In terms of when grounding and centering comes in the order of ritual, it varies a lot. Some practitioners will ground and center before setting up their altar, some will do it after they’ve set up and before they perform their act of ritual purification (like a ritual bath or smudging), some will perform grounding and centering just before they cast the circle, etc. Depending on the order of your own ritual, how you view grounding and centering, and when you will need energy for your working, you can move it around based on your personal preference.
Grounding is usually the first step taught in many spiritual practices. Whatever your beliefs, this simple practice can make a significant difference to your life. This consists of connecting yourself energetically to the core of Mother Earth. You will find that grounding before meditation or astral travelling will aid inner focus. If you are feeling spacey or disoriented grounding and centering will help tremendously.
Grounding links you to the healing energy of the Earth, bringing stability, calm, and awareness of the physical body and the world around you. Being grounded means that you have established a firm connection with the physical world. The largest physical object that each of us experiences throughout our entire life is beneath our feet, the Earth. Focusing on the Earth makes us more aware of the physical world that surrounds us. Awareness of the physical world keeps us from being swept away by the subjective feelings and inner experiences of the moment. Instead, we become able to experience these feelings with a balanced awareness that is both objective and subjective.
Psychically, a firm connection with the Earth hooks us to the largest psychic battery that we have available to us. The Earth is a storehouse of psychic energy, and when we connect with Her we channel that energy through us instead of relying solely on our own energy reserves. Grounding properly helps prevent weakness, headaches and the other possible side effects of energy work.
Meditating is one of the Thirteen Goals of a Witch. Probably all Witches meditate, more or less, to some degree. They use these skills when they use a grounding technique, do creative visualization, take a trance journey, focus on a spell or create a ritual.
Grounding is actually fairly easy. Remember how you manipulated energy when you learned to center? That's what you'll do to ground - only instead of drawing that energy inside you, you'll push it out, into something else.
To begin, stand in a quiet place with minimal distractions. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. Or, if you prefer, you can be seated with your feet planted firmly on the ground and you're back straight.
Start by closing your eyes, and taking long, slow breaths. Inhale deeply, breathing through the nose, filling the stomach and the chest with air. Then, exhale through the nose, slowly releasing and contracting the stomach. Feel your body relax with each breath you take.
Next, bring your consciousness down to the soles of your feet, feeling their strength and firmness. Visualize (picture in your mind) tree-like roots extending from the soles of your feet. With each breath you take, these roots grow far and wide, sinking deep into the Earth, through the bedrock, and into the healing soils below. Imagine the negativity, illness and/or stress you feel seeping out of your body, draining from your head down to your toes, through your roots and into the Earth where it is harmlessly absorbed and dispersed. Take your time.
If you're someone who needs to feel something a bit more tangible, try a catchphrase to trigger grounding - it can be something as simple as 'Aaaaand it's gone'! This phrase can be used as an energy release when you need it. Or carry a stone or crystal in your pocket. When you're feeling over-energized, let the stone absorb your energy.
Now that the negativity is drained out, let the energies of the Earth replenish you. When you are ready, envision the Earth’s healing energy flowing up your roots and filling your body with light. Feel the loving warmth as the energy sinks into you; allow it to move and flow throughout your body.
Slowly raise your arms to the sky, and visualize the golden energy of the Universe flowing through your fingers, down your arms, and into your body. Feel the energies within you meld together as the healing energy of the Earth, the warmth of universal energy and your own energies mingle and become one. Take a nice, deep breath, allowing yourself to accept these energies into your heart.
When you are ready, lower your arms and feel the roots recede back into your feet. Take a few extra deep breaths and open your eyes.
Try it before a ritual, grounding creates a safe conduit for divine energies and unifies you with the others in your Circle. Or before divination, solid grounding technique opens your mind to understand what the Divine is trying to say. Or even before healings, it protects you from being receptive to taking on harmful energies, and purifies the energy you are using and minimizes the risk of harm to the other. You can also do a grounding any time you find yourself in a stressful situation or when you want to perform your best.
Grounding and centering heightens your sensitivity to unbalanced energies within yourself and the world around you. Performing this meditation on a daily basis is a simple way to commune with the Earth, while healing yourself with attentiveness and love.
The more you practice grounding, the more automatic it becomes. If you take even a few minutes a day to practice, you will not only have better energy in your daily life; you'll be able to ground quickly and instantly when you're in a tense situation.
"Think of a three-pronged electrical plug, which has the third prong in it to help ground the excess electrical energy if it builds up…When doing energy work of any kind, you should always have a connection to the earth so that you can safely shunt excess energy away from your own energy center. This avoids an overflow of energy in your closed system which can lead to the system shorting out." ~ Arin Murphy-Hiscock