Grounding. Centering.

Hope on Grounding:

Grounding and centering….hmmm. We all ground before and after a ritual, but we center only before, <Nettle: I center often throughout my day not just in ritual but for tasks that require focus.>  is that right? I think so. And the grounding we do before is different from the grounding we do afterwards. Or it is for me – can’t speak for Nettle or Glory.

I don’t separate the two things, grounding and centering, because if I ground then I automatically center. All kinds of books to give you ideas on how to ground prior to a ritual, so use what works for you. I do the simple ones – either imagining myself to be a tree and sending roots down deep into the earth, anchoring myself to her, or by sending a shaft of energy from the root chakra down into the earth.

Grounding AFTER a ritual is different. If you don’t ground the excess energy can make you woozy or lightheaded, maybe even a little nauseous. I learned to ground several different ways. One is to eat something prior to dropping the circle. Another is to stomp like you’re having a temper tantrum. The most intricate way is giving the energy back to the Elements.

To offer the excess energy to the Element of Air, push the energy into your dominant hand, then raise the hand to the sky and release the energy.  To give it to the Element of Earth, sit or kneel down on the ground, press your palm (or palms) flat against the ground or floor, and allow the energy to flow into the ground beneath you. Or you can gather the energy into your solar plexus and project it into a candle flame (real or imagined) to give the energy to Fire. Do much the same for the Element of Water, standing in the shower and releasing the energy from the solar plexus, to transfer into the water flowing down your body.

How to center & ground, Nettle style
I am sure that we could all do a google search and find a number of ways to help center yourself.  So google yourself some exercises that help to teach you how to train the mind to just focus on what you want your focus to be in that moment.  I myself am a yogi, I use my breath or pranayama to find my center. For me my favorite is what is called Ujjayi breath or breath with sound, it is sometimes called ocean’s breath.
I use ujjayi breath in my classes for a number of reason first being that it helps me focus on my pose and where I am in my body in that pose. This breath work helps me to find that one pointed focus or awareness into my activity. This calming or slowing down of the thoughts it what we can hope for as thinking beings.
How do I do it? Well I start by inhaling through my nose and exhaling through my mouth with a soft h sound. You keep practicing until you can make that sound with the mouth closed. In your own head you will start to hear that sound as to why it’s called ocean’s breath.  As I move though my practice I keep this breath going to bring me to a very focused awareness on my body and helps me find my center.
Grounding for me is all about connecting to the earth sinking my feet into the earth my roots growing deep I can then share any of the extra energy I have from a ritual with Mother Earth and conversely if I’m feeling drained  I can use her energies to restore myself.
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Centering, Grounding, Cleansing OH MY…

On Centering, Ground, Cleansing, Shielding and Warding from Nettle

I’m using Coyvere a lot for this post. < Coyvere “I don’t feel used.  I should be more damp” > This is really in some ways his area of expertise.

So what is centering, grounding, cleansing, shielding and warding, more importantly why should they be part of your daily practice. Really, they should be part of your daily practice.

Centering: this is when you gather your thoughts and focus your intention, which can be for meditation, prayer, ritual or just starting your day. An example would be practicing some breath works – closing your eyes focusing on the inhale the exhale lengthening the breath until even and smooth.  What you are working for is what is sometimes called one pointed focus. You have slowed all the other thoughts in your brain until you can get to the point of being able to focus fully on the task at hand. <Coyvere:  Centering is being able to focus on what you WANT to focus on and not random thoughts or environmental distractions.>

Grounding: when you have too much (or surprisingly or too little energy), it happens sometimes after a ritual or when working with energy your body feels jittery like you’ve had too much caffeine. What you are doing is giving your extra energy to Mother Earth. It is getting your head out of the clouds and focused on the mundane mortal things of life.  I always do ritual barefoot for this reason, my feet in contact with the earth or representation of the earth. <Coyvere:  You are not designed to be a battery.  Carrying too much energy is sometimes harmful.  Use it then lose it.>

Cleansing: everything always needs to be cleaned – yourself, your tools, your home, your pets, your yard, your vehicles – seriously everything.  Cleansing can be as mundane as washing something or more magically inclined of cleaning things with moon light, sun light, salt, Essential oils whatever you have on hand.  I’m always leaving my crystals or tarot cards to hang out in the full moon as well as before each use  breathing into to clean them of any past use. <Coyvere:  In the same way, you can look at basic house wards as walls that keep the dirt out.>

Shielding: is a personal bubble of energy or ward around you.  This is that classic white light in a bubble around your personal space or your aura field.  As an introvert I’m always going out shields up. <Coyvere: Really you are just pushing energy out of your body into your aura as a buffer.  That’s why introverts get exhausted in crowds – pushing shields.>

Wards: permanent protection around your home or vehicles that just keep bad shit out.  Coyvere is the wards expert. I do my own but nothing like his. His wards are complicated and what friends have called Fort Knox wards.  Mostly my two bit into the wards around the house are some EO’s (essential oils) l like – peppermint, cedar and clove that I spray around windows, doors and behind the toilets and under the sinks. These EO’s work well to keep spiders, ants and other insects out of the house.  Even better it smells nice.

Coyvere on Wards:  Wards at their most basic are the walls of your home.  You build your wards like walls to keep out the bad weather and prevent strangers from wandering into your home.  Unless you live in a field, you should have a good idea on how this works  🙂   Some people think that wards are unnecessary because they want the energies of the world to flow freely through them.  They should live in fields.  For the rest of us, a calm shelter in a time of storms is quite the thing.  If you function as a guardian in your community, you might also want to design your walls to be a little thicker and to be opaque.  There are so many wards…  Incidentally, Nettle is better at wards than she lets on.  Her plant oils draw on essences to power spells taught to her by…  teachers… and they do… stuff.

Feeling Things

I have a confession to make – I, Nettle,  have never felt that silly ball of energy that we are supposed to bounce around to one another in a circle learning to handle energy.  Never once have I felt that ball.  I pretend like I do but mostly I’m standing there pretending that I’m playing with an imaginary round rubber kick ball from elementary school.  But I have never felt that energy that everyone else claims to have felt. I can sometimes see a shadowy thing out of the corner of my eye that corresponds kind of with that ball of energy being passed around. Plant and stone or gem energy I can feel but other humans I get nothing not even a tingling sensation in my hands or any indication that I am feeling a ball made of energy.

Nil

Nada

Nothing

I’ve been practicing pagan religions for over 20 years now, leading rituals, working with plants and cooking as a kitchen witch studying yoga learning about my connection to the divine and that seed of divinity within myself and I still can’t see that fracking ball of energy.

It’s irritating

But something I think as pagans we need to talk about.  Everyone sees feels or sense magical energy differently.  It is why if you have ever worked with me in a circle or ritual knows that I tend to get up on a soap box when talking about – nay insisting – that you work on your personal symbolism from the very start of your practice. It is your personal symbolism how you see the metaphysical world that will help you to understand and to feel energy.

So before I get too ahead of myself in this post let me start by arguing semantics or language use. It is clear to me that using words like “feeling” or “seeing” magical energy has never been proper nor do they come close to encompassing what I sense when I’m perceiving magical energy.   Perception works kind of but still not even close to fully encompassing how to describe the sensations I experience when doing magic.  As silly as it may sound when perceiving energy it is a very personal set of signals that have defined my symbolism.

Hence my soap box of LEARN your OWN symbolism.

To understand or to feel magic you have to give up any preconceived notions of what magic or energy feels like. That script we all carry because of movies or television or even books that give us a preconceived notion of what this energy or magic should feels like. The reality is for most of us is not even close to these preconceived notions of what magic should look or feel like.

Then you have to learn to listen to the oh so subtle signals that becomes your symbolism for magic being around you.  So lets go back to that fracking ball of energy. I still don’t feel it… I can form one in my hands or someone will tell me they can see one in my hands. In my very active imagination of my mind I can kind of picture what I might look like setting my intention.  Yet until I get that tightening sensation under my right ribs or that drop in the pit of my stomach I don’t know I’m doing anything magical. It took me years to notice those weird quirks.

When  I work on healing someone with Reiki I don’t always feel the energy as anything but cold spots and not cold spots the cold spots are where someone needs that extra push of energy to bring some healing. But I’ve never looked at someone seen anything other than their physical body right there infront of me.

So those of you who have walked this path for years or just starting out, don’t dismay that you can not or do not see energy as described by someone else. Instead learn to focus on the subtle language of your own imagination while in magical working. Magic is trying to speak with you it just takes time for us to learn what language the magical energies use.