Grounding: Everything You Need to Know

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JP asks:

1. Should grounding be only used after doing any magick work, or is it something that we need to constantly perform since we learn to tap into higher energies?

2. Is there such a thing as “over grounding?” And if yes, how do we determine that we’ve not exceeded that threshold?

Around here, we like thorough, accurate answers, even if it takes a few extra minutes to understand. So let me explain the mechanics behind grounding, and then tell you what I do.

What Happens When You “Ground”

Most teachers say “grounding is sending your energy into the earth / out into the universe” because that’s the visualization they use. But that’s confusing a symbolic visualization with what actually happens. To understand when to ground, we need to understand what actually happens.

Broadly, when you feel like you need to ground, it’s not that you have too much energy, it’s that your energy is the wrong signature. It doesn’t align with your mind and body, so it feels off. The solution is to expel that mismatched energy, so your body can replace it with energy in its signature.

There are 2 ways to do that: Self-grounding and system-based grounding. I’ll tell you what they are, then how to know which one you’re doing.

Self-grounding is when you relax your shielding and let your energy equalize with the energy in the room. Yes, equalize, not release. You have a different signature than the area around you, so you will lose your excess energy, and pick up some of the energy in the area, with its (different) signature. Is that good or bad? Depends on the ambient energy. So do it a little, see how it feels, then decide.

System-based grounding is when a system (the external forces that mages, psychics and healers channel) balances your energy for you. It connects to you, checks out your energy, removes the excess and adds energy with a different signature, hopefully aligned to your body. As with all systems work, the quality of this grounding depends on the quality of the system you’re using, so switching systems can produce better results.

If you are self-taught, and haven’t studied any particular style of magick or energy working, you are probably self-grounding. If your magick involves traditional symbols and rituals in an established style, or an initiation (like Reiki), you are probably using system-based grounding.

When to Self-Ground

I only self-ground when I feel a too-much-energy headache. Usually, this is after a spirit drains me (yes, that still happens to me occasionally), because it only drains energy in its signature, resulting in my overall energy being off.

My energy signature after being drained = my normal signature – the spirit’s draining signature. But you don’t need to know those details. You’re just going to dump the mismatched energy and replace it with good energy.

In that scenario, I make a connection between my head and the area right outside my house and let the energy flow through it. Then I build a bit of energy in my body, to fill it with my energy signature. You’ll know you did it right when you feel normal again.

Until you are used to working with energy, you may get these energy headaches after doing any sort of magick work. I’d ground then, too. And if you know that every time you do X, you get a headache 20 minutes later, I’d ground without waiting those 20 minutes.

When NOT to Self-Ground

Don’t self-ground when you are in an area with energy misaligned to your body. The technical term is “icky energy.” If you start to ground and it feels bad, stop.

Also, if spirits are draining your energy, don’t ground until they’re gone. By opening yourself, you make it easier for them to access you, and by releasing energy, you will attract more drainers. Instead, focus on shielding and on removing connections*, and only ground once they’re gone.

*Post on that coming soon.

When to Systems-Ground

If you use systems-based grounding, you probably follow a traditional style of magick. I’d do whatever that traditional style recommends. Probably, it says to ground after every session, which accomplishes two things:

  • Returns your energy to normal, rather than the type of energy you have when channeling those systems.
  • Tells the system that you’re done. (The same system does the magick as does the grounding).

Realize that they may not call it “grounding.” But any step you do to close down the magick session probably fills this role. LBRP comes to mind, though I haven’t tested it as a grounding technique myself.

Because there’s a system handling it, you’re releasing the energy to the system, not to the area. So the safety concerns of self-grounding don’t apply here.


Often, when someone starts learning the mechanics of magick, the first thing that happens is they realize a ton of questions.

And sometimes, I’m just less clear than I think I am.

Either of those the case? Leave a comment below.

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7 Responses to “Grounding: Everything You Need to Know”

  1. JP Alcala says:

    Thanks Mike. That was very informative.

    Now that got me curious. From reading your post, I get the impression that it’s more advantageous to let a system handle the mechanics of the grounding than doing it yourself.

    While pragmatism may be one of the reasons to use system-based grounding, it makes you dependent on that system. Most system-based grounding are ritual-based, which can be cumbersome especially when in a place wherein performing a ritual will not be possible (e.g. inside a mall).

    What’s your take on this?

  2. Hi JP, that’s basically my take on it. You summed it up really well.

    Using systems is easier, and if you want to go just as far as the system can take you and no farther, then using the system is a good option. (Also, with experience, you can use the system for simple things like grounding without the ritual, just by connecting to it and either focusing on what you want it to do or visualizing the ritual steps).

    But if you want to go beyond there, you need to learn to do the skills yourself. That way, you can build new techniques that can do things your systems can’t handle. That’s most of my work these days. That’s also the best way to understand all the moving pieces that make magick work.

    It’s like baking a cake. A mix gives you a passable cake, you can’t screw it up, and it’s fairly quick to learn. Baking a cake from scratch is harder. But you won’t get something extraordinary from the mix.

    I wouldn’t say either approach is right or wrong. They solve different problems. But I’m glad to meet someone interested in learning to do magick directly, without the systems.

    The self-grounding technique I described is a basic version. As you get more advanced, you can do what the system does for you, and safely ground anywhere. But in practice, by the time you can safely ground anywhere, you won’t need to ground much at all.

    If you haven’t already, check out this guide for learning the various skills:

  3. One thing I want to add:

    You can learn to use systems and be doing basic magick in a few months. Learning basic direct magick (without the systems) takes a year or two.

    Is the extra time worth it? Depends on how far you want to go with magick (that is, do you want to do things those systems can’t handle), and how much you enjoy exploring and seeing how magick is implemented.

    • Steve says:

      Hello Mike, Love your posts! I’m just a curious novice wondering, whats an example of a system that would only take a few months? I’ve been reading for almost a year for hours daily and they all seem to have some attached knowledge thats covered in thousands of pages. Although my main focus is Direct Magick I’m curious as to what kind of system I could learn and utilize in a few months while developing my Direct Magick skills over the next year or two (aside from basic sigils).

      • Hi Steve, thanks for reading!

        This post is from when I used the word “system” for what I now call “ethereal software.” So, what I’m saying is, you can learn to use ethereal software in a few months. Reiki attunements, for example, take only a weekend, and teach you to use their ethereal software for healing.

        The book I’m writing will show you how to use ethereal software for healing, manifesting, and protection. I’d expect a newcomer to get through it in roughly 6 months. (And I’m starting a new schedule: One book chapter every Monday, starting today. So it’ll finally get moving again.)

        It sounds like maybe you’ve been reading, looking to understand everything before you start practicing. Magick is really something you have to experience. So, the real solution is: Less reading and more practicing.

        Good luck!

        • Steve says:

          Thanks for the timely and detailed reply! I look forward to the day your book is completed. And your right, I’ve been so caught up in reading that I’ve only just begun practicing visualization for meditation consistently. Which reminds me of a question I will post in the approprate section on visualization shortly.

          Thanks again!

  4. JP Alcala says:

    Thanks Mike. Really love your posts on the subject.

    I’ve been doing magick for more than 17 years now. I always find myself going back to basics and learn new things every time.

    I primarily use Dragon Magick. And thanks to constant guidance, I’ve been lead to explore Direct Magick in order to take my practice to the next level.

    I agree that the extra time is worth it. Getting to know the intricate details means I can streamline the steps needed to perform magick whenever applicable.

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