When it comes to cleansing I’m more of a low-key kind of practitioner. I’ll enchant my cleaning supplies to cleanse and go clean the house. But sometimes, you just need a ritual to get it done.
The problem comes with many cleansing rituals using smudge sticks. The issue with smudge sticks is this: burning plants tied together in a bundle is seen in a variety of places in the world. That being said when someone says the words “smudge stick” an image of white ceremonial sage, maybe an abalone shell, and Native Americans are conjured. The thing is, that specific ritual does belong to the Native American peoples. And that term is ubiquitous with that image.
So. While you can use herb bundles for your cleansing and incense, you shouldn’t adopt that ritual. It belongs to a closed culture. It’s cultural appropriation to use it when you’re not part of that culture. Additionally, and really this is an aside, white ceremonial sage (salvia apiana) is considered an at-risk plant. Meaning that it’s over-harvested and care should be taken to preserve the species.
This ritual avoids all of that and still gets your home cleansed.
What you’ll need:
- Candles for each room you’re cleansing. (See notes)
- White taper candle
- Dust from each of the rooms you’re cleansing (see notes)
- Sacred or holy water or cleansing wash water
- Anointing oil for blessings or cleansing (optional)
- Cleansing herbs (optional)
Bath your white taper candle in sacred or holy water. Or you can use water enchanted with cleansing properties. Dry the candle thoroughly with a clean kitchen towel. Let sit out for a full day in the bright sunlight and again a full night under the bright moonlight.
Rub the anointing oil over the candle. If you don’t have an oil you’d like to use, you can skip this step.
Roll the candle in cleansing herbs. If you’re not using an anointing oil, you can slightly melt the sides of the candle with a lighter or flame and roll the softened candle in cleansing herbs. If you’re using a votive, you can just sprinkle the herbs on top instead.
Now let the candle rest for a full day of sun again. Once more let it rest for a full night under bright moonlight.
Lay out a candle in each of the rooms and spaces you’re cleansing. You can leave the candles there until they collect dust or you can sprinkle a pinch of dust onto the candle from the room.
Now it’s time to cast the spell. Open your front door and step outside. When you’re ready to being, light the taper candle and step through the front door, holding the candle in front of you. Go to each room candle and working in a circle as much as possible and light each room candle with the taper candle. Allow the white wax of the taper to drip onto the room’s candle. One drop is enough but you can do more if you like.
Do this for each and every room candle. Once you get back to the front door, blow out the white taper and carry it through the house in the same route you used to light the candles and gently blow out the room candles.
Pay attention to any candles that went out on their own. That room might need extra cleansing.
When all the candles are out, break the white taper in half. Collect the other candles and throw them all out. Then take the trash outside. You don’t want to leave the candles inside the house at the end of the spell.
- Tealights work perfectly for this spell for the room candles. I highly recommend a taper for the lighting candle as they’re easier to drip.
- Be sure to include spaces in your candle count that aren’t exactly rooms. So you might need a candle for your living room, bathroom, bedroom, hallway, and attic or basement. If you used your porch, patio, or outside space often, make sure to light a candle for that too.
- The room candles can be any color you want. The idea is that you’re putting the cleansing candle (the white taper) over the room candle. It has more of a visual impact if the candle’s a different color.
- This spell is especially good if you burn candles in those rooms for decorative purposes. If one of those candles are almost done, use that in this spell instead of a tealight. (Example, I might burn a cinnamon candle in my kitchen to make it smell good and use that candle to represent the kitchen in this spell)
- If you grow plants in specific rooms, you can use a crumbled leaf or petal from those plants instead of dust. Similarly, if you keep charm bags of herbs in those rooms for protective purposes, you can use a pinch of those herbs powdered in the candle instead of dust.
- This doesn’t have to be done during the full moon. It just has to be a clear night where the moon is very visible.