Energy Work 101 is a series of articles designed to instruct beginners in techniques for responsible use of energy.
Grounding – Theory
Grounding is the process of balancing and equalizing the energy within a body, ridding it of negative energies and replacing lost energy with energy from the earth (or in some cases, source).
Grounding is necessary for any energy worker to master, as it accomplishes two goals:
- Grounding rids the body of negative energies and influences. As we move through our daily lives, we unconsciously pick up these energies from our interaction with the environment, be it from a minor inconvenience (someone in your parking spot) to unsettling circumstances (arguments with loved ones, physical threats). These influences stick in our minds because the energy sticks with our body, causing havoc with our energy bodies. Grounding allows us to let all of those moments disappear and melt from our bodies.
- Grounding replenishes lost energy. We lose energy, sometimes even freely give it away, through our contributions and interactions. We put a lot of energy into our career, our fitness, our relationships, and it can even be stolen without adequate protection. Have you ever felt drained after talking with someone, where after you’re done interacting with them, you feel tired and slothful? This is the result of giving away too much of your energy to them and their situation.
Just as an electrical circuit, the body needs to have a balance of energy in its system to work efficiently. Too much energy in the circuit can cause burnout or having your senses and abilities fried, as your body simply can’t handle that much power in the system. Too little energy and your abilities simply won’t function optimally, as well as creating a lazy and slothful physical body.
In the course of any intensive work, energy or otherwise, energy will always be used to attain your goals. Grounding helps establish your baseline and create an optimal working environment.
Grounding – Practice
There are three steps to grounding energy.
- Establishing a breathing pattern
- Creating a conduit through visualization
- Setting an energy flow through the conduit
Establishing a Breathing Pattern
A breath pattern will be our guide through this exercise – any breathing pattern will do, as long as it’s regular and something your body can relax to. I personally use the four-fold breath, which is four beats inhale, four beats hold, four beats exhale, four beats hold.
While sitting or standing in a comfortable position, start your breathing pattern. Stay on this step until your breathing is regular and relaxed, as it’ll make the energy easier to move the first time you ground.
Creating a Conduit through Visualization
We’ll be creating a conduit through which excessive or negative energy can leave the body, with fresh energy taking its place. Visualizations and methods for this step are as varied as people – experiment with the following visualizations until you find one that suits you.
Example visualizations include:
- Gathering negative energy around the root chakra, and then imagining a pipe going from the root chakra to deep into the earth (or source).
- Imagining yourself as a tree, growing roots into the earth with each breath. These roots will discard the excess energy and draw fresh nutrients.
- Creating a ‘lightning rod’, where upon touching it with your hands will discharge the negative energies.
- Some simply place their hands or feet on the ground, using that physical bond to carry the energy out of their body.
Once you’ve picked your visualization, close your eyes and focus on the image, bringing it stronger into your existence with each breath. Tree roots grow longer, lightning rods drive deeper into the earth, etc. Continue to the next step once a firm connection has been made.
Setting the Energy Flow
Your breathing is regular, your body’s relaxed, and your conduit is ready to go. With all of these steps in place, you’re ready to start the energy flow.
First, any overpowering negative energy should be discharged and sent into the earth as soon as possible. Usually this shows up as ‘dark energy’, black or dark grey in color, and can have emotions or specific events tied up into it. Gather this energy and then send it right down your conduit. Watch it as it travels deep into the earth, severing its connection with your body.
Second, cycle your flow with your breath. Inhales will bring up white, fresh energy up from the earth, exhales will send the dark, gloomy energy deep into the earth. Visualize your body’s energy steadily turning brighter with each breath cycle.
Continue this breath cycle until your energy body feels adequately cleansed. The easiest way for beginners to sense this is to evaluate your mind and body for relaxation, such as muscle relaxation and improved emotions.
Practice Makes Perfect
Skills take time to develop – grounding included. Don’t be discouraged if you’re unsure of your thoroughness in cleansing your energy body, or if it takes much longer than expected. Grounding is a very personal process, and different techniques work for different people.
The first time I seriously grounded was before my first public ritual, when I had no idea what grounding was. My best friend took me through a visualization exercise where the focus/conduit was a lightning rod, and the results were actually very poor for me – it took me a long time to ground myself, since I had a hard time imagining the energy flowing through my hands at the time. Later on, I found a visualization technique with tree roots, which worked out much better for me. This eventually morphed into the grounding technique that I use now. Feel free to experiment and pick the pieces that work for you.
I recommend practicing this technique everyday for a week to a month until it becomes second nature. Once you’re comfortable with grounding, you can practice doing it faster – a proficient grounder can equalize their energy within a second’s notice, connecting with earth and doing an immediate negative energy dump, followed by a quick refuel.