would consider cleansing to be the first magical education someone
should receive. Yes, there are other basics like grounding that are
important to learn early on. But as far as first magical actions,
cleansing should be among them. Understanding cleansing can also go a
long way towards understanding some basic magical theory.
Cleaning is a part of life. Cleaning the house, cleaning the car, cleaning yourself – it’s part of being a human being. So is magical cleansing.
Energy flows outwards endlessly like a fractal. There is no beginning and there is no end. Humans are made out of energy. We’re just kind of crystallized. So it’s not like there is us, humans, and then later on at another point there is flowing energy and that energy touches us. There is no gap. There is no separation. We are energy, the world is energy, the universe is energy. The only thing is, we are a particular kind of energy. We are human energy! And human energy likes to feel a certain way. The energies we clean off of ourselves are the same kinds of energies that other spirits love and feed off of. So right away it is important to abandon a notion of “good” and “bad” energies. We are just lil human beans, loving certain kinds of energy. That doesn’t make our energies better. It just is what it is.
While energy is flowing endlessly, it endlessly interacts with our human spiritual body. This spiritual body is closely tied with our physical body. When you wear certain shields or protections, only certain energies can reach your body. Isn’t that rad?! We literally have the power to separate ourselves from the universe. That blows my mind.
If you live in a bright, airy home, if you have wonderful relationships, if you have a good job and hobbies you love, then you may accumulate way less negative energies (again, negative from our human perspective) than someone who has a rough life. So we do not all accumulate negative energies at the same pace. In addition, it is possible to sweat out negative energies and generate them yourself.
When these negative and unwanted energies interact with our spiritual bodies, it can clog things up. You can develop blockages in your body that represent as physical pain. Most people with knots in their back can experience a miraculous recovery with a little energy work and sweeping the bad energy away. In fact I recently did this for a friend! I released the knots in his upper back and swept the energy to his lower back. He immediately, within seconds, complained of pain in his lower back where five minutes previous he said that was never a problem spot. So just make sure you scoot energies all the way off of people – but more about that when we get to healing in another part of the master post.
Blockages! They can be physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Ever been just totally unable to come up with concepts for art or writing? That could be an actual energetic blockage. Ever had a weird pain in your back or body for no reason? Headaches, stomach pain? A feeling of disconnection from the universe? Each of these things has one thing in common: they can be caused by energetic blockages (although this does not mean they are).
At this point a question naturally arises: how often do we need to cleanse? Is it daily like a shower, or weekly like changing the sheets? I believe like most things, an intuitive and varied approach is best. The good thing is that cleansing is incredibly easy and can easily be done daily in your morning shower. I will include cleansing rituals at the end of this post.
I recommend a simple daily cleansing with your shower, or however often you shower. It is simple, requires no tools, and is an excellent way to practice energy work.
I also recommend a deeper cleansing once a week. There are a lot of magical practices I believe are best done once a week, so if possible it’s always nice to have one day a week to focus a few hours on magical upkeep if this is possible. A deeper cleanse can easily be done with a sea salt scrub. What is the difference between a basic cleanse and a deep cleanse? A deep cleanse uses allies such as plants, spirits, and crystals to aid in your work.
It’s time to change directions for a moment and talk about the importance of physical cleanliness when it comes to magical cleanliness.
There is a reason humans prefer clean spaces. It lets the energy breathe. It lets us relax. Clutter is bad for happy and healthy energy flow. Grime is bad for keeping your magical spaces free of parasites and icky things. If you want something to be magically cleansed, first you need to physically clean it. This includes yourself, your items, and your spaces. Taking out the literal trash can go a long way towards taking out the metaphysical trash. If you have a metaphysically dirty amulet, you will notice that gently and lovingly cleaning it will actually really go a long way towards metaphysically cleaning it.
When working with items and areas, they do seem to need cleansing less often with a few exceptions. If a tool of yours has heavy everyday use, such as my conjure crystal Arro, then it likely needs a cleansing every time you use it. You may find this to be true of your tarot cards, wand, pendulums, or other items that receive heavy use and get tangled up in lots of energies. Other tools that are used less often can receive a basic weekly or even monthly cleansing. Tools rarely used can receive a quick cleansing every time you use them but do not need to be cleansed on a schedule.
You can also just tell if an object needs cleansing. It will appear less aesthetically pleasing. Crystals will look dull and not as colorful. If you feel like avoiding an object, like, “ehh… I wear this necklace every day but today, ick,” it needs a cleansing. I have a ring my father gave me that absorbs ALL negative energies and it needs heavy regular cleansings because – it gets lost! If you lose a magical item, it has likely absorbed a lot of negative energies and can’t function any more. Once you find it, give it a big cleansing. And sometimes, objects just plain feel icky. Ever been thrift shopping, picked up a cool looking item, and immediately put it down because you suddenly got a big “nope” feeling?
Rooms where you are most active will require the most cleansing (including your car). My bedroom requires cleansing 3-4 times a week due to the heavy amount of magical, spirit, and life energies that accumulate in there. My kitchen on the other hand never needs a cleansing because the cleaning energies put in to it daily clear it out wonderfully.
Cleanse and clean a room when you feel uncomfortable being in it. When I start to avoid my bedroom I know it is time for a clean n’ cleanse. Especially cleanse after a big argument, if things are feeling stale, if the room doesn’t seem pretty, or you just feel it needs to be done. In general, do a full home cleansing once a month if you are able – this means your room and public/common spaces. You do not need to cleanse the bedrooms of others. While it is easy to do self cleansing and item cleansing with energy work, clearing out entire houses takes a little extra work. If you are a master energy worker like one of my friends you can just whisk all that negative energy out. If you are terrible at energy work like me, you need to enlist allies – again, that is plants, spirits, and crystals or minerals to help you.
Before we get to the actual cleansing rituals, there is one more thing to talk about. There is a difference between banishing and cleansing. They are not the same things and a cleansing is not the same as performing a banishment. If you cleanse a room and half an hour later it’s funky again, there is something in there that needs to be removed. Banishing will come in its own post later on. Banishing is asking a guest to leave – cleansing is picking up all their beer bottles and cigarette butts afterwords. You can pick up all the beer cans you want but as long as that guest is there, trash will keep accumulating.
Self cleansing in the shower is easy. Imagine the water is active and living. Imagine spiritual gunk is sitting on your skin just like physical grime. The water washes away all the spiritual gunk and takes it down the drain. Wash yourself from head to foot (this dispels, as opposed to foot to head, which attracts) using normal shampoos and soaps. Be sure to scrub the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands.
If for any reason you can’t imagine that spiritual gunk leaving, or you feel it hasn’t left, you need a deeper cleanse. This is also the cleanse to use once weekly.
Take some table salt and olive oil. Mix them together in a thick scrub – you don’t need a lot, a quarter cup of salt will do. If you don’t have olive oil choose any skin safe oil you have at home. Hold the little container of salt scrub and bless it with this blessing, or your own:
By earth, the body of the gods
By water, their rushing blood
By air, the breath of the gods
By fire, their burning soul
May this scrub be made blessed and made pure
(Credit to Jason Miller for this charm – read his books, you won’t regret it).
I imagine the soul of nature itself doing this blessing, not any individual god. If you prefer, dedicate this blessing to your patron deity. Speak to the mixture and ask the blessed salt and oil to totally cleanse you of any negative or unwanted energies attached to you. If you like, throw in one of the herbs listed below.
In the shower, scrub your whole body – including your scalp – from head to toe with this mix. Imagine the salt just chomps away at that negative energy, like white blood cell soldiers swarming in and destroying the negative energies on you. If you include a plant, watch their powerful energies do the same thing. Once your entire body is scrubbed up, take a normal shower and again visualize the water taking everything away and down the drain.
You can also cleanse with crystals, incense, and energies.
Try sitting in the sun for 5 minutes and imagining the powerful divine fire burning away all negative energies on you. The moon can perform the same service, especially in her waning phase.
Take a powerful cleansing crystal and hold it to each of your chakra points. Ask the crystal to take away all negative and unwanted energies. Then, cleanse the crystal.
Burn a plant that cleanses (a list is below). Engulf yourself in the smoke. And I mean really get in there. If possible, hotbox yourself in the bathroom or in your car and get covered in smoke. A stick of sage is helpful because it’s easily mobile and does a good job cleansing.
Lastly, every personal cleansing is well rounded off by drinking a cleansing tea made out of an appetizing herb listed below, stirred clockwise three times, with a blessing to bring back beautiful and positive energies to your spiritual body.
Cleanse items in the same way that you cleanse yourself. Gently wash them with water and if the material allows, apply salt scrubs, bury in salt, bury in the earth, leave in the sunlight or moonlight (with instructions given to the item about what is going to happen), fumigate it, or pull the negative energies in to yourself or a crystal to be cleansed at a later time.
Cleanse a room first by cleaning it as best you can. Add some salt to your rinse water and wipe down most major surfaces with this gentle cleanser. Pay special attention to all corners and thresholds (doorways and windows, even an interior doorway like to a closet) and sweep them out very well, then apply the rinse water to that area. If you want to get fancy, research your own favorite general purpose home cleaning sprays. Keep main ingredients like vinegar and vodka, and substitute cleansing plants and add a little salt. Test spray on fabrics to make sure there is no stain. After a cleansing, spritz this around surfaces you can’t wipe down with salt water. I also find plain air fresheners like Febreze do an excellent job to really “complete” any room cleansing. Incense should work great, too. Lastly there are some passive cleansers that do a great job. Cut an onion in to quarters and place one quarter in each corner of a room. Or place a dish of water, an egg, a dish of vinegar, or a salt lamp in to a room to passively cleanse it. Also charge a candle with cleansing energies and burn it; include another candle with negativity banishing energies for an extra powerful punch.
If you want some rad energy work practice, pull fresh and powerful energies from deep in the earth and release them in to a room with instructions to clear out negative energies.
I do not work heavily with crystals so I’m not going to make a list of them – this is a plant ally list! I will list only what I have worked with so I can give personal feedback.
This is a strong banishment/exorcising herb. Use it when you suspect
you have very bad attachments. Combined with hyssop, no enemy can
stay attached to you.
I have worked with this plant before. It is a solid cleanser, if a
Is more of a protector than a cleanser, but it works in a pinch. Add
to a more cleansing plant or ally such as salt or bay leaf for a good
protecting, cleansing spell. Use in conjunction with rosemary for a
The most RADICAL cleansing plant ever. Where bay lives, no evil can
exist. Put bay everywhere. Hang it up in your room. Make a human stew
by throwing bay leaf in to your bath. Liberally add it to cleansing
scrubs and sprays. Keep bay with your tarot decks and other tools to
keep them highly protected and cleansed. Bay leaf is the salt of
This is a solar plant and as such brings the power of divine fire to
a cleansing. It is bright, cheerful, and happy. And it makes a
tea. Buy bulk chamomile from the ethnic spice section of your local
grocery store. Burn it as an incense and drink it as a tea for a
wonderful warmth and a solid cleansing and protective qualities.
This bark is a very strong cleanser and raises vibrations. Use it
when you feel down in the dumps and need a good cleansing with a
protective edge to it. Add liberally to tea.
A protective plant with a bit of cleanse to it. Use when you can’t
get angelica or another powerful banisher. Make in to a strong tea
and add that tea to your bath water or wash yourself down with it. Do
not use clove as its own for a purifier.
This can be bought in the ethnic section of your grocery store. A
very powerful healer. In case of emergency, use liberal eucalyptus
oil or leaf combined with rosemary for a full cleansing, healing, and
- Frankincense Again you are unlikely to find this item in the grocery store! Like angelica, hyssop, and mullein, collect when you are ready. It powerfully raises vibrations and is a wonderful cleanser. Especially burn as an incense.
I have experience with hyssop as a cleanser, but not a protector.
However it is a powerful
cleanser and can break the strongest chains.
Very strong, yet gentle, cleanser. Use when you, a room, or an item
is “tired” and can’t handle a radical cleansing such as what bay
leaf provides. It also smells wonderful for room cleansings and makes
an excellent tea.
An acidic spiritual cleaner that will eat through any grime. Use with
care – it can also eat through you! Don’t add great quantities to a
bath unless you know your skin can handle it.
Any mints, especially peppermint, make good cleansers and leave you
with that minty-fresh feeling. Brew in a strong tea with a touch of
sugar for freshness and sweetness within.
A strong cleanser that improves third eye powers. No complaints.
I LOVE mullein. It is a kickass cleanser and it’s fun to smoke. I
have massive (like, a shoe box full) supply of mullein in my home
because it is such a good ally. You are unlikely to find it in the
grocery store; save this one for when you are ready to collect
Black pepper isn’t quite what I mean and it doesn’t have the same
properties. I mean spicy red hot peppers! Obviously DO NOT scrub
yourself down with this or drink it as a tea. Hot peppers are
powerful banishers. Make an oil with a carrier oil and hot peppers.
Dress candles with this oil to banish all negativity from a place.
A pine tree has strong cleansing properties. Add needles or branches
to a bath. Soak in vodka for a cleansing tonic you can use on
objects. Hang around a pine tree and ask it to take negative energies
away from you. Burn pine incense.
My oldest plant ally, rosemary functions dually as a strong cleanser
and a strong protector. Use rosemary when your shields have been
cracked or when something needs extra protection.
- Rue This is a very powerful hex breaker. Take a bath in rue and ask it to break any negativity upon you. This herb is not for use for any pregnant or nursing people.
Sage works. It’s not over-rated.
It smells terrible, but it is a guard dog of cleansers. DON’T burn it
or drink it, but if you need a hardy cleansing and it’s all you have,
add it to a nice scrub or bath and it will work wonders.
A gentle but strong cleanser. Use it when there are a lot of tangled
up energies that need to be cleaned out.