When we say “grounding” we generally mean being rooted in this 3D material world. Grounded. Seated upon the Earth. In connection. And this is certainly important. We contrast this with the image of the Dreamer, or “The Fool” in the Rider-Waite Tarot, head in the air, unconnected to the ground. In the Traditional Tarot, the “Fool” is about to walk off the edge of a cliff.
We can explore this through the Astrology of the three Earth Signs — Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo — which each represent a different aspect of grounding.
Capricorn, or Cardinal Earth and ruled by Saturn, is the obstacle which we will overcome to create our reality. Taurus, or Fixed Earth ruled by Venus, is the pasture and the playground of that reality that we can delight in. And Virgo, or Mutable Earth ruled by Mercury, is the point of reflection where we take into account the imperfections in that reality, in order to evolve. Grounding is a fundamental part of the astrological plan.
So we are sitting in our yoga asana and we feel grounded. This tells us we are connected through our ground chakra to the Earth. There is however another aspect to things. Having recently moved onto a canalboat, another reality is already being revealed to me — that of Water. On the canal, our boat is in some sense our grounding but it is a grounding that quite simply “floats”. Let’s look at the astrology for a moment.
The Water Archetypes are also three. Cancer, or Cardinal Water ruled by the Moon, brings us to feelings of home. Scorpio, or Fixed Water, ruled by Pluto, takes us into the depths of existence. Pisces, Mutable Water, ruled by Neptune, takes us out to the sea with her tides and currents, into the infinite and continual flux of the watery world which is the Ocean. How can these be grounding?
I think here I am looking for another word, one that could represent the watery aspect of grounding? We are after all looking at three distinct archetypes. Home (Cancer). Depth of feeling or profundity (Scorpio). Connection with the greater cosmic wave (Pisces).
If we take our Cardinal Earth Grounding that is Capricorn, we also need to take into account the act of making this a special place, not just any place on the mountain. Capricorn seeks Cancer, as Saturn here seeks the Moon. In other words, the rootedness of being on any place, be it a mountain or the place I live is also accompanied by the transition from space to home. This is the personal aspect of rootedness which we can flow into.
If we take our Fixed Earth Grounding that is Taurus, we can be well and fine in this place, but we might not know what lies beneath the ground. Scorpio, the regent of Depths, and ruled over by Pluto, Lord of the Underworld, gives us the inspiration to know upon what we are really seated. Water can flow down into the crannies and offers us profundity, rather than surface.
If we now take our Mutable Earth Grounding, our Virgo, we develop a critical notion of where we might be seated. Virgo is the self-critical faculty that takes us not only into introspection but into self-criticism. Virgo is matched by Pisces, who enables us, with all our imperfections, to reach a level of oneness with this whole. Virgo ruled by chattering Mercury, can then give way to the spiritual expansion of Neptune. If you can fall into sunset upon the shores or a Turner seascape in the gallery, you have experienced this call to the infinite, a flow which has the potential to lead us to a greater version of ourselves.
Earth and Water are always balanced in the Zodiac. And so Earth and Water must be balanced in life. The Earth archetype is manifest as Grounding. I propose here that the Water archetype is manifest as “Flow”. We must balance our Water signs and our Earth signs. So anything that can bring us to develop our water archetypes will complement and enhance our grounding practice. The two must balance.
Too much earth becomes rigid, like land burnt under a scorching sun. And too much water leaves our houses to be taken downstream by the flood. The land feels best when both sun-soaked and rained upon. It is this equilibrium we must seek. Extremes will always be extremes. The path of Earth-Water is the path of Grounding and of Flow.
So if your coach asks you to be grounded, listen and root down. But do think for a moment, and remember that all Earth grounding asks to be balanced with Water’s Flow. Each aspect of our Earth-Grounding may be enhanced by Flow. When we can incarnate the Grounding and the Flow, we have reached a new level of awareness.
Perhaps it is for this reason that Siddharta found illumination on the bank beside a river.