Continuing with the theme of grounding skills, another way to layer your ritual to add richness and depth is to create a sacred space and stratify your ceremony by including a focus on the elements: earth, fire, water, and air. This would look like creating an atmosphere, perhaps in a meditation or other specially designated space that includes aspects of one or more of these components.
What are things that you think of when you visualize the earth? For me, I think of rocks, crystals, plants, trees, loamy, earthy richness, deep, dark dirt. For me it also includes earthy animals like snakes, lizards, burrowing critters, rabbits and badgers, as well as forest dwelling creatures like Elk, deer, moose, or cave dwelling beasts like bears and cougars. I suppose if you lived in other places like Africa, China, or Australia, this list of animals might look very different. I did not include bugs, but if that’s your thing, them maybe spiders and crawly things would also fit. I also think of earthy foods like mushrooms, yams, carrots, beets, turnips, potatoes, leeks, onions, and spices such as cumin, all spice, and nutmeg. Warming teas like herbals, dandelion root, licorice root, or even chamomiles. Scented candles like moss, or grass, and even vanilla can pull in a sense of earthiness. Also, sound machines that have forest sounds are a great way to transport you to an earth elemental environment.
So grounding in a space that is focused on the element of earth might look like this for example: pillows or furniture in greens, browns or ochers, oxblood and deep oranges. Candles in similar colors with scents like moss or pine burning, or unscented candles with incenses like Frankincense, Myrrh, Benzoin, and Dragon’s Blood can transport your senses to an earthy realm. You might incorporate some smudging with sage, cedar, or Palo Santo. The room could have wood floors with Bonsai trees and house plants in plenty. There might be rattan or woodsy furniture. You might include animal totems of carved gemstones or natural crystals throughout the room; try petrified woods, pyrite and other heavy earthy stones. Salt lamps would also be wonderful additions to an earth focused room. Make yourself some tea before a ritual to begin your mind set. Turn on a sound machine with forest sounds. Any of these elements can be pulled into ritual independently rather than using them to support an environment specifically.
What do you think of when I say fire? Again, for me, the colors of red, magenta, yellow, gold, orange, and even blues come into my mind, volcanoes and bond fires in the woods. I am reminded of the sun and fiery creatures like dragons and phoenixes. I think of cozy fireplaces, candles, and sunsets. Some shapes to think about might be triangles or stars. A list of fiery gemstones might include citrine, fire opals, fire agate, carnelian, lava rock, obsidian, or onyx. Again, some teas that are fiery and might also get you going are ginger, cinnamon, and Chai. Try some hot spices like, cayenne, chilies of all kinds, but also foods such as chocolate with chilies, garlic spicy curries.
When I envision a space focused on the element of fire it looks like this: an adobe peach colored room with a central rug in a mandala design in reds, oranges, and gold. Candles in similar colors, lit, scents of cinnamon, and some citrine gemstones geodes spread throughout the room, perhaps a dragon totem here or there. My sound machine actually has the option for camp fire sound, but to me more fiery music is flamenco guitar or Afro-Peruvian beats. I like things that are alive, sparking with energy. If it is wintertime, I might even include one of those “fireplace” space heaters with the active, “flame” as an element. I can imagine meditating in a room that focused on fire. Another option would be to include zodiac symbols that are fire signs such as Aries, Sagittarius, and Leo.
Water for me brings to mind cooling blues and greens, aquas and even lavenders to some degree. I automatically think of the ocean first, the primordial pool. Yet, water can also be forest streams, lakes, ponds, rivers, and fountains. It can be icy and cold, snow or sleeting rain. It can be a monsoon, tidal wave, tsunami or a gentle drizzling rain. The range is from thunderstorms to a dripping faucet, yet water is the element of life. Without it life could have never begun. Water is water lilies, water nymphs and mermaids. It is whales and other ocean creatures. It could be rivers with trout or salmon. I can imagine a room with a corner tabletop fountain decorated in cool colors. There could be a mural of Koi or some ocean scene in it. Water reminds me of bamboo water features, and Japanese or gentle classical music playing in the background. An added element might be a humidifier to increase the moisture in the room. Stones such as river stones, Shiva lingams, blue topaz, or others in similar colors. I beautiful rug in blues or greens with water lilies in the center of a hard wood floor would give the illusion of a pond. Walls in cooling shades of blue and gentle water sounds, fountains and water focused creatures about the room for me would create the sense of water and help me to ground through that element.
Air can be the most difficult to think of, generally it doesn’t appear to be as tangible as the other elements, but think of air as colors of grays, and silvers, whites, or even purples. It is easily circles and swirls, smoke, or mist, a combination of water and air. Air for me is incense, and music, birds and clouds, wind chimes, and fairy creatures, or cloud dragons. Air plants are an interesting touch, dangling from clear glass globes from the ceiling or mobiles from the ceiling. All of these would add to an expression of air in a space. I can envision a room with a gray or lavender carpet with a throw rug of swirling patterns over it. Table lamps might have silver bases and other lighting could be overhead drop lights in white cloud patterns or lotus lamps. Chinese white paper lanterns might also be a good substitute. I can imagine a downy couch with lots of oversized throw pillows, creating a cloudlike effect. There might be fairies or birds around the room or in photos or murals. Oil diffusers and incense would be great additions. Also, a wall mounted CD player for musical ambiance, but with the illusion of floating. The furniture should be light, with delicate legs and features all alluding to floating among the clouds. You might add gemstones such as angelite, blue lace agate or clear quartz to the environment. All of these can add to creating a space focused on the element of air in a meditation space and help you to focus on spiritual aspects. Although, for me, I’d find it very hard to ground in this type of a room, but there are others that would be right at home.
So for me, a balanced room, utilizing all of the elements would be a combination of these suggestions. Wood floors perhaps with a water suggestive rug, earthy furniture in rattans in fiery colors, candles, incense, gemstones, hanging lamps to give airy feelings, perhaps some mobiles. You could change things like candles, incense, and music to influence which ever element you wanted to focus on when practicing a grounding ritual. Whatever your desire is, the idea is that you are considerate of pulling in all of the elements in some way in your sacred space, and carrying that thought process into your grounding rituals.
2016 copyright by Katie Pifer, available at http://www.witchpetals.wordpress.com