Rituals for Space Clearing
Almost every culture has some form of tradition regarding space clearing. Some call it a ‘house blessing’; others may have a house warming party. A business may have a grand opening or a open house to welcome in new energies for a positive business.
Space clearing rituals cleanse an environment of negative energies that can cause subconscious day-to-day discomfort.
You can design your own space clearing ritual by doing what feels best to you. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Our modern society could do with more ceremony. Any event is deserving of a ceremony, not just commercial events. Rites of passage are meaningful times in our lives and they deserve being celebrated as such. Celebrating times of year, such as Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving, could be broadened by also celebrating equinoxes, full moons, and even weekends! There is always reason to celebrate any moment in life.
The benefit of ceremony is a open statement of gratitude toward life. It says to the universe and all those living and inanimate within it: “I appreciate you; I love you”.
Whether it’s ribbon-cutting, champagne cork-popping, or fireworks, anything to signify a fresh new start is a beautiful beginning and a ceremony of intention. It acknowledges the past, and makes way for a glorious future.
Candles, a campfire, song, dance, music raise the heart and lift the energies to align space with a higher purpose.
Space Clearing Tools
Space clearing is the art of cleansing spaces of stuck energies. All you need is a vacuum cleaner, windows that open, candles, incense sticks, flowers and something to make a noise, like a bell or drum. You can use any or all of the tools representing the four elements of water, air, fire and earth:
rock sea salt
juniper (strength, purity) or sage (grounding, protecting) wands
Tibetan tinghsha bells or gong
tribal drums (Native American, Japanese).
Thoroughly clean and organize the space. Air out the space by leaving windows open and letting fresh air cleanse the room for a good 15 minutes within 6 hours before the space clearing ceremony begins. Make sure the windows and sills are clean, too.
Eliminate any noise. Turn off any and all electrical appliances where possible. If you will be burning any herbs or smudge sticks, temporarily de-activate any nearby fire alarms.
Shower with unscented products. Cleanse the self, with intention and prayer. Put on fresh, clean, unscented clothes that have not been worn since their last washing. (You may want to designate a particular outfit for space clearing.
Make sure you are hydrated (have had enough water to drink) throughout the process.
Do not wear any jewellery unless it is specifically used in space clearing rituals or spiritual ceremonies only.
Do some breathing and grounding exercises to empty the mind and focus on the intention of space clearing and bringing vital energy into the space. Envision the space with a cleansing bright white light illuminating the entire space.
You may want to smudge yourself before beginning the ceremony (see smudging under Native American traditions, below).
Take a moment to tune in to your higher self and ask what you would like to accomplish with this space clearing. Focus on the vision you wish to make a reality for the space.
Now, you can choose to take any or all of the following actions. There is no hard and fast rule about whether to work around the room in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. Go in the direction that intuitively feels right.
Using a clean spray bottle (previously unused by any chemicals) filled with fresh water. Gently, lightly spray it into the air around the room. You can put sea salt in the water if you like.
Place a fresh, new, plain, unscented candle in a safe place in the room, and light it.
Light some incense and gently guide the smoke around the room.
With arms outstretched, crouching towards the floor, begin clapping around the perimeter of the room. Use your intuition to guide you regarding the number of claps. (No need to overdo it. You’re just shifting the energy.) Second time around the room clap towards a middle-height. Third time, clap up towards the ceiling. Make especially sure that you clap into corners, along window sills and inside any cupboards. You can use a percussion rattle (preferably one that is made from natural materials) as well as, or instead of, clapping.
Then, with arms outstretched to the sides, spin, twirl or sway in the centre of the room. Wave your arms slowly around as if to move the energy around the room.
Using sage or juniper in the form of a stick or wand, slowly move around the space guiding the smoke to areas of the room. Make sure to fan the smoke around the furniture, under tables and around any appliances.
Ring bells (preferably Tibetan bells or a gong, if available) in the centre of the room. Then, work around the perimeter in the same way as the clapping was done. Return to the centre and sound the bells again, allowing the reverberation to fully sound before ringing a second or third time. When the sound is beautiful, even, and resonates clearly throughout the space, and you are intuitively satisfied with the ceremony, the bell ringing is complete.
Announce the intention of the space, from the centre of the room. As you do, make sure you acknowledge the entire space: each wall, the floor, the ceiling and the space within.
Extinguish the candles. Close the door to the room and move on to the next space, if applicable. If it is the only room, let it sit silently as it is for at least 15 minutes as a sacred grace period, before using the room.
If possible, take a warm relaxing bath to seal the intention in your mind, following by a quick shower to wash away any residue of the clearing.
Native American Traditions
Native Americans perform(ed) space clearing with ‘smudging’ which is a burning of herbs like sage, cedar or sweetgrass. Sage in particular is used to shift stuck energy. Cedar neutralizes negativity and is often used in ‘sweat lodges’ to shift heavy emotional energy. Sweetgrass dissipates negative thoughts. These can be purchased in bundles or as wands. If you choose to smudge in your home, be sure to temporarily de-activate smoke alarms or keep windows open in order to minimize the chance that they will be set off.
When smudging, use a large fire proof bowl half-filled with sand which will catch the smouldering sparks. Once you ignite the bundle, blow out the flame, and the bundle will continue to smoke. Then, set the bundle in the sand in the centre of the bowl. With the bowl in one hand and a feather in the other (or just use your cupped hand) to waft the smoke around the room.
When the smudging is complete, tap the bundle in the sand until the smoke subsides. Put the bowl in a sink until you are absolutely certain that the fire is completely out. Always be careful when working with open flames.
If you have de-activated your fire alarms, please now re-activate them.
Native drumming can also be used to shift the vibration of the room.
Remove any object that makes you feel even slightly sad or think any negative thought (such as photos of anyone you may have a grievance toward, posters or pictures with any kind of unpleasant symbolism).
Clear the fridge and cupboards of any foods past the ‘use by’ date. Clean away any crumbs or spillages.
Get rid of broken objects, dead plants or flowers.
Display fresh flowers in clear, fresh water (maintain the water as needed).
Play uplifting music.
Put small bowls of sea salt in the corners of the room. Leave it for 24 hours, then dispose of the salt (ideally into a stream of water that flows away from your home, such as a river; if there isn’t one, then flush it down the toilet).