Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...



Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]


Views: 17,163,460


September 14th. 2014 ...

GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)


September 7th. 2014 ...

Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery

Web Oh-oh

The All


August 31st. 2014 ...

Coven vs. Solitary

Faith

A Strange Waking Dream


August 24th. 2014 ...

Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation

The Pagan Cleric

A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)


August 17th. 2014 ...

To Know, to Will, to Dare...

On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows

The Darkness


August 10th. 2014 ...

As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?

The Power of the Gorgon


August 3rd. 2014 ...

Are You a Natural Witch?

You Have to Believe We Are Magic...


July 27th. 2014 ...

Did I Just Draw Down the Moon?

Astrological Ages and the Great Astrological End-Time Cycle

The New Jersey Finishing School for Would-Be Glamour Girls and Boys


July 20th. 2014 ...

Being an Underage Wiccan

Greed, Power, Witches, and the Inquisition

Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches

Thoughts on Ghost Hunting


July 13th. 2014 ...

A World Of Witchcraft: Belief Is Only The Beginning...

From Christian to Pagan (Part III)

Being Wiccan

My Wiccan Ways...


July 6th. 2014 ...

Keys: Opening the Portals into Other Worlds

The Lore of the Door

Leaves of Love


June 29th. 2014 ...

What Does the Bible Say About Witches and Pagans?

Are You My Familiar ?

Invocations of the God and Goddess

Everything's Alright, Yes: Mary Magdalene

Results Magic and the Moral Compass


June 22nd. 2014 ...

Witchcraft vs. Religion

Christianity and Paganism: Why All Of the Fighting?

Norse Mythology


June 15th. 2014 ...

Becoming Your Own Wise One

Canine Familiars: Role of the Alpha


June 8th. 2014 ...

Moral Relativism and Wicca

Paganism in Cebu, Philippines

Color Infusion

Soul Strings


June 1st. 2014 ...

Rediscovering My Pagan Faith

13 Keys: The Wisdom of Chokmah


May 25th. 2014 ...

Some Differences Between Priestesses and Witches: Duties and Trials

Awakening to our Celestial Nature (A Free 8-Day Course)

How to Work With Your Muse

10 Things I Love about my Sacred Work as a Public Witch


May 18th. 2014 ...

Finding the God (From Christian to Pagan -Part II)

The Medea Within Us All

Visits from the Departed


May 11th. 2014 ...

Breaking the Law of Return

Karma and Sin

Mental and Emotional Balance- I CAN Have it!

The Sin Concept


May 4th. 2014 ...

When to Let Go...When to Hold On

Goddessy: Sorceress Speaks On Beauty

Embracing my Inner Goddess through Belly Dance


April 27th. 2014 ...

Mental Illness in the Pagan Community

World Crisis: Awaken Witches and Take Action

Being Pagan, Being Bipolar

"Earth Day" Is A Pagan Conspiracy!


April 20th. 2014 ...

Six Rules for Safer Pagan Sex: A Guide

Safety: Let's Shift Our Focus

Morality and Controversy in the Craft

A Pagan Perspective on Easter

The Star Child


April 13th. 2014 ...

Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils

Being a Worrisome Witch

Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!

What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops


April 6th. 2014 ...

The Elements and the Quarters

Dark Moon Scry: Aries 2014

How the Wheel of the Year Works “Down Under”

13 Keys: The Understanding of Binah


March 30th. 2014 ...

Manifesting the Dream: On Religious Organizations, Pagan Abbeys and our Order

True Meaning of Community


NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.












Article Specs

Article ID: 10294

VoxAcct: 279768

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 3,182

Times Read: 7,094

RSS Views: 71,102
Grounding: Tree And Flame

Author: Alison Leigh Lilly
Posted: January 1st. 2006
Times Viewed: 7,094

Briefly, what is the purpose of grounding? It is, most simply, a way of connecting to and interacting with an energy beyond ourselves. Rather than drawing on our own limited supply of physical and mental energy, which can quickly burn us out and result in unhealthy imbalances, we "tap into" the Divine in its infinite potential and activity. We do not drain ourselves, but neither do we overload ourselves by trying to hold on too tightly to the energies that we draw on. Instead we allow ourselves to be conduits, to be vessels for the coming together, direction and manifestation of these Divine energies. Often people will focus on only one of the two aspects involved in grounding--either that of drawing in energy, or that of releasing energy back. Indeed, I suspect it is this second aspect--in the sense of "grounding" electricity and releasing it so that its build-up cannot do damage--that gives this practice its name.

Because of this dualistic focus on grounding, many people may only think of it as something one does at the beginning (to draw in power) and end (to release it again) of a ritual or spellwork. In fact, grounding and what is known as "centering" are two faces of the same coin, and both are on-going during any magical working, as well as during contemplation and, ideally, during mundane existence. The practice of calming the mind for meditation and centering in oneself echoes the practical activity of grounding in a greater Presence. Such grounding, like centering, habituates us to surrender, to opening ourselves up to being emptied or filled in rhythm with the tides and vibrations of the Divine Will.

We ground so we are rooted and anchored when we do any ritual work. For us this includes beginning ritual, doing ritual, and releasing ritual afterwards. We ground because, for us as Norvicensian Witches, any power that occurs in our ritual and story work is not our power. For us being a Witch is not about us having power, it's about us being powerless and surrendering to and into the power of the Divine. It is grounding which plugs us into this surrender and connects us with the power of the Divine so that any ritual work we do isn't us doing ritual but rather the Divine Spirit doing ritual in us and through us.

- Rawna Moon, on Grounding


With this quick review of grounding as a general practice, I'd like to move on to discuss two ways to conceive of the act of grounding--as tree, and as flame.

Tree

A most traditional way of grounding as understood by many Witches (Pagan and non-Pagan) is to imagine oneself as a tree or plant, rooted in the earth and reaching up towards the sky. This concept stems mainly, I think, from the fertility-focused aspect of the older nature religions as revived in Wicca, etc. Such approaches emphasize our connection to the earth as Great Mother and Sustainer, the source of our energy and lifeforce. Meditations on the core of the world, to which we are held by the weak yet constant force of gravity, lead us towards contemplations of where we find our own spiritual and physical center. We find all four elements embodied in this way of grounding: the airy celestial towards which we reach, the water of lifeblood/"sap" that runs through our bodies, our bodies themselves and the earth to which they are rooted, and the heat and energy of a hidden molten core, both within the earth and within ourselves.

The image/embodying of the tree as a form of grounding may also be tied to the concept of the axis mundi--the world axis, often manifested as a mountain, hill, tree, or even a constructed pole or temple/spire. In this sense, grounding qua tree extends beyond merely tapping into the energy of the earth. The axis mundi is the connection between the material and spiritual planes, it extends from "heaven" through the middle world and into the "underworld"--bridging the realms of light/enlightenment and darkness/mystery through the realm of paradox, the realm in which we as human beings struggle and do our work. Grounding with this in mind emphasizes the nature of the practitioner as a conduit between the worlds, through which the power and forces of the Divine may flow and by which they are shaped into manifestation.

Both the tree-image and its extension, the axis mundi, illustrate symbolically to the subconscious a form of surrender: an opening to the flowing energies of the world that course through our veins. In some occult practices, the axis mundi concept is extended/reinterpreted still further into that of the lightning bolt, striking ferociously down from the sky while at the same time rising forcefully up from the earth to meet itself. Here we begin to see hints of another conception of grounding, that of the flame.

Flame

Grounding understood in the image of the flame recalls less of the core ideas of the fertility-cult and emphasizes, instead, a more ecstatic tradition (for example, that of Feri Witchcraft, or that of Sufi mysticism within Islam). Rather than imagining oneself as a tree with roots reaching deep into the earth and limbs spread out and upward into the sky, the practitioner feels herself as the dark wick at the heart of a blue flame. The wick of the material body reaches down into a semi-liquid/semi-solid "wax" of the created world, while the flame leaps up into the celestial, spiritual realm, a flame of spirit and will that is fed, shaped and moved by the breath of the Divine.

The movement and working of energy in this concept of grounding is slightly more complicated than that of the tree. Rather than energy moving clearly through a passive conduit, there is an intimate interaction between the particular material form (the wick) and the universal spiritual presence (the breath). The spiritual activity of burning (which, even when the flame is stilled, is essentially a process, an activity) is fueled both by the Divine breath and the material form of the individual. In this interaction, energy is not just moved or transferred--it is created through the process of transforming the potential of the wind and wick into the actuality of the flame. Energy is both generated and released through this process of burning, so that rarely does an "excess" build up which it is later necessary to "ground" (in the electrical sense) .

The concept of burning is also associated closely with ideas of love and surrender. While the grounding of a tree is a kind of surrender which is receptive and passive, the surrender of the flame is an active surrender, which, while still being "receptive" in a sense, is also more engaged in the process. It may be a more accurate metaphor for the activity of love, which involves will and choice, a movement towards and a giving of oneself to the Divine.

Practically and personally speaking, I find the concept of grounding in terms of the flame more flexible. It does not require me to sit still but is perfectly adaptable to walking, moving, and dancing as forms of meditation. On windy days, I sense my grounding as tapping into the energy of the wind itself as it is available to me; on warm days, the heat of sunlight and the closely-held warmth in the folds of the land feed the flame, while on cold days, the process of burning itself warms me.

I would recommend to those who have found grounding a difficult practice to sustain or benefit from to explore other possible metaphors for the relationship of energy and Divine presence. For me, the idea of the blue flame has opened a great deal to me, enabling me to ground and center more readily and more often, even during my everyday life. Explore such ideas, images that move you--do not stick only to metaphors growing out of a fertility tradition that may not speak so directly to your modern existence.




Footnotes:
Rawna Moon, "Seeker Exercises: Exercise 6: Grounding" http://members.aol.com/RawnaMoon/seeker6.html



ABOUT...

Alison Leigh Lilly


Location: Seattle, Washington

Website: http://pulselikewater.blogspot.com/

Author's Profile: To learn more about Alison Leigh Lilly - Click HERE

Bio: Ali is a Christian Witch who has been studying comparative religions for seven years and has been writing poetry as a spiritual practice for fifteen years. Most of what she knows about Craft has come from her dedication to her art. She currently resides in Pittsburgh where she is studying poetry at a graduate level, working as a waitress in a family restaurant, and making frequent trips to the city park down the block.




Other Articles: Alison Leigh Lilly has posted 8 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE




Email Alison Leigh Lilly... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)

To send a private message to Alison Leigh Lilly ...



Pagan Essays
1996-2014





Pagan Web
8,000 Links





Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.





Pagan/Witch
80,000 Profiles














Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops



Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World




Search Articles
1996-2014










 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide


NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).