If you read my previous post, you remember my difficulty in deciding whether to use “cleanse” or “clear”. Well, in this instance, I’ve decided to use “clear”, since I think it better describes what my intent was in clearing my bedroom. I still think these words are fairly interchangeable, but it never hurts to be aware of what you are saying during a magickal working.
Removing negative energy from a living area is often overlooked. I know that when I moved into my previous two apartments, it didn’t occur to me to do a clearing/cleansing ritual. I had just checked to see that the cleaning staff had done their job and the area was in fact clean before I began to unpack. I wish now that I had done some kind of ritual, not because I was unhappy with the space or felt any lingering energy, but because it would have made the space more “mine” and gotten rid of any latent energy from previous inhabitants.
It’s a good idea to cleanse/clear a living space when you first move in and when you move out, as well as periodically. Many people combine such rituals with spring or autumn cleaning–and if you live with family who don’t know your Pagan-minded, spring cleaning makes for an awfully good cover when doing a room cleansing.
I decided I needed to clear my bedroom. I live with family at the moment, thanks to the horrid economy and job market, and the bedroom has been used as a guest room for numerous cousins and relatives for the last few decades (Grandmother has owned the house for 50 years). I could almost feel the built-up negativity and stagnation in the room after living in it for a few months, and it was very depressing. So I asked for advice and did a clearing of my bedroom while Grandmother was out of the house on a Sunday morning for church.
However, if you do live in a place that someone else owns (I’m not talking about an apartment company or a townhouse rental association type of deal, I’m talking about living in someone else’s home on sufferance), it’s not a good idea to perform a cleansing/clearing of common areas without their knowledge or consent. These kinds of rituals can drastically alter the energy composition of that space, and what you do will have an effect on the other people who live in that space. It’s generally considered acceptable to do such a ritual on your own space–for example, your bedroom–but not necessarily acceptable to do something so drastic in shared space without taking the other people into consideration first.
Having said that, there are some ways to get around this just a little bit. The following suggestions are things that can help to change a room’s energy gradually and a little bit at a time, so that the change is not so sudden. Such dramatic shifts in energy can make people ill, you know, and if you have any elderly people in the house, that is not what you want. These suggestions can help to slowly dispel negativity and input positivity, and are things that most people will enjoy seeing and won’t mind you putting up:
- Wind chimes
- Sun catchers
- Glass colored balls (aka witch balls)
- Peaceful pictures
As for your own space, some suggestions to use in a clearing are:
- Burn incense or herbs that promote protection and the dispelling of negativity. Fill the room with it and chase the negativity out of the room via a window. Burn herbs or incense that promote positive ideals.
- Play a song or two that you feel a connection with and makes you happy. This is especially good for instrumental music, without words, because it is transmitted into pure emotion, which then is transmitted to the rest of the room.
- Put up a picture or an object that is peaceful to you. This can be a picture of a garden, the ocean, etc., or it can be a figurine, a stuffed animal, a windchime, etc. Just something that you can see everyday that brings you joy and peace.
- Raise a ruckus in your room. Get pots and pans and bang them together and shout and literally chase the negativity out with noise. This is good for a whole house clearing, too, especially if you have young kids that like to make noise and run around.
An important note follows all of this, however. Nature abhors a vacuum.
When you remove the negativity of a space, you then are left with a void. Unless you fill it back up, Nature will fill it for you, and that could mean the return of the negativity you just chased away. This is why it’s important, when doing a cleansing or clearing, to invite positive emotion into the space once you’ve cleared out the negative. This is why I suggested the peaceful pictures or upbeat music or things that make you happy. If all you do is clear out the negativity in the space, you leave this big open area ready and waiting to be filled with anything and everything, because you’ve put nothing into it to replace what you took away. If you want the best results from a clearing or cleansing, you must put the positive emotion into that void.