Being who I am and doing what I do, both personally and professionally, I am surrounded by the tools of magic and spirituality all the time. It is not necessary for me to hide or disguise any of the representations of my faith or my craft. I have a large working altar, used daily, right in my office. My home is full of crystals, statues, brooms and other quite bold evidence that A Witch Lives Here. I understand that this is a blessing, and not everyone has that freedom, so in these newsletters I will cover the readily apparent as well as the more discreet versions of the Magical Household.
Smudging is always my first recommendation to clear away the residual negative energy that comes from an argument with a spouse, dealing with a disobedient child, or any other negative emotional situation. It is also excellent for clearing away negative residue from extended illness or injury. Even without any of these, negative or stale energy simply builds up over time, so making a point to do a spiritual cleansing regularly is just simply a good idea. Doing a full spiritual cleansing doesn't just consist of lighting a sage wand and waving it around for a moment....you should open all the doors and windows, and make sure that the sage smoke gets into every corner of every room. This takes a bit of time and focus, so I tend to do this when no one else is around to interfere. If you are new to this practice, go to the blog to read the November newsletter on sage and smudging. There are many different types of smudge sticks - just choose the one that fits your situation and personal preference best. For instance, Sage and Copal is a 'super-cleanse' combination, and my personal favorite. Sage and Lavender is excellent for those who are dealing with anxiety and stress, and Sage and Dragon's Blood invites increased power, so is excellent before ritual and spellwork. Burning part of a Sweetgrass braid after your smudging invites positive energy in to fill the places where the negative has been dispelled.
Sage, cedar or copal incense is also a good cleanser, but works best for small spaces such as a single room. For those with allergies or health concerns that don't allow for the thick smoke of incense or burning sage, I recommend using Clearing Mist, Frankincense Mist, or Sage Mist. It works the same way as the burning sage, but without the smoke. Since burning sage leaves a strong residual odor, the sprays are also an excellent alternative for those who need to be more discreet about space clearing. Sage oil can also be used on doors, windowsills and mixed with mop water to help dispel negative energy. It can also be mixed with water in a diffuser, or added to boiling water on the stove, which can then be carefully carried around the house in place of smudging. Let the steam waft through rooms just like the smoke would - the residual odor is not as strong, and it doesn't aggravate those with asthma or other health problems as much.
In the ancient art of Feng Shui, bells, chimes and gongs are the preferred tools of clearing a space, and for those that need it, utterly discreet. Some bells and chimes, such as the Feng Shui Gather & Protect Bell, have symbols that attract wealth or protection. Chimes and bells can be hung indoors or outdoors, or placed on mantels, shelves or tables to be used at will. When clearing is needed, simply walk through your home ringing the bell, focusing on driving way all negativity. Windchimes do this all on their own - just clean and move the chime to another location from time to time to keep them energetically active.
Candles, especially white candles, are often used to clear negative energy from a space. Since candles are so common, this is also a very discreet way to keep your home free of negative energy. Any type of white candle will work, and anointing the candle with sage, cedar or copal oil gives it extra cleansing power. Inscribing the candle (use a toothpick or candle scribe) with your desire before anointing it will help focus the cleansing properties also.
Selenite and onyx crystals are great deflectors of negative energy. Little bowls of these crystals, mixed with white sage and lavender can be placed around the home or office. Refresh them monthly with sage, lavender, or purification oil. They simply look like lovely decorations, but the combination of these herbs and stones packing a powerful cleansing punch. Use a stone or ceramic bowl, preferably black or white. Do not use metal - it can react with and become discolored by the oil.
In the October newsletter about Defeating the Negative, several situations were discussed that tend to create and pool negative energy. The most common of these is clutter. Clutter is a world class receptacle for negative energy. It grabs it (along with dust and detritus) and holds onto it like a child does a lollipop. Getting rid of clutter opens up your space for positive qi (universal energy). If you have a lot of dust and clutter, simply set a certain amount of time a day to deal with. Say “I will take 30 minutes a day to clear out my space.”, and stick with it. If you only have a little clutter, just take one whole day or weekend to deal with it….say, “I am going to deal with all of this at once.” You will feel the energy of your space to begin to change almost immediately. Do not let the clutter re-appear, as it simply defeats the strides you have already made.