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Wicca for Beginners: What Are Grounding and Centering, and How Do You Do Them?

A Wiccan of 25 years, Sage likes to put her background as a writer and teacher to use by helping people learn about this NeoPagan path.

Ground and center are found in many books, though few explain what they mean or how to really do it.

Ground and center are found in many books, though few explain what they mean or how to really do it.

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 that 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 falling in front of your path and obscuring your view.

The technique for grounding and centering is not only essential for ritual and magic, but also 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?

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 from 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.

An Excellent Resource

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.

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 five 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

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.

© 2015 Mackenzie Sage Wright


Jeanette on July 26, 2020:

I love this!

David Brimson on April 26, 2020:

I have been doing most of the last few units, but find these lessons add a much better structure to the process, this I am sure will then splay out into my own rhythm of working... thank you for this

Kimberly Newland on December 29, 2018:

I am so lost and confused, with much inner turmoil. There is so much negativity around me that I don't know if I can get centered and grounded. I want this so much. I want to be free to be who I think I really am.

Sonia on November 14, 2018:

Thank you. What about raising power? A book i'm reading talks about raising power at the beggining of a spell.

Lisa on November 07, 2018:

Thank-you so so much for posting this... I am very new to all of this... I've been pulled to it my whole life but was raised by... Dogmatic bible thumper and only recently formally left the church... Today has been one of the worst for me internally... I feel like a ticking time bomb full with so much I am overwhelmed.... And have felt helpless, which makes it worse.

A Wicca friend of mine advised me to look into grounding (spells?) and from Google I ended up here. Your site was the top result.

Thank-you thank-you. From the bottom of my frazzled heart. I needed this... So very badly.

It means more than you'll ever know.

You're literally pulling me out of the pit.

Pam on July 29, 2018:

Thank you. Just now starting this journey and I need to center myself so badly- and now so much makes sense

Jamia Horne on June 16, 2018:

Wicca is a sin! Wiccans worship creation rather than the Creator! The human heart was intended for worship and if it does not worship God it will worship someone else. Repent of your sins and Wicca and God will be faithful and He will forgive you. If you don’t u will spend eternity in Hell! He loves us so much. He provided the Way (Jesus Christ) to get to Heaven so we wouldn’t spend eternity separated from Him in Hell. Jesus gave His life out of love and compassion for us. He cares more about what happens to you than you do. God loves each of us as if there were only one of us. The condition of how God works in our lives isn’t how much we love Him it’s how much He loves us. “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19), “Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) “For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”(John 3:16) “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans ‭8:31‬) “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”(‭Romans 8:35 )“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”(Romans 8:37) “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(Romans 8:38-39 ) How can anyone,knowing the price Jesus paid, just go on sinning. How can anyone, knowing God’s unconditional, just take that love and throw it back in His face. But everyone’s just like “If God is so good why is there suffering” we are mere humans we don’t see it from Gods perspective. God sees the whole picture we don’t so we can’t judge him off our perspective when we don’t even see it from His. Suffering is the result of man’s sin and Satan and his angels. God promises that all the suffering on Earth will soon be gone and that he’ll dry up every tear because the sadness of this short,temporary life can’t compare to the happiness in eternal life for those who believe in Jesus and what He did. Jesus paid for our sins on Earth so we wouldn’t have to pay for them in Hell. When He suffered,bled, and died it was God saying to the world “I LOVE YOU”. Jesus did it so that all our sins could be paid for and we could be forgiven. He rose from the dead so that He’s the Lord of both the living and the dead and proving that there’s life beyond death for everyone who is spiritually alive in Christ.Once you confess your sins to Him He will be faithful to forgive you and He will take all your sins(past,present,and future) and nail them to the cross. The Holy Spirit will put the icing on the cake which would sanctify us and make you a new loving person and you being a new loveing person represents God’s character minus the sin and times ten.‬ REPENT AND BELIEVE IN JESUS AND WHAT HE DID AND U WILL GO TO HEAVEN. WHAT WICCANS DO IS A SIN

Dmitriy Rudinskiy on June 16, 2018:

thanks for the valuable information

Lydia Lewis Oye from Seale on April 28, 2018:

I have gotten away from taking time to meditate. This article has not only revealed to me that it is important in my everyday life but also that I am on the right path. Thanks so much. Blessed Be! on April 24, 2018:


Daniel on February 18, 2018:

Awesome post for beginners and reviewing or relearning

Richard on December 27, 2017:

Ithe started about a week ago everything felt off. Very disoriented now i cant feel anything around me even people. I'm trapped in a huge empty void. I can't even project my spirit out of my body. I need help.

phone specifier on December 10, 2017:

i like it ... (y) :) (-_-)

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on October 02, 2017:

Thanks Cameron! I appreciate it.

Cameron Eittreim from Oklahoma on September 22, 2017:

Very interesting article, it really opens the door to newbies who are interesting in finding out what this is.

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on August 10, 2017:

Hi Faileadh; very cool. 'Riding the hedge' is pretty intense, it's not something I personally do much of. Thanks for your comments!

Faileadh on August 10, 2017:

Hello thank you for being here. I'm a hedge witch. Sometimes its good to talk to others. Mostly I read the pages. I go to the trees a lot too.

Sue hobson on April 07, 2017:

Very well explained blessed be

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on August 25, 2016:

They can be very helpful for that. Thanks so much for your comment, Gina.

Gina Welds from Tampa, Florida on August 24, 2016:

I use various herbs and essential oils for grounding. It's amazing the difference one feels spiritually and emotionally, and also physically when the body is "in sync."

I use the oils during homeschooling as well, and they help to really help my son/student to remain focused and in control of emotions such as frustration or the feeling of inadequacy.

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on March 05, 2015:

Thanks Catgypsy. I try to break it down to basics. I know how confusing it can be for people when first being introduced to these spiritual concepts. I appreciate the comment!

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on March 05, 2015:

Gotcha ;-)

catgypsy from the South on March 04, 2015:

Great article. You made it very simple, which is something I've not found other places. And as you said, these can be practiced for other reasons, like just being more calm and in control in everyday life.

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on March 04, 2015:

Yes, I knew Wicca is a new religion based on pagan beliefs. I should have said making ancient paganism modern.

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on March 04, 2015:

Thank you Catherine, I appreciate it, but I can't take credit for making Wicca relevant for modern times-- it's a modern religion, after all. It's only 70 years old. But this was what early Wiccans were trying to do-- take ancient wisdom and apply it to modern life. I'm glad my articles help with that, though. Thank you for your comment.

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on March 04, 2015:

Thanks Billy. Free time comes in waves. But I'll always get back.

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on March 04, 2015:

Hi AudreyHowitt, definitely! Singing is a great way to ground and center. Thanks for commenting!

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on March 04, 2015:

Well written, wonderful ideas, and beautiful pictures. I am feeling more grounded and centered just by reading it. I am always impressed by how you take the ancient practice of Wicca and make it relevant for modern times for everyone whatever their religious beliefs. H+ Voted up ++++

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 03, 2015:

I hope you are well, my friend. It's good to see you back here writing.

Audrey Howitt from California on March 03, 2015:

What a great article! I am struck by how much of this I do in my singing and in teaching voice--singers ground down and stay with that connection, feeling their energy go down as the body becomes the vibratory instrument--the daily work in singing is much this--