Cleansing the Home: A General Outline of Cleansing, Saging, and Various Methods
Environmental cleansing and personal cleansing, known as simply cleansing in this article, is the act of altering the are around you through ritual, focus, or raw acts of energy work. Cleansing an area can be as simple as setting intent and sprinkling some salt on the windows, doors, and entry ways or as complex as a full out Lesser Banishing Ritual. While every method of cleansing will NOT be covered in this article as there are far to many to cover some basics will be gone over.
Before we begin cleansing though lets talk about energy and what is or is not happening with the cleansing action. Many expect cleansing to remove long term negative energies from people, stress, or other factors and while the energies themselves will be removed the source of stress, energy, or problems may still persist. No amount of cleansing can make a hostile home peaceful fully. Nor can a full act of cleansing make right all evils done. Still cleansing is a powerful action to alter the energetic world around us. Cleansing is the first thing psychics, mystics, and those in the metaphysical arts suggests when the metaphysics fails to alter a situation or an issue is happening regarding spirituality or emotional stability. This concept of cleansing energy is one of our oldest understandings of mysticism.
With a good understanding of what cleansing will not do it is important to go over the finer points of what cleansing does. The first thing cleansing generally does is move stagnant energies in the area. Energy should be in a constant state of flow as cessation of that flow is dangerous. The second thing cleansing tends to do is remove blockages, over time, that arise due to various reasons. The key point here is that these blockages are removed over time. Blockages take time to remove and a trained professional may aid in the removal of these faster and more efficiently. Still with persistence and diligence one can easily correct the flow of their own energy and energy around them. The other main thing that cleansing tends to do is encourage fresh energy flow. The act of cleansing is not just the removal of old energies but the increasing of positive energies through the environment. Through the increasing of positive energy flow cleansing serves dual purposes in how it impacts the world around us.
Sympathetic, Focus, or Ceremonial Methods:
The first method of cleansing we will focus on are the most popular methods to use in cleansing and these are sympathetic methods. Sympathetic methods employ the use of herbs, incenses, or simple tools. The concept of sympathetic methodology in mysticism is the act of taking on or using the qualities of a thing to instill its mystical properties. This is where the concept of sageing comes from. The idea here is that objects inherently have some properties we associate with them just by the nature of what they are. In the sympathetic method the choice of tools is one of the most important and this includes smudging, sageing, salting, use of blessed water, and to a lesser degree the use of holy objects or symbols. Sympathetic methods often make some use of focusing methods but are mentioned first as they are the most common method available.
Focus based cleansing is the force of will to alter an environment. We won't go into much detail here but the ultimate is that faith in the self, faith in the universal power within the self, and the honing of focus allows one to cleanse through force of will. In focusing one sets their intent, often with a simple phrase such as “I am cleansing the environment” and possibly a hand gesture. This is the least tool intensive method but requires years of building focus and concentration through meditation and focusing exercises.
Ceremonial methods such as the Lesser Banishing Pentagram Ritual often use less tools, some focus based exercises, and a lot more time to accomplish the act of cleansing. Still these methods rely on focus over time and tools to aid that focus as well as using some of the sympathetic properties of materials in their actions. Often incenses are burned during the ritual, beings are invoked or evoked depending on the needs, and a focus on the feeling and visualization of energies made a part of the exercise. Ceremonial methods were covered in this last, despite being the second most common method, because they make use of parts from the previous two methodologies. The ceremonial method is perhaps the easiest method to gather materials for and complete training in.
Example Cleansing Methods:
Smoke cleansing as in sageing is the most well known and, thanks to the new age craze, most often used methods of cleansing so we will mention it here as our first example method. Note that many often replace the sage with incense of which the cleansing or purification variety may be the most superior of these for this purpose. Still with sufficient focus pipe smoke, though we do not recommend smoking, might even achieve the results of a good sageing. Still even with that noted smoke cleansing is an easy and effective process be it with sage or any other combination of beneficial herbs.
Step Zero: Practice Fire Safety
You have not yet light that incense, charcoal, sage stick, or other scented smoke delivery method. Don't do so yet though. Double check that what you are about to do in the delivery of this smoke is safe. Open windows, be prepared to ventilate the home. If you are allergic to smoke consider another method. Once you are sure you are safe proceed to Step One.
Step One: Set Your Intent:
Before you light that stick of incense, sage stick, or other method of delivering scented smokes to the room set your intent. Take a moment mentally or out loud to say “I am now going to perform a cleansing.” Make this a special moment, not something you just are doing because you read how to do this here. Take a minute to really sit down and think about what cleansing means to you. Recognize your own power, and prepare to do something beyond your mundane. That moment you decide an action will NOT be mundane is the moment that shifts much of who you are and what you are doing.
Step Two: Light the Material:
In lightning the material take a moment of contemplation on the nature of the flame. Flame can be a cleansing element and the act of using smoke is a combination of fire and air to cleanse a home. This is a mental acknowledgment not just in the incense, sage, or other material but also in the elemental. This connects you to a primal understanding of the energies of fire and air in play. Keeping the concept of the flame sacred as you apply the fire to the material will help with the process.
Step Three: Spreading the Smoke:
Begin by blowing lightly in the case of sage on the bundle to accelerate the smoke. In the case of incense this is not needed nearly as much and a gentle wafting with the hands or feathered fan may accomplish this. As the smoke travels up remember you intent to cleanse yourself and the environment. Whatever the smoke touches is considered cleansed. Remember that the smoke rises and falls even to the places not seen. Take a moment as you spread the smoke around each room to recognize the core concept and intent of cleansing.
Step Four: Completing the Cleansing Cycle:
As you have bathed in smoke yourself and/or the home around you with the cleansing essence from sage/incense it is now time to close this cycle. Take a moment to thank the sage/incense, thank the spirits, thank the universe, and then thank yourself for your own power in this. Respectfully place the remainder of the sage/incense in a special place in the home. This may be a make shift alter or simply a place cleared for this. Once this has been done you have completed the cycle of cleansing. In the case of a sage bundle you may choose to “put the sage out” by grinding it gently on a metal or rock surface that is fire safe or proof or some other method. For incenses you should simply let the incense burn out completely.
This is a simple ritual cleansing drawing some inspiration from the Lesser Banishing Pentagram Ritual. While the Lesser Banishing Pentagram Ritual is a fantastic option with MANY variations found online this stripped down version provides a frame work to build from for a cleansing ritual. Feel free to add to this methodology but recognize that this ritual draws on the elements and their associated directions.
Light a simple purification incense before beginning. Take a small amount of water in a bowl, and a small hand towel. Was your hands and face in the bowl and dry your hands on the towel. Run your hands over the purification incense.
Now, if not already facing east turn to the east. Imagine a bright white light surrounding your body. Intone in a strong, powerful, focused, and determined voice “The universe flows through me.”
Imagine that bright light growing stronger and permeating your body and skin causing it to glow. “As I flow through the universe.”
Now visualize that light shifting to the color red. Say “All is one.”
Visualize the light now shift from red to orange, yellow, green, indigo, and violet. Hold the color violet for a moment and say “One is all.”
Visualize the violet light becoming bright white. As that white light emanates visualize it filling the room.
Imagine the feeling of the primal element of air whipping around you and intone Intone the following “In the east is air, and the element of air fills this place.”
Now turn to the right so that you are facing South. Feel the heat of fire and the primal elemental energy of fire moving about you “In the south is fire, and the element of fire fills this place.”
Turn now to the west by rotating right once more. Feel the soft, gentle, and yet also raging energies of water and the ocean moving around you. Then say with emphasis “In the west is water, and the element of water fills this place!”
Finally rotate north once more and feel the power of earth. Focus on the feeling of grounding, the feeling of the ground under your feet, and the essence of solidity that is the elemental earth. Then intone “In the north is earth, and the element of earth fills this place!”
Turn to the east once more by turning right. Feel the energies in the room of the elements and say “Now mixes together the elements and the raw power of creation fills this space to sanctify it!”
The ritual is now complete. Replace the towel to be cleaned in the laundry. Allow the incense to burn completely.
There are many more cleansing and purification methods than we have shown here today. These are basic, generic, and somewhat stripped of traditional flavor. More traditional methods often provide more intricacy at the expense of ease. The more complex a method the more power is poured into it. These are simple, easy, yet still effective methods we have provided. They help hone the mind, the spirit, and the body into a single direction of purification. They are not the only solution but they are a good starting foundation.