grounding stone

How to: Grounding

It is hard to trace back to when the term “grounding” became a way to describe relieving stress, being calm, and becoming present. I hear so many people use it casually in every day language, but stop for a moment and think. Do you really know what grounding means? This is a worthwhile contemplation because if you don’t know what it means then you won’t know how to do it. It becomes this intangible thing that you think you should be doing but that you can’t, another thing you fall short of and beat yourself up for.

The word “ground” is synonymous with soil, earth, and foundations. Thus, it goes to follow that “grounding” is connecting with or touching the ground. We so often jump to the solution – of a calm state – that we skip right past how to get the calm state. Connecting with the earth is the act of grounding. Feeling calm, centered and at peace is the state of being grounded that comes from this connection. Rather than focus on the goal of a calm state in the midst of the chaos of your life, I encourage you to set your sights on what you can accomplish on a daily basis and on what tools you can employ to help you accomplish this. There are many helpers that come from nature herself that are here with the specific purpose of helping us connect back to the Mother.

Simple tools and techniques you can work with to connect with the earth and ground yourself are: (1) Carrying, holding, and befriending stones (especially the types those listed in the photos below) (2) Touching and watching trees (3) Carrying a piece of bark from a favorite tree (be sure to leave an offering for what you collect) (4) Walking barefoot or at least in a way where you are conscious of the sensation of the earth’s surface pressing on the soles of your feet (5) Wearing essential oils or burning a candle. Oils in particular to use include those of trees (pine and spruce) as well as oils made from roots like vetiver (6) Resting in nature by sitting or laying on the ground

Now we get to benefit from the wisdom of my dear friend Katja Langholz of Mineral Amorphia. She wanted to share about grounding stones and gave permission for me to re-post her content. You can visit her Facebook page and shop her glorious store virtually at:

From Katja: I would like to share some thoughts on grounding stones. Many consider Hematite THE grounding stone and it is fabulous! As an iron oxide it helps bring our higher frequencies in harmony with those of the earth. But also my experience Hematite can be too much for some people, who are very sensitive. It’s vibration to me is that of the vibrant core, that is fluid, which is great but not always stabilizing.

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There are many facets to grounding and many more stones that lend their energy to helping us understand our physical reality better. It is fun to play with different grounding stones and see, which we resonate with most and why. This can change at different times, as we move through our personal evolution, grow, expand and experience. Happy grounding!!!

You can read about how Katja’s wisdom and connection to the mineral world has changed my life in a former blog post titled “In the Flow”

The medicine wheel and the qualities of each cardinal direction.

Calling the Directions & The Medicine Wheel

Working with the Medicine Wheel

Honoring the directions within the framework of a medicine wheel is a common practice of shamanism found throughout the world and at the root of each of our ancestral lines. This prayer to honor the directions can be called a number of things depending on the culture and preferences of the person praying. Some say we are “calling in the directions” while others state we are “calling ourselves to the directions”. Others just see that we are setting up sacred space to do sacred work.

Regardless of the nomenclature, it is important to take a moment and reflect on why you have chosen to enter in to this practice.

Intention for Calling in the Directions

Are you worried about negative energy entering in as you open up to meditate or journey, so you feel compelled to set up protection around yourself? Do you wish to offer your gratitude to the seasons and rhythms of nature? Is it just because you learned it in a class and you’re trying to explore the power of the medicine wheel practice? Are you asking for help from all of creation for a healing? Are you offering yourself as a channel for the Divine? Would you like to call yourself back to center so that you can be your authentic self and be grounded in your being? Do you intend to set up a quiet space for meditation free from the chaos of the everyday?

The good news is that calling in the directions using the medicine wheel does all of the above and more. Your intent will shape the content and power of the chants or prayers you say. So take the time to reflect on your intent and then be willing to allow that intent to shift over time. The beauty of a shamanic practice is that it is personal and place based. Depending on who you are, where you live and what stage of your life you are in, calling the directions will look different because your relationship to nature will be different.

Directions of the Medicine Wheel

The medicine wheel can be broken into five or seven parts depending on your inclination, but always contains the four primary directions: East, South, West and North and a central point or axis.

“Above” and “Below” can also be recognized individually or not because the central axis is seen as inherently connected to these two spaces. As you determine what qualities, gifts, elements and power animals to acquaint with each direction of the medicine wheel I have a simple framework for you to start with.

  1. Path of the Sun: The medicine wheel is laid out in relation to the path of the sun. The East is the place of dawn (beginnings) and the West is the place of dusk (endings)
  2. Seasonality: The medicine wheel can be laid over a seasonal calendar which for us places spring in the East, summer in the South, fall in the West and winter in the North (see photo above). If you lived at the equator you would only recognize two seasons, rainy and dry, or if you lived at the poles you would recognize light and dark, so your associations would be different.
  3. Diurnal Cycle: You can also overlay the wheel with the a 24 hour clock with the East being sunrise, South being midday, West being sunset, and North being midnight.

Qualities of the Directions

To help you determine your own, unique blend of qualities to associate with the directions of the medicine wheel, I offer the following ideas that I’ve accumulated from studying a number of cultures and nature herself. You may see some qualities listed in more than one direction. Feel into the quality and see where it fits for you.

  • Qualities of the East: dawn/sunrise, spring, new beginnings, birth, infancy, mental body, element of air, seedling plants, new shoots, fresh start, innocence, play, childhood, the Sun or Mother Earth, blue, yellow, green, swords tarot suit, astrological houses 1-3.
  • Qualities of the South: midday, summer, adolescence, physical body, mature crops, abundance, element of fire, the Sun or Mother Earth, passion, drive, vitality, fullness, ripeness, maturity, red, orange, wands tarot suit, astrological houses 4-6.
  • Qualities of the West: dusk/sunset, fall, adulthood, emotional body, leaves dropping from trees, letting go, harvest, gathering resources inward, the void, discernment, element of water, the womb, the Moon, surrender, trust and faith, the unknown, black, blue, cups tarot suit, astrological houses 7-9.
  • Qualities of the North: midnight, winter, elder, spiritual body, frozen landscape, silence, communion with Spirit, element of earth, the Moon, death, union, intuition, complete understanding, being filled with the Divine, white, pentacles tarot suit, astrological houses 10-12.
  • Qualities of the Center: Heart of the matter, in the moment, timeless, ageless, integration of all bodies, openness, channel/hollow reed, grace, connection to above and below, trees, mountains, inspiration, rainbow, all colors.
  • Qualities of Above: Cosmic currents, collective unconscious, movement of the heavens, wisdom of planetary bodies, future, possibility, stars, galaxies, expanded consciousness, God, angels.
  • Qualities of Below: Planetary currents, collective history, ancestors, roots, creation, fertility, the womb, the cave, Goddess.


Want to learn more?
Read this article about How to: Prayers to the Directions


How to: Blessing Food

“Through the earth, the creator brings us the food that will nurture us. When we do not receive the offering and gifts from the creator, we dishonor the divine source of all life, implying that we reject life.” – from Medicine for the Earth: How to Transform Personal and Environmental Toxins by Sandra Ingerman

Recently, I became very inexplicably sick. For six weeks I had a terrible, awful, wretched cough that no amount of herbs, homeopathics, or meditation seemed to be able to touch. I wrote a list of everything I tried in the course of six weeks and literally came in excess of 50 remedies. I continued to pray for healing, to invite the healing light of grace into my lungs, and to practice patience. My best friend yerba manza and beloved buddy osha root had no effect. My trusty standbys kali bichromium (potassium) and pulsatilla (pasque flower) couldn’t help move the illness out of my body. This is the gift of a wounded healer – the chance to know so many remedies and their actions -, but this wounded healer could not find relief. I was shaken awake at 3am gasping for breath, the cough choked me so badly that I was brought to the point of vomiting, and my voice trembled like I would break into tears at any moment. It was embarrassing and humbling. I was at a complete loss.

Then came the shift. A doctor muscle tested me and found numerous food allergies as well as a candida overgrowth in my gut. I was furious. Really? A life sentence of distrusting my food, refusing meals, and just waiting for the next spasm of my gut? I was NOT going to do it, no way, no how. But, what was my way out? As I drove the hour home, I started transmuting my rage into activism. Here is the central question that changed absolutely everything for me:

How can I be separate from that which is grown, prepared and blessed with love … that which nourishes me?

I knew this, beyond everything else, to be true, and I focused my entire next 60 minutes of contemplation, prayer and driving around this one sacred truth. Here is what I learned:

The muscle testing was true for that singular point in time. The projection of that momentary message from my body into the future was the distortion. Even the assumption that my body was saying “no more” of these foods was false. My body was just communicating what it knew to be true, that it was having a hard time digesting life. I was not able to receive the gift of nourishment from the creator. With this understanding I started to watch how I was eating, and allowing my body the opportunity to talk about how it felt. I wanted to hear her messages directly. This is how it should have always been, but I needed the gross perversion of the doctor’s projections to make this apparent. Sometimes our messengers are not the purest, sweetest souls, but if we’re willing to pay attention so much can change.

Here are the steps I took to find healing:

  1. The very first step I took was to start sitting with, holding, and blessing the food. “I bless you in the name of the Mother. I bless you in the name of the Father. I bless you in the name of the Spirit who moves through all things.” Other lovely blessings included “I am one with this nourishment. I am one with the divine. I am one with the Spirit that moves through all that is, was and ever will be.” I sent prayers of gratitude to the land that sheltered the food, the air, water and wind that nourished it, and the humans that raised and harvested the food. I channeled love and light into the food.
  2. Second, I stopped doing anything else but being with my food. I stopped working in front of the computer. I stopped watching TV and reading books. I stopped talking if I could help it. At the very least, I stopped heated and hurried discussions over my meals. I eliminated anything that came between me and my food. Instead of polarize away from it, I moved in and entered into an intimate relationship with it.
  3. Third, I moved in even closer and I slowed way down. I paid attention to how the food interacted with my mouth, my tongue, my throat. I found that I was eating WAY too fast. I nearly choked on my food every meal. I chewed and chewed and surrendered to the beautiful nuances of flavor that extended past the first encounter of the meal in my mouth. I felt the way my mouth talked to the flavors and then I sensed how my stomach received the nourishment. One of my dear friends reminded me, “put down your fork in between bites.”
  4. I began to watch not only my digestive tract but my entire body. I saw that I was sitting cross-legged and hunched over as I ate. I was twisting and compacting my gut. I was contracting and retreating from the experience. Now I consciously put both feet flat on the floor and feel the circuit between me and the earth close. The energy flows freely and I feel flushed and rejuvenated. It is like being steadied by both of a friend’s hands on my shoulders after getting off a rocky boat.
  5. Last, I listened to my body for the entire meal, listening closely for contentment. I found I was blasting way past contentment, into “full” and then into gorged. There is a quiet, comforting communication from the body that says “thank you” and settles in to the nourishment. The first time I heard it I understood how I had missed it all along. There is no quieter or more still voice. It’s like the silence of the moon setting on the horizon.

The result of this ongoing practice is that I now eat 1/3rd the amount I had been. I’ve lost a lot of weight, but feel more content with food than ever. My cough and mucous in my lungs is gone. I am eating all foods in rotation. My body asks for a variety of foods so I am sure to not go into auto-pilot when choosing my meals. Most importantly, I feel more connected to that which nourishes me as well as that who needs nourishment, my body. Some pretty healthy side effects! I would love to hear about your relationship with food and how you practice blessing the food. Please share in the comments below.