Re-post: Space-clearing ceremony - Jan 05
More Epiphany/Chanuka thoughts and a space-clearing ceremony
I sometimes like to think of my house as a kind of mini-temple, just for us - just meaning that it's our sacred space, really. I've done space-clearing ceremonies here, mainly just after we moved in, and a consecration rite. Part of the process involved candles and incense - very similar to the American Indian's smudging. In fact, smudge sticks work really well. They're specially made for the purpose. Nag Champa (Nitiraj) incense is perfect for it too.
But I'm explaining this in quite a back-to-front way. I probably should set out the process we followed, so that I'm not just telling half a story:
We thoroughly cleaned the house - this way just after we bought it - removed all the carpets, the wallpaper and the fitted furniture (just because we didn't like any of it) and painted the walls white. Then we went into each room and, using our hands, we 'clapped out the energy'. This involves just basically clapping around the walls, everywhere you can reach, and especially into the corners where the air is thick. When you first start to clap in a corner, the sound is quite muffled, then as you keep clapping you can hear the noise getting clearer. Basically, you're using sound to break-up the heavy energy. It's quite hard work, and it takes a long time.
When this is finished, the space is quite raw. Then you need to go around again with a lit smudge-stick or some burning Nag Champa (Nitiraj) to further purify the space. The smoke and scent produced by these two is very cleansing. You could make your own smudge stick as an alternative to buying one, using cleansing herbs like rosemary, lavender, or whatever else you like. You need to make sure you have good, healthy thoughts in your mind when both making and using smudge sticks because your thoughts will be imprinted into the area when it's so raw and 'open'.
Next, take a small bell, preferably one that makes a good, clear sound. Starting at the front door, set it ringing by moving it in a circular motion so that the clapper moves round and round the inside of the bell. It's important to keep it ringing like this while you do the whole circuit of the house again, through every room, around the walls and in the corners. The noise of the bell is sealing the energy - so you opened it by clapping, purified it with the smoke and now you're sealing it with the bell. Again, focus on good thoughts for your space while you're doing it.
Now the house is cleansed, to consecrate it you need a bowl of sea salt and a bowl of water. Point the fingers of your left hand into the salt and your right hand into the water. Now, you can say what you want the space to be used and 'charge' the salt and water. If you're religious you can use prayers at this point. If you know how to do energy work, draw either earth or cosmic energy (or both, depending on how you work) into your belly by breathing in, then breathe out and visualise it moving down the arms, through the fingers and into the salt and water. If you know about directional energy you can use that at this point too.
Go around the house again, sprinkling some of the water in every room. Salt is used for protection, so this needs to be sprinkled across or around the boundary of your property. As you're sprinkling the water, you can say something to consecrate each room, or - this is where children like to get involved - each person can sprinkle the water for their room say their own words to consecrate it. It can be just something simple, like: "This room is happy, peaceful, safe and relaxing," but use definite, present-tense words, like "This room is.." rather than future terms like "This room will be.." or indefinite terms like "I want this room to be..." If you're consecrating a room for someone else, you can use the person's name in what you're saying to make it a very personal space for them, but wherever possible it's important to check that they're happy with what you're saying. The general, family-use rooms can be consecrated for their purpose - the kitchen to provide nourishment at the heart of the family, the dining-room for healthy digestion and good conversation, the entrance to be welcoming, the sitting room to be relaxing and peaceful - whatever you want for your house.
Finally, to 'set' the process, light a small candle for every room, on a saucer, surrounded by beautiful things like maybe flowers, petals, favourite little ornaments, a religious symbol if you're religious. Children often enjoy making their own candle-saucers for their own rooms, with items of their choosing - whatever makes them happy. Set the candle in the middle of each room and when you light each one, focus your thoughts on the new flame and again, think positive specific thoughts for the room or say the phrase you used while sprinkling the water. Again, children can light their own candles. It's nice to stay in the room while the candle burns out if you can, maybe playing some favourite music and/or doing a favourite occupation - something that befits the words, thoughts and intentions you've used in the ceremony. If you've got a lot of rooms, use very small candles if you're planning to stay with them all until they've burned down! Or you could just light bigger ones and move around the house or have all the doors open. Whatever you feel is the most practical way to 'set' the energy of the room with the candles.
To finish off, you need to give thanks. Who or what to is up to you. Your God/Goddess, your house, the spirit or love of your family - whatever you're grateful to or for.
I only did the full ceremony once here. If you do it too often, the place can become too unsettled and raw-feeling. But it's great for clearing negative energy generated by too many arguments, or just for shifting the previous occupier's imprint from a house. I've done mini versions of it since, maybe after an argument or when we've changed the use of a room or felt in need of extra protection. I have to say that we've never been burgled - except for the garage, and I didn't include that in the ceremony because it's quite separate from the house and I didn't think to. Also, people don't tend to come to the house unless we want them to. I don't know whether this is as a result of the ceremony, but we do feel very safe here.
Also, regarding colour, it was good to paint every room white initially - it's like creating a blank page. But then as I've redecorated the house has gradually become far more colourful. I used the Feng Shui Pa Kua initially, for both colour and placement of things, but in more recent years I've got more relaxed and intuitive about this. The kitchen (West and Northwest) is now green with a red floor, the dining room (South and Southwest) is pink with a green floor, the cloakroom, hall and stairs (Southeast and centre) are bright red with gold spirals (that was fun!) and a red carpet, because they run through the centre of the house and I wanted some heat there. My room is 'marine' blue for contemplation, but I think I'll re-do that one soon. It's Northwest-facing so water colours fit but sometimes I think it's a bit too watery in there.
Anyway, this blog entry came about because I was thinking last night about Chanuka and Epiphany (both today), the one meaning to re-dedicate the temple, to cleanse it with fire and the other meaning a manifestation of God, and/or commemorating the visit and gift-giving of the Magi and I thought: this would be the perfect day to do a space-clearing/consecration ceremony. When we do these things at appropriate times they're even more powerful, maybe because lots of people on the planet are doing/thinking something similar. This kind of joint focus is incredibly effective. Also I think there would have been reasons, to do with the movement of the planet and it's position, the cycle of nature and probably other factors, for the siting of these dates. As I said yesterday, it's the best time of year for land-clearing, before the new growth begins - and house (or temple)-clearing the same.
Frankincense and myrrh would actually be perfect for use in the ceremony. I'd use the myrrh in the smudge stick because of it's cleansing properties and the frankincense at the end, with the candle-burning, to set the ritual, because of it's spiritually inspiring effects. You could even use some gold coins in your candle setting, especially in the South-eastern area, if you wanted to attract some wealth into your house! The visiting Magi didn't select their gifts at random, did they? These were the three most valuable physical elements of the ancient world. Gold actually has powerful mineral properties. I've heard of people using it as a herbal medicine, but I don't know enough about it to tell you in more detail. I might research it though, because it's very interesting. Aurum met is of course a homoeopathic remedy, made from potentised gold. My Materia Medica (Kent) tells me it's for use in people who loathe life, are weary of it, want to die and seek methods of committing suicide. Hmm. Handy stuff, then!
Nowadays our lives are often so disconnected from the planet's rhythms I often think that's why many people get depressed or feel unfulfilled. I've certainly been a lot happier and more content since I've started thinking about these things.
posted by Gill at 8:53 AM 4 comments