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.

 

Hexing, Healing and Harming None.

I’ve been asked if I put spells on people, good or bad.

I don’t. Well, not specific spells, anyway- general well-being, protective and healing spells if asked or if I’m feeling compelled at the time.

Its because I believe in free will, life lessons and karma.

My ex, the Idiot, was convinced I cursed him when his second marriage failed. I didn’t. I suppose at one time or another, I had wished he got everything he deserved.

* I may or may not have hoped that included heartbreak and despair – however I did not set those parameters, specifically…. I was willing to let Karma decide*

At the time it felt like bad juju and also he’s my kids dad. Whatever happens to him effects my kids. Also, I really liked his 2nd wife. I was happy that he was happy. I was sad, but not surprised, when she left him.

I also do not do spells for people. Not unless they are willing to sit down with me, explain in detail how they feel, what they want and walk through every step with me. Magic is very personal. What you want and what I think you want could be miles apart.

I’m not going to be responsible if it doesn’t work exactly like you expect it to.

And guess what, magic rarely does.

But that’s besides the point.

In the Wiccan Rede there is a line that states, And it harm none, do as ye will”

That’s an incredibly liberating line. Especially for people who are being controlled by religious constraints, social norms, etc.

That line gives a person the right to step out of the role that society has imposed upon them. You can love the person you want, even if they are the same sex, a different race or religion, living across the country.

It means you can tattoo your skin or pierce your eyebrow or wear white after labor day. It means you can leave a toxic relationship or choose to live with 10 cats.

It also means you are free to run a company but you cannot exploit your workers or knowingly pollute the environment. There’s an ethical component to the Rule.

This is a great line to hold in your heart and guide your choices when you’re brand new and working to break the chains that kept you from knowing and expressing yourself.

I’ve even incorporated in my child rearing practices. As my kids grew, I made them consider this. Will hanging out your window with a lighter and a can of hairspray hurt you or someone else? Maybe? Then DON’T DO IT!

Most people who find this path develop a lot of righteous anger. They feel they’ve been lied to, manipulated and controlled. Its normal to be angry; healthy even. And having that one constraint of ‘harm none’ is like using training wheels as you heal your soul and develop your powers.

So then we come to the old adage that says if a witch can’t hex, they can’t heal.

I feel like this is more for the seasoned practitioner. The witch that’s been around long enough to heal some of their trauma and dabbled in magic long enough to have a basic understanding of how it works. Not that its more difficult, just that it requires more insight, control and ethics than ‘harm none’

Think sex ed. We tell our preschoolers that baby’s grow in mommy’s bellies. We tell our school age children that mommy and daddy loved each other very much and created a baby that will grow in mommy’s belly.

And then we tell our teenagers the details of how that baby was created.

The actual physical, chemical and emotional steps to creating life. And if your smart, you’ll tell them how to prevent it.

Teenagers have bodies that are changing and hormones that are surging. They need to know more and are emotionally capable of understanding some of the finer nuances,

The biggest reason for not giving all the emotional, physical and scientific facts to your three year old is that they won’t understand it. They’re brain isn’t developed enough to handle the abstract concepts.

A new Witch needs to grow a bit before tackling the nuances of hexing vs. healing.

I  feel like the concept isn’t so much that you should hex if your going to heal or that you have to hex if you want to heal.
I feel like it refers more to the mechanics of magic.

In the process of using magic, a witch manipulates energy. We draw that energy from the earth, from Spirit and from ourselves. We obtain our energy from the food we eat but also the emotions we feel. The stronger the emotion the more energy we can harness.

With this idea in mind, great energy can be harnessed by love, fear, and anger; our strongest emotions.

I think the idea that ‘you can’t heal if you can’t hex’ refers to the ability to harness both the the joys of love and the fire of anger.

A long time ago, I was saved by the idea that emotions swing like a pendulum.

I had my first 3 kids with in a 5 year period. I suffered some serious depression in those years. Part was situational, part was isolation and a big part was hormones.

After my second, I had the worst postpartum depression ever. Serious stereotypical signs of depression. Inability to function; I couldn’t eat, sleep, bathe. I had suicidal ideations…the works. Eventually hormones stabilized and life got back to normal….if there is a sense of normal in being 21 with 2 babies.

When I was pregnant with #3 I was secretly afraid that I would return to that level of despair. In the process of fearing it I managed to block all strong emotions. Long story short, by the time he was 18 months, I was 50 pounds overweight, exhausted and numb.

I realized that I couldn’t feel happy because I was too afraid to feel sad and If I wanted to feel the ecstatic joy that I imagined was possible, I had to risk feeling despair again.

I swung back and forth a few years. I found some great emotional highs but never stayed stuck in the lows. I learned that emotions are temporary if you don’t hold on to them.

This was before I discovered this magical path. It was my first step in taking more control over my own life.

But relating this back to the hexing and healing stuff. I feel like this piece of advice is best taken in the context that you have to master your emotions.

You have to be able to harness your fear and anger. You have to be brave enough to feel happy and fall in love. You have to be able to recognize the emotions, feel them and learn to let go of them if you want to work strong magic.

How can I cast a protective circle around the women of Georgia if I really just want to disembowel the Republicans that drafted the ridiculous legislation.

I could use that energy to hex the misogyny if I was so inclined.

I’m not… usually.

But more importantly, I have to recognized the anger, feel the anger and let it go effectively BEFORE I attempt to do protective and healing spell work.

If I don’t, my anger and frustration will leach into my good intentions in a passive-aggressive cluster-fuck that has the potential to hurt the very Sisterhood I’m trying to protect.

The thing is, once you know how to recognize, feel, and release an emotion, you’re only one step away from using it in spell work, whether that’s healing or hexing.

What this advice does NOT say is that you have to hex. This is your practice, this is your life and your choice. If hexing doesn’t feel right than don’t do it. Easy-peasy.

However you do have to do the emotional work. You do have to process those ‘hexing’ emotions. You know, next level Witch work.

And just because you choose not to hex doesn’t mean you can’t heal.

Please do.

The world needs more healers.