‘Cleanse’ vs. ‘Clear’


I tend to use these two words interchangeably, though I feel like they in fact refer to two different yet related things.  I feel like there is a difference–after all, they are two different words–but I don’t know what the difference is.

Of course, I mean this difference in terms of metaphysics and magickal workings.  The two words have rather different meanings in their mundane usage.  Cleanse means “to make clean; to remove by or as if by cleaning.”  Whereas clear means “to free from darkness, obscurity, or cloudiness; transparent; without discoloration, defect, or blemish.”

I tend to use “clear” when I’m removing negative energy from my stones or tools.  In this case, the mundane meaning and magickal meanings of the word make very good sense.  But lately I’ve been mixing up “cleanse” and “clear” and getting myself really confused about what it is I mean when I say either of those words.  This seems important because it relates to intention and what I mean when I say these words in a magickal context. Based on the dictionary definition, it makes sense to use “clear” when intending to remove energy from an object or place.  But then why would we use “cleanse”?  In what context would “cleanse” be appropriate?  Would “cleanse” be used for a time when cleaning a place, or physically cleaning (as in, with soap and water type of cleaning) tools, altars, cloth, etc.  It also seems  likely that the two can be used in conjunction, not just interchangeably; you could clear while cleansing, yes?

So, what do you all think?  Do you think these two words are interchangeable, or do you think they should be separate things in terms of magick?

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2 responses to “‘Cleanse’ vs. ‘Clear’

  1. Pingback: Ideas for Clearing a Space | A Witchy Life

  2. Interesting question. I tend to use “cleanse” when working with my tools. To me, I’m “cleaning” them of the energies, etc. I think the word is important only as to how you set your intentions. If one works better for you, use it.

    For me, I think of clearing more along the lines of clearing thoughts/ energies from things that might interefere or cause trouble.

    Blessed be!

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