I love bells. I have a lot of them of all different kinds. It’s a thing. I get a new ones every year and I wear them daily.
Bells have been used in magical practices for a long time and, generally speaking, the tone of a ringing bell is used to cleanse a room. I find bells to be more multi-purpose than that so I use them for protection, warnings, summonings… the list goes on. But today we’re talking about cleansing.
There’s a ton of ways to set up a cleansing bell and there’s a lot of rituals out there that can show you how to do this or how to use a bell to cleanse. In various practices, there’s specific steps to using them. But, since I don’t follow any of those practices, I’ll talk about how I use them and how to make one for yourself.
First, get yourself a bell. Any bell will do. For cleansing, it’s the tone and sound of the bell that’s important so pick a bell that sounds good. It should have a tone that is pleasing to the ear to you and yet has a clear tone that radiates energy and light to you.
To test the bell’s sound and energy, close your eyes, take a deep breath and release it. Then ring the bell. Pay attention to how you feel and how it sounds. Do you feel more relaxed? Does the sound make you smile?
The bell can be in any shape, size, color, material, or even come in a set. You could even use cowbells if you want! I recommend Irona Works to buy handmade bells. If you’re more inclined towards DIY you can give this simple clay bell tutorial a whirl.
Once you’ve picked a bell, it’s time to wash it. Since most bells are made of metal, you can give it a wipe down with some holy, blessed, or magical water. Moon water collected during a full or new moon will work as well. Salt water may also work, depending on the metal type (some metals may have chemical reactions so double check first!)
If your bell cannot be washed, such as in the case of very old bells with beautiful patinas or clay bells, then you might want to try leaving the bell in a place where it can get as much moonlight or sunlight as possible for a full 24-hour period. (Although, if your bell is painted, you may wish to avoid direct sunlight so it doesn’t fade.)
You can also use a blast of energy to overwhelm and reset the bell’s energy. However, this should only be done on days you’re feeling centered and balanced, so you don’t accidentally send out negative energy in the process.
It should be noted that not all bells will need cleansing! I once picked up an antique bell that had the perfect energy. Resetting that bell’s energy would have been a terrible shame. On the other hand, I once was given a bell that had some weird nastiness to it and it needed resetting and cleansing three times before I was happy with it. It will really depend on the bell and you to determine what’s best.
Now that the bell’s cleansed and reset, it’s time to get cozy with it. On a day that you’re in a good mood and at peace, sit with the bell nearby you. You can do anything you want during that time, but the bell should be within reach. Just sitting near it will give the bell your energy. You can also meditate with the bell and focus on passing on peace and serenity. (Or whatever you want your home to feel like when cleansed).
Time for cleansing! Now walk around the space you want to cleanse and ring the bell! That’s all you need to do. You can walk in a particular direction, such as clockwise, to invoke certain energies or counter clock-wise if you want to banish energies. (Or you can walk in the pattern of a sigil or any direction you want.) I recommend cracking a window or door just a bit so any entities that want to flee can do so.
You can say anything you want during this time or add anything to the cleansing. I like to put on a fun playlist that embodies the energy I want in my home. I sometimes cleanse the space with incense and follow up with the bell. But sometimes I just pick up a bell and ring it.
That’s it. That’s all there is to bell cleansing. This is a great technique for your repertoire and can work beautifully for stealth practitioners or someone who wants to always have a cleansing method on-hand. Besides, it’s always fun to pull out a little bell from wherever and give it a ring.