Cleansing is an essential tool witches use in their practice to rid negative energy from a space or object.
It’s useful to cleanse the area you cast a spell in to make sure nothing will interfere with your intentions. It’s also useful to cleanse objects or spaces you feel might be impacted by bad vibes.
(Love that necklace your aunt bought you but last time you wore it you fell up the stairs in the lecture hall and embarrassed yourself in front of your whole Greek Mythology class? Cleanse it! We all need a fresh start now and then.)
Cleansing also gives objects a clean slate. Crystals have many different properties—just like herbs! Cleansing a crystal between spells or uses helps you reset it with a new intention. For example, amethyst is a good crystal to use in sleep magic and can also be used to help reduce anxiety. Cleansing your amethyst before switching from one use to the other makes it as effective as possible.
Here are 6 cleansing methods you can try:
NOTE: one very popular cleansing method among witches (and non-witches) is sage smudging. BUT (and this is a big but) smudging is part of closed Indigenous practices. This means that non-Indigenous folks should not smudge unless invited into the practice! Sage (especially white sage) is sacred to Indigenous peoples and is now widely popular in metaphysical shops (not good!)
Palo Santo is another natural cleanser that has been appropriated by the metaphysical community (and the “self-care” section of some retailers…) Palo Santo is a sacred wood from the Bursera tree in South America. Like smudging, it is disrespectful and inappropriate to use Palo Santo out of its cultural context.
Witches must be aware! Witches must be smart! Witches against appropriation!
Incense is a great alternative to smudging and using Palo Santo. It’s available in tons of scents and you can use incense smoke to cleanse a room or home, an object, or someone’s energy.
Candle smoke is another way to cleanse. You can burn a white candle to purify a space or a black candle for protection.
A candle’s flame can also cleanse an object. Some crystals can be cleansed using this method.
Just straight-up burning an item in fire would definitely get rid of its negative vibes. Venture at your own risk.
Moon water is a great cleanser. Collecting moon water is simple—place a jar, bottle, or container of water outside or by your window when the full moon is out. The water will be charged with its energy. It also feels very magical to collect moon water. It’s one of my favourite witchy activities.
Moon water can be used to cleanse some crystals, but not all crystals can be placed in water. This is where Google comes in very handy.
Drinking water can help also you cleanse yourself! Regular water is fine for this, or you can drink moon water for an extra boost. Stay hydrated, folks!
Depressed-witch hack: I like to drink a glass of water before casting a spell. It’s quicker and easier than cleansing my space and sometimes both my time and motivation are very limited.
You can bury negative things. Do I know the full witch-facts behind this one? No, no I do not. But I do know my friend Amy once had a cursed black tourmaline crystal which she kept under some dirt on a dish in her windowsill. She wanted to bury this crystal in the ground but was afraid someone would find it and the negative energy would pass to them. I don’t know what happened to that tourmaline. I’ll follow up someday and let you know.
Salt is a powerful cleanser. You can use salt to cleanse your space or some crystals (again, not all crystals should be placed in salt). Making a ring of salt around an alter or spell-casting space is a common method witches use to cleanse before a spell.
Let objects, spell jars, sachets, or crystals soak up sunlight or moonlight in your windowsill. (…I bet you know what’s coming. Not ALL crystals can go into sunlight. Do a quick Google before placing one in your window.)
This is a very easy method to use. All you need to do is wait! A few hours should do it (depending on the object you’re cleansing).
Selenite is the master crystal, and a great one to look for if you’d like to practice crystal magic! Selenite is the only crystal you never have to cleanse—because it’s the cleanser! It cleanses any crystal placed near it.
You can use selenite to cleanse objects, rooms, and someone’s energy. It also helps improve mental clarity and removes energy blockages.
There you have it! 6 ways you can cleanse objects, rooms/spaces, and yourself. These aren’t the only cleansing methods out there, but they’re the basic ones you can test out if you’re in the mood to banish some bad vibes.
And remember… crystals are sensitive little magic nubs. Double-checking which crystals can handle water, salt, and sunlight will help you avoid damaging them.