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!
What is Spiritual Cleansing?
Before we explain the importance of cleansing, first we should explain what spiritual cleansing actually is. Cleansing, according to the dictionary, is a method of “cleaning something thoroughly” or completely. Then it goes on to reference “cleansing the skin” with soaps or creams. While this gives us an idea as to what cleansing is, it’s not particularly clear how one can cleanse the spirit or aura. I explain spiritual cleansing like this – it is any method that seeks to remove negative energy, illness, or spirits from a person’s body, soul, aura, or even from their space. A person’s space that may need spiritual cleansing includes one’s home, vehicle, property, and workplace.
Why is Spiritual Cleansing Important?
Spiritual cleansing is important for many reasons. The first being that it purifies you and your sacred space of negative energy. Negative energy can build up and wreak havoc on our lives. In addition to getting rid of negative energy, spiritual cleansing also purifies your aura and space of harmful spirits and sometimes wards off illness. Lastly, there are certain gods and goddesses who prefer a clean space in which to visit.
Negative Energy and the Importance of Self Cleansing Rituals
We go about our day coming into contact with many people, which means we are coming into contact with many different energies. The emotions, trauma, illness, misfortune, and even spirit attachments that cling to other people have the ability to affect us. If you are particularly a connected person, or have empathic tendencies, you’ll be even more susceptible to picking up energy throughout the day. Sometimes we can see a person with negative energy coming. Sometimes we can even see a person with a spirit attachment coming.
I’ll tell you a story. Once, my daughter and I were driving to school. We were driving the speed limit on a road that wasn’t too busy when something terrifying happened. A man ran up so close behind us at such a speed, we didn’t see him until he was literally right on our bumper. He almost caused a terrible accident going 60mph that day. But that wasn’t the scariest part. As he passed us at a higher speed, cursing and yelling out of his window, a dark black cloud came from his vehicle and passed over top of ours. My daughter and I had never seen anything like it. But, essentially, I felt that it was an evil spirit or perhaps even death that was literally following this man. You can bet I cleansed myself and vehicle that day!
The Land, Heavens, and Technology Affects Us
Witches tend to cue into energies naturally, with or without realizing it. And it isn’t always a good thing. In addition to people’s energy, we also come in contact with energy from the land, wildlife, weather, heavenly bodies and even technology. The land itself carries its own impressions of the past and of current events. It holds onto the good and bad, particularly when those energies are strong. For example, a meadow that was the site of a bloody battle will carry that energy for years to come. And when we step onto that meadow, we might even pick up on that energy.
The same goes for wildlife. Have you ever been to the zoo and truly felt depressed afterward? It’s not just the idea of animals being caged their entire lives, you’re also feeling their unhappiness. We absorb our pets’ energies too. In addition, if you’re tuned into the earth and the Universe, you will feel the impact of the heavenly bodies: the sun, moon, planets, etc.
Computers, phones, TVs, and cars all emit their own energy waves – both physical and spiritual. All of which can also affect our energy. So how do we counteract some of the negative effects of ALL this outside energy? We CLEANSE.
Different Ways to Self-Cleanse
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.
- Smoke-cleansing Rituals: using smoke from herbs and woods including sage, cedar, rosemary, sweetgrass, rose, lavender, juniper, rabbit tobacco, 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. Or placing energy-absorbing crystals like black tourmaline around your space
- Fire 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 roll an unlit candle all over one’s body to pick up negative energy. Then burning it.
- Blessing/Asperging with Magical Waters: spritzing/spraying blessed water over a person’s body from head to foot. Holy water, moon water, rose water, etc.
- Drinking cleansing teas: drink detoxifying teas, kombucha, energy-infused waters, etc.
- Energetic Cleansing: some individuals use Reiki or other divine healing energies
- Sound cleansing with singing bowls, high vibrational music, etc.
- Egg cleansings: a ritual in which an egg is rolled over the entire body to rid one of negative energy. Then cracked into a bowl of water and “read” for attachments, etc.
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.
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 get muddied with negative energy, our homes do 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. I find it’s extra-necessary after service and repairmen come to my house. Also consider the land your home sits on, any cell phone towers, warehouses and manufacturing plants nearby. All of these can negatively impact the energy in your home.
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. But, if you can’t get to it monthly, do it when you can!
Sacred Space & Home Cleansing Rituals:
- Smoke-cleansing 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!)
- Simmer pots: this is a method of cleansing in which the individual adds water and other items like herbs and fruit to a large pot. Then allows the pot to simmer on the stove, releasing a cleansing steam into the home
- Houseplants and crystals: maintaining houseplants in the home purifies the air naturally and brings good vibes. The same goes with certain crystals like black tourmaline, selenite, and obsidian.
- Himalayan salt lamps: no, they’re not just a silly gimmick! They’re known to purify the air and bring good vibes to your space
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!
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
- After serious arguments or fights, divorce, discord
- Before and following renovations in your home
- If you haven’t done a cleansing in a long time
- If you’re just feeling off, depressed, or yucky