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Four Ways To Do a Spiritual Cleansing
When you cleanse something, you wash away the metaphysical energies that can cling to objects and places like soot from a burnt out fire. This leftover energy is like invisible sludge that can contaminate and imbalance us. It builds up as a consequence of practicing witchcraft and even just living our daily lives. It is unavoidable because energy permeates the universe. This is why we cleanse our divination tools after each use and keep them wrapped in silk to maintain their purity. We do the same for our altars and ritual tools. Every time we work witchcraft, we purify the space in which we cast a circle. Think of all this as keeping your tools bright and sharp, and your workspace clean. Cleansing is also the first step you must do before consecrating an object, person, or place to its sacred purpose.
These four ways to cleanse are basic in that they do not involve spells. You just perform the basic action. Use the ones that best fit the situation and feel most appealing to you. These methods also can be used to cleanse a person – for example, someone unable or unwilling to take the traditional ritual bath.
1. Light: For one hour, set the object you wish to cleanse outside in blazing sunlight between the hours of noon and 1:00PM on a cloudless day. Or for one hour, set the object outside in the light of the full moon. You should never miss an opportunity to use the Midsummer sun or the full moon on Midwinter night for cleansing; these two times in the year offer the most powerful sunlight and moonlight. This method works best for objects rather than for places or people.
2. Sound: Ring a small bell and wave it over the object you wish to cleanse as the sound vibrations die away. Ring the bell again and repeat for a minute or so until your intuition tells you it is enough. You may also cleanse a place by ringing the bell as you carry it, lifting it high and low to spread the sound vibrations throughout the area, banishing all residual energy. In both cases, you want to move, or carry, the bell counterclockwise. Remember, a counterclockwise motion banishes things whereas a clockwise motion summons things. This method works well for objects, people, and places.
3. Smoke: Light a cone of incense in a fire-proof dish and either wave it over the object or person, or carry it around the area to be cleansed for several repetitions until your intuition tells you it is enough. Again, your motion should be counterclockwise. Smudging will also work. This uses the smoke from a lit bundle of dried herbs such as sage or cedar. (However, be aware that smudging done outside the Native American traditions is viewed by many as cultural appropriation.)
4. Water: Fill a bowl with salt water. (You can mix two parts distilled water to one part salt – either sea salt or kosher salt, which are both available from the health foods store.) Fill another bowl with pure distilled water, and have a towel ready. Submerge the object you wish to cleanse into the salt water. Then rinse it in the bowl of distilled water and quickly dry it off. When cleansing a person or a place with salt water, move counterclockwise, flicking salt water with your fingertips until your intuition tells you it is enough. Salt water can be corrosive and destructive so you may not want to submerge certain objects such as your metal athame.
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