I’m a big believer in the power of google. However, the other day I searched in google for some SIMPLE grounding exercises and got very complicated, long winded answers that didn’t really fit my needs. After clicking through links on three pages of google I realized that if I wanted something that was going to suit my specifications, I’d have to write it.
When I started in on the path towards things spiritual in 1994, the very first guide book I read was Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance and I cannot recommend it enough. It is densely written, but has great information on visualization, grounding, and many other things. My early grounding techniques came from an amalgam of books by Starhawk, Scott Cunningham, Silver Ravenwolf, Patricia Telesco, and a few others. When I started on this path, the internet was not the helpful font of information it is today, so instead I read everything I could find.
I mention this only because I’ve read a lot over the years and I’ve incorporated a lot of those techniques into my own way of doing things. So if some of these sound familiar or like I ripped them off of someone’s else’s work, that’s because they are and I have.
Grounding is important for a lot of reasons. It can help alleviate stress, mentally prepare you for your next move, and in times of heightened spiritual awareness grounding can help you focus and see more. Any time I read tarot, I ground first. Any time I’m feeling stressed I will ground. Anytime I’m feeling scattered, angry, or even bored, I ground. I probably ground more than most people simply because I’m naturally flighty – it’s a problem for air signs sometimes.
These exercises are going to sound like they take a lot of time. They take a lot of time to explain, but not to do. Really you can set aside 5 minutes (maybe even 3) to these little exercises. These are foundational exercises – they help you learn how to ground and what it feels like. Once you have done one of these exercises for a while, you’ll find that you can do it anywhere when you need to.
Tree Visualization Groundings
This one is my favorite and the one I use the most, especially when working with a group of people. The variations you can do with the tree are endless. Sit comfortably. If you can sit at the base of a tree for extra visualization support, go for it. Trees are grounded naturally by their roots and we want to emulate this, so sitting next to a tree will help if you find yourself blocked.
Breathing is important when grounding. Take deep, cleansing breaths. When I first started doing this I would start with breathing in on a count of four, holding the breath on a count of four, and then releasing the breath on a count of four. Breathing in a relaxed and slow manner helps with grounding immensely, so always start and finish with cleansing breaths.
While seated, imagine a straight white light flowing down your spine and into the earth. As this cord of light hits the ground, it will continue to go into the ground much as the roots of a tree would. When I visualize the cord flowing down my spine, it is a white light, but it almost always turns into brown tree roots when it is underground. Work with whatever colors flow easily for you.
If I’m feeling an excess of energy or emotions, I visualize that energy or emotion leaving me through these roots and being grounded into the earth. If I’m feeling worn down, tired, sick, or just meh, I will visualize the roots burrowing all the way down to the molten core of the earth and I will bring that fiery energy up through my roots and into myself.
When pulling energy up from the earth into yourself, try to visualize the energy flowing up through your body bit by bit and eventually up through the top of your head. As the energy flows out of the top of your head, visualize this energy as your personal tree’s branches and leaves. Alternatively, you can visualize yourself as a conduit for a geyser of energy, but if you go that route, make sure that you ground any excess energy that may have come up.
This exercise can be as simple as you want it to be. While I encourage you to try this sitting down, you can also do it standing up by visualizing the roots coming out of your feet. For my nerdy friends who are familiar with Tolkien, I like to think of myself as an Ent here – when my foot is on the ground, the roots spring from my feet and burrow deep into the earth, keeping me grounded at all times. Unlike an Ent I don’t walk around like this all the time, the visualization would be exhausting after a certain point, but it is useful for when you are standing in a very long line, behind a crying baby, while someone behind you is invading your personal space. It is a good quick way to be grounded without having to stop what you are doing.
Foot Chakra Energy Dump
I work with chakras a lot and there are chakras in your hands and your feet. The chakras in the feet I think of as the grounding, flushing chakras because I use them so often to ground down energy. When dealing with energy overload, headaches, nausea, jitteriness, etc., using your feet chakras to dump this energy into the ground is super important. It’s June and there are many festivals both pagan and regular in the offing. These kinds of big events often can create energy overload as you have a ton of people incredibly excited about many of the same things in one place – that’s hella energetic.
Being able to take whatever wave of energy hits you and flow it out through your feet is an invaluable skill to have. I do this all of the time. Road rage hit you with the fiery energy to murder some motherfuckers? Ground that shit down. Let the rage flow through you and direct it down your legs and out through your feet. Even when in a moving vehicle you can ground or release energy through your feet. It won’t stop people from driving badly, but it will stop you from wanting to murder them for doing it.
I enjoy going outside on windy days and letting the wind blow through me, clearing out anything that needs to go. I use this same concept for this visualization. I imagine the wind blowing through me and clearing away everything that is no longer working to my highest purpose. I also imagine the wind keeping me on the ground.
Visualize wind blowing from above, down through your crown chakra. As the wind blows through your chakras and down through the root, it not only clears away the debris you no longer need, it keeps you fastened to the earth.
I find this very grounding, but I will admit that I’m an air sign, so this may not work for everyone.
This one is very similar to the one above, but it has quite a few variations.
The basic visual is that of water flowing through you and clearing off anything you no longer need – excess energy, bad mood, the guilt over being late that one time, whatever needs to be washed way. Have the water flow down and through you and out of the bottoms of your feet.
This is a good one to do in a shower or out in the rain, but often I find the visual that sticks with me for this exercise is that of lying down in a stream. If I visualize myself lying down in a stream, surrounded by the streams rocks and pebbles, the flow is easier and it feels more grounding.
For me, when I spend a day reading tarot or at a SIPA ritual where lots of energy is raised, it can be tons of fun to have that energy and zip around being friendly and talkative. However, you don’t want to hang on to excess energy for same reasons you don’t want drink too much caffeine. When doing something spiritual in nature that is going to have you zipping along on an energy high, some simple things to do to ground:
- Eat something salty – salt is very grounding.
- Eat in general, food helps keep you grounded, which is part of why most pagan rituals have a cakes and ale component. Protein is your friend.
- Stomp your feet, or go for a walk, dance. Walking barefoot in the dirt works wonders.
- Epsom salt bath.
- Hug a tree or sit underneath one for a few minutes. Trees have the flow of pulling up from the earth and down from the sky down to a fine art.
- Hands in the soil, digging for a garden, weeding, all of these are just naturally grounding. We can visualize all we want, but nature is a good guidebook and an excellent source of help.
- Rocks – hold one, sit on one, balance one on your head – rocks are the ground and help with grounding just through being rocks.
There’s a bajillion other ways to do this, but this is the broad strokes of how to begin to ground. I hope this helps!