Imagine yourself in a dark room. It is 3 am and the hairs on the back of your neck are starting to tingle. The location you are in is filled with the spirits of those long passed and you can feel their presence surrounding you. Perhaps they are angry or sad. With each bump in the night, cold breeze across your skin, or disembodied voice you hear whispered in your ear, your adrenaline heightens. Even the best of the best, the most seasoned of paranormal investigators, tend to find themselves in situations where their senses are on high alert. This is why it is important to prepare yourself, physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, for whatever you may encounter. As a mental health counselor, I have prepared some tips and techniques around grounding and shielding that can be used before, during, and after an investigation. Choose the ones that speak to you and try them out on your next hunt!
Be Prepared – Practice
As the old saying goes, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, Practice, Practice.” It is easy to read a blog and think “I can do that,” but when your adrenaline becomes heightened, it causes a chain reaction in your body. You can feel the energy coursing through your blood, but you do not always know how to channel that energy, and your brain is switching out of the prefrontal cortex and going into survival mode, meaning that you are literally not able to think clearly. Take some time each day to practice the techniques you choose for grounding and shielding. Use them even in situations where you are not feeling anxious, so that when you need them, it will be easier for you to recall them.
Build a Go-To Pouch
As you will learn below, having tangible things you can hold is extremely important for grounding and shielding. Build your own pouch with items that you wish to carry with you on hunts. This can include stones, religious symbols, herbs, and other items that help you feel protected, calm your nerves, or simply make you feel more grounded in the moment. My personal pouch includes: Black tourmaline, obsidian, amethyst, quartz, peppermint oil, sage, and basil.
When our adrenaline becomes heightened our bodies and minds can start to take on a life of their own. Our thoughts might race or we may have extreme difficulty thinking at all. We may feel shaky or panicked. Grounding helps to pull your focus back in, allowing your mind and body to start to relax. This can be particularly helpful if you’ve just heard a disembodied voice moan in your ear with no one around, or when a box comes flying off a shelf while singing “Ring Around the Rosie” to a group of spirit children!
1. Physical Grounding
Pay attention to your feet. Think about each individual toe, the ball of your feet, the arches, and your heels. Your feet are what ground you to the earth below. Now slowly bring that attention up your body until you get to your stomach, your center. Place your hands on your stomach and, without pushing your breath, just notice the gentle rise and fall as your breathe in and out. Do this for just a few moments, then slowly cross your arms across your chest and gently tap your fingers against your upper arms. Pay attention to how this feels. Next, and with ease, roll your head around. Feel the gentle stretch of your neck. If you would like, gently tap or massage your face- we tend to hold tension in our jaws and foreheads, so simply allow these areas to relax. You can also imagine that you are sending breath to these areas, imagining the breath itself is massaging away any tension you may be holding. Remind yourself that this is your body.
2. Physical Grounding with Objects
This is where that pouch can come in really handy. If you have an item with you, hold it. Feel the object in your hand, whether it be a stone, a cross, or any other meaningful keepsake. Bring your attention to the way the object feels. Is it hard or soft? Does it have smooth edges? Does it have weight to it? Is it an object you can squeeze? If so, squeeze your item and feel how it is connected with your body. If you do not have any items with you, notice if there is anything in the space that you can touch. Put your attention into the item, whether it be a chair, table, or even a door frame. Due to most paranormal investigations taking place in old, creepy buildings, I do not necessarily recommend reaching out to your other senses as I would with my general therapy clients. Unless you have brought with you some sort of essential oil or herb that you can smell, or perhaps a peppermint you can pop in your mouth to focus on the taste, I would stick to the sense of touch!
3. Mental Grounding
Think the following: My name is _______. Today is _______ and I am at ________. My favorite food is ______. My favorite holiday is ______, because ________. Next, name as many television shows as you can. Name as many states in the USA that you can. Think of a song you know very well, and sing it in your mind. Think about what you would buy if you were to win $100,000 in the lottery. Now think about what you would buy if you were to win $100,000,000 in the lottery. Create a list of other go-to mental questions that you might turn to when needing to reestablish your sense of self.
4. Spiritual Grounding
This will look differently depending on your belief system. For some individuals this may consist of holding an item that carries religious significance for you and saying a prayer. For others, this may be calling upon your ancestors for protection. For me personally, I tend to repeat the following affirmation: I am a creature of light and love. I welcome only light and love in. I let only light and love out. I am light and love. (Perhaps it sounds cheesy, but it got rid of a demon trying to come into my home pretty quickly!)
You do not have to be an empath to be emotionally affected by spirits. Shielding is a way of protecting yourself from harmful or negative energies.
1. The White Light and the Blue Bubble
These are two of the oldest shielding techniques and can be done separately, or in combination with one another. I like to do both as a sort of double whammy of protection! Before you begin your investigation, take some time to focus your attention in the core of your body- This may be your stomach where you hold breath, your heart space, or in your “third eye.” Take a few moments to simply breathe into this core. As you begin to feel more grounded in this space, imagine a small white light, like a tiny, celestial star, begin to form in that core area. This star is filled with the light of love and protection. It is your light. With each breath, this light grows brighter and brighter until it begins to fill up your entire being. Once your entire body is filled with this white light, imagine the light starting to radiate from your skin, from the top of your head, to the tips of your toes, growing larger and larger, pulsating around your body. Once you feel that this energy of light and love has expanded enough to keep you protected, begin to imagine the outer shell of this light thickening into a blue bubble, further strengthening and protecting the white light within. As you move, this bubble stays in tact. The reflection of its surface will only allow for similar, positive energies to pass through, while keeping any and all negative energies from penetrating its luminous surface. For further potency of this energy shield, you may consider carrying certain stones or spiritual items with you, and accompanying this visualization with personal prayers or positive affirmations.
2. Salt Water
This is a great practice to put into place both before performing a shielding ritual (like the one above) and after an extended paranormal investigation in which some negative energy may have still been able to pass onto you. Depending on the level of clearing needed, you may choose to either soak just your feet, or fully submerge yourself in a salt bath. Either way, using only kosher, sea, or rock salt, soak for at least 15 minutes. The salt will naturally pull out any negative energies you may be holding in your body. To then refresh your energy, you may consider spiritual preferences, such as prayer, or other techniques, such as a sage ritual or a meal consisting of fresh, organic foods.
I hope you have enjoyed these tips and techniques! Remember, not only are these useful for investigating the paranormal, but they can also be used on a daily basis for coping with stress and anxiety. If you would like to learn more about grounding and other therapeutic techniques, schedule an appointment with a counselor near you. Mental health matters! Happy hunting my friends!