Illustration by Guinevere Von Sneeden
In the crazy-making noise of the world today, it is easy to feel pushed, pulled, and called to follow a million different directions. Energy-wise, this leaves us feeling scattered, unrooted, and unclear. In my work with clients through this year I’ve heard about these feelings again and again and have witnessed firsthand how they lead to other problems: feeling unable to use our full voices, feeling unheard and unseen, and, most of all, feeling overwhelmed. Fortunately there’s an easy remedy to the sensation of being scattered and rootless: the ritual of Rooting Down and Rising Up. This simple ritual works with our energetic body to root us down into the deep earth and rise us up into the stars. From a sacred-arts and magical perspective, it also allows us to connect with the wisdom and love of our ancestors as well as the vision for what is possible and needed for the future held by our descendants—the ones who come after us when we become ancestors. The ritual also contains instructions for creating an “anchor,” or a physical gesture that you can do anytime and anywhere to immediately put you back into the sensation created by the ritual. The natural world is full of magic; this is the first step in truly allowing ourselves to connect to that truth.
Time: 5 to 10 minutes
Materials: A place (ideally outside for your first time) where you will not be disturbed. Options: The experience of this ritual is heightened if you are barefoot and perform the rite during your favorite time of day. (Mine, for instance, would be at dawn or
Process: Sit, stand, or lie down in a comfortable position, allowing your feet to touch the earth if possible. Take in a full and deep breath and, as you do, see, sense, touch, know, hear, and feel the land underneath you. See, sense, touch, know, hear, and feel your own body extending out and down, down into the top soil, down into the bedrock, and the tangled roots of trees, down through the delicate webs of fungi, the layers of geologic time, down through root and stone and bone. Down through the graves of your ancestors, your beloved dead who hold such love and wisdom for you. Root yourself down until you see, sense, touch, know, hear, and feel the presence of the earth’s core, pulsing out its life-giving energy and vitality. Affirm and acknowledge that you participate in this energy, that it blesses you and that you, in turn, bless it. Bring your awareness back to your breathing. On your next exhalation, bless, in gratitude, the earth and specifically the lands where you live and the creatures, seen and unseen, who form it.
Take a moment to see, sense, touch, know, hear, and feel this experience of rooting down into the deepest earth. Allow that feeling to fill you and surround you and then, as you feel called, create a physical gesture that, whenever performed, will immediately root you back into this feeling. This might be your hands at prayer position by your heart, one hand on heart and one hand on belly, using your finger to inscribe a small spiral or star on your palm, a hip wiggle or a shoulder stretch—it is totally up to you. This gesture is your physical anchor and will anchor you back into your experience of this ritual. As you are ready, on your next exhalation, see, sense, touch, know, hear, and feel that you are now fully rooted in the deep earth and at the same time extending your upper body up and out toward the heavens. Your body’s energetic presence rises up, up through the tree branches, up through the clouds, up by the mountains, up through the atmosphere, up through the whispers of your descendants—all people who come after us and who hold a vision of what is possible and what is needed, up into vast space itself where you are surrounded by the very stuff you are made of: stars.
See, sense, touch, know, hear, and feel these stars surrounding you, pouring their light over and through you so that anything that needs to be soothed, healed, or mended is taken care of at this time. Exhale a blessing on your future and the future you are dreaming into existence. Again, at this point, anchor yourself in the feeling of rooting down and rising up by making the physical gesture you have decided on.
And now that you have rooted down and risen up, go forward with your day, confident in the knowledge that you walk in the deepest earth with your head surrounded by stars.