I have had a life-long interest in the supernatural, the paranormal, and anything to do with spirit. But I was ten years old when I really had my first in-my-face encounter with these natural, but mostly hidden forces.

My mother and I were going to the movies – I even remember what movie it was – Little Lord Fauntleroy (that will give you some idea of how old I am!) and yes, thank you, I remember enjoying it very much. But the real highlight of my day out with my mum happened even before we filed into the darkness of the movie theatre.

Having some time to fill before the movie started, we wandered along the road to a group of shops, one of which sold antiques. I loved antiques – I loved old stuff, period, so we went in.

The shop spread across two rooms, and when I glanced into the second room, my heart leapt. A matching pair of twin beds were set up in the middle of the room, complete with blankets and pillows tucked in against their carved headboards. I was smitten and already envisioning them in my bedroom at home as I made a beeline for them. There was no way I could ever convince my mum to buy them for me, but even at ten years old, a girl can dream, right?

Besides, they were gorgeous, and what I liked even more than old stuff, was gorgeous old stuff. My father, a cabinetmaker, had promised me a four-poster bed one day (cough cough it never happened) so I was primed towards bedroom furniture, I guess you could say.

I stopped dead still in my mad dash across the shop towards these beds. A couple metres from them and I was frozen, goose bumps pebbling my skin, and sucking air into my lungs through what suddenly felt like a soggy paper straw.

I remember my mother touching my arm and asking me what was wrong as I reversed my direction and began backing out of that second room, out of the whole shop in fact, to stand dazed on the footpath outside.

There was something wrong with those beds. I can still feel the darkness that clung to those bits of wood and springs. Looking at my mother I told her that something terrible had happened in those beds. I had no idea what, and I sure wasn’t going to go back into that shop and wander up to the beds to take a closer look. All I knew – all I needed to know – was that something had happened involving that pair of beds, and that it hadn’t been nice, and that whatever it was still clung to the furniture, seeped deep within the grain of the wood. I sure didn’t want them anywhere near my comforting bedroom at home. I’d take my utilitarian little bed over those ones anytime at all.

Now, you may not go around about picking up on nasty left-over energy, but the fact is, in a world made of energy, it’s everywhere, and some of it clings. Which is where the necessity for grounding, cleansing, and centring ourselves comes in.

Have you ever gone to a busy mall a day or two before Christmas and come home frazzled and exhausted, even though you were only there for twenty minutes and you usually love shopping?

Have you ever been hiking and found a place to rest that you thought was completely beautiful, yet after a while found there was something unnerving and not quite right about the place?

And what about that one friend that we all have had at some stage – the one who seems to suck us dry when we visit, so that the first thing we do when we get home is have a nap?

We are receptive beings. Besides our physical body, we have an energetic one as well. This part of us is constantly connecting with and feeling out the energy around us from people, places, things, the whole kit and caboodle. It’s what allows us to appreciate atmosphere, it’s the direct line to empathy, and it’s how we feel essentially connected to our world.

But our energetic body also needs attention and protection, and just like we use soap and water to clean our face, we need to have some cleansing routines for our energetic selves too. Which is why we’re going to learn some cleansing, centring, and grounding techniques. They’re simple and effective, and mean that you won’t get so clogged up with unwanted energy, and you’ll be balanced and sure-footed. Which also means that you’ll be healthier, feel less stressed, and more connected to the world in ways that are easy and joyous. No more carting around the accumulated energy of every person and place with which you come into contact.


Cleansing, centring, and shielding are three different exercises, but they’re all necessary and so complementary that when you do one, you’ll often find yourself doing the others as well. As for grounding – well, the way I define it makes it pretty much a way of life.

It’s also the foundation for doing magic. Walking steady and surefooted through the world is essential if you want to live magically, if you want to stretch your spirit in ways it is made to be stretched, if you want to connect easily every day to your spirit’s path, and if you want to learn not to live in fear.

We are spiritual and physical beings here in this world – this world that also has a spiritual dimension, where everything is alive, where fairy races live almost unseen beside us.

To experience it all, to unlock our natural abilities, there are three things to my mind, that are essential practices enabling us to walk in flesh and spirit.

One of these is grounding, cleansing, and centring.

Let’s get started.

Sum It Up

– the constant, willy-nilly exchange of energy within every environment you find yourself is exhausting

– extreme cases of uncleared energy in places and people can make them uncomfortable to encounter

– cleansing, centring, and grounding helps you avoid feeling overwhelmed

– it helps you avoid mistaking outside emotion and energy for you own (you get to stay balanced)

– it stops you from taking on the emotions of others (you won’t be so easily influenced)

– it gives you a strong foundation for developing your inner world, which is essential if you want a spiritually, emotionally, and mentally healthy life

– remember, you don’t have to be psychic to be affected by energy – we all absolutely are (of course, if you’re an empath, you really need to know this stuff)


The concept behind this is simple. We flush away all the second-hand energy that we don’t want clinging to us. Much like we wash our clothes to get rid of the stink of second-hand smoke, so do we want to clean ourselves of that energy.

We do this grounding by using what we have – and what do all of us have? The elemental forces that surround us – earth, air, fire, and water. We’ll take the earth to begin with, as it’s most commonly used when starting out, and for good reason: we stand, sit, and lie upon. It’s big, solid, and porous. Perfect. It’s also symbolically ideal, and when it comes to inner work – magical work, symbolism is a big thing. Symbolism is the language of the soul and uses simple images and ideas to communicate much larger ones. Once you step foot upon the path of spiritual growth and developing your inner world, of doing magic and being who and what you really are, symbolism is going to become your best friend.

So, grounding makes sense both in practical ways (that unwanted energy must go somewhere, and the earth is super convenient and one big recycling machine) and symbolically – being ‘grounded’ readies us for further experience.

Let’s get to it, shall we? Here are the steps: