Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world, by running away from things, or by turning solitary and going apart from the world. Rather, we must learn an inner solitude wherever or with whomsoever we may be. We must learn to penetrate things and find God there. —Meister Eckhart
Two of the valuable spiritual tools I’ve learned from my Wiccan friends are grounding and shielding. It’s easy to meditate and feel connected to the Divine when we light some incense, burn a few candles and play soft meditative music. But what about when we’re in the midst of chaos? What about when we find ourselves in a tense or potentially hostile situation? This is where grounding and shielding come in. You can read about these two meditation techniques in many introductory books on Wicca.
GROUNDING: It’s best to master this technique in solitude first, before you try it in the midst of a difficult situation. I ground by taking three slow, deep breaths. With each breath I imagine any negative energy that is in my body being released into the ground. I also feel my feet growing roots and attaching themselves to the soil. This visualization can be done while physically touching the ground or even in a seven story building! Once you feel like all the negative energy has been released (it may take more than three breaths at first), imagine drawing up from the earth its healing green energy. Let that energy penetrate every cell of your being.
Everyone experiences grounding differently. I’ve done some work with acupuncture so I know how to open up the energy channels in my feet. That might sound strange to some but when I am drawing up the green energy from the earth, my feet literally tingle. They also feel heavier like they are glued to the floor. I’m curious if anyone else out there experiences anything similar when they ground themselves?
SHIELDING: Shielding is learning how to create a protective sphere of energy around you. The goal is to block any hostile/negative energies that are coming your way so you can deal with them calmly and effectively. When I’m going into a potentially hostile/antagonistic situation, I say the following prayer slowly and deliberately. You can substitute whatever name you use for “God.” This is called The Protection Prayer:
The Light of God surrounds me.
The Love of God enfolds me.
The Power of God protects me.
The Presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is. All is well.
Sometimes I pray this three times until I feel calm and serene. With practice, you can usually get the result you’re looking for by saying it once. As I say this prayer, I image a vibrant white light surrounding me in a spherical form.
Another way I shield is by calling on the Guardians of the four directions, whom some see as angels or the Ancient Ones as well as elemental spirits. If it’s possible I face North and draw up a translucent shield of emerald green in front of me that rises to a point over my head. I then draw up a shield of diamond white to my right which corresponds to the East. It butts up again the Northern green shield. Next I imagine a ruby red shield in back of me which corresponds to the South. And, finally, a sapphire blue shield which corresponds to the West. Together they form a cone shape that surrounds me with protective energy. With practice, this can be set up quickly and I’ve learned to do it with one sweeping hand motion.
There are many ways to do both grounding and shielding. The important things is that you experiment and find out what works for you!
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