The difference between Earthing and Grounding

Hi everyone :-) I’ve been hearing a lot about earthing mats and earthing in general recently. Did Dr Mercola name do a thing about them? They seemed to have had a burst of popularity. I’ve had a few questions asking about whether earthing is what I do. From my perspective, earthing and grounding (as I understand the terms) are different, although there’s lots of overlap.

(Note to self: write a “The differences/similarities between Grounding and Centering” post..)


So what is Earthing? And what’s the deal with Earthing mats?

I’ve no idea how electrically savvie the New Age crowd is.. But you know how some types of plugs (all UK plugs are like this) have a 3rd pin? It’s called an earthing or grounding pin, and connects to a grounding rod buried in the earth somewhere, so that if there’s an electrical fault, you won’t get shocked if you touch the ‘live’ device. Excess electricty kinda leaks out into the earth. With me so far?

Earthing for humans is pretty much the same thing: by walking barefoot on the earth, your body’s energy field connects to it, is ‘earthed'; which means you get infused with the earth’s energy, and get recharged by the momma. Wearing modern shoes with rubber soles can disconnected you from this natural communion with the planet, and even sleeping in a modern bed (instead of, on the earth) further isolates us.

Which brings us to earthing mats (and other earthing technologies), which use the grounding pins in electrical sockets to earth our bodies: they connect us via a conductive metal pathway to the earth again. Even the proponents of these technologies say it’s not a substitute for ‘the real deal’ of walking barefoot and living a pre-industrial lifestyle, but it helps.

That all make sense?

So what about grounding? And what’s the difference?

Earthing is about the electrical circuit, the flow of negative ions and whatnot. The explanation is kinda sciencey, and is purely a physical a thing as something can be. It is the outer, manifest, physical world.

Grounding, on the other hand, is to-do with the inner world: thoughts, beliefs, feelings, trends, habbits, fears; ¬†and let’s not forget the subconcious stuff!

Grounding is the relationship you have with the earth, as you would have with a person, or pet. I’d almost say a deity, but the archetype of a ‘dead god’ (that can do nothing but receive prayers, and even then, are we sure he’s listening?) is so strong. The kind of relationship I mean is very much alive, and two-way. You talk to the earth, and she responds.

Grounding is how welcome you feel here on this planet, how entitled you feel to your body, your physical existence, your human life.

Grounding is very much a state of mind.

It’s also worth pointing out that auric energy (the stuff that chakras are made of, that flows through your biofield) is not the same thing as electrical energy. The human body does have a subtle electric circuitry of a sort, with the nervous system; and there is strong overlap between the nervous system and the meridian and chakra system. The relationship is perhaps like that between a river bank and the river itself; or maybe it’s better to think in terms of frequencies, where the auric frequencies are simply ‘higher’ than the electrical ones. That’s certainly how my teacher Barbara Brennan, a former atmospheric physicist for NASA, conceptualises this.

Long story short: there’s more to grounding than earthing.

Are grounding mats worthwhile? What do you recommend, Justin?

Well, thanks for asking!

I don’t own a grounding mat, although I’d be curious to try one. I’m sure it does help people and do them good, but, like with any one “thing” or technique, it’s not a substitute for doing the inner work, the self development, building up your energy muscles and healing your grounding wounds, traumas and issues.

The image that comes to mind is of a sponge that’s so old that it’s fossilised; it doesn’t soak up water any more because it’s so atrophied. Have you ever come across such a sponge, at the back of the cupboard underneath the kitchen sink maybe? Us humans can be a little bit like that when it comes to taking in energy; wether it’s earth energy, or feeling energy, or heart energy – we can be in a very shut down state. We can be immersed/surrounded by energy, but unable to take it in.

It’s that fundamental inability to connect with the earth and take in earth energy that true grounding seeks to remedy.

I hope that helps! Please leave me your email address at the side if you’d like to get updates about new articles and whatnot..

With earthy love, Justin


One Response to The difference between Earthing and Grounding

  1. Julian the Apostate 25 May, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

    I am a self-taught energy worker who was a fortress mentality til the age of 45. I ‘peeled the onion’ of my traumas after the Wall came down. I started with Tai Chi and was successful in building energy. Vibrational in nature I could feel the abnormal oscillations of an electric motor with a bad bearing through a wall and sense a building earthquake (this happened while I was doing the forms at the epicenter of the Ludlow CA earthquake the night before the quake. Felt like I’d plugged into an electric current. Recently I’ve been exploring yin energy and unlike the yang Chi energy when I started researching it I discovered very little in the historical record, and many dire warnings that here there be Dragons. Chuang Tzu was a help, but the record has been expunged. Yin energy is dependent on lunar cycles and very subtle. Fog is yin. The low country is yin, as are swamps and vines. Yin energy seems to spike during eclipses. I pulled the negative energy out of a vet who had a flashback during 4th of July fireworks that was similar to the Ludlow shock in intensity but felt malignant and tried to cling to me after but I sent it into the ground. Hope these insight help some of you out there.

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