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Witchcraft basics: Grounding, cleansing and protection




Preparing for magical work

Before you begin any spells or magical workings, it is a good idea to practise the witchcraft basics of grounding, cleansing and protection. This will ensure that you are bringing your best energy to your magic and excluding negative energy or influences that could block your intentions.

Witchcraft basics No1: Grounding

The first of the witchcraft basics I recommend to beginner witches is grounding. Grounding helps balance and stabilize our energy and allows us to connect with the Earth’s energies. Grounding is a vital practice to prepare for magical work and to release excess energy after completing magical work. Grounding is also a practice that we can undertake regularly to help us feel more connected to our innate abilities and the forces we work with in our magical practices.

Before engaging in magical rituals or spellwork we will ideally be in a focused and centred state of mind. Grounding helps in creating this state, ensuring that we are present, calm and aligned with our magical intent.

Grounding practices can also have a calming effect on the mind and emotions. This is particularly beneficial when dealing with stress, anxiety, or intense emotions.

Grounding can also be a way to release negative or unwanted energies that may have accumulated during magical or spiritual work. By grounding, witches may visualize these energies flowing out of them and being absorbed by the Earth.

There are many ways to ground – walking on bare earth and spending time in nature are excellent grounding practices. Grounding techniques may also involve mindfulness, deep breathing, or visualization to bring about a sense of calm. The following is a simple ritual that will ground you whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed and before or after your magic spells or rituals.

Find a place where you will not be disturbed. This could be your usual meditation space, your bedroom or even the bathroom if that is the only place you can get some peace and privacy! It can also be an outside space.

  • Sit or stand with your feet planted firmly on the floor.
  • Take a few deep breaths and relax any tension in your jaw, shoulders, chest and anywhere else you tend to hold stress or anxiety. If you are able, push your feet into the earth so that you feel strong, stable and connected to the earth below. If you cannot connect physically in this way, use your imagination to create a connection to the earth.
  • Now imagine a beam of white light coming down from the sky and entering your body through the top of your head.
  • Imagine this light flowing down through your body through your legs and into your feet.
  • Now imagine the light spreading out of the soles of your feet and into the earth like the roots of a tree.
  • Repeat the words, ‘I am safe and grounded now’.

If, for any reason, you are unable to complete this practice, you may just repeat the words ‘I am safe and grounded now’ or connect to earth energy in a way that feels right for you.

Witchcraft basics No2: Cleansing

The second of the witchcraft basics I recommend is cleansing. Witches often engage in cleansing rituals to purify themselves and their sacred spaces. The reasons for cleansing can vary, but common themes include removing negative energies, creating a harmonious environment and preparing for magical or spiritual work.

By performing a personal cleansing we can clear away unwanted energetic residues and imprints from daily life. Personal cleansing can signify purification, a fresh start, spiritual rebirth or the removal of obstacles. Some witches also like to cleanse after magical work to clear away any residual energy.

Before performing magical rituals or ceremonies, we often want to create a clean and consecrated space. Cleansing helps in purifying the energy of the area, making it more conducive to spiritual work.

Methods of cleansing

The following are some simple ways to cleanse both yourself and your working space.

Water cleansing

Immersing oneself in a ritual bath with purifying herbs, salts, or essential oils is a way to cleanse the body and mind. You can also take a ritual shower, or simply wash your hands as a symbolic cleansing practice. You can add some ordinary sea salt, Epsom salt or Himalayan pink salt to your bath if you wish. Salt is both cleansing and protective. As you wash, shower, or after you take the plug out of your bath, visualize any negative energy going down the plughole.

Smoke cleansing

A popular way to cleanse both ourselves and our space is by burning purifying herbs or incense. Alternatively, you can use a natural room spray.

Physical cleansing

If you do not wish to use smoke or scent, you can physically clean the space by dusting or wiping surfaces and sweeping or vacuuming. I like to use an eco-friendly cleaning spray to cleanse my space. You can also use moon water or crystal-infused water. Focus on your intention to cleanse your space as you clean.

Visualisation and energy work

For a powerful cleansing technique that needs no tools or ingredients, you might want to consider visualization techniques. Simply imagine a purifying light or energy cleansing your body or space. This method relies on the power of intention and energy manipulation. It is a useful tool that allows you to cleanse wherever you are.

Sound cleansing

Using sound, such as ringing bells or playing singing bowls, can effectively break up and disperse stagnant energy and bring about a sense of harmony. If you do not have bells you can simply clap your hands.

Salt and crystals

Sprinkling salt around a space or creating a salt circle is a method that can both purify and protect yourself and your space. You can also use crystals such as obsidian or tourmaline to absorb negative energies or clear quartz or selenite to repel negative energies and amplify positive ones.

Witchcraft basics No3: Protection

The third of the witchcraft basics I advise for all witches is some form of protection. Protection spells can stop you from inadvertently picking up negative energy. They can also protect you from ‘energy vampires’ and even from negative thought patterns. There are many ways to protect yourself as a beginner witch. The following simple protection spells will provide a shield around you that will protect you from any negative vibes.

Spell for protection

What you need

You don’t need anything for this spell. However, you can choose to use a white candle, an LED candle or battery-operated fairy lights. You may also like to cleanse yourself by having a bath or shower before you begin. Alternatively, you can wash your hands.

What to do

  • Light the white candle or fairy lights if you are using them
  • Sit, stand or lay down and take a few deep breaths.
  • Now imagine a sphere of light surrounding you in all directions. Imagine this light is both soft and luminous and full of cleansing and protective energy. See this circle of light surrounding you on all sides, above and below. Each time you breathe in, notice the light get brighter and more luminous. Continue visualising this for as long as you feel comfortable or until you feel fully protected.

This light will protect you from negativity and harm wherever you go.

Salt circle protection spell

This protection spell is simple to complete and takes no special ingredients or tools making it ideal for beginner witches.

What you need

  • Sea salt
  • A quiet and undisturbed space
  • Optional: Protective crystals (e.g., black tourmaline, obsidian)

What to do

Choose a space where you can sit or stand comfortably without interruption. Ensure that you have all your materials within reach.

Take a few moments to ground yourself. Breathe deeply and focus on calming your mind.

Sprinkle a circle of salt around yourself and, while creating the circle, set your intention for protection. Visualize a protective barrier forming with the salt, creating a boundary that forms a sphere all around you to keep out negativity. You may like to state your intentions, out loud or in your mind, expressing your desire for safety, positivity and warding off any harmful energies. You can place the crystal or crystals in front of you or around you if you wish.

Stand or sit within the circle and visualize the salt barrier glowing with a protective light. Feel the energy of the sphere forming a shield around you, blocking any negative influences. Acknowledge the protection you’ve created and carry that awareness with you as you complete your ritual, spell or meditation.

When you’re ready to leave the protected space, simply step out of the circle. You can sweep away or gather the salt, thanking it for its protective role.

Now that you have mastered the witchcraft basics you are fully prepared to continue on your magical journey. You might like to try these 5 Simple Magic Spells which are ideal for beginner witches.

Eva May Baker
Eva May Baker
Hello, and welcome to The City Witch, your portal into the magical world that exists within the hustle and bustle of city life. My name is Eva Baker and I am an urban folk witch, author and your guide on this magical journey.


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