If you like these techniques and want more information, please check out my new book
"Essential Mysteries: A User's Guide for the 21st Century Mystic", available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.
If you prefer a guided meditation, please check out my MP3 "Grounding for ease and wellbeing".
These techniques are not bound to any one tradition or pantheon and I have seen them used in a number of different circumstances with very positive results. Take them and add then to your tool kit if you like them or leave them if you don't. However you respond to them remember, as with any magickal or energy working tool, "They will only work for you if you actually practice them."
I am going to present the ideas in a specific order because I have found the techniques work best when they build on one another. I intend to add a brief review of some necessary steps at the beginning of each article so that it will be easy to catch up if you have missed earlier ones. Some of these tools will be second nature to many of you, and to some they will be a different twist on an old favorite. There are many many great techniques out there, and these are just a few that I enjoy.
I will offer possibilities, use them as a springboard. It is my hope that, for many of you, these techniques will become a new doorway to your inner self, and that they will assist you to become more aware and present in your magical and spiritual work.
Grounding is usually the first technique that I teach anyone. This is because it is the foundation upon which everything else is built. It is very simple and very powerful. I also think it is extremely important I imagine that many of you have heard of grounding or have practiced it in some way. Most of the rituals that I have attended use this technique in some form. Since there are various ways to ground, let me start with some explanation about what I mean when I say "grounding."
Grounding is the act of consciously creating an energy connection as spirit (sometimes visualized as a cord) from your body into physical reality/Mother Earth. You are a spiritual being, and by your nature have a great deal of power and energy. Your vibration is rapid and can be intense. You have a body (yippee!!) which is an expression of you that exists in mundane reality (hopefully), but since it is made of matter the energy moves at a slower vibratory rate. (Hmmm, this sounds like a public television physics program!!) In any case when you bring your spiritual energy into the physical body more fully it can be quite a shock to the system.
Grounding helps keep the body (your sacred temple) a safe place for you to inhabit and experience life through, prevents it from becoming overly stressed. It helps to keep your energy system safe when you are doing magic or other spiritual work. It acts kind of like an "electrical ground" ( keeps you from getting "zapped" by an overload of energy). The act of grounding also brings power to your work because it aligns you as spirit with your physical body, so that you can be present and attend to what needs to be done. In addition to all of this it increases spiritual and energetic awareness.
Have you ever been at a ritual and felt slightly nauseous afterward or had a headache? Many times this is a reaction of the body to the more intense energy moving through it and not having quite enough grounding to shunt off the excess flow. This brings me to the next aspect of grounding that is important. Grounding is a technique that assists you to release energy! This is a wonderful thing. When you ground you release unwanted or excess energy, and it gets transformed within this amazing living planet, our Mother Earth, and it returns to you renewed. It reminds me of recycling in a way; you let go of what you are done with and you get it back transformed. Also, if you are releasing someone else's energy that you took on for some reason, that energy gets returned to them as well. It works out well all around.
It is my opinion that the whole energy system of Earth (which I see as our larger body, our Sacred Mother) is set up to run in this way. I believe it to be a connecting web of moving and shifting energy, of which we are meant to be a balanced part. I also feel that as more people remember and use their grounding, it will begin to revitalize the whole system as the energy begins to flow again.
I have spoken briefly about grounding as it relates to ritual, but what I want to emphasize here is that you can be grounded anytime. I highly recommend grounding while playing, eating, making love, shopping, working, driving, etc., as well as during ritual, or while meditating. Grounding brings you more fully present and conscious in your life, so that you can respond to situations rather than reacting from past experiences (many of which might be unpleasant). It will enhance whatever you are experiencing, assist you to be aware of your path, and also assist you to move through uncomfortable times more rapidly.
Something that people sometimes notice when they ground for the first time, is that they become aware of aches or pains that they could swear weren't there moments before. The reason for this is simple, if you think about it. If you come into the body more fully, you are going to start to become aware of what your body is actually feeling. If you spend most of your time with your mind in fantasy or off in the future somewhere you aren't going to be very present to what your body is going through. The minute you ground, though, you align with the body and begin to tune in to what's actually going on.
You might ask why anyone would want to feel tightness in their shoulders if they didn't have to? My answer is this: if you know what is happening and know how you feel, you can begin to take steps to release and heal whatever is causing the problem. The body has much wisdom to teach us if we will but listen. If you ignore the body it will get louder and louder in an effort to get your attention. I see many people who have begun their spiritual work because some physical ailment caused them to stop and pay attention. You do not have to wait, you can begin the process before you are "forced" to by circumstance.
The good news is: when you are grounded things that are pleasurable are even more pleasurable. You also begin to raise the vibration in the body by grounding it and being more consciously present in it; this will allow an even greater capacity for experiencing the wonders of this planet. It will in turn increase your power and awareness, making you more effective in where you choose to direct your energy.
One of the examples I always tell my classes is this: "Think of all the different books and techniques out there, all the things you can do as being like a great wall of expensive stereo equipment. It has all the bells and whistles, the CD player and the VCR and the cool speakers. It looks great there on the wall but none of it will do you a bit of good if you don't plug it in!! It really doesn't matter how much you acquire, how many components you buy, if you can't access it. It will just collect dust. Grounding is analogous to taking the power cord and plugging it into the outlet. Then you can use the system. Grounding gives you a way to access your power, because it brings you as spirit (which is the power source) into the picture. None of the techniques will do you much good if you aren't grounded."
There are many good ways to ground. I will not be touching on all of them by any means. I will pass on to you one form of grounding I personally use and enjoy. I hope you enjoy it as well. I teach grounding from the first chakra because that is the energy center that relates to physical reality. The first chakra contains information on how to survive and thrive in this reality, and since this is where we have our physical experience and where we want our healing and magic to manifest, I have found it to be a sound practice. Enjoy your exploration with connecting into this planet by grounding. Remember, as with anything, that the experience will change with time. Bring your willingness to explore and allow yourself to be open to your own deepening awareness.
Sit comfortably in a straight back chair or on the couch (as long as you don't tend to nod off to sleep) have your hands and feet apart and feet flat on the floor.
Relax as you breathe, noticing how you feel, how your body feels.
Allow your grounding cord to connect securely into the center of the planet. Be aware of your grounding cord being securely connected also to your first chakra.
Breathe and relax and experience your grounding, your spiritual connection to this beautiful planet.
Notice how your body responds to you grounding and becoming more present in it. Release tension and discomfort down your grounding, allow it to simply drain away.
Experience this, release and relax, breathe. Take your time.
Notice how this changes your experience. Breathe. Enjoy.
How does this feel? Be with this for a moment or two. (Remember you can use any of these groundings at any time, they are simply different ways to experience this connection.)
Breathe, relax, and experience.
Use your breath and release down your grounding cord, any tension, distractions, or discomfort. Notice how you feel as you do this.