"If you are using your own personal power then all you have to do is visualize a sphere of golden light around you or sprinkle salt around you."
It is not advisable, under any circumstances, to use your own personal energy for spellwork. It can be incredible damaging to your health, energy levels, psychic balance etc and is extremely dangerous. I am speaking here from experience.
A spell is a series of actions and laws that result in the achievement of a specified goal through the raising and manipulation of energy. It is much easier to raise the energy needed and ground out the excess, this way you do not create an internal imbalance.
A witch's power relates more to the ability to focus and/or channel energy than on how much energy they can draw from themselves.
In healing especially it is important that energy directed energy is raised or the spell caster will find that they have forged a bond/tie to the person they are healing. What usually happens is that as the other person gets better the healer becomes more drained.
I know this sounds harsh.... I just wish there was someone around to warn me about this when I first started practicing magic.
Following is some information on grounding and centering that may help.
Grounding and Centering
There are many different techniques and interpretations that come under the heading of Grounding and centering. In Wicca, we Ground and Centre to link in with natural energy flows around us and to bring those flows to balance within ourselves.
When working magic, especially when raising energy, it is important that the witch know and understand how to Ground and Centre properly. This will aid the stability and focus of the energy that is raised as well as allowing the witch a method of dealing with excess energy both within the circle area and within themselves.
Raising energy refers to the Wiccan practice of filling the sphere of the circle area with tangible power that is generated in one or more ways including; dancing, drumming and chanting. This generated power is then focused and channeled and released in a specific way and for a specific purpose and is the essence of Wiccan magical practice.
To Ground is to literally establish a link to the Earth and the power flows within it. This is a two-way link. It allows the witch to draw energy into themselves and also to siphon energy back into the earth. It is very hard to perform either task without first establishing that connection.
As with all Wiccan magical practice, intent is the key here. The aim is not to steal / pull / rip or drag the energy out of the earth but to establish a gentle merging and flow of energy that passes through the witch for a time. This energy can be then be manipulated for a time and then the witch will release the energy by letting it flow back through them into the Earth. They will then disengage their connection.
A classic example of this technique occurs during a circle cast. Prior to the circle being cast, a connection to the Earth is established, the energy flows through the witch, out along the blade and is used to create the sphere that contains the circle area. At the conclusion of the circle, the edge of the sphere is pierced and the energy is allowed to flow back to its source. This is generally performed by either treading the circle again and drawing the energy back into the blade, plunging the blade into the earth with the witch acting as the conduit, or by a subtle act of will whereby the witch declares the circle open but unbroken and lets the sphere of energy dissipate and flow naturally back into the Earth.
Grounding can also be important within the circle itself, especially after magical workings. If a connection to the Earth has not been established before or during the circle, and partaking of Cakes and Ale has not managed to bring the witch's internal energy back into balance, ie. they feel lightheaded and highly charged, then grounding, to drain the excess energy from the witch, is an ideal solution. Being filled with excess energy in an unbalanced way can lead to difficulties after circle, including a swing to a marked lack of energy, and illness.
To prevent the above problems caused by a lack of proper grounding, the excess of specifically raised energy within a circle is usually sent back into the earth by placing one's hands upon the ground, letting it flow into the earth. Each individual will ground out their own excess energy whilst the acting High Priestess will gather and ground out the excess energy contained within the circle. This is why many Wiccans will automatically drop to the ground and place their hands upon the earth after raising or directing energy.
Where grounding involves establishing a connection to the Earth, Centering involves using that connection to achieve a balance within oneself. Balance and harmony is established between the witch and the earth as well as an internal balance between physical, spiritual and mental aspects, male and female aspects and light and dark aspects.
There are many exercises that can help the witch become aware of their centre. With practice the witch will find the technique that works the best for them as an individual.
The majority of techniques work from the point where the witch is grounded in the earth. They then match their own centre with a like point in the earth and join the two together, thus creating a stable point from which to work their magic.
originally posted in The Realm of White Magic Message Board
Written by "Blayze", 1999