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?”

Music to Craft By

Today’s question is brought to you by two of the witchy type servers that I’m a member of on Discord. Both servers asked the exact same question within a few days of each other and I thought it might make for a good topic here.

Prompt from Server #1: “What song(s) put you in a witchy mood?”
Prompt from Server #2: “What kind of music do you like to listen to when you work magic?

Okay, so I love music. I really do. But, there are a number of activities that I can’t do while listening to music. Because I have sound → sensation/smell/taste synesthesia, music can often have unintended distractionary repercussions, so I have to be careful to what I listen to and when. For example, I have a playlist of music I can listen to while driving because none of the songs cause me physical sensations that would distract me from what I’m doing. I couldn’t guarantee that if I were listening to the radio, where a song or sound might come up that could create a painful pinch in my hand or arm, or a pins and needles sensation in my foot or leg.

For this reason, most of the time when doing spellcraft and different spiritual workings, I don’t use music as it can create “phantom sensations” that can be distracting. That said, I do have a playlist full of certain songs that safely “fit the mood” that I will use when I want to include music. Some of those include…

Terra Firma by Delerium


Silence by Delerium


Dissolved Girl by Massive Attack


Black Milk by Massive Attack


All Mine by Portishead


To Be Free by Emiliana Torrini

Not all of these (or all of those on the playlist) are sensation-free sound. But none of them create unpleasant sensations, smells, or tastes that might distract me from my focus. And, of course, all have the same “vibe” to the music that helps “set the mood” that I like for spellcraft and witchy-type activities. I think that for a lot of people, music can really add another level of depth to their practice, and even another element of “flavor” to the magic itself.

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.

Countdown to Samhain – Part 2

I discovered this little challenge on Instagram and thought I’d give it a go.  Since it’s not demanding a card pull each day, I thought it might be fun to use it for a couple of my Pagan’s Perspective posts instead of adding it to my daily rotations.

Countdown to Samhain #samhaincountdown

16 Halloween Tarot
Two of Imps – Make good choices using the knowledge and advice that they give me.
The Chariot – Take control of your life and steer it in the direction you want to go while allowing my ancestors to help guide me.
The Hanged Man – Make time along the way to see others perspectives and try and see my ancestors perspectives as well.

17  Off and on around this time of year some things happen.  But it comes with the territory, as the veil between the spirit world and the living one is very thin at this time of year. I am rather certain I had a visitation from my father last Samhain season, and it was not a positive influence for me.  I’ve made precautions this year in the hope of it not being a repeat occurrence, but I would never forbid him from visiting entirely unless it became a repetitive issue.

18  As with the answer to the tarot card question asked in part one of this series, I don’t really have a suit that I associate specifically with this time of year.  I think this might be because I see the suits as elements rather than seasons.  When I am required to assign seasons to the suits, the Autumn season is earth/pentacles. But that is not limited to just Samhain, but the entire Autumn/harvest season.

19  Pumpkins (obviously) and other gourds.  Apples.  Dried orange and lemon rinds.  Dried grasses and grains.  Chrysanthemums, wormwood, and thistle.

Halloween Tarot20 Listen to me… Listen to your inner knowledge… Listen to your intuition. Just listen and know.

This card is about making sure that I’m listening to my inner voice, inner knowledge, and intuition.  These elements are things not based in logic or fact, and yet have the ability to guide you forward with true purpose toward your soul’s completion. 

In acknowledging that my ancestors and guides speak to me through the signs and signals that my intuition and inner knowledge use to guide me, this essentially “doubles down” on the importance of making sure I’m not turning a blind eye to those messages, regardless of the fact that they come from a “less logical” source.

Halloween Tarot21 Stop judging yourself so harshly. It’s okay to be tired, it’s okay to take breaks, it’s okay to take a little time for yourself.  

You work hard and do a lot for other people as well.  There’s nothing wrong with taking a little time for yourself when you need it… or even when you don’t feel like you need it, but just want it.

Don’t allow your father’s voice and judgements rule your life and take away your joy, or enjoyment of the world around you.

Look at all the good you’ve done and stop judging yourself on the little things that don’t matter.

22  Yep.  I used to love dressing up and going to parties with my sister. These days we don’t party all that much, but for the past few years I’ve still decorated for Halloween and handed out candy.  And, as outlined in part one of this little quiz, I obviously also celebrate Samhain.

23  Every year around Samhain I watch two movies without fail. The 1968 version of the Night of the Living Dead and the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

24  IMG_7078

IMG_7076

Halloween Tarot25 I need to stop trying to close myself off emotionally from others that are just trying to help (Four of Ghosts).

I can do this by making sure I stay in contact with Gideon, and by making sure that I express my feelings to him honestly so that he can help in understanding what I’m feeling and other people’s feelings and reactions, as well as guide me in making better emotional choices.

26  Not this year. For the first time since I moved into the building I live in, I won’t be answering the door to trick or treaters this year. So… I won’t be dressing up.   Altho… I might wear a pair of bunny ears to the farm in the morning when I go.  Just for the hell of it.

Halloween Tarot27 The shadow aspect of myself being revealed here is my “Not enough, never enough” shadow. 

This shadow rose up pretty heavy and strong last year, and I’ve noticed a slight resurgence of it this year as well. It makes it difficult to ask for help, and that is something I struggle with year round but usually becomes even more prominent during this time of year when I’m trying to get prepped for the holiday rush.

Halloween Tarot28 Take time to learn how to step away from the scarcity mindset.

This was an interesting solution to giving love to the shadow mentioned above, and yet… it also makes sense to me.  

The thing is, that when I am feeling like nothing is ever enough, I’m also feeling like I can’t catch up and can’t get ahead.  That scarcity is right there on my heels, nipping at me along the way.  It drives he harder and pushes me to do more. But it also feeds that shadow’s feelings of inadequacy.  

Therefore, if I want to give this shadow some love, easing those feelings of scarcity is a must.

29  I don’t think that I have a favorite song for the season, actually.  Although… Enya maybe, as far as music in general goes. Her music always feels just right at this time of year.

30  Halloween Tarot

IntentionPage of Imps – Exploring and expanding upon my interests and curiosities. This summer, I had the intention on doing a lot of different little craft projects and inspirations.

ObstacleStrength – The problem? Was that you can only put so much on your plate at once.  I allowed myself to put myself first instead of the business, which for me is pretty huge. 

Best OutcomeSix of Bats Rx – Staying put. I didn’t really advance all that much in my business over the spring and summer months. My heart just wasn’t into it and I was far too focused on my own self care and life stable and balanced.  As a result, there was very little progress and very little change.  Which honestly?  Isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because it didn’t damage my business or cause a backslide and/or loss as a result.

31 Thinning Veil Tarot Spread by TwisttheLeaf