House Blessings and Cleansings

Generously contributed by
OMS/RDG Druid Jenn Ninjakitten

Generally speaking, the methods most people use have 3 things in common: 1) chase out “negative” energies and/or spirits (in this case, meaning ones that are counterproductive to the well being of those who live in the house), 2) warding/protection from outside energies, including the ones you just got rid of, and 3) put in “positive” energies (and for people that work with them, invite protective spirits). For purposes of this essay “negative” is defined as energies, spirits, and influences that are counterproductive to the life, health, intents, and well-being of the people living in the home, and “positive” is the productive opposite of “negative”.

How you do each of these three things isn't as important as making sure those three general techniques are done. It's more of a formula rather than do it exactly as one person or tradition says. They all work to some degree or another, but usually work best as you practice with different methods and find what resonates with you best. Different organized traditions (like a coven in Wicca) might have a specific formula designed to incorporate spirits they personally work with, which is why there's going to be philosophical differences. If you're not of a particular tradition, picking someone used to doing house blessings or making your own based on the 3 part formula works best. Personally, when I do a house blessing, I incorporate science, Reiki, and folk magic. Yes, I said science; I'll explain why later in this essay.

Banishing: For most banishing techniques (and all of the ones I mention here), you will want the windows open. Banging pans is designed to initiate a vibration and a really annoying sound that chases out spirits, fairies, and other spiritual goobers you don't want influencing your home. It’s also a great stress relief! Salt, burning sage and/or sweetgrass, using a voodoo blessing powder all absorb negative energies (not spirits) and either drop it to the floor where your new and untainted broom can sweep it out, can be vacuumed up and then the bag immediately disposed of or the canister dumped outside your property (not as new-agey ritually sounding, but it works), or can grab the negative energies and carry them out the window (in the case of smoke). That's why having the windows and if possible doors open is important so these spirits and energies all get taken out or run the hell out on their own.

This is a very important step to do, especially in the case of you moving into a home that has been occupied by any previous tenants or when a roommate leaves so you can make the living space your own without any energies you are unaware of interfering on a magical and/or subconscious level messing with your personal energies and work within the home. It's during this process that I include things like spreading borax on the carpet (only carpet, and before you move in if you can help it) and let people walk on it to push it in the carpet for a couple days. That's the science part. It cuts up eggs and fleas and destroys them, thereby "banishing" more mundane critters, which I then vacuum up (more science), but if you don't have pets this isn't much of an issue.

Warding: Aka, protection. Lots upon tons upon gobs of ways to do this, and this one is usually more tradition based than anything else you can do. These are designed to protect the perimeter of your "sacred space" (in this case, your property) from the crap you just got rid of as well as crap people bring into the home. Good wards will allow a person with no malice towards you to walk in and feel at home and quite comfortable, as well as imparting these feelings on you. They will also make people uncomfortable that you may welcome in but aren't welcome there if you knew more about their true heart. You want to protect your home from destruction, ward the house against destructive energies then bring over someone that has a destructive personality. I’ve had this happen once. Upon passing the wards he had the most sour and disgusted look on his face I had ever seen until the wards were deactivated (and he had no knowledge of the wards).

Most people I personally know start off with putting iron railroad spikes on 4 corners of the property, underground. This keeps malicious fairies out and other spirits I can't remember. When people talk about putting salt around your door and around your property it really should be mixed with chili powder and sprinkled around the entire property, as well as around all outside doors, again to absorb negative energy trying to get in but to also provide a second "shield" against negative energies. The chili powder is especially appropriate on the west coast because it incorporates local lore, tradition and energy into the mix, and even makes it more "active" in that the source of the negative energy will feel like "something is just not right here" and be less inclined to bring it back.

Sometimes the magic user will infuse the salt and chili with their own blood (not much needed) to make the wards more "noticeable" by those who would bring in negative energies and to put a personal presence in the blessing salt to tell unwelcome spirits that you are the one that belongs there. Basically, it’s a magical way to enhance your wards’ power and mark the property at the same time. Those who are negative don't like the presence of the fluids of life being used in magic work because they are very powerful. There are other wards you can put up if you think you're the target of active magical attacks like mirror wards to reflect it back. I personally (since I have a roommate doing those other methods) put a Druidic Reiki sphere in each room. The local Reformed Druidic Order that I’m a part of uses the 7 directions (hence my 7 pointed fairy star I wear) and I use Reiki symbols in the 7 directions (N, E, S, W, above, below, within, in this case filling the inside of the sphere) to put a sphere of positive universal energy into each room. It provids protection and blessing at the same time. Not a typical technique to my knowledge but thought I'd throw it out there.

Blessing: The real blessing part, which has more techniques than can be thought of by one person. Now that your house is clean and protected, time to customize it so everyone knows what kind of energies to expect if they hang around you enough. In many Wicca influenced traditions, salt, water, incense, and candles are used to basically ask the influences of the elements themselves to come in and bless your home. Those representatives of those elements will be placed in the proper directions around your home (north, east, south, west) or in each major room and your bedroom. Most of the time, salt=earth=north, water=water=west, incense=air=east, candle=fire=south (all of these directions are dependent on the particular Wiccan tradition but these are usually true).

Each element will bring different properties into the home that is positive. Other great ways to bless the home are to offer to a local Reiki group the use of your living room to do a Reiki share (if you know anyone that does Reiki), allow friends from a particular tradition that works with energies you like to do a ritual in your home with you participating to some capacity, do some cooking if you happen to work magic via the kitchen (aka, a kitchen witch), or simply personalize by putting some stuff around the house that you've dyed or are made of stuff you've created like artwork, your own candles you’ve made, soaps you’ve made, or tie cords you’ve personally dyed on doorknobs.

Burning more incense (stuff you like) and other scenty things that really seem to speak to you also help. Easier to spread that energy if you can smell it since you'll know it's getting everywhere in my opinion (then again, I’m a real air element person), especially if you aren’t consciously attuned yet into feeling environmental energies.

You can also put up small altars around the home that represent energies you want to fill the home or a particular room with, like when I get an office I plan to put a small “power spot” in the room with things like fluorite and other stuff that tends to help me study. This is basically a personalizing step and how you go about doing that isn't the most important thing in the world so long as you have the attitude of "this is my home and these things I'm putting in it represent me and my beliefs". Of course, a little blessing powder smells good and never hurt anyone either.