Whether you’re practicing magic or yoga, in many spiritually aware circles you will hear the term “ground and center” thrown about a lot. Or maybe you’ve heard the phrases “live in the moment” or “be present in the now”? This practice is essential to a successful casting, and can also help us deal with stressful moments in the more mundane parts of our lives. But rarely do we talk about what that actually means, and how to get there. While the concept is simple, sometimes we struggle with how to accomplish it. Especially if the traditional methods don’t work for you. By understanding the goal of “ground and center” it’s easier to go off the beaten path when searching for a way to get there. Remember, there is no “wrong” way to do this, there is only what works for you personally and what doesn’t. Centering is all about connecting within yourself; finding that space of calmness within the chaos (as we wrote about here in our article The Importance of Keeping Balance). Grounding is about connecting with the life flow outside of yourself. By reaching for those connections, both internal and external, and strengthening them, we can reach a state of mind that makes casting easier.
Here are some of our favorite methods for grounding and centering.
Meditation: This is probably the most widely practiced method. It’s what everyone is familiar with, and as we’ve talked about before, Everything Is Meditation. Even the rest of the methods we talk about for grounding and centering are essentially forms of meditation.
Visualization: For many of us, especially those of us who are creative, visualization is a key part of any casting, and we can use it to ground and center as well. Everyone generally finds their own image that resonates with them, but I am partial to the Tree. If you’ve never tried visualization before, this is a good way to start as it’s an easy image to hold. Relax your body and your breath, and imagine you are a tree. With your first breath in, imagine you are drawing strength up from the Earth through your roots. With your next breath out, “push” your roots down, deeper into the Earth. Next breath in, reach towards the sky, drawing in sunlight through your leaves. Breath out, and release any tension you’re holding out through your leaves. Repeat this as needed until you feel calm and centered.
Chants: Sometimes a spoken element can help us focus our minds on the task at hand. Simple chants are often used in tandem with meditation for that reason. It can be a soft sound that has no real meaning, like the traditional “ohm” you may have heard, or something more akin to a positive affirmation, like repeating “I am grounded. I am centered.” Or if you want to be a bit more poetic try “Earth below, sky above, I am still, and I am one.”
Physical connection with Nature: Do you enjoy hiking, nature walks, kayaking or just being outdoors? This method might be for you. While most people find it easiest to ground and center while being still and calm, this isn’t always the right approach for everyone. Sometimes activity can also be a kind of calmness. However, we can’t always take the time to go on a 10 mile hike before a casting, so some quicker ways to achieve this would be standing barefoot in the grass, dipping your hands or feet in running water, or hugging a tree. (Yup, we went there! But it works!)
Rituals: Let me guess; you just pictured someone in a hooded robe, surrounded by candles and chalk pentagrams? (Thanks, Hollywood!) Often we already have small rituals in our every day lives and don’t realize it. For example, do you find vacuuming soothing? Maybe organizing your junk drawer brings you a sense of peace and order? Or maybe you drink your first cup of coffee on your porch every morning, listening to the sound of the neighborhood waking up and enjoying the silence before you have to wake your
monsters … er… wonderful children for school? All of these things could be considered rituals.
Worry Stones: Worry stones, or similar devices such as stress balls or sensory toys, can serve to help you ground and center. We’re partial to using actual stones ourselves, but again, choose what works best for you.
Repetitive Tasks: We personally believe that this is one reason that knitting, and many other crafts, have such positive effects on mental health. Remember, everything is magic! (Or at least, it has the potential to be magic.) Knitting, crocheting, coloring, embroidery, macrame… all of these can be used to ground and center.
Do you have a favorite method not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!