Wicca for Beginners: What are Grounding and Centering, and How Do You Do Them?
Wicca Lesson: Grounding and Centering
If you've ever read a Wiccan book or website, you've most likely seen directions to ‘ground’ and ‘center’ yourself. It’s so common in many Pagan beliefs and magical practices that a lot of us just take it for granted that it’s common knowledge—and it recently occurred to me, it isn’t!
These are the kinds of things that can really create a barrier for those wanting to learn Wicca, Witchcraft or a number of other Pagan practices. When you run into words and concepts that make no sense to you, it’s a bit like a brick wall falls in front of your path and obscures your view.
The technique for grounding and centering is essential not only for ritual and magic, but a beneficial practice to get into for life itself. So grab a cup of tea and have a seat-- let’s start at the beginning and break it all down, shall we?
Become Grounded and Centered
An Excellent Resource
For new Wiccans, or anyone with interest in Pagan spirituality, this book is a fairly comprehensive and well-done introduction.
What is Grounding?
Grounding is a way to reinforce your connection to the Earth. It’s very easy in our world today to lose that connection. We walk around on paved roads, sit in our man-made buildings, surrounded by power lines, under electric lights, using our heaters or air conditioners, eating food that’s been prepared and neatly packaged for us.
Don’t get me wrong—I have no illusions about how good we do have it. I’m not one of those Pagans who romanticizes ancient times when our ancestors had dirt floors and ate smoke-dried meats with maggots on it as they prayed for an early spring so the family wouldn’t die of pneumonia. Our ancestors strove to get out of nature. I personally don’t want to go back and live like people lived 2,000 years ago.
Still, Wicca is about finding a healthy balance in all things. Even if we love our modern conveniences, we don’t want to feel too disconnected to the planet. We are not in nature; we are of nature. We are part of the Earth, and reinforcing that connection is comforting, refreshing, and helps keep us stable.
How You May Feel if You're Not Well Grounded:
Lost, even when you know where you are and you have a plan?
Lonely, even with people in your life or around you
An intense emptiness inside, and you have no idea why
A longing for something, but you don’t know what it is
Tired, listless, lacking energy, even though you’re getting enough sleep
Uninvolved in what you’re doing, like you’re running on auto-pilot
General sense of apathy—you don’t care about anything, you don’t take pride in anything
- Sometimes you don’t need to go through a big ordeal to ground; once you’re fairly well grounded you can employ a lot of quick and easy techniques. Here are a few simple ways to start practicing grounding:
- Eat something. The more natural and organic, the better. Also the more carbs, the better: carrots, potatoes, apples, pears, or bananas.
- Use a crystal. Certain stones are natural grounding stones, such as smoky quarts, blue or black kyanite, or black tourmaline. Simply cleanse and charge your crystals, then wear or carry them.
- Try herbs. Fume yourself with incense. Sage is ideal— or a mixture of sage and sandalwood. I’ve also found patchouli to do the job well.
- Bathe. Include some salts in the water, and add herbs like sage or lavender if you like to further help cleanse and relax you.
- Stand or lay on the naked Earth. Find a lovely patch of grass or dirt, and just lay there. Feel yourself connecting to the planet. When I do this, I like to use a mantra: I am not in nature; I am nature.
- Try drumming. Any kind of drum or percussion-type instrument is a great way to ground. It doesn’t have to be big or elaborate—any small little drum-like item will do. Alternatively, listen to some steady drum music—something that reminds you of the heartbeat of the Mother Earth.
- Perform a meditative exercise: yoga or tai chi, for example, is a great way to help ground. If you practice martial arts like karate, practice your katas.
A Good Guided Meditation for Grounding:
What is Centering?
Centering is when you reinforce your connection to yourself. It’s bringing your energy into focus to help you feel more balanced.
We can all feel a bit disconnected at times, with our attention on the kids, the bills, the job and all our other responsibilities. You might be going through a major heartache, yet you have to put on a brave face and a smile for everyone else. You try to do one thing, then a phone starts ringing or a text message beeps. Everyone at work wants everything yesterday, and multi-tasking has become the buzzword. It's easy to become scattered and frazzled-- like you're a duck in the shooting gallery just going back and forth every time something else 'pings' you.
When you center, you get in touch with your true self, your spirituality, your emotions, your thoughts, your creativity. You are able to better put things into perspective.
How You May Feel If You're Not Centered:
Hyper-active, nervous energy, you can’t sit still and relax
Restless dreams, nightmares, tossing/turning, frequent waking
Overwhelmed by emotions and uncontrollable emotional outbursts
Self-hatred, self-loathing, self-apathy, etc.
Racing thoughts, inability to concentrate, confused, unfocused
Light-headedness, dizziness or general feelings of being 'spaced out'
Very forgetful of important things: missing appointments, misplacing items, etc.
Quick, Simple Ways to Center
- When you feel your energy is scattered, imagine that the core center of your body is like a fishing reel. Suck your breath in as you visualize yourself ‘reeling in’ your thoughts, emotions or activities. Hold your breath for 5 seconds as you envision yourself anchoring and securing that energy you just reeled in.
- Eat some chocolate. Chocolate has natural chemicals that relax your brain and boost certain hormones that help improve many body functions. This brings you more into balance.
- Be mindful of the physical senses. What do you see? Hear? Smell? Taste? What can you (physically) feel right now? Become aware of yourself in your surroundings. Savor something-- a sunset, a shower, a good cup of tea. Anchor yourself to the moment with a sensory experience.
- Lose yourself in a boring, mundane activity. Wash the dishes, scrub the floor or clean out that closet that's threatening to explode. The simple joy of focusing on a single goal and accomplishing it brings you to your center.
- Lose yourself in the creative process-- draw, paint, free write, sculpt, scrapbook, sing a song, play an instrument. When we allow ourselves to be creative and express ourselves, we get in touch with the core of our being.
- Have a good cry. Tears are an amazing release of any overwhelming energy, and are very cleansing.
- Have a good laugh—a good belly laugh brings you back in touch with yourself.
- Perform a meditative exercise: yoga or tai chi, for example, is a great way to help bring yourself back to center. If you practice martial arts like karate, practice your katas.
Good Guided Meditation for Centering:
Tell Us About You:
Do you practice grounding and/or centering?
Grounding and Centering
Grounding and centering are usually done together. They are an essential fundamental in Wicca, done before ritual, after ritual, and (often) during ritual. In Witchcraft and magic, grounding and centering can be an essential part of preparation for spells, magical workings or tapping into psychic abilities.
But grounding and centering are not activities that you need to reserve for spiritual or magical activities. They are things that you can do every day, any time you feel the need to do them. Learning to ground and center can really help you ‘get a grip’ on any moment, and bring you back to a place of balance and peace. This helps put you in your optimum frame of mind for whatever it is you're doing. They truly enhance the experience of being alive.