Spiritual Spring Cleaning
Ritual: according to the Encarta Dictionary, the observance of actions or procedures in a set, ordered, and ceremonial way.
We all have rituals. Some of them are practical, like the routine we have before we go to bed. (In my house, that goes something like this – lock the doors, turn off the computers, clean the litter boxes, turn off the lights throughout the house, brush teeth, pee, go to bed with a book. Yes, I lead a glamorous and exciting life…why do you ask?) Some rituals are spiritual, whether that means observing a particular holiday, or lighting a candle on an altar.
Some are a combination of both. In many ways, these are my favorite kinds of ritual. I’m a pragmatic kind of woman…if I can accomplish two purposes with one act, I’m a happy camper.
One of my yearly rituals is something I like to call “Spiritual Spring Cleaning.” You might say that this is something of a specialty of mine. I’ve given workshops about it at Pantheacon and other Pagan conferences, written about it in my various books, and in articles in the Llewellyn annuals. All that means, really, is that it is one of my favorite things to do, and I like sharing it with others.
You don’t have to be a Witch to do spiritual spring cleaning. It just requires mindful focus and a little extra effort. This is how I do it, but as with everything else, you are welcome to change my approach to better suit your own needs and inclinations.
The Purpose: To cleanse your personal space (home, apartment, whatever) on a level that goes deeper than simply sweeping the floor and dusting off the spider plants.
Why Do It: Some kinds of clutter and mess are obvious, like that pile of papers on the table and the laundry you meant to put away three weeks ago. But energy gets cluttered too, and by clearing and cleansing the space you live in, you can often lift yourself out of ruts you didn’t even know you were in, and clear the way for new and rewarding pursuits.
What You’ll Need: A sage smudge stick (or the cleansing incense of your choice), salt and water in a small bowl, a broom and some magickal cleansing oil and/or more salt & water mixture or lemon juice (optional). If you have sea salt, that’s great, but even regular old table salt will do.
How You Do It: It couldn’t be easier.
If you are going to do a regular spring cleaning, as I do, you can do the spiritual spring cleaning either before or after (I like to do it afterwards, once you’ve stirred up all the stagnant energy by physically cleaning). Otherwise, you can do this by itself, at any time. In reality, I often do this in the fall, as well as the spring, to prepare my home for the long winter hibernation.
Starting either at the bottom of your house (the basement or first floor) or at the front door if you have an apartment, walk from room to room wafting your sage smudge stick and visualizing the smoke clearing and cleansing the space. Take extra care to go around all doors and windows, and any other entrances such as chimneys, since negative energy can come and go through these areas. If you can, open all the windows before you start, and visualize any negative energy or unwanted crap (yes, that’s the technical witchy term) going out the windows. If, as is often the case where I live, it is too cold to open them all, you can just open one window a crack at the end. Be sure to shut the window (s) once you have gotten rid of all the bad stuff.
Repeat the process with the bowl holding the mixture of salt and water, sprinkling it around the rooms with the tips of your fingers or a feather. In this case, you should visualize bright protective energy springing up wherever you walk. Again, take special care with doors and windows, and any spots that just don’t feel “right.”
For an extra boost, dip a broom (magickal or mundane) in a little water with either magickal protection and/or cleansing oils in it, or a squeeze of lemon juice (which is both cleansing and yummy smelling). Sweep your house as you normally would, but as you go, visualize any negative energy or old bad feelings (left over from arguments, bad days, whatever) being swept away as you go.
When you’re done, feel how light and clear your home feels, and open yourself up to new and wonderful things as they waft in on spring breezes.
Ritual—not just for holidays (or bedtime). Happy spring!