The two, although different acts, are generally performed together and therefore mentioned as one. I guess, in essense, it is the process of swapping in and out engery in order to become more aware and focused.
It is a way of connecting to the earth, or the Goddess, either indoors or out, in public or in private, morning or night (or both!).
When you ground yourself, you are dispeling and riding yourself of negative energies.
To do this, find a place you won't be disturbed and either sit (back straight) or stand (feet shoulder length apart), and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing for a few moments to reel in your mind and then focus on your body; it helps to focus bit-by-bit, adding one section to another until you are aware of every limb (e.g. focus on feeling in your feet, then legs, thighs, hips, stomach, chest, neck and shoulders, arms, hands, head).
Next, imagine either roots of a tree extending from you (your bum if you're sitting, feet if you're standing) into the earth, or a shaft of light coming up from the ground to encompass/surround you and into the sky. This works as a channel.
Now banish your negative energies. It's probably helpful to think of all the things troubliing you (but one at a time!) and think of how it makes you feel, and send those bad feelings down the channels, into the earth.
Maintaining what you have formed while grounding, with the connection to the earth, now you need to replenish your energies, or else you are likely to be drained.
To do this, you can try and feel the energy in the earth and feel it travel up through your channel into your body, or you can think like a vacuum and feel it when you've sucked it into yourself. Allow this to fill you up - this can feel like tingling throughout your body, and it feels pleasant.
Make sure these are positive energies! Keep your mind on the idea of bringing calmn, positive, and happy energy into your body from the goddess.
Sometimes, people will also raise their arms to the sky, and envision engergy coming down (like miniature tonaedoes?) into you to join that of the earth.
Generally to end this process, one might envision their channels returning into their body. This is important to do, or you may continually exchange energy and this can leave you air-headed and dizzy, or even cause a drain if you aren't careful.
Try to do this (close your channels) without disconnecting from the Goddess or earth - it can bring reasurance to be able to feel this presence throughout your day.
Antoher note, make sure to appreciate (thank) the Goddess! This can be as simple as thinking kind thoughts toward her and saying "blessed be".
Lastly, it is a good idea to do this before bed and when you wake up. Regular practice will help improve your general mood and attitude towards life.
Keep in mind, it may take some practice to get the feel of this; it can be difficult for some to recognize or gain a feel for energy, but try not to be discouraged by this - it takes practice to perfect skills. It may be hardest for people who have not practiced meditation before, who are depressed, or have little or weak connection to nature / the Goddess, but that's okay, because the point of this practice is to fix that!
Good luck, and blessed be.
IMPORTANT: this process is different to everyone; it is a matter of finding the way that is right for you. I am not wrong, and neither is someone who does this differently.
- The Difference Between Grounding and Centering and How They Lead to Balance doesn't so much focus on the Pagan-like ritual explained above, but is still the same concept put under a new light - I found it interesting and thought it was a helpful way to think of it.\
- How to Ground and Center is a different way to achieve this goal than is explained above; I think it is in a way slightly more complicated, if you think there should be more to it.
- Centering in my opinion is more about energy manipulation than finding your center, balancing your life and becoming aware. It is an interesting concept and most likely very helpful to this process though.
- Basic Essential Skills: Centering, Grounding, Cleansing, Shielding is a very interesting, highly helpful article and of course, contains various information on such things as listed in the title. It also explains the connection to working Magick for those of you who are witches!
- Grounding and Centering has a good explaination of the two acts and another great way of performing them.