First of all, I tried to do this as a video, and I even did so six times, but it kept screwing up and looking/sounding incredibly shitty, so I’ve finally given up on that idea. >:( Instead, I have fleshed out my notes in order to produce a decent textual post for you all. I am not happy with the way this has turned out, and I do not think I’ll be attempting another video any time soon, or possibly ever. Needless to say, I’m pretty pissed, but I guess I should have just given up after the third try. Oh, well. Here is what I was able to put together. I hope it’s at least mildly enjoyable to read, because it was bitch and a half to type together from notes.
For too long I have tried to fit myself into the common mold, yet I know that I am uncommon when it comes to a lot of things. When one begins a Pagan spiritual or magical practice, it’s typically begun by learning the basics, and what could be more basic than the practice of grounding and centering?
I do not often hear of people having serious issues with grounding. Certainly, I’ve read accounts of those who’ve experienced troubles or setbacks, but inevitably, they pick it up after a while of experimenting with the various techniques available. Unfortunately for myself, I’ve not been so lucky. I’ve never been able to ground effectively or regularly, and I’ve always thought that I was just bad at it.
Because, why is almost everyone else able to ground like they’re supposed to? Grounding and centering is such a universal practice, even if addressed by different terms between different spiritual communities, but that doesn’t really help me. I’ve tried a variety of techniques, and not one of them has worked for me.
I’ve spent many years floundering, trying to come up with some grounding method that would stick, and nothing did of course, until I stopped trying to force myself through the filter of the Earth element.
But I’m done with that now. I’m tired of trying and trying to fit myself into that mold when I’m constantly spilling out of it. Earth is not my element. The element which sits at the center of my being, is Water.
Back during the early days of my blog, I would often mention, though not in any deep way, my affiliation with the nymph, Daphne. And although Daphne, in my understanding and doxa, was a hamadryad, it should be remembered that originally, and before her transformation, she was a naiad, a nymph of fresh Water.
So, as a tree, Water remained an important element in Daphne’s well-being, probably as much as the Earth she was rooted to. I imagine that being grounded in the way that she was, receiving her nourishment from the Earth below, was not exactly the same type of grounding that we understand today in our modern spiritual practices. I also imagine that when the sky opened up to shower her and the other trees with rain, from which moisture was needed, that it helped to wash away her troubled emotions, cleansing her and freeing her of much of the hurt and trauma she was subjected to during the pursuit from Apollon, which itself was the traumatic result of the vengeful Eros’ ire toward the God.
Water is often lauded as a carrier of emotion, and I have found this to be true in my own doxa and experience. Returning for a moment to the lore of Daphne, it is not surprising for me to realize that the pain and fear she experienced during her trial had to somehow be removed if she were ever to truly succumb to Apollon’s will. This necessarily happened after her transformation, because the perspective of a rooted tree, or hamadryad, rather than that of a free-roaming nymph allowed her to finally be embraced by Apollon’s fierce love.
Daphne must have underwent a series of dramatic purifications before she was able to accept Apollon’s love, and thus accept her fate as the vehicle of purification, through Him. In her final state, we see her in a sort of elemental convergence, where Water joins with Earth, and in turn joins with Fire as her leaves are burned to release the virginal essence still residing within her. This essence is then carried up to the realms of the Divine by Air, in the form of smoke lifting away impurities.
This, in my opinion, is the pinnacle of purification, for it is the convergence of all these elements together which fully expresses Daphne’s innate purity, which is then shared with us through the process of simply burning the bay leaves, or in another way by the preparation of khernips, which itself requires Water, sometimes salt, and usually burning herbs or bay leaves, which results in a small amount of smoke before being plunged into the Water, thus joining all of the elements.
So, in these examples, we see the importance of Water as the carrier of the pure essence of Daphne, and the vehicle through which impurities, both physical and emotional, are washed away.
For myself, as one who identifies in many important ways with Daphne, it is little wonder that Water should be so necessary in my own grounding efforts, for it is not only about the cleansing of impurities, but also the release of stagnant emotion, which through Earthen grounding alone I am unable to dispel. Thankfully, however, I was able to figure this out through meditation, trial and error, and some conversations with Apollon in which He all but hammered it into me that I am not, in fact, attuned to the Earth element in any significant way. This is made more evident in the make-up of my astrological chart, which sadly, contains zero Earth.
I’ve known this for a long time, but only recently have I put two and two together. I believe it is important for us as practitioners to be aware of the nuances of our elemental natures, and to take these nuances into account when attempting even the most basic of spiritual activities, such as grounding and centering. If we try to adhere to forms which are less compatible with our natures, we may likely find our efforts wasted, leading to more feelings of inadequacy and other negative emotions. It becomes a cycle of self-deprecation that can never help to improve our capabilities in the areas we wish to improve upon.
So, what does grounding through Water (for lack of an appropriate Water-based term) look like? For me, it may begin with visualization, as do many Earthen grounding techniques, but instead of visualizing a connection to the Earth itself, I see a pool of ground Water seeping up to cover my feet, or my entire body if I’m feeling particularly needy. I then try to synchronize the movement and flow of this visualized Water with that of my blood. Through concentration, the Water which comprises so much of my physical form then becomes inseparable from the visualized Water. It is at this point where I am able to release the pent up emotion, which is washed swiftly away, soaking deep into the Earth, along with the visualization.
There are other, more immediately physical ways to engage with Water in this way, such as running cool tap Water over one’s hands, then releasing the unwanted energy; or swimming, particularly in the ocean and other natural bodies of Water; and even standing outside during a heavy rainstorm. All of these I’ve found to be effective, and I will continue to experiment with other techniques as they present themselves, and as the need arises.
In the meantime, however, I’m going to stop typing, because this is the point at which I ended all six of the video attempts, as I have run out of relevant things to discuss. I hope you have all enjoyed this as much as I tried to enjoy it. I do love your comments, so please, don’t be shy.
May the many Gods bless us all with love, tolerance and clear communication. Thank you all for reading, and have a wonderful evening.