My name is Phyllis Caran. I'm a Wiccan priestess and the founder of the Aura Tradition and this is just a quick introduction to one of the most powerful practices that we have that is now spreading out into the broader community and that's a terrific thing. It's called Grounding and Centering. It is a practice that is best done outside with your back to a tree. That's how I would recommend that you listen to this and then go try it. You want a park, garden, forest even better. Take a little walk and what you're doing is essentially listening. You're bringing a question and you're listening for the answer and the answer is, "Which tree would like to help me?" When you get that little sense of pull that something is responding to you, that's the tree you want to work with.
You go up to it and you ask it. If the tree wants to work with you, you'll know. It will be a sort of happy feeling. You sit down and you put your back against the tree. Close your eyes and you're going to ask the tree to help you, to experience what it feels like to be a tree. It's an extraordinary experience. Initially you may feel like you're imagining and to some extent you'll have to use your imagination. But the tree takes over and the experience itself becomes increasingly powerful. The more you practice this the easier it gets and the less you're imagining, the more you're experiencing. There is no question when it starts to happen, you'll recognize it immediately. When we're inside in a place like this you have to work a little bit harder but it's equally powerful. It's particularly powerful in the spring and in the summer, even the fall, less so in the winter because everything is dormant and the trees are sleeping. Inside, you can do this anywhere. You want to turn off your phone. Turn off the computer. Don't just put it on sleep. Turn it off. Turn off the ringers. Lock the door. You need quiet time. This is your alone time. It's done at the beginning of every circle. Every time you cast. Every time you create ritual. Every time you want to do a spell. This is one of our most essential practices. It's also incredibly wonderful if you need healing or energy. You're exhausted. The energy that we work with it sacred. You don't just cast a spell out of desire or intent or impulse. When you work, the energy that you're working with is the energy of the sacred. When you finish spell casting, especially if you're working with other people, you can find yourself very drained, very tired. So in order to avoid that, what we do is we bring the energy up into our bodies from the Earth and when we're all done, we ground the energy back into the Earth. That's equally important because people can get very fried, literally, if they are running energy and they don't ground. When I am working too hard, I get too busy, I get too frantic. I'm talking to fast. I'm trying to accomplish too much in a short amount of time, I stop. I slow my breathing. I use breath meditation and then I ground. When you ground what you're doing, initially, is imagining. You close your eyes, preferable if you're connected to a tree, easier. But if you're not, you imagine yourself as a tree. You grow very still. You use breath to calm yourself and to quiet yourself. The way we use breath meditation is by connecting ourselves to the trees and to the plants. So as you inhale, you recognize that what you're doing is bringing a gift of life, of oxygen, from the plants, from the trees into your body without which you won't live.
When you exhale, you're giving them a gift of life without which they can't live. It's a balance. It's a very profound experience of your connection to the world in which you live and to the sacred and to the other living creatures that we depend on. It's an intimate, profound relationship. It quiets you, it calms you, and it connects you. The next connection is visualized, imagined, and then increasingly felt and experienced and it is the sensation of roots that are descending. It's best if you sit directly on the floor but you can do this sitting on a chair, or a couch, or a bed. You sit upright, like the trunk of a tree, and you send your roots down from the base of the spine into the Earth below you. You push and you push and you send and you feel them growing and expanding and reaching further and further out into the Earth and absorbing the minerals and absorbing the water and absorbing the energy of the Earth and drawing them up through all the fine filaments and then the larger roots and then the big tap root and up the spine. You run the energy up through the spine, into the heart, you fill the heart chakra. It's an amazing experience when you can just feel the whole chest opening and heart opening. If you're working with other people, we then run the energy around the circle. It's an extraordinary experience. Even people who have practiced for many years but practiced alone have never actually felt it. As soon as you put them in this setting and use this practice, the energy comes up and rushes around the room and the circle is essentially cast just like that. So you bring this energy up, you run it through your body. You can direct it to a particular area for healing. This is the essence of a healing spell. The energy is brought up, directed into the area that is injured or that needs healing. You may not know. It's something you can simply do on a regular basis. Animals do it all the time, for healing they lay against the Earth.
You bring it up. Circulate it through the body, through the mind, continuing using your breath to establish and maintain relationship with plants and then you hold it in your heart. If you need energy and power and drive, you can hold it in the stomach area. You'll feel like. It's like a glowing heat. This is the furnace, the energy center. This is the heart center. This is love and emotion. I like to store it here and you'll feel it. The heart literally just opens. Then we draw the roots up slowly and you have them curl and remain at the base of the spine. The energy that you've run through your body is in your body. It's in your stomach. It's in your muscles. Your blood is oxygenated and it's in your heart. That's the energy that you'll use to cast a spell. When you're all done, you ground the energy. You sit, send the roots back down, and you send the rest of the energy back down to the Earth and when you do that you do it with thanks and with gratitude.