What is Centering and Grounding?

Although a lot of people look upon the terms “grounding” and “centering” as one in the same, in truth they are two very different things that are often used in conjunction together.

Centering, which is usually done first (although not always), is about drawing in your chaotic energy. Imagine your energy as a sphere that surrounds you. When you are feeling chaotic, distracted, scattered, etc, the particles of energy in this sphere are agitated and disorganized.

In centering, you are taking these particles of your energy and drawing them from the sphere and in closer to yourself, even into yourself. Drawing these energies in, they condense and calm, ceasing their agitation and disorganized behavior. This is called Centering. It is bringing your energy “to center” in order to “piece yourself together” and calm your energy into a state of solid stability.

Grounding is usually done after centering, although some people do them simultaneously (or only do one or another depending on what works for them). Grounding is taking that stability within you and connecting it to “an anchor”. There are lots of things you can use as an anchor, but in my case it is always very literally… the ground.

Grounding helps preserve the centering that has been done, giving the stability found in the centering a more solid and long-lasting quality. It can also be used to help release excess energy that can build up when one is dealing with things like nervousness or anxiety, or otherwise balance out one’s energies.

My go-to way of grounding is through rooting. This is when you allow yourself to connect through your feet (or other part of your body touching the ground) and imagine your energy creating roots that dig down into the earth and spread beneath you. These energy roots create an anchor that helps cement stability in place, and allows a give-and-take of energy with the earth to level out any excess or depletion taking place.

I center and ground many, many times a day. It is a habit that takes a few second at a time, or can take a few minutes if done consciously and with intention for a stronger effect.

In spellcraft, these techniques are especially important as they are used to help condense and prepare your energy for use and direction. Casting a spell without centering and grounding would be like shooting an arrow out of a bow with the feathers loose. The energy (arrow) may get where its going, but it sheds a good deal of energy along the way (the feathers) making the spell less effective,

By centering and grounding first, you are essentially securing those feathers to the arrow (creating fletching) so that when the arrow flies, there is no loss of energy along the way and the arrow’s accuracy is greatly increased. Thus, your intention and energy in the spell is not wasted and flies true as well.

This is why you will find in the large majority of witchcrafting communities, when people ask why a spell didn’t work or why it went awry, the first question usually posed by those with experience is “Did you center and ground first?”

Breaking Down the Tarot

Learning tarot is something that a lot of people are intrigued about at one point or another in their life. For some, it’s a phase that they dabble in and then move on from. For others it is an opportunity to exploit others. For some it is a lifetime fascination. For still others, it is a part of who they are… or a part of their spirituality.

There are plenty of assumptions about the tarot and plenty of abusers that use the decks for their own purposes. That use the tarot to manipulate people, or to hurt people… or as a game, unintentionally hurting others simply by not understanding or being unwilling to grasp the power that the tarot can possess.

The sad thing is that this type of harmful behavior is going to be the case for no matter what you are talking about. There will be some that respect these different things, and others that won’t. Just as there are those that will appreciate a public garden, and others that will only pause to piss on the flowers.

The thing is that most of those who are truly invested in tarot in some way, whether that is through helping others or helping themselves, acknowledge that tarot is more than just a handful of cards. They aren’t out to hurt people, manipulate people, or use tarot as a game or a weapon. They are seeking to use the tarot to help themselves or others, seek out guidance for themselves or others, to delve into their psyche in order to heal themselves or others.

Tarot is a way to reach into the minds and souls of the self and others, and to find depth… to find answers. Whether a secular or spiritual reader, I think that it’s important to respect and own the responsibility that using something that can do this inherently holds. I find that I sometimes struggle with fresh, brand new beginners because of this. Because they aren’t ready yet to grasp the responsibility behind what they’re seeking to learn. They don’t realize that it’s not a toy or a game, but rather a tool to help that can also harm if we aren’t careful.

For this reason, I try to remind beginners (and even some that have dabbled for quite some time but don’t seem able to grasp the gravity of the tool in their hands) that reading tarot is not just about getting answers. It’s about how you present those answers, either to yourself or to others. It’s about acknowledging that anything that you say can have a huge impact on another person and their life, etc. And therefore, when reading the cards, it’s important to present things in a way they understand and that is empathetic to another person and their journey.

Without empathy, understanding, and a sense of empowerment in the message… the cards can easily become something that can do a great deal of harm instead of good. When people speak of “respecting the tarot” it is this influence… this responsibility… that they are referring to. A responsibility that I feel is absolutely essential, especially in reading for others… but also in reading for yourself.

Personal Emotions and Reading Tarot

So, I had something else planned to post today, but then this topic kind of came up the other night in my mind while I was reading on the Philosophical Question about pleasure and evil. The thing is? I really did think that the answer was going to be a yes… and it wasn’t. It got me to thinking about how we all sometimes invest our own thoughts, opinions, or emotions into tarot reading. The “good readers” realize this when it’s happening, and are able to then step back from it and let the cards speak for themselves.

Usually, when people discuss times to take a break from reading tarot, at the top of that list is times when you are emotionally imbalanced. And I agree with this. When you are dealing with depression or anger, grief or other intense emotions, it’s not usually a good time to be reading tarot because your inner turmoil can influence your perspective on the cards and what they say.

This can, in turn, can create problems if you’re reading for yourself or others by causing the reading go awry from the intended message in the cards, or not be delivered in the healthiest ways.

In thinking about this topic after that reading I mentioned above, I was thinking about why it is that I’m still doing readings during this time when I’m dealing with my own depression. Shouldn’t I have stepped away from the cards? That’s what I have done in the past during these times, and it’s the safest thing to do usually.

But, I haven’t stepped back. I’ve cut down a bit with how many readings I’m doing, but I haven’t stopped entirely or cut back to just my “Positive Message” card of the day practice.

The thing is, though, although I am not reading for others right at the moment, because I’m going through a depression and need to make sure my delivery to my clients remains the caring and understanding tone that it always should be… I am continuing to read for myself.

This is not something I recommend, because of the reasons I already mentioned. That said, I am trying to see if I can level out my ability in reading even during these emotional times. Not just in this particular issue, but more… across the board whether happy or sad, depressed or upset, etc. I would like to grow to a point where my intuition and “reader’s voice” are not warped by my emotional balance and struggles, but instead continue to be objective and unbiased through these times.

This doesn’t mean that I would at some time in the future begin reading for others during these times when I’m struggling… but I think that even in just reading for myself this is something I can work on to become a better reader over all.

Bugs and Symbolism in Spellcraft

Today’s prompt is brought to you by one of the Discord servers that I am a member of.  Just as a side note that I usually include with these discord questions… The reason I do not link these Discord servers is because each server has their own rules about if you’re allowed to share them publicly and how, and it’s a pain in the ass to look it up for each one so I just don’t share them.

On to the question… “What bug associations do you hold?

caterpillar

Like the use of crystals, and the use of herbs and plants, there are often times when bugs are used in magic.  Not just in predictions and omens, but also occasionally in spellwork and the like. This is not something that I personally do all that often, as I feel much the same about using bugs in my spellcraft as I do about using animals.  That is to say… they cannot give their consent to be used in this manner, which means it’s unfair use and disrespectful of me to do so.  That said, I do have certain associations with different bugs.  I’ve listed those below…

Ants – hard work, strength, community
Aphids – sneaky, hidden, persistence
Bees – collaborative work, success, the sun
Butterflies – rebirth, hope, renewal
Caterpillars – growth, slow organic change (usually positive)
Cicadas – deeply personal transformation, vocalization, inner truth
Cockroach – sloth, resilience, hardiness
Cricket – good luck, happiness
Dragonflies – sudden or abrupt change (not always positive)
Firefly – inner light shining bright, authenticity
Flies – filth, decay, guilt
Gnats – hunger, annoyance, persistence
Ladybugs – wishes, good luck
Locust – deceit, greed, bad luck
Mosquito – blood, medical field, usury, vampirism (energy or otherwise)
Moth – addictions, temptations, the moon, the subconscious
Praying Mantis – independence, betrayal
Pill Bugs – passive defense, being guarded
Silverfish – greed, gluttony
Spiders (most) – meticulousness, organization
Termites – perniciousness
Ticks – tenaciousness, burrowing energy
Wasps – anger, backbiting, over the top protection, warning

Keep in mind that these are my personal associations with each of the bugs listed above.  I have no idea what the “official” metaphysical associations and symbolism is for each of them, although I would imagine that I’m on the right track with most.

With that said, obviously these are not all of the uses, associations, and symbolism that these bugs can possess.  I tried to wrack my brain for as many different types of bugs as I could think of without doing an internet search for bugs, which would be sure to set off my arachnophobia like nobody’s business.