Earthing, or the practice of making direct contact with the ground to improve your well-being, is having a moment right now.
But as practitioners of a nature based spiritual lifestyle, we witches knew a long time ago the importance of experiencing nature from skin-to-ground.
So today, let’s talk about how to use this not-so-new approach to plugging in to planet Earth in your witchy practice.
What is earthing?
It’s a simple concept you probably enjoyed as a child.
Go outside, take your shoes off, and feel the grass between your toes.
Yup. That’s it.
In a nutshell, earthing is about making direct contact with the ground.
More technically, researchers think that direct contact with the Earth’s limitless supply of free electrons may stabilize the electrical environment of the human body.
Sounds pretty woo-woo even for a witch, but apparently, even the medical community thinks there might be something to it.
Believe it or not, some clinical research suggests that earthing provides health benefits. From pain reduction to improved sleep and even decreases in inflammation, earthing makes sense as part of a holistic approach to wellness.
Earthing and Elemental Magic.
On a recent nature walk together, a friend told me she used earthing to help her address some physical imbalances.
I admitted I never heard of the practice.
Intrigued, I decided to experiment with bringing the idea into my Craft to recalibrate my inner elements.
Every element comes with a “good” side and a “not-so-good” side. But I don’t like placing values or judgements on the forces of nature.
I prefer to say every element has the potential to become imbalanced.
We need only to look at the natural world to see what I mean. A flood, for example, is an imbalance of the Element of Water. A volcanic eruption clearly leans in the direction of “too much fire.”
As a metaphor for the Elements in our lives, these forces appear, at first glance, highly destructive. And usually, they are. At least at initially.
But farms need flooding rivers to keep their land fertile. And wildfire makes way for new growth in the forest.
We all experience imbalances with the 4 Elements at different times in our lives. Most of us tend to trend towards an imbalance in one direction or the other. For example:
Air: Too much Air often means you spend a lot of time in your head, overthinking things and suffering from anxiety, insomnia and difficulty relaxing.
Earth: If you experience too much Earth, you tended to be stubborn, stuck in your ways, a homebody and reluctant to travel or seek new experiences.
Fire: And overwhelming amount of Fire provokes anger, rage and passionate love affairs that never end well. When confronted with a problem, you tend to “burn the house down” rather than try to solve it methodically.
Water: Too much water floods your life with emotional instability, insecurity and deep sadness.
Earthing helps bring the elements back into balance—no matter which one feels out of whack.
Airy-natured folks find that earthing pulls them out of their head and into the moment.
It helps fiery types feel more inclined to think things through.
And it stabilizes watery souls by putting their feet back on dry land.
As for people with an earthy imbalance, earthing paradoxically brings them into their element in a positive way.
Ideas to use earthing in the Craft.
Because of the emphasis of elements in modern witchcraft, it’s easy to think of ways to incorporate it in your practice. Here’s a few to get you started.
Add it to your morning ritual.
If you practice a witchy morning ritual, add 2-3 minutes of earthing every morning.
Go outside barefoot and enjoy your tea on the ground, for goodness sake.
Try barefoot magical gardening.
Come spring and summertime, green witches tend to spend a lot of time in their magical gardens.
Do yourself a solid and try it barefoot. It’s seriously amazing.
Lying on your back is a great way to ground.
And cloud scrying is a great excuse.
Reconnect to the childhood joy of staring at the sky in search of shapes and messages from the horizon.
Go shoeless for your next nature walk.
My Unitarian Universalist church organized a social distance nature walk during the pandemic lockdowns.
The organizer showed up barefoot and walked roughly 3 miles with no shoes on. I was stunned.
Point is, it can be done, and some people really enjoy it. Personally, I have super soft feet and need a grassy surface, but if you want to try this, go for it!
Don’t forget different terrains.
Sea witches need no introduction to earthing. They all know the power and joy of a long, squishy walk along the shoreline.
Take a cue from them and don’t forget, is for more than just backyard romps in the lawn.
Experiment with the feeling of moss underneath your toes, or try standing in some mud after a rainstorm.
Not the Michael Jackson kind.
Try a barefoot walk in the moonlight for an ultra-special moon ritual or Sabbat celebration.
Connect with the Green Man.
If you celebrate the Wheel of the Year, use earthing to connect with the green man.
Any tree (especially one with deep roots and wet bark) is a good spot for grounding without actually being on the ground.
Climb up that old oak and contemplate the energy of the Green Man this summer.