by Sarah Evergreen
As witches, we’re deeply familiar with the energy that courses through the earth beneath our feet. It is an energy full of potential, creativity, imbued with the fire and generosity of the earth herself. While there are many ways to tap into this energy, none are so direct and responsive as earthing.
What is Earthing?
Earthing is the ancient and deceptively simple practice of putting one’s bare feet against the ground. No more, no less. Whether you choose to practice earthing by standing in one place in your backyard (which has the benefit of fulfilling all social distancing protocols) or by taking a hike with your shoes slung over your shoulders (a personal favorite of mine) you open yourself up to the power of the earth.
While the practice of putting your feet on the ground can, in and of itself, yield huge benefits, there are actions and mindsets that you can employ to go deeper. Like all spiritual practices, moving with intention imbues your earthing practice with a sense of gravitas.
Earthing and Grounding
You’re likely familiar with the process of grounding, sending energetic roots into the earth in order to connect oneself to the center. This is a common practice, often evoked before any kind of healing or ritual work.
The terms earthing and grounding can sometimes be used interchangeably, but I prefer to see them as complementary practices. One can certainly practice earthing without any intentional energetic play, while similarly one can practice grounding without being outside or even barefoot. However, when blended together, I’ve found the two practices become more powerful than the sum of their parts.
For many practitioners, the closer one is to the raw earth, the more powerful energetic workings become. This is because we are part of nature, not apart from nature, and the more fully we embrace that, the more closely we can live aligned with the inherent flow of energy. Within this flow, we experience creativity, abundance, and a peaceful knowing that all is unfolding as it should – like the petals of a rose. We may not appreciate the rose’s thorns, but the thorns don’t detract from its beauty.
Earthing isn’t just lauded as a spiritual practice, either. A small number of studies have shown that this practice has a wide range of positive health effects. Though wide research hasn’t been conducted currently, the findings have shown that earthing can promote better sleep, help reduce inflammation (especially in persons with chronic illnesses), and reduce pain overall.
There are many ways to bring earthing into your daily or weekly witchy practices, depending on what result you are looking for.
Are you looking to shed unwanted energies? Envision that which no longer serves you flowing down your legs, out of the soles of your feet, and into the earth. Allow yourself to see this energy however it manifests, perhaps a spiky black electric shot of anxiety, dull brown rivers of despair, or a muted red cloud of overwhelm. Watch the energy move deep into the earth, filtering through dirt, roots, rocks, and underground streams. With every layer, the energy is cleansed and transmuted into something ultimately supportive, which you can either ask to be returned to you, or simply let be, knowing it will fuel the world around you.
Perhaps you have felt yourself lagging recently, lacking the vigor needed to move forward in your life with purpose and devotion. Envision the deep red energy of the earth kissing your feet, coiling up your legs, and pooling at the base of your spine, activating your root chakra. I have found that when I pay attention, I can actually feel the earth pushing back against me as I walk, lending its limitless energy to me with every step.
Alternatively, you may be feeling disconnected from the Divine, or from your fellow beings. With each step, or as you plant your soles on the earth, bring to mind a cord or roots moving down from your feet into the soil. Watch these roots dig deep, spreading away from where you stand, interacting with all the other beings’ roots around you. As your own roots grow, they tangle and intertwine with those of your neighbor, the nearby oak, the sprouting spring flowers, the dog down the street, and the herbs that bring brightness and flavor to someone else’s dinner.
Earth on the Inside
There may be times in your life, or the lives of your loved ones, where coming into direct contact with the ground is impossible. In situations like these, it can be helpful to find a small potted plant, or even a container of soil (though I’ve noticed having a root system in the soil is very supportive), and place one’s open palm on or in the soil. After all, we are not limited by the tools or accoutrements of our practice; we are magic.
Earthing for Everything
This practice is so simple and versatile that it can be applied to nearly any situation in which you may find yourself. You can offer gratitude, ask for support in trying times, or release that which no longer serves through the transformative power of the earth. Each time the Wheel of the Year turns to welcome the spring season, the practice of earthing becomes easier and more pleasant. Still, whether there’s snow on the ground, or a global pandemic tearing through our neighborhoods (as we find ourselves now facing), we can always find a patch of soil to connect us to the earth and keep our energies moving in a healthy, nourishing rhythm.
About the Author: Sarah Evergreen is an intuitive tarot counselor and the host of the Squeaky’s Cauldron podcast. Her work centers on moving through deep transitions, grief, and uncertainty, empowering clients and listeners to step into their inherent gifts and knowledge during challenging times. You can find her at squeakyscauldron.com, or on any major podcast platform.