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.

An Emotive Ramble on “Coolness”

So recently, on one of the Discord servers that I’m a member of, there was a question asked about if people are familiar with the Theban alphabet, and if we use it.

I got into a bit of a debate with someone on the server about whether the Theban alphabet is a language or not. I continue to insist that it is not, but rather in this instance is a tool used to conceal language, and not a language in and of itself. They insisted that it is a language, because it can be used to communicate between two people.

A Frustrating Encounter - Theban Alphabet
"A Frustrating Encounter" - Theban Alphabet

The thing is, during this debate, they insisted that the Theban alphabet has no true use, and that people learn it just because they think it’s “cool”. And the way that this was presented sounded very snide, especially in the context that they were insisting a better method of concealing one’s writings from others would be to learn an entirely different language, and use that instead of a cypher (which is what the Theban alphabet is).

Now, while I agree that learning another language would be beneficial to anyone and everyone, I disagree that the Theban alphabet has no place in today’s witchcraft. I also strongly disagree with there being anything to look down upon in learning something…. anything, for that matter, because you find it “cool”.

In fact, I would say that aside from outside influences (economic, parental, educational requirements, etc) that the “cool” factor is humanity’s key motivator in any learning or exploration process. It is what sparks our inspiration and curiosity, and thus from there we dive in and explore, learn, and eventually develop and then hone our skills.

I don’t understand why anyone would look down on people for thinking something is “cool” and thus deciding to learn about it, no matter what it is that has caught their attention.

In the end, this person’s dismissive invalidating and degrading tone really put me off (and pissed me off), and combined with the tension between myself and her as we tried to discuss… I ended up having to excuse myself from the conversation.

Which… is so fucking frustrating. And irritating. And damnit, I hate when people look down on others like that and it pisses me the FUCK off and, in this instance? There’s just nothing more I can do about it other than the posts I already placed in there to reassure anyone that read the discussion that it’s okay to explore and learn something because you find it cool. Why the hell wouldn’t it be?

Side note… The answer to the original question of if I am familiar with and/or use the Theban alphabet is that my sister and I were taught this alphabet by our mother when we were children, and were required to write our rituals and spell notes in it in order to become fluent in reading and writing with it. I no longer use the Theban alphabet, and haven’t since leaving my parent’s house at the age of sixteen. That does not change my opinion that it has it’s places and uses in today’s witchcraft, just not in mine specifically as I am very much “out of the broom closet” and not planning on spending any time in there.