Before and after performing the observation of a ritual and magick grounding is especially important. There is some disagreement as when to ground. Some say before doing magick or ritual. All say to do it after doing magick or the ritual observation (the main part of the ritual before “cakes and ale”). I think both are important to do. Some sources give grounding different names. I will simply call it grounding. Before doing a ritual or magick, you need to free yourself of those everyday thoughts and feelings to be effective. After doing a ritual or magick, you need to ground because the left over energies can leave you buzzy, lightheaded or sleepless. Note that grounding is not just for rituals or magick. It can be used in everyday situations. For example, it can be used before that nerve wracking job interview. I find grounding to be a good part of a daily practice. Try choosing a time of day that works best for you and make grounding a part of your daily practice. A couple of these methods involve pouring energies into the Earth. Will this this damage the Earth? No. The Earth is a great neutralizer of energies. There are a variety of methods to ground, so pick and choose what way works for you.
When I first started on my journey learning as a Pagan, I attended a circle regularly. I learned to ground by putting my hands and the soles of my feet on the ground. We usually practiced barefoot, which helped the process. We grounded after the observation/magick and before “cakes and ale”. That was my start. Currently I live in an apartment, and I step outside onto concrete. So I have a box with sand in it to put my bare feet into to ground. I find that sensory input helps a lot to ground.
Imagine roots growing from your feet or your tailbone. If you are in a building, imagine them growing through the floors of the building. Imagine them growing through the bottom floor, foundation, into the soil and bedrock. If it is the beginning of a ritual or before magick, gather all those worries and concerns and send them down the the roots. If it is after the observation of a ritual or magick, gather all those excess energies and and send them down the roots. Make sure all those last bits of energies are sent down the roots to be released into the Earth. When done, bring your roots back into your body.
Imagine white light above you. Let it shine into your body through your crown chakra. If it is the beginning of a ritual or before magick, let the light carry all your troubles and irritations out of your body through your feet and/or the palms of your hands. If it is after the observation of the ritual or after doing magick, seek out all that residual energy, and let the light carry it out through the soles of your feet and/or the palms of your hands. When you are done, allow the light to fade.
Imagine that you are in a river or in the rain. Allow the water to enter into your body through your crown chakra. Let it wash through your entire body taking any gloom, anxieties or left over energy with it. Let the water clear out of your body through the palms of your hands and/or the soles of your feet. Getting into a shower is another watery way to ground.
Using crystals is an additional method of grounding. Hematite, obsidian and salt are all good crystals with which to ground. Consider putting a little salt on your tongue. Hold the hematite or obsidian in your hands and allow the cares, vexations or surplus energy to flow into the stone. Afterwards rinse the stone of these energies with fresh water or salt water.
Flinging the remainder of the energy from your hands is something you can do to ground. If you are around other people, be careful which direction you shake those energies. The energies might hit others and might make them feel lightheaded or jittery.
Another way to ground is to put your forehead to a stone or the earth. This method is simple and can work wonders.
Drumming or listening to drumming can be a great way to ground. Try drumming in a manner that resembles Mother Earth’s heartbeat. Let the beat carry worries, concerns or excess energy away.
“Cakes and ale” are helpful for grounding. “Cakes and ale” is a light snack and a drink that can be but does not have to be cakes or an alcoholic drink. They should not be sugary or caffeinated because it will make you buzzy. A little meat, cheese, fruit or a hearty bread are good choices. This should be a light snack. They are usually consumed after working magick or after the ritual observation but before thanking the deities. I feel that using one of the methods above and having “cakes and ale” is a great way to ground.
Centering is also very useful. It is done before the observation of the ritual or magick. It involves connecting with your true self. It includes energy work in which you work on centering your energy around your solar plexus or your heart depending upon which part of your body works best for you.
Enjoy exploring techniques to ground and center and find one that works for you!
I will continue to post on Wednesdays.
Blake, Deborah, The Everyday Witch’s Coven: Rituals & Magic for Two or More, Llewellyn, 2023.
Cunningham, Scott, Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic, Llewellyn, 1988.
Lewis-Highcorrell, Donald, Rev., Witch School First Degree: Lessons in the Correllian Tradition, Llewellyn, 2021.
Lipp, Deborah, The Elements of Ritual: Air, Fire, Water & Earth in the Wiccan Circle, Llewellyn, 2021.
Sabin, Thea, Wicca for Beginners: Fundamentals of Philosophy & Practice, Llewellyn, 2006.
Wigington, Patti. “Magical Grounding, Centering, and Shielding Techniques.” Learn Religions, September 17, 2021, learnreligions.com/grounding-centering-and-shielding-4122187.