Before creating or using a magickal item, it is necessary to clear all components or individual items of any previously existing negativity or personal energy. Whether you buy an item from an online store, from a local shop or find it in nature, it is a good idea to cleanse it thoroughly prior to bringing it into your home or using it in your magickal work. You never know who may have handled it, owned it, fashioned it, or focused energy upon it. Better to be safe than sorry when you are thinking about owning and using such items in the practice of your craft.
It may not seem like a big deal to non-magickal people when purchasing crystals or stones, but witches are different in this as in many other ways. What if you choose crystals and stones handled in anger while being placed on display for sale or handled by previous customers, before you even arrived, who were filled with serious negativity issues? What about that package of incense that a person, filled with negativity or hatred, handled as they packed it into a box for shipping? Did you think about the lovely gong that you discovered at a garage sale and just knew it would perfectly suit your altar? How do you know what kind of energy it was immersed in and for how long? Consider the silver candlestick holders that you inherited from Aunt Faye, the irritable. Do you really want her energy hanging around your home or altar? How well do you really know the person who fashioned that gorgeous wand that you fell in love with at first sight and decided you just could not live without it?
As witches, we know that in spell work the balance of energy is a crucial factor to the eventual success or failure of any magickal endeavor. If we are working a healing for a friend, who has depression and is in need of relief, we cannot afford to have any negative energy involved in the spell. We choose which spell to use with great care, determine which tools we will need, prepare our altar and tools, raise energy, focus our intent and more. Yet, if our tools are not in proper order, if they have not been cleansed, consecrated, and charged to the proper use, then the spell has already failed. Before the first candle is lit, the first word spoken the spell is pointless. That is why it is crucial to know and care for our tools. We are only as good as the time we put into our practice. While not all spells require tools, when tools are a component of the spell, their care matters a great deal.
Most witches are very thorough about cleansing when it comes to store bought items in their practice. Yet, many I have spoken to are not as careful with items found by discovery in nature. While most items are “neutral” when found “wild” in nature, how do you really know the last time that stone was handled in frustration, held by someone in a deep depression or hurled in anger or hatred? The tree you found with the perfect wand shaped branch; who has leaned against it recently, or climbed it or sat against its trunk spilling out terrible secrets or vitriol? Why take a chance? Just because you find something in nature, why would you want to assume that it is neutral? After finding the item, and especially after purchasing an item, cleansing it for use is the next logical step in claiming it as a tool in the practice of your craft.
Cleansing is a basic function in witchcraft and easily done by various means. Even beginning witches who have never before cast a spell are capable of cleansing tools with a few simple methods. Some types of cleansing are almost entirely passive to the practitioner, burial in salt, burial in earth, exposing items to the light of sun or moon while focusing on the placed item being cleansed. Other methods require a small amount of work, smudging with sage or passing it through smoke from a cleansing blend of incense while focusing on the item being cleansed. Other forms of cleansing are very personal and sometimes intensive, using the power of the witch to drive the unwanted energy or negativity out and allow it to return to neutral or replace it with the energy the witch wants the item to have at its core. Various methods are used, each one works, it is only important that you choose a method that does not harm the item.
Most magickal items will only require a single cleansing in one manner before being ready to use for your purposes. Once negative energy is erased, the item has returned to its natural state. However, some magickal items may retain lingering amounts of negative, unhelpful, or unfriendly energy that are still palpable even after a basic cleansing. Items, such as those created by a very powerful magickal person, items inherited from another person who had control over the item for an extended period, or items previously charged and used for specific purposes may be more difficult to cleanse. These items may require multiple cleansings in one form, or perhaps even multiple different cleansing methods to clear these kinds of items. If one application is not enough, repeat the process. If that is still not sufficient, try a second method.
Some methods of cleansing:
- Sage Smudging – purchasing or creating a smudge stick and using the smoke from the stick to pass over and surround the magickal item while focusing on sending any alien energy away from the item and allowing it to become neutral again. Incantations may be used or not as the witch prefers, and deities, elementals, or other beings may be called to assist but are not necessary.
- Incense Smoke – choosing a fitting scent or blend and following a procedure similar to or the same as that with the incense. Each witch usually develops their own specific method in accordance with their needs and desires.
- Holy Water – purchasing or creating your own holy water and using it to submerge or to sprinkle over items as needed, or in conjunction with energy work while focusing on your intent to cleanse the item of unwanted energies and speaking an incantation. You may call on the power of others to join with your own , if preferred.
- Running Water – allowing items that would be unharmed by water, to be submerged in a stream or creek and allowing the natural power of the water to wash away and cleanse the items of any unwanted energy. Rainwater can serve the same purpose when available.
- Sea Salt – immersion in sea salt is an effective way to cleanse energies from items, just make certain that the salt will not be damaging to the item before hand, bury it in the salt and leave it for a few days so the salt can absorb the unwanted energy.
- Sunlight – make certain that the item will not be damaged by sunlight and then leave the item in direct sunlight and allow the sunlight to remove the energies from the item.
- Moonlight – place an item outside after sunset and bring it back in prior to sunrise in order to allow the moonlight to cleanse away any unwanted energies.
- High Vibration Sounds – using a lead crystal bowl, a Tibetan Singing bowl, a gong, drumming, tuning fork or even your favorite music turned up loud will cleanse an item of unwanted energies.
- Pyramid Energy – placing an item under or inside a pyramid which has been charged for cleansing will take away any negative energy and return the item to neutral.
- Personal Energy – using your own personal energy to drive the unwanted energy out of the item that needs cleansing is one method that is safe for every item, though it can be intensve depending upon the quantity and quality of the energies needing to be stripped away.
- Charged Crystals – some crystals have a natural ability to strip away energies of items and leave them neutral, amethyst or rock crystal excels at such work. Small items may be placed on larger crystals; larger items may have smaller crystals set on them to draw out the unwanted energies.
As with all things magickal, your methods and procedures may vary. You may use these methods as is, consider them as a starting point and modify them as needed, or go a completely different route. You are the only one who can determine the correct way for you to practice your magick.
Use logical means to determine which method will work best for which tool. While some heavy items, such as large crystals and stones, placed in a creek or stream bed or lighter items suspended in a tightly woven mesh bag and left to dangle in the running water for a few days will be cleansed by the running water. Bear in mind, some types of stones, are damaged by submerging in water. Others items, such as some metals, may be damaged by salt and still further, some lightly colored quartz, amethyst, and other stones may lose all or a portion of their color and energy when they are left in direct sunlight. Always check with a reputable jeweler, if you know one, or research the specific item prior to choosing a cleansing method to use until you become familiar with that specific type of item. Some of the least damaging methods of cleansing will always be direct moonlight, smudging, incense, sound manipulation, and using your personal energy.