematite. It is relatively easy to find, reasonably priced, but it can be brittle so be careful not to be rough with it.
For any witch, grounding is extremely important when working with energies. However, its benefits go well beyond performing spells or rituals. Grounding is good for the mind and the body and could easily be incorporated into your daily routine. For those just beginning, start small. Take five or ten minutes to ground. If you can’t do it right away, that’s fine. Keep practicing and soon it will come easier to you. Once it has become a staple in your day-to-day, you will notice how relaxed and balanced you feel.