GROUNDING & CENTERING & BREATHING
(*taken from Solitary Witch by Silver RavelWolf)
These concepts are some of the most important of the basic practices you will ever learn. They can be used to calm you down if your emotions are going haywire, I used them during labor & delivery of my children, and you will always use them when you perform any spell or ritual. Stress can bring any magickal workings to a grinding halt so you want to practice these regularly.
*Proper breathing brings oxygen to all areas of the body and ignites the energy centers, aka Chakras, with positive energy, which helps to reduce your level of stress. The breath can also be associated with the Spirit of God/dess and is believed to be charged by the Earth's magnetic field. * Therefor, when you breathe in and yout you are becoming one with the universe - not only physically but mentally and spiritually as well.
Many magickal systems include a Sacred/Holy breath. It is our way of "grounding & centering" this means to be in the - here and now. Your entire being focused on what you are doing rather than thinking about several things at a time. I usually want bare feet in contact with the ground to start - when I began I took "grounding" pretty literally and wanted to connect with the ground wherever I was. So feet flat on the ground helps me to use my sense of feeling - touch to conect with the "SPACE" in which I currently reside. Grounding literally means to feel secure, to root yourself in the planet Earth, to bring nature into yourself, and yourself into nature. Centering is to find that calm smooth space at the center of your being, stretching out to the center of where yuo are standing/siting, out to the center of the planet, into the center of the universe. It is the still point - the absolute moment of calm when you feel like you are one with the universe.* Close your eyes and be YOU!! Not mom, sister, daughter, boss, etc. - just YOU!!
Exercise 1 Sacred Breathing for Internal Magicks: Pick a time & place whre you won't be disturbed - turn off the phone, etc. Sit comfortably in a chair with a straight back. Tip yourtorso over your thighs so your hands can lay flat on the floor. Slowly roll the body up - stacking one vertabrea at a time until you are sitting tall. Repeat 3 times (This helps to alleviate stress stored in the body). Rest your hands on your thighs, palms up.
Close your eyes and relax. Breathe in through your nos and out through your mouth as slowly and evenly (inhale, hold and exhale are all equal - try for a count of 4) as possible - this does get easier as you continure. This is called the Rhythem of the Sacred Breath. Continue this breathing as you relax further. Envision yourself surrounded by a pure, white light. You are inhaling the white light and exhaling all the grime / smoke / smog and stress of the day. Try this everyday for a week, more if you are upset or working hard. (NOTE: You might get a little "floaty/ dizzy" feeling after a little bit of this breathing - THIS IS EXCELLENT this is your deep alpha sate - the optimal state to do self-empowerment/self-healing or astral travel.
When ready count 5 to one and open your eyes.
Exercise 2 Sacred Breathing For External Magicks: This is the frame of mind / body necessary to connect with Spirit for the most effective / efficient migickal workings like spell casting, circle casting, rituals, etc. Usually I'm standing, with my eyes closed.
Deep Breathe One: ROOTING. I make sure my feet are pushing solidly into the ground. As I inhale I visualize rooting growing out of my feet connecting me to motehr earth. Feeling the surge of energy directly from the planet. My energy I visualize as Red (as it's my color) and Earth energy as Green. So I can better see them merging.
Deep Breathe Two: SENDING. I will stretch my arms out wide to my side. Visualizingthe energy from Mother Earth cycling through my body mixing with my spirit. Then this combined energy shoots out of my fingertips mingling my essence with the air, universe, etc. The Red (my energy) and Green (Mother earth energy) come out of my fingers intertwined.
Deep Breathe Three: RECEIVING. As the universe received my energy in step two it will send energy back to me in this step.With my thrid breathe I imagine The universe's energy soaking into my fingers, cycling through my body, down through my feet mixing with Mother Earth energy. The universe energy I visualize as silver coming back into my fingers and through my body intertwining withthe Red(me) and Green (Earth)
Deep Breath Four: CENTERING. All this energy as been brought to the surface - my soul energy, Mother Earth energy and Universe energy. It is all cycling through my. With this final deep breath I Imagine the colors - Silver, Green and Red intertwining so tightly it blends int one color. My focus is in my solar-plexus (just below my heart) Image there is a sun / ball of light burning there. Soo, this is the herd part. All the intertwined colored energy is entering from my feet and fingers and exiting the same way. It will pass through this ball of light at my center. Each time the energy passes through my light, my light will grow, until my entire body is made up of this ball of light with the intertwined energy of me, earth and the universe passing merging and exiting it. (NOTE: This might take more than a single deep breath as you first start. Don't worry just keep at it with total focus until you're grounded and centered. Now I don't need all the time and visualization. I can recognize the feel of Mother Earth and the Universe and my energy and I can merge them is relatively shot periods of time)