Spring–Space Clearing

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Clearing your space(s) of negative energy is a process that will help you feel lighter, clearer, and healthier. If someone has been ill, if you are moving into a new place, if you have had emotionally draining visitors, and if you like to rejuvenate your life on New Year’s Day or in the spring, space clearing will help you. I do this at each change of season. Negative energy is stagnant and needs to be rattled and dissipated. It needs to be replaced by fresh, vibrant, positive energy.
While there are levels of “space clearing” that can be done on your space, an effective and meaningful personal ritual is a process I developed utilizing the 5 Chinese elements. I am including examples of tools I use; these can be modified to suit tools you have or that resonate with you.
Prior to a clearing, I write down what my intention for the particular clearing will be. This may be something I want to change, something I want to say good-bye to, or something I hope for the future.
I have a special piece of material that I use for space clearings. I lay this out on a table or the floor, and put out my tools, any special symbols I want to use for a particular clearing, 5 small plates, tea lights (candles), and flowers. I create a flower mandala (with the flower heads and/or pedals) in the center, and I decorate the small plates with a tea light and flowers. I light the tea lights and any other candle I may have added to my mandala.
Different energies are associated with each of the elements.
First, the Purification (Water) round—ahead of time, I prepare my water by pouring purified water into a spray bottle. I add an essential oil or lemon juice and then leave the bottle out in the sun (sunlight is the best disinfectant). When it is time to start the clearing, I walk around the edges of my space starting at the front door and walking along the right wall all the way through the house until I end up back at the front door. For this first round, I spritz with my water blend as I walk through the house. The water element is associated with the kidney in Chinese medicine, and the room most associated with this energy is the bathroom. After I have made my cycle, I take one of my small plates with the tea light and flowers into the main bathroom, and set it down.
Next, the Vitalization (Wood) round—the purpose of this round is to dislodge and shake up negative/stagnant energy. For this I use a drum, a gong, or just clap my hands. Again, start at the front door and walk the edges of your space—be sure to hit the corners of your rooms as energy can get trapped in them. The wood element is associated with the liver, and the room association is the kitchen. After completing the cycle, I take a plate to the kitchen and set it down.
The Activation (Fire) round is next—I clear out the now loosened negative energy by lighting pre-positioned candles around the space, or by burning sage or special incense and directing the smoke into all the nooks and crannies. [Warning—be careful with the sparks and do not hover near your smoke detector!] The fire element is associated with the heart, and the room most associated with fire is the living room. After this cycle, I locate a plate in the living room. (The mandala is usually located in the living room also; this “fire” plate will be placed close by, but separated from the mandala.)
For the Transformation (Earth) section of the ritual, I bring out what I have written. For safety, I generally go outside with an “ashtray” of some sort; I reiterate my written intention of transformation, and set the paper on fire, reducing it to ash. I add the ashes to the flowers from my “earth” plate and bury both in the garden (or a potted plant). The earth element is associated with the spleen, and the room is the dining room. (The candle from this plate may be placed on top of the burial site, or just put aside if that is not safe.)
Finally, the Regeneration (Metal) round—the purpose of this round is to bring in and seal fresh/clean positive energy. I use a special bell for this, again setting my intention. The metal element is associated with the lungs and the room association is the bedroom. After completing this cycle, I take the final plate to the master bedroom and set it on the dresser or bed table.
It takes approximately 4 hours for a tea light to burn out completely. I generally do this when I will be home for 4 hours after this ritual so that they will burn out, but if I have to leave, I blow them out for safety.
The 5 elements relate to each other in “nourishing” and “controlling” cycles. The above ritual follows the elements through an entire nourishing cycle. Water nurtures wood, wood feeds fire, fires makes earth, earth creates metal.