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Spiritual Cleansing

A woman smudging with a smoking bundle of dried sage

July 23rd, 2021
Estimated Read Time: 8 Minutes

When people start dipping their toes into different Wiccan practices, they often find that different guides all start with the same word. Cleansing. Spiritual cleansing is a huge part of all sacred work. To make the most of our practice, we must detach ourselves from unwanted energy — and the same goes for our space and tools.

With that in mind, we wanted to present you with a crash course on some of the most interesting and useful ways to cleanse. But first, we ought to understand what spiritual cleansing is and why we need it.

What Is Spiritual Cleansing?

a burning stick of incense

The act of cleansing helps us get rid of any negative or otherwise unwanted energy that accumulates all around us. But why do we need to do that, anyway?

Well, doing a spiritual cleansing is the best way to focus our energy on our intentions. When spells don’t work, it’s usually because opposing energies got in the way of our own. So it doesn’t even have to be anything bad or negative. We could also be trying to cast a money spell with tools that have the lingering energy of a previous spell we did.

a man lighting a piece of Palo Santo wood for cleansing

Banishing is the more intense version of this ritual. It’s also more focused on chasing away a certain spirit or entity. Needless to say, we usually don’t have too much use for banishing rituals. Spiritual cleansing is a much more common practice. But that brings us to the next question — when should we cleanse ourselves, our space, and our tools?

How Often Should You Cleanse Your Space and Tools?

a woman holding cleaning supplies

As we have established, unwanted energy tends to settle all around us, all the time. So when it comes to our living quarters, spiritual cleansing rituals should be performed biweekly or at least monthly. The new moon gives us the perfect opportunity to perform cleansing rituals as it symbolizes new beginnings.

We can cleanse our bodies at about the same intervals — unless we feel the need to do it more often. After all, we’re dealing with an intuitive practice. So if we come into contact with unwanted energy when we’re out and about, we can perform a cleansing ritual when we get home. Generally, it’s good to cleanse ourselves and our surroundings before attempting any spellcasting rituals.

an altar with jars of spell ingredients and hand dipped candles

Since our altars help us focus our energy on our intentions, they could use more frequent cleansing. And the same goes for our tools. Ideally, we should cleanse those in between each use. Additionally, it’s especially important to cleanse our tools — such as candles and crystals — when we first get them. That helps us get rid of the energy that was transferred to them by all the people who handled the tools before we purchased them.

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How to Do a Spiritual Cleansing of Your Altar and Home

Now that we have established the importance of spiritual cleansing rituals, let’s talk about what one might look like.

Clean Your Surroundings

a couple cleaning their home

The first step to cleansing our space and tools of unwanted energy is to physically clean them. Clutter tends to hold on to residual energy. So putting it away will help us start the process of cleansing our space. Additionally, cleaning our homes can put us in the meditative state of mind we might need to perform certain chants.

While we’re cleaning, we can also get a jump start on the spiritual part of the practice. To do so, we’ll need to figure out which cleansing method we want to use.

Choose a Cleansing Method

Cleansing is a practice that usually requires a medium that can dispel unwanted energy. In Wiccan practice, we usually use elements like fire (or rather, smoke), water, and even sound. However, we’ll also mention some of the more unconventional methods.

Fire and Smoke

a person lighting a bundle of sage

Most people associate the practice of cleansing with burning certain herbs. For example, sage spiritual cleansing has been a part of Native American healing practices for centuries. However, sage can be overpowering sometimes. Rather than removing the negative energy, the herb tends to strip a space of all energy that’s lingering in it. So you’d need to follow it up with rituals for calling forth positive energy.

a woman holding a sprig of rosemary

So what are some of the best herbs for spiritual cleansing rituals, other than sage? Well, burning rosemary should have a similar effect to sage, bringing clarity as well as motivation. Juniper also relieves stress while resetting the energy in a room. Cedar is great for replacing unwanted energy with a sense of confidence and strength. And there are plenty of other cleansing herbs you can try, including frankincense, lavender, sweetgrass, dragon’s blood, Palo Santo, and sandalwood.

Most of these herbs are available in bundles as well as incense sticks or resin. Just light the tool of your choice and direct the cleansing smoke around the room.

Water Cleansing

a woman dipping her fingers in a bowl of water

Some Wiccans find that smoke and fire don’t mesh well with their practice. In that case, they might prefer to use water instead. Cleansing sprays are great for directing the cleansing energy toward certain areas and items. If you like the idea of a certain smudging herb, you can just as easily get it in spray form — or make it yourself.


bell shaped wind chimes

The use of sound is another ancient cleansing practice that’s found in cultures across the world. In this case, it’s the perfect way to accompany the physical part of your cleansing practice.

We can use bells, sound bowls, or wind chimes, or simply set up a playlist. As long as the music we use has pleasant, uplifting energy, it should be fine. Alternatively, we can find appropriate playlists on various streaming platforms since many Wiccan practitioners have made theirs publicly accessible. Here’s one on Spotify.

a woman meditating cross legged on a couch

On the other hand, we can always use our own breath to create the sounds we need. Again, there are plenty of cleansing chants online — or we can create our own. Examples include:

  • I rid myself and my space of negative energies. I call forth white light, happiness, and positivity.
  • Cleanse this space, remove the past. I’ve found my happiness at long last. Fill this space with joy and love, send your blessings from above.
  • I call upon the smoke and fire to cleanse and bless this home.

We may not even need words. If we find that certain sounds have purifying vibrations, we can use them while we clean.

How to Make a Spiritual Cleansing Spray from Essential Oils

an assortment of essential oils

Making a spiritual cleansing spray is incredibly easy. To start, we’ll need to get our hands on some distilled water. Alternatively, we can use moon water. Then, we just need to add cleansing ingredients like salt, vinegar, and the like.

Some people use dried rosemary and white vinegar for their purifying properties. You might also add some orange peels for attracting positive energy and abundance. Those are basically the same ingredients you’d find in Florida Water, a cleansing solution that’s often used in hoodoo.

On the other hand, we could also use essential oils for spiritual cleansing rituals. Jasmine, rosemary, bergamot, and lavender essential oils are all popular options. But really, you’ll learn what works best for you as you go along.

Address the Unwanted Energy Lingering on Your Tools

a collection of crystals and candles

Crystals and candles have an important role to play in Wiccan practice. Because of that, we need to be especially vigilant about cleansing those items — especially the first time we bring them into our homes. So how do we cleanse our tools?

Well, one way to do it would be to smudge them or hold them over burning incense. As the smoke wafts up and over the item, it’ll carry the unwanted energies away. We can also ring bells around the items we’re cleansing. If you have a creek or river nearby, you could put any items in need of cleansing into it, letting the running water purify them.

Lastly, we could bury the items to let the negative energy seep into the earth. Different practitioners have different rules when it comes to this method of cleansing, but it all comes down to intuition anyway. We can bury our tools overnight, for a full day, or even three days.

a person planting a flower in a pot of dirt

If you don’t live near nature, bury your tools in a big pot of dirt instead. Similarly, if you don’t have a river around you, you can always use cold tap water. It’s not the same, but it gets the job done. And you can always double up on cleansing methods if you feel like one didn’t quite do the trick.

Now, crystals can be a bit trickier to cleanse. Many practitioners use selenite to cleanse other crystals. However, the sun and moon can also be powerful cleansing tools. Just be careful not to leave crystals in the sun for too long — it might fade the color.

Don’t Forget to Cleanse Yourself Too!

a person smudging themselves with sage

Finally, we have perhaps the most important component of this equation. As a conduit of magic, the human body can also hold onto a lot of negative energy. To prevent that, we can use all of the cleansing tools we have mentioned so far.

When smudging our living area and tools, we can use the smoke on ourselves as well. Similarly, sound and sprays can also work wonders. However, none of those will be effective enough if our bodies aren’t clean.

a bath with rose petals, lavender, rose quartz, candles, and a bath bomb

So since we already need to take a bath, we might as well make it a part of the cleansing ritual, right? As it happens, the practice of spiritual bathing is exactly what we need to start the cleansing process on the body. Different bath recipes can have different effects on the mind and body.

We’ll tell you everything you need to know in our next article: Spiritual Baths!

Check out our other articles:
Sigils for Newcomers
Jar Spells Made Simple
Get to Know Your Familiar
Kitchen Magick for Beginners
Moon Phases and Simple Rituals
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