The woman circled around our apartment scattering red-stained rice in every corner. A trail of incense followed her as she repeated, “May you be healthy, may you be happy, may you be prosperous.” She smiled at our Ganesha statue and chanted hymns in a soft, monotone voice. She was slowly helping to turn our new living space into a warm and comforting home.
The tradition of house cleansings has existed for centuries in a variety of cultures. Typically, it is performed to clear the house of stagnant, unwanted energy and invite peace and tranquility. Our homes can become trapped with toxic energy just like our minds. Negative thoughts and feelings like anger, sadness, and paranoia can become stuck in the home. Deep-seated turmoil or constant bickering can remain circulating in the most intimate regions of our home, making the air thick and stale with tension, even long after the fight ends.
The poisonous energies from sewers, freeways, and electronic appliances attract negative vibrations and can cause emotional disturbances and even health problems. Cleansing our homes then becomes imperative in ridding ourselves from these sources of harmful energy and fostering a more positive, vibrant nesting place.
While any home can and should undergo these purification rituals, they are often warranted after a traumatic event such as a burglary or divorce, in the presence of dark energy, to improve relationships, or, in my case, moving into a new home.
My experience, and what you can expect
At the end of the summer, I moved in with my boyfriend of nearly a year. We were excited and nervous about the journey we were about to embark on and hoped to cultivate a home where love and positivity could thrive.
As a housewarming present, his mom then paid for a Feng Shui house blessing for our new apartment. She had done this for her home last year and recommended the ritual, saying, “Our income doubled since!” So, on a hot Saturday afternoon in September, a house healer arrived at our door armed with a mixture of cleansing essentials.
The process we naively assumed would take 45 minutes lasted over two hours!
She first talked with us about our birthdays and zodiac signs, and determined that with my firm grounding and his creative exuberance, we made an excellent, complimentary match.
She then asked us to assist her in creating a makeshift shrine on our coffee table. She laid out a shimmery piece of fabric, freshly-picked flowers, crystals, played a video of monks chanting off her phone, and lit incense and candles. At the end of the shrine, she poured a bowl of uncooked white rice and placed it next to a cup of water, a little bottle of alcohol, and ground powder from the mineral cinnabar.
Once the shrine was set, the healer handed us both a sacred token, mine a key-shaped silver object I placed in my pocket. Before the ceremony began, she told us to keep in our hearts and minds what we wanted this cleansing to promote and nourish: safety, serenity, success, good health, and sweet, lasting love.
We closed our eyes and meditated for a moment, holding onto our wishes tightly, before she began chanting and stirring the rice with the alcohol, water, and cinnabar.
Cinnabar is primarily used in Feng Shui ceremonies as a cure because of its purported medicinal powers. It’s said to expel bad chi and evil forces, and to attract good fortune.
After the chanting, we moved around the parameters of the apartment, starting at the front door. I was asked to ring a bell throughout the ceremony and my boyfriend was asked to wave a stick of burned sage across each boundary of the home.
“May you be nourished with good and healthy food,” she said as she reached the kitchen. “May you have peaceful dreams and a refreshing sleep,” she said as she blessed the bedroom.
“May you be prosperous, and have an abundance of wealth and happiness,” she said as she circled back to the front door.
This process was repeated a few more times before eventually ending at the front door and tossing the rice up into the air to ask for heaven’s blessing.
After the ceremony, we discussed the different areas of our apartment (the wealth corner, the love and fertility corner, the career corner) and how to promote positive energy within each under Feng Shui’s guidelines. We didn’t utilize all of her suggestions, but incorporated most. We made a shrine to Ganesha, the Lord of Obstacles, on our dresser complete with decorative fans, candles, and crystals, and we placed my desk close to the door and facing the window to promote career success. We opened the door leading from the hallway to the bedroom to allow positive energy to flow and negate blockages.
The spiritual vibes took their time to sit and energize, but I’ve noticed a better expression of understanding and compassion between my partner and me, and a more organized and motivational attitude toward our career prospects and priorities.
How you can do it
House healing services are becoming more widely available so I would suggest consulting a professional. A traditional house cleansing should cost around $200. While seeking a professional is best, clearing your home of negative energy regularly is sage advice. You can do so in a variety of ways, but one method I particularly like is as follows:
- Spring clean (or fall clean) your home, getting rid of any unnecessary items and junk, organizing closets and drawers, and scrubbing every surface until it is spotless.
- Open windows to let fresh air and sunlight in.
- Have a powerful and positive intention clearly set in your mind.
- Burn dried sage or spray your home with a soothing essential oil mixture.
- Express gratitude for the cleansing that has just taken place and visualize the harmonious, brilliant energy filling your home.
Your home is a place of sanctuary and needs a little “self-care” every now and then. Not just with a deep cleaning or a few constructional repairs, but with a routine that will maintain its intimacy, support, and sacred energy. A house cleansing can do just that.
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