Sunday, March 6, 2011

On grounding...

Folks tend use the term grounding in a lot of ways. Since we use it to cover a lot of territory, sometimes the term obscures more than it clarifies. I have recently been hit from a few sources on how pagans often conflate grounding as an energetic exercise with grounding as the state of being fully out of a trance.

Most readers of this blog are familiar with the basic Tree of Life grounding. In my tradition this exercise is there to help folks connect to the earth spiritually and help folks draw on the earth instead of themselves when working magic. If I call someone grounded, in this case, I mean that they have strong energetic tie to the Earth.

Another way pagans often use the term grounded is to refer to someone who is make from a trance state. This can a guided meditation, astral projection or heavy spirit work (like aspecting). Grounded in this context means that a person is fully present in their body and is no longer in the trance or altered state of consciousness that opened them up to experience the meditation or spirit work. It is about their command of their faculties and ability to operate well with the physical details of day to day life. If I call someone grounded, in this case, I mean that they are awake and engaged in the physical world around them.

The reason I'm trying to make this distinction clear is that one can have a strong energetic tie to the earth and still be half-astral. Being able to ground to the earth is a beginner skill (foundational really), but being able to change consciousness and return skillfully is more of an intermediate skill.

The problem with assuming these things are the same is that focusing on that energetic cord and running energy does not help you return from a trance state. If you're having trouble getting fully back, engage with your body: stretch, eat something, do a little self-massage, have sex. Our bodies are us and are our ties to the everyday physical reality of day to day life. So the next time you feel a little spacey, don't just move energy. Engage your body and do your best to be fully present in here and the now. More meditation and energy work will not help you if you are still tranced-out.

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