During my time in Kemetic groups and forums, I’ve realized that very little is ever shared or discussed about basic ‘magix’. No one really talks about cleansing items or your house. Making amulets or sigils are almost never discussed. And there has never been discussion about warding or barrier creation. I personally think this is a shame, as you never know when things could go wrong, or when you might need extra protection in a situation.
To help with this, I have decided that I will create a series of blog posts relating to these exact things. I want to discuss my methods and means to cleanse, create and protect in a more ‘magical’ sense. My methods are by NO MEANS the only methods. They just happen to be what works for me.
If you enjoy this series, or want me to discuss different aspects or topics of a similar nature, please feel free to post your ideas in the comments section. If there is anything that you would like clarification on, don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need/would like 🙂
First up in this series is cleansings. I have chosen cleansings first because I think it is always the first step in the creation of anything. You wouldn’t want to have a tainted object turned into an amulet, and you wouldn’t want to create a barrier with icky gunk still inside with you. Sometimes the simplest situations can be cleared up with a good old-fashioned cleaning.
What ‘ingredients’ do I need to cleanse things?
The ingredients list for a cleansing can vary from person to person and situation to situation. For example, if you can’t handle smoke, you wouldn’t want to use sage or incense. If you live in a place that doesn’t allow matches or fire, you wouldn’t want to use candles, certain rocks can’t handle a lot of water, others can’t handle salt… etc. Each situation is different, but here are some of the most common items I use to cleanse things:
- Sunlight or Moonlight
- Purified Water, Florida Water, Rose Water
- Bells or Wind-chimes
- Incense or Burning Herbs
- Candles or Light
- Stones, Rocks, Crystals
- Words of power
So how are these items used?
It varies on the situation. Many times, I will use multiple forms of the items above. As an example, I will use salt water, natron water, salty sand (or sandy salt), wet bells… you name it. I find that using multiple items (whether at once, or in multiple rounds) helps to strengthen the amount that is cleansed.
Typically, there are two types of cleansings that go on in my life- cleansing of my house, and cleansing of an item. Yes, I cleanse myself, but that can be an entirely different kettle of fish.
I’ll start with cleansing of your house. In Shinto, this occurs every few months- usually at major points in the year, so this is something that occurs regularly for me. There are multiple methods of doing this, so I will cover a few here.
Singular Pass, Simple House Cleansing:
A single pass cleansing is about how it sounds- you go through your house once, and once only. Pick whichever items above sound best to you or suits your needs best. If I am low on time, I will usually default to incense, or salt (depending on if I want to vacuum afterwards).
- If you have deities, I would recommend giving them offerings and asking for their assistance in cleaning out your house first.
- I then go to the entrance of my home with my cleansing item of choice. If it is something like sand or salt, you will be lightly tossing this stuff around your home (to be vacuumed up after the rite is done). If its water, you’ll be squirting it around. If it’s incense or a candle, I like to move the smoke or light into the various nooks and crannies (you get the idea).
- I go in a clockwise manner, so if my back is to the door, I will move left throughout my house. I am sure to give extra cleaning attention to windows, mirrors, doors, and drains.
- While doing this, you may chant something that suits your tastes, or you may simply keep your mind concentrated on good things in, bad things out.
- I slowly work through each room in a clockwise manner- stopping to give various items or areas extra attention as I see fit.
- Once I am back at my front door, I make sure to push all bad ‘joo-joo’ out the door, and usually throw some extra salt at the door, or make a type of symbol (whatever you want, for more ideas, see my sigil post) in smoke or water over the door to essentially ‘seal out’ any bad stuff.
- After this is done, I will vacuum up any sand or salt and thank the gods for their participation and assistance in the matter.
Multi-Pass House Cleansing:
A multiple pass cleansing is very similar to the one listed above. I use this form of cleansing when I want things to get extra extra clean. It involves the same steps as above, but each time you reach the front door, you’ll swap out your current cleansing ‘tool’ (water, salt, etc) for a different one, and go through the house with it again. I like to use different ingredients that are complementary. As an example, when I was doing the Wicca thing, I would pick something for each of the four elements. So I’d cleanse my house with salt, water, candles and incense. Now that I base more Kemeticially, I might choose to do something that complements my two gods- sand and water. Typically, I like to end any multi-pass cleansing with the ringing of the bell. I feel that bells bring in good energy as well as dispelling bad energy. So once the other items have gone through and cleaned the area, I use the bell to bring good stuff back in. Once again, choose what feels best to you and what suits your needs.
- Select which items you would like to use in your cleansing.
- If you have gods or deities that you would like assistance from, leave offerings for them and ask for their assistance, guidance, etc.
- Start at your front door with the *first* cleansing item that you’d like to use.
- I work in a clockwise fashion- so with your back to your door, you will move left.
- Go through each room in the house, working one room at a time. Be sure to always go clockwise.
- As you move through the house, say any words of power that appeal to you, or simply focus your mind on bad things out, good things in.
- After you are back at your front door, get your next cleansing item and repeat the process of going through your house.
- Repeat as necessary (dictated by how many items you wish to use).
- Once you have gone through the house with your last item, stand at the door and visualize/focus on all of the bad icky stuff in your house and in your life leaving out the front door. Feel free to throw more sand or salt towards the door, or to draw some sort of symbol over the door to keep bad things out.
- Vacuum up any salt, sand or other items that are needed.
- If gods are involved, return to your shrine/altar and thank them for their assistance in the matter.
Cleansing items is a lot less tricky. When you decide how to cleanse an item, be sure that you are considerate of the needs of that item. There are certain stones that will weaken in water or salt water. There are obvious concerns such as water on tarot cards as well. Just as above, you can combine multiple formats to extra clean an item as well. Some of the most popular methods I use to cleanse items are:
- Placing the item on my cat to wear (such as pendants and charms). Usually, I’ll place the item on his collar and let him wear it for a week (or 4). It sounds silly, but it works.
- Place the item outside on my balcony for a day (or more) to let it soak up sunlight and moonlight (I often will accompany this with offerings to local fae and other ‘fauna’ for any assistance they feel like giving in cleansing my items).
- Place the item in shrine for the gods to cleanse.
- Placing the item in a dish of sand, natron or salt. Sometimes water- but usually only for an hour or so.
- Cleansing the item with incense smoke.
- Bury the item for a period of time.
- Placing the item in a box with various crystals or stones.
Just as with the house, a lot of this is done with intent. You can speak words of power while doing this, if it helps you to stay focused or to raise energy. If you ask for help from other entities (such as gods, ancestors, fae, etc) you should show proper etiquette and give them some sort of offerings in return.
Cleansings are highly personal and can vary greatly. Once you get the hang of how cleansings work and what they feel like, it’s very easy to come up with new ideas and methods to ‘get the job done’. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different processes and ‘ingredients’ to see which format works best for you. As stated above, this is just the method that I use – there are probably thousands of ways to cleanse a house or items. So feel free to take some of these ideas and make them yours!
Other posts in the ‘Magix’ Series: