Spiritual Cleansing: Your Guide to Cleansing Rituals and Methods
When we first come to the spiritual path of a witch, pagan or enlightened soul we hear the term “cleansing” repeatedly. Why is cleansing such a big deal? Why is everyone talking about it in the spiritual community? Here we provide you with the ULTIMATE guide to cleansing rituals and methods and WHY it’s crucial to purify oneself and one’s space on a regular basis. Don’t feel overwhelmed – it’s actually not that hard. And once you get your own routine down, it’ll come naturally!
1. Why is Spiritual Cleansing Important?
Spiritual cleansing is important for many reasons. The first being that it purifies your body/soul/mind and your sacred space of negative energies. Ourselves and our homes need to be regularly cleansed for this main reason. In addition to getting rid of negative energies, spiritual cleansing also purifies one’s aura and space of any negative spirits that may be hanging around. Secondly, many of the ancient gods and spirits you may want to work with in a spiritual manner require you and your space to be purified before they will even glance your way.
2. Self Cleansing Rituals
There are many different ways to spiritually cleanse oneself of negative energies. Most use one or more of the main elements (earth, air, fire, water) in a purifying manner:
- Spiritual Cleansing Ritual Baths: bathing in water that’s infused with salts, flowers, herbs, teas, crystal vibrations, etc. Also bathing in the ocean or river does the trick.
- Smudging Rituals: using smoke from herbs to cleanse one’s aura including sage, cedar, rosemary, sweetgrass, palo santo, etc.
- Crystal Rituals: using a high-vibrational crystal wand such as selenite to pass over one’s body to rid it of negative energies
- Bonfire Cleansing Rituals: passing through two bonfires or leaping over a bonfire to cleanse oneself (CAUTION! We don’t recommend this method although it’s an ancient one. You can catch on fire or get severely hurt!) It’s safer to pass a candle around one’s body from head to foot, carefully.
- Blessing/Asperging with Holy or Blessed Waters: spritzing/spraying holy or blessed water over a person’s body from head to foot. Holy water, moon water, rose water, etc.
- Energetic Cleansing: some individuals use Reiki or other divine healing energies to cleanse one’s self and space
Try each of these and see which self cleansing ritual you prefer. If you can’t take a bath, a cleansing shower also works! Visualization with white light is also effective if you need a quickie-cleanser and you can’t perform the other methods.
3. Spiritual Cleansing Rituals of Sacred Space
In addition to spiritual cleansing of oneself, cleansing rituals of sacred space are JUST as crucial. Just like our auras can get muddied with negative energies, our homes can too! Think of all the traffic going in and out, the other people that live and visit, and even the energies you bring into the house. Before performing any intense spiritual workings in your home or sacred space, a CLEANSING is necessary! Routine cleansing rituals are recommended on a monthly basis to keep negative vibrations, illness, and spirits out of your home.
Sacred Space & Home Cleansing Rituals:
- Smudging rituals: smudging one’s sacred space and home with sacred herbs can rid one’s space of negative energies and spirits. Don’t forget to open a few windows to allow that negative energy to escape! It has to go somewhere!
- Asperging/Blessing: take a sprig or branch of rosemary or rue, dip it in holy or blessed water and sprinkle about the house to rid of negative energy
- Floor washes and sweeps: this method cleanses the floor of negative vibrations by infusing purifying herbs into the mop water OR by sprinkling purifying herbs onto the floor and then sweeping/vacuuming up.
- Sprays and spritzes: similar to an asperging, sprays made of infused holy water or combined herbal oils can be sprayed around the house to quickly cleanse the space
- Cleansing with Sound: Tibetan singing bowls, chanting, ringing bells, clapping, banging on pots/pans, and music of an ancient kind (Native American, Buddhist, Celtic, etc.) all work to cleanse one’s space using the power of sound
- Essential Oil Diffusers: modern witches often use essential oil diffusers to cleanse the air with purifying aromas like lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, etc.
- Cleansing with Light: are you the kind of person who sits in the dark when the sun’s shining just outside the window? OPEN THE CURTAINS and let the sun shine in! The sun’s cleansing power is strong and sends low-level negative entities running!
- Sweeping: many witches use a spiritual besom (broom) crafted specifically to “sweep” out the negative energy in a space. (A separate smaller besom can be used to “sweep” one’s aura from head to foot, as well!)
4. Crafting Your Own Personal Cleansing Ritual
Once you’ve tried a few different cleansing rituals with various cleansing tools, you’ll find something that feels right for you. For example, my go-to cleansing ritual involves a spiritual bath with purifying herbs, then I use Reiki and smudging to cleanse my personal space. This is the ritual I use before any large magical working, including intense divination and esbat workings. But you will find one that feels best for you and it’ll come naturally in time, to where you barely have to think about it!
5. When to Perform Cleansings
We’ve covered why it’s important to cleanse one’s self and space, but not exactly when to perform them. Here’s a basic guide:
- Once a month on the Waning or New Moon, cleanse your space
- After illness, injury, death or misfortune in the home, cleanse your space and yourself
- At the start of a new season, cleansing rituals are traditionally performed to bring in new, fresh energy
- BEFORE any major magical workings – sabbats, esbats, intense divination, potent spells, contacting new deities or spirits
- AFTER workings that involve new deities or spirits
- After visitors have left the home or upon new residents moving in (including new babies)
- Cleanse yourself for routine spiritual maintenance once a week+
- Whenever you feel the atmosphere in the home is “heavy” or emotions are running super-charged, cleanse yourself and your space