The Earth Element: Grounding Practices for Wild Times

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Grounding Practices for hard times

This post explores grounding practices for the Earth element.

The four elements are what make up our world, they’re found in nature and are reflected back to us in many forms. The elemental system pops up as a framework in all things witchy — from tarot to astrology to altar building. Every element exists within us and can be seen out in the world.

And each element holds a specific key for our self-care. We need all the elements, but some of us need more of some and less of others. This elemental series will focus on what self-care looks like in each element.

Air: Our thoughts, brain chemistry, and the ways we communicate.

Water: Our feelings, intuition, emotions, and inner world. 

Fire: Our creativity, vitality, motivation and drive, movement, and sexuality.

Earth: Our sense of safety and security, purpose, self-worth, work ethic, abundance, and receptivity. It’s the Pentacles in the Tarot and Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn in Astrology.

Being in my own head comes naturally — constant thinking, judging, learning, planning, worrying, replaying, shoulding, guilt tripping, reading, scrolling, reacting, the list goes on. It’s airy as f*ck. The brain is amazing, but also can make a problem worse when we stay in the headspace of overwhelm and negativity.

Engaging in grounding practices help us tune into our bodies and into the Earth element. Which can feel really difficult when you spend most of your energy in your head or trying to force your body into a box that it doesn’t want to be in.

But it’s the Earth element that will help us balance out a racing mind and emotional overwhelm. Feeling our feet on the ground, being aware of our environment, dropping out of the chattering mind, and connecting to the Earth is essential when we feel like we’re living from the neck up.

It’s always the (sometimes frustratingly) simple things that can help us get grounded. But at the same time, simple doesn’t always mean easy. That’s why we talk about grounding in terms of a practice, because you have to come back to these things repeatedly to get the hang of it and maximum benefits. Examples of grounding practices:

  • Getting quiet for 2 minutes — no music, no other people, nothing
  • Feeling bare feet on the floor or grass
  • Looking at a tree
  • Sitting or laying on the ground
  • Breathing intentionally for 1 minute
  • A walk outside
  • Focusing on the food you’re eating (aka mindful eating)
  • Putting your hands in water (make washing your hands feel like spiritual self-care)
  • Gardening
  • Drinking water and paying attention to how it feels
  • Getting the sleep you need
  • Embodiment breathwork
  • Dressing in something that feels great on your skin
  • Putting on a favorite song and moving your bod

You can also place objects that represent the Earth element around your home or on your altar to balance out your space and remind you to check in with yourself. Things like:

  • Plants and flowers
  • Salt lamps
  • Crystals
  • Wood
  • Sand
  • Shells
  • Greens and earth tones

A grounding ritual 

As with any ritual I suggest, please make it your own. Leave something out or add something as you see fit. 

You’ll need: 

  1. Cleansing herb or wood (like rosemary or palo santo) 
  2. A place to lie down undisturbed for a few minutes
  3. A candle
  4. Notebook and pen 

What to do: 

Cleanse your space by burning the herb or wood you prefer. Light your candle and lie down on the floor, the grass, or your bed. Breathe in as fully as you can and exhale as deeply as you can. Repeat 3 more times.

As you breathe, envision your body sinking into the ground. With each inhale, picture your back absorbing the support and nutrients you need from the earth, as if you have roots unfurling into the ground. With your exhale, imagine yourself sinking deeper into the ground and giving over your worries, anxieties, and stress to the earth to be composted.

Allow yourself to be held like this for as long as you like. When your mind feels quiet ask: What can I let go of? Write down the first thing that comes to you in your notebook where you can come back to it at the end of this moon cycle.

Close out your ritual by blowing out your candles and turning on some music.

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