Back to Basics : Grounding

Getting back to basics here. Grounding yourself. I’m starting to realize that not everyone understands the concept or knows how to do it.

I’m not talking about the those times your folks grounded you and you couldn’t hang out with your friends…. more like grounding the way electricity does. Only your electricity is made from your emotions

Think of emotion as Energy in Motion. Your emotions are just that, electrical impulses that trigger different body functions, Our thoughts give shape to those impulses and we label them; happy, sad angry, etc.

Each has a different feeling in the body. Sometimes, we don’t know why we feel what we feel. We wake up feeling sadness and we’re not sure why. We get impatient and lash our in anger for no particular reason. Sometimes we know why but there’s nothing we can do about the situation that’s causing the feelings and we still have to get our shit done.

As a triple water I know all about emotions, I swim through my days. For the most part, my emotions ebb and flow and I don’t even notice anymore. Sometimes, on rougher seas, I harness that energy to get shit done. Think rage cleaning

When its just too much, for too long and the feels are keeping me from getting other things done, I ground. Grounding helps release the extra emotions so we can get back to living our best life.

I personally believe that the whole reason we have physical bodies is to experience life through our emotions; to feel the experience in our body. Emotions give our life richness and depth but they can also get in the way.

Bonus! Grounding is aptly named as well!

Grounding is about giving the energy back to the earth to be recycled. Its like composting but with energy instead of organic material.

You all know how much I love composting!

Compost Pile

My compost pile prior to turning for visual effect.

There’s a natural magic in composting. You take your kitchen scraps, moldy fruits and rotten vegetables, bury in the ground and a few months later, Voila!

Dirt!

Healthy, nutrient rich dirt to feed your garden! Mother Nature turned all that was useless and bad for us into something with a purpose.

Guess what! The Earth does the same for your extra, moldy, rotten emotions that you have no use for.

Understand the concept?

Great, let’s get on to the process. (no? It’s okay, keep reading, I explain more.)

Just like there’s lots of ways to compost, there are also lots of ways to ground.

Lets start with visualizing. I find it to be the most effective. And it can be done almost anywhere with no tools.

(I don’t recommend doing this while operating heavy machinery so wait until you’re out of the drivers seat.)

So stop what your doing, take a deep breath and exhale slowly.

Feel inside your body. Where are the tensions, the aches, the pains, the butterflies, the energetic dark spots…..

Take another breath, recognize those place and relax them.

Now imagine your emotions as a dark river running through your body, traveling up and down your limbs swirling trough your torso, pooling in those achey places, becoming stagnant and green. Imagine this river starts to move and flow. You may feel tingling in your extremities as this river flows. You may not. Its okay either way. Do it anyway.

Let it drain down your legs and into the ground. Imagine your personal energy river draining all the muck and pond scum through the earth into a larger energy river. Imagine it mixing in with Earths natural energy. Imagine the the Earth diluting and neutralizing your toxic energy and transforming it into healing energy. Let your murky emotional river continue to flow however long you need. You may feel a relief, you may feel lighter.

When you feel you have no more to give back to the Earth, Take a deep breath, move your feet to stop the flow and then imagine a richer, lighter and fluffier energy coming up from the ground in through your feet and flowing through your body via the fresh clean energy river. Let it flow, washing over all those dark achey places. Imagine it refreshing you, giving you more energy and focus. When your done. Take a deep breath, drink some water and get on with your day.

This can take anywhere from 5 minutes to a half hour. It’s up to you. It usually takes a little longer in the beginning because its a new skill that has to be learned and you probably have a lot more pent up emotions than you think.

But the good thing is that you don’t have to wait until your an emotional mess to start. I actually found that if you make this part of a routine you bypass the breakdowns.

Other ways of grounding.

Sometimes we get caught up in our heads. Its’s our nature to define and find reasons for our emotions. We feel that pang of sadness and wonder why? Instead of assuming its just blocked energy in our heart space we find a disappointment in our lives and decide that’s why we’re sad. Or angry or afraid. Our mind starts reeling and gets out of control. All kind of imagined slights will fill us with more emotions and we become so worked up we lose focus on the important things.

In these cases a few quick tricks can bring us back down to the place where we can manage again.

Think of your 5 senses.

What can you see? What can you taste; what can you hear; what can you smell; what can you feel?

Think of Earth and nature. Can you see the sky, the clouds, a tree?
Can you taste an apple, coffee, chocolate? (Professor Lupin was right about this one; It really does help.)
Can you hear birds, squirrels, water running, trees rustling?
Can you feel the air, the bark of a tree, bare feet on grass?

Getting back to nature is the most effective to getting you back into your body but other things work – wash your hands or put lotion on them. Drink some water. Turn on music. Move your body; dance, run, lift weights.

Maybe you think you don’t need this because your not emotional.
I hate to break it to you, You are.
We all are.

Its part of being human. Just because you don’t cry at the drop of a hat doesn’t mean those emotions aren’t flowing through you.

(actually crying is an awesome way to release the pent up emotions; I’m a big fan and I highly recommend it)

What happens when you don’t keep that river flowing, grounding out the extra emotions? They get stuck. In your body. And you end up with random aches and pains. Back ache, stomach issues, head aches, joint pain…..Over time you end up with chronic disease.

There’s a reason men have a shorter lifespan than women.

You remember that old paradigm of men are stronger/ women are too emotional….Women cry, men don’t.

It’s poisoned generations of men. Women release those pent up emotions and remove the blocks before they can cause disease that kill men. This has allowed women be stronger, healthier and live longer. Fortunately, shifts are happening and people are dropping that toxic masculine ideology.

The grounding exercises I’ve suggested is a way to possibly bypass the crying and still get the health benefits. Practice it. Make it part of your routine. Once a day, once a week. Whatever works for you. Just do it.

 

Egg Shell Chalk –

17-6-6Eggshell

A quick google search on egg shells + magic will net you a huge list of sites and references to cascarilla powder. The powder is supposedly made from egg shells and is used for protection, purification and cleansing. It’s use is attributed to hoodoo, sanitaria and other Afro-Caribbean religions

I don’t practice hoodoo. I have a limited understanding of it but I won’t claim to be an expert at practicing it. It’s kind of the same way I can explain the concept of taking communion in the Catholic Church although I’ve never done it because I didn’t go through the sacraments necessary for being able to enjoy the privilege.

I’ve come across practitioners of hoodoo who say it isn’t used in Hoodoo, but it is used in Santeria. It claims cascarilla represents sacred white earth of Africa called efun and is used to keep negative energy away. .

I’ve also come across a plant called cascarilla, from Tropical regions, whose bark is powdered and used in similar rituals. The bark has a number of medicinal qualities in and of itself.

I suspect that over the years as white earth of Africa and the bark of the cascarilla plant were not available. Locals substituted what they did have on hand; Egg Shells but didn’t change the name.

Witches, no matter what pantheon you follow, tend to be a resourceful sort.

That being said, egg shells are by no means limited to only Afro- Caribbean versions of the craft. My Western European ancestors and Irish grandmothers were reliant on birds, their eggs, and the shells left behind. And being resourceful witches, they used what they had on hand in whatever manner they deemed fit.

Egg shells, yep, egg shells.

They’re kind of magical, if you think about it. Egg shells act as protection for the growing embryo inside. That’s the concept I consider when using egg shells in magic.

I have used it a lot like black salt by sprinkling it around a space, across thresholds and window sills. But I’ve also made egg shell powder into chalk and used it to make sigils for a variety of reasons.

Egg shells have other practical uses in general but the magic part is more fun.

How do you use egg shells in everyday magic?

So if you’re like most people, you crack an egg and toss the shell in the garbage. If you had a grandma like mine, you wash your hands right away.

Maybe you throw those shells in the compost bin instead of the garbage and I applaud you! In the compost the crumbled shells act to keep the heap from getting too compacted as they very slowly break down releasing their calcium into the earth. The calcium is necessary for helping plants grow strong roots.

Perhaps you already know that and as an avid and thrifty gardener you help Mother Nature out by grinding down your spend egg shells into a powder and adding it to the garden soil. Or maybe you just use the crumble egg shells to keep slugs and snails away from your precious vegetables.

But let’s talk about making chalk? The calcium that benefits your plants is the same thing that leaves the chalky mark. All chalk is made from some sort of calcium combination. {insert fancy chemical compound names I can never remember}

The first thing to do once you’ve crack the eggs is to rinse them out and remove the membrane. Collecting egg shells is more of an after thought for me. I’m using the eggs in cooking and baking so I don’t really have time to peel the membrane off right away. I’ll soak them in a bowl of soapy water until I’m done cooking.

When I am ready to process the shells, I’ll rinse them again and gently peel the thin film from the inside of the shell. It’s kind of pinkish in the right light. Just be careful because that membrane is what gives the shell it’s real strength. Once you start pulling it off the shell will start to crumble. I know that’s the point of this craft but it’s a pain in the ass to collect the tiny shell pieces.

Once the shell is relatively membrane free you can leave them to air dry, *which is what I usually do* or put them on a baking sheet and stick them in the oven at 250 for a half an hour or so. You want them really dry and brittle.

So now comes the fun part!

I’ve dabbled and played with a number of different ratios and have come up with a mix that works well with making egg shell chalk. I know a lot of recipes start off with the number of egg shells you need. But seriously folks, eggs come in different sizes; medium, large, extra-large. And then there are duck eggs and pheasant eggs and ostrich eggs. The number of egg shells means nothing to me.

I tend to collect egg shells for a week or so before I grind them in the coffee grinder and store the powder in a glass jar. I have it when I need it, whether to make chalk, add to a garden or to provide a magic barrier.

Some people prefer grinding egg shells in a mortar and pestle. I’m not knocking it. The time and energy it takes to grind up an egg shell into a fine powder gives you a chance to put your energy and intention into it. It’s just more convenient for me to use the coffee/herb grinder. I’d rather add my intentions when I’m ready to use it.

  • 1 tablespoon of powdered egg shells
  • 2 teaspoons of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of hot water.

Mix the flour and hot water in a small bowl. This is going to active the gluten in the wheat flour. The gluten is what keeps the chalk together. Think of gluten as glue….ya, I know, I’m lame.

Once you have a gooey paste add the Tablespoon of Egg shell powder. Mix and press until most of the powder has been incorporated into the paste. It’ll be a bit doughy now. Kneed the mix together, collecting all the crumbs until it forms a ball in your hand without crumbling apart. This kneading and forming part is where I add my intentions to the chalk.

If it’s too crumbly add water a drop at a time until it forms. If it’s too wet and sticks to your hand sprinkle more egg shell powder until it’s pretty solid.

When it is well mixed and forms a ball that doesn’t crumble apart, you can mold it into a cylinder or whatever shape you want and wrap it in paper towel. Let it dry for about 3 days depending on how dense your shape is. Alternatively, you could pop it in the dehydrator for a couple hours.

Here’s a neat little trick also, you can add other powdered herbs to enhance or specify your intention.

Add about a teaspoon of the powdered herb when you add the egg shell powder and slowly add more warm water to accommodate.

For example you could powder basil or mint for prosperity, rose petals or jasmine for love spells, sage for protection…the possibilities are endless.

You can also add a few drops of essential oils to the paste to give your chalk an enchanted aura. I personally love patchouli for the magical feel but add the magically appropriate essential oil of your choice. It’s good to layer your intentions.

Now that you have your magical egg shell chalk you can use it in ritual or draw protection sigils around your property. It works really well on sidewalk concrete and bricks. It didn’t do much more than scratch the aluminum siding of my house although the magic is in the intention more so than the chalk Also I wouldn’t use it on windows. I would opt to make blessing oil and anoint the windows with that.

Not keen on making your own? I made extra. You can find patchouli infused Egg Shell chalk here.