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Roots Down Deep

I am sometimes teased in a gentle way for always going on about grounding and breathing.  My friend Jude would like a photo of me, looking sternly over the tops of my spectacles and pointing to the ground. I write it so often as my status update on Facebook that people must grow tired of my constant carping about it.

Yet, even as I type these words and smile at these memories, I feel my big feet stretching, the heels digging into the carpet below my feet.  I start the process of grounding that I was taught so long ago that it has become second nature to me.  Tiny roots begin to grow from my heels and wend their way through the carpet and the sub-flooring and past the basement and sink at last into the cool moist earth. As they move into the soil, they widen and strengthen, heading into the darkness of the Earth's rich breast.

I imagine the cares of the day flowing down from my belly and into the strong foundation of the planet I call home. The roots continue on their way as I begin to breathe deeply, each breath filling my lungs all the way to the bottom. Belly full of breath, roots down deep.  If I take a moment to check my pulse, I will feel that it is slow, strong, steady.

If I continue in this meditation, I will begin to feel very relaxed and a little sleepy. Then I will think of finishing this post so that I may have a strong cuppa tea.

This is how I begin my meditative practice.  It isn't at all complicated.  I bring a cup of hot beverage to my chair.  I light the candle on the altar (or meditation table, if you prefer) and as I sip my tea, I feel the roots stretching out. Breathing deeply, inhaling the fragrance of extra strong PG Tips, I feel my shoulders relax. The flickering light of the little candle is almost merry and I feel myself buoyed by its little light.

Grounded, breathing, relaxed and receptive. 

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H. Byron Ballard is a ritualist, teacher, speaker and writer. She has taught at Sacred Space Conference, Pagan Unity Festival, Southeast Her essays are featured in several anthologies, including “Birthed from Scorched Hearts“ (Fulcrum Press), “Christmas Presence“ (Catawba Press), “Women’s Voices in Magic” (Megalithica Books), “Into the Great Below” and “Skalded Apples” (both from Asphodel Press.) Her book Staubs and Ditchwater: an Introduction to Hillfolks Hoodoo (Silver Rings Press) debuted in June 2012. Byron is currently at work on Earth Works: Eight Ceremonies for a Changing Planet. Contact her at,


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