A Modern Celtic Woman's thoughts on Grounding
When I was a young child my father found peace in being outdoors and since I only saw him at weekends and holidays I cherished the time spent with him. As I grew up into a depressed or suppressed teenager I always sought peace in the green of Nature. My mother was a fearful woman and always tried to terrify me with notions that if I went anywhere on my own I'd be kidnapped. Every so often the pressures got too much and I'd throw caution to the wind and go for a long walk on my own. I'd usually end up by the river not far from my home. Through some fields and then a comfortable walk by the river was the regular route shared by many locals. Further downstream the hedge rows thickened and little hiding places started to appear. One of these allowed me to reach the water's edge out of sight and to sit on a rock with the water surrounding me on three sides. I'd sit there for hours just watching the river speed by and my worries and stresses would flow away and I would start to feel refreshed and ready for the next round in the dramas of a teenage life.

At that time it was an unconscious connection to nature that grounded me, held me strong and gave me strength. I grew up and left home but never left the need to be outdoors and close to Nature. It became essential for me to simply get out for a walk. I never thought of it as a spiritual practice. Growing up with a catholic schooling had conditioned me to believe that religion and spirituality was the same thing, and I was most certainly running full force away from religion. As I got older and my life calmed a little, I became conscious of the link I had with Nature. I came to the realisation that when I was outdoors I was relaxed, it was more than that though, I had a sense of peace and a really strong sense of connection to the world and this is what I mean when I say feeling grounded.

I started to study other religions and then realising the difference I looked to the spiritual practices of others, and came across meditation and visualisation. Simply being seemed a much more practical way of living rather than trying to please an angry god figure in the sky or live by a book of rules. I realised I could learn to be happy with who I am and simply be at peace and fully partake of this wonderful life experience. This is a nice simple concept, but we as humans really complicate things, we put layers and layers of confusion over everything we do. I still get stressed out with life�s challenges and suddenly feel like I don't have enough time to do the things I really want to do. When I start feeling like that I have to recognise that I've stopped doing the things that ground me which give me peace and energy for life. I am continually in the process of making contentment a habit. Like any other habit good or bad it is something that you have to repeat over and over. You have to train your body and mind to do it unconsciously.

I do this through ritual. I make an effort to step outside of the busyness of life and make time to connect consciously to the energy of this world and beyond. I make time to ground myself. I go out into Nature and I do ritualised movements that slow the race of my mind down and make me breath slowly and deeply. I name out loud what it is I'm connecting to, the land, the sea the sky. I use the language of my ancestors to remind me of where I'm coming from.

I can do this anywhere but it becomes a lot easier and magnified if I practice this at a place where people have been going to for thousands of years. In Ireland we really are blessed to have so many ancient temples, they may not be fully intact but they still hold great magnetism. Everything and everyone has its own energetic field which connect to larger energetic streams and flows and they all interact with each other. The ancients had an understanding of this when they built their working temples. They created places where the magnetism was enhanced. So when I go to one of these places and attempt my ritualised connection, it works and I feel grounded.

It has been recognised that these temples are often aligned with star systems and planets, suggesting that the ancients were connecting with energies beyond our planet. The sun has a significant effect on our planet's magnetic field. At the festival times throughout the year we receive a stronger input of solar energy and a corresponding fluctuation in our Earth's magnetic field. The ancient people in Ireland knew this and built their temples to receive this solar energy and work with it to create places of enhanced magnetism to positively affect their immediate environment and their own energetic fields. When your own energetic field is healthy and strong, then so are you. You are grounded and able to face challenges and cope with the highs and lows of life, you become a productive member of your community helping others to understand and resonate with the energetic currents of our universe.

So to stand in a circle of friends at the right temple, on the right day and feel the sun and wind on my face while we consciously connect to the incoming streams of energy and feel our own magnetic fields enhanced is for me true peace and harmony.

Niamh Connor
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