A lot of people in the Pagan community use the term “grounding,” most often as part of the phrase “grounding and centering.” The definition of this term is often abstract, and can be hard to understand. Grounding is basically connecting to the Earth (ADF grounding connects us to the Sky as well), in some cases drawing upon the energy of the Earth (and Sky) to work magic or perform ritual. Grounding is also used, generally in Wicca, to refer to pushing any excess energy that might have been raised during ritual or magic back into the Earth.
Since I am working on the basic training within ADF, I will focus on the ADF version of grounding, the Two Powers meditation. I imagine this could work within other Pagan traditions as well.
The Two Powers themselves are the Earth Power and the Sky Power. The Earth Power is generally seen to be dark, watery, and cool. It is the force of Chaos, the primal force. The Sky Power is envisioned as bright, warm, and airy. It is the force of Order that shapes Chaos.
The most prevalent way of connecting to these Powers is through meditation and visualization, though I have also heard of going outside on a (warm) sunny day and touching the Earth. Since this second method is more concrete, I thought it would be the one to work best for me.
However, I live in the Midwest. Not every day is warm and sunny. I needed a version of the Two Powers meditation that would work even better for me than going outside, and one that can easily be done inside during cold winter days.
Here is my solution (okay, my fiance helped me come up with this): Fill a mug or cup with steaming hot water. The steam is reminiscent of clouds, and the warmth is like that of the Sky Power. Also fill a bowl with soil. Soil from outside will be best, but potting soil will work (I’m using organic potting soil now since the ground is frozen). Set the steaming mug on a coffee table or nightstand. Set the bowl of soil on the ground. This positioning simulates the literal placement of the Sky above and the Earth below.
Now place the palm of one hand over the steaming mug so you can feel the warmth of the steam, and place your other hand in the bowl of dirt. Close your eyes and feel the energy traveling up your arms and spreading through your body.
I haven’t worked much with this exercise, as I just created it a few days ago. I would imagine that soil from your yard or a nearby park would provide a better connection to your local area. Different steaming liquids, like coffee or tea, could probably be used for their differing energies. Different forms of earth, like sand or maybe even mud, could be used to gain a connection to different places.
Please let me know in the comments if this technique helps you in any way!