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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grounding and Centering Techniques: A Foundation of Magical and Spiritual Practice

*This piece was originally published on the Pagan site at BellaOnline in January 2008.  It has also appeared on HubPages.  Any other sites or publications it appear are content thieves using it without the author's permission.


Why Grounding and Centering are Important


The process of relaxing and making yourself receptive and effective for any ritual, magical or devotional activity is called grounding and centering.  This isn't just a religious practice but can be used as a general spiritual and non-religious meditation technique.

Grounding literally means visualizing yourself connected to the earth. Once you are grounded, you then visualize yourself centered in the present instead of constantly thinking of the past or the future. This is called being in the here and now.
The reasoning behind this is that you do not want to enter into ritual in your everyday state of mind with all of your stresses. It is best to let your daily disturbances fall by the wayside even if it is only for the short period of your intended ritual. With a clear mind you will be better able to perform the ritual or magical working and also reap the most benefit.
Grounding and Centering Exercise


One way to ground and center is through a physical discipline such as yoga or a martial art. Another common way is to do a mental visualization exercise as described above.
This exercise can include images such as a tree being rooted to the earth; a popular Wiccan and Druid practice. Below is a simple yet affective grounding and centering technique using light.
Credit:  cynthiaiab, sxc.hu
  • Sit or stand comfortably in a place you will not be disturbed. 
  • Take several deep breaths imagining the tension leaving your body. 
  • If you are not used to relaxing, gently tense each set of muscles separately and release them as you inhale and exhale. You will start to feel your body relax.
  • Once you feel the beginning of physical relaxation, imagine a ball of brilliant gold light in the middle of your abdomen. 
  • Draw this light down your hips, your legs, feet and into the earth. Imagine it moving quickly and decisively into the earth blending into the ground, roots, and rock there. 
  • Feel your feet rooted to the floor, almost as if an invisible glue is keeping you there. Bring your attention back to your abdomen.
  • Draw the gold light up through your torso, arms, neck, and head. You are now surrounded in an oval of brilliant gold light tethering you to the earth.
  • Now imagine another ball of light above your head. This time it is a sparkling silver color. 
  • Again, this light is drawn quickly and with purpose around the golden oval about you. Once the silver light is completely surrounding this gold light, the two begin to mingle together. They both now become one brilliant, iridescent light surrounding you. You are now grounded in the earth and centered in the present moment.
Variations of Technique
This technique can be used before any ritual or magical working or on its own as a form of relaxation and stress release. If light or the colors I chose do not work for you, then use your imagination and find something that does.
Some people may feel that light is too airy fairy and need to visualize something more solid.  The tree visualization mentioned above, imagining water washing over you, or simply sitting or standing on the bare earth can all be just as effective. You will then be able to begin your ritual in a clear frame of mind.
© 2008-2011 Trish Deneen

Intro

Greetings and welcome to my new spiritual blog home.  I'm Trish Deneen, the former editor for the Pagan site at BellaOnline.com - The Voice of Women.  I have two main reasons for creating this blog.  The first is as a place to post my thoughts on different aspects of spirituality.  I expect it for the most part to take more of a personal diary tone but one which may find like minds who find value in it.

I have found over the years that I despise labels, and I no longer try to define myself in those terms.  This is a place to explore my spiritual evolution.  Some of the older articles I post are likely to be glimpses of a point in time rather than represent my current practices or beliefs which don't necessarily follow any particular party line as far as Pagans or Christians are concerned.  I've always seemed to live my life in the mid way.  I can stand in a circle and see many points therein, but I still stand in my own place.  I hope my writings will inspire or give solace to those who are as tired of labels and dogmatists as I am.

© 2011-2012 Trish Deneen