Ritual Cleansing: Creating Sacred Space

Over many centuries our ancestors have practiced ritual cleansing throughout the world. Ritual cleansing is performed through ceremonial blessings for the purpose of clearing the energy fields of body, mind, spirit, and home. Cleansing is good to do whenever you feel the need to move stagnant energy in your home, raise your vibration, or to find clarity mind. Our homes, both structural and the homes of our bodies, hold the energy of our emotions, and all the activity that takes place in our space. Stagnant energy can hold us in old patterns that no longer serve us, and it can prevent us from reaching our goals and potential. If we are paying attention to our feelings, we intuitively sense when we need a cleansing. It is important to recognize this need as it arises, and to make the time to do a simple cleansing ceremony.

This is a great time of year to cleanse mind and home in order to shift your energy from the winter blues to the lovely spring feelings of positivity and love.

There are many forms of cleansing and they all serve us well; I love to use sound and smudging as my cleansing rituals. Below are examples of different cleansing ceremonies.

Sound Cleansing

Sound is vibration and that vibration moves through our bodies and home. Cleansing with sound is a powerful ritual to raise the vibrational energy as we both hear and feel sound. You can use instruments or your own voice through chanting or singing in your cleansing. Here are a few of my favorite instruments I use in my cleansing practices.

  • Drums
    These sacred instruments carry both masculine (drumstick) and feminine (drum) energy. When you beat the drum you bring together the yin and yang forces of the universe. Using the drum in space cleansing is very balancing and can be used to both clear and invoke energy. For your auric field, they break up energy quickly and are good for clearing emotions.
  • Bells
    Cleansing with bells can leave a beautiful clean energy field in a room and around your body. Bells come in all sizes and quality of metal. Larger bells have a deeper sound and are great for breaking up heavier energy where the smaller bells are great for bringing in a softer energy. I love the Tibetan bells and use several on a string at one time. Tibetan bells hold a multidimensional or heart-centered energy and I find the sound is especially cleansing when used around my head. A great bell for anyone to use is a bell that you love. 
  • Singing bowls
    These bowls are great energy medicine for cleansing the auric field and in healing ceremonies. Eastern singing bowls are hand-hammered metals and many of the western bowls today are made from gemstones. Each bowl is designed to vibrate at a different frequency/note and works with one or more chakra energies. The sound that is created is a pulsating tone that builds in volume and density and moves in outward spirals away from the bowl. 

Plant Medicine Cleansing

Smudging or cleansing with herbs is a ritual using the sacred smoke made from the burning of plant medicines and is used across cultures and religions. I love smudging as it moves energy visually with its smoke and through my senses with its smell. Three well-known herbs to use in your cleansing are below.

  • Sweet Grass is known as the sacred hair of Mother Earth. It has a sweet aroma that reminds one of the love and kindness Mother Earth has for her people. It comes in braids of 3 strands, representing love, kindness and honesty. This plant medicine can bring a calming effect when used in ceremonies and cleansing.

  • Sage is a plant medicine that is well known and widely used. It can be bought in wands or loose. Sage has a stronger scent than sweet grass. It is a great herb to use in cleansing home and body.

  • Palo Santo is from a mystical tree that grows in South America. It has a scent that is similar to its relatives, Frankincense, Myrrh and Copal. It raises your vibration and allows for a deeper connection in meditation and is wonderful for cleansing your space. 

Here is a simple Home Cleansing Ritual:

  1. Clean your space before performing your ritual and open curtains to let in the light.

  2. Set your intention for the cleansing: to remove negative or stagnant energy, or to usher in positive energy.

  3. When Smudging, light the end of your wand (or Palo Santo stick) or place your loose leaf in a bowl and light it to create a stream of smoke. Carry your wand or bowl in one hand and use your other hand to move the smoke around the room or around yourself. I love to use feathers to bring in the energy of bird into my smudging ceremonies.

    When using an instrument, start by feeling the sound of the instrument vibrate inside you, so that you can feel and become the sound. Imagine the sound radiating out and filling the room and feel the energy begin to move. 
  1. I like to begin my room cleansings in the east and move clockwise to cover the four directions, paying attention to doorways and corners. Where you start is up to you, you may want to build an alter and start from there or start at your front door. When using sound, let your intuition guide you to how slow or fast you drum or how soft or loud you ring the bells or bowls at different points in the room. When smudging, move the smoke around the perimeter of the room moving it high and low as needed. As you move through your space or into new rooms repeat your intention. You will feel the harmony in the room once you have finished.

  2. When finished open windows and welcome in the freshness of new energy. Ask that your sacred space now be filled with light, love, harmony, creativity or any other energy you are invoking into your cleared space. Give thanks for your home. (Be sure to put out your smudge stick or loose leaf completely)

When performing a cleansing on yourself or others, begin at the head and move downward. Again, let your intuition guide you to the places where you feel stagnant energy and pay special attention to chakra points that feel heavy or call for clearing.

Cleansing can be done all year long or whenever you feel a need to clear your head or space. Some great times to cleanse are: 

  • When moving into a new space
  • Before a meditation
  • Before a healing or ceremony
  • Before a big event to bring clarity and calm
  • After an illness or argument
  • Change of season
  • When you need to bring in more positive energy

Chanting, breathe work, or even standing barefoot on mother earth are other cleansing ritual options. Creating sacred space through ritual cleansing is a practice that can provide positive change in your life.  It will guide you back into the center of yourself where balance, love and gratitude reside.


Leave a comment