For some Pagans, the first thing to do before moving into a new home or shortly after is to cleanse the house and try to rid it of unwelcome ghosts, spirits, fae, or any of the spiritual residue of previous inhabitants. The beliefs of the Pagan may differ about what they are clearing out, but there is a general belief held by many that whatever is there needs to go before you can make the home your own. I’d like to offer a different view on the subject, and suggest that it is worth opening yourself up to the possibility of sharing your home with the spirits who were there before you.
Before you get all worried, let me assure you that I’m not suggesting that it’s a good idea to leave the spiritual equivalent of wild rats and mice running all over your house, stealing your food, and defecating in your kitchen. You also don’t want the equivalent of a family of cockroaches or lone poisonous spider in the house. That would be bad. You need to get those guys out.
What I am suggesting is that not all the spirits in your new home are vermin, and that it’s not just rude to kick out the good guys, it’s possibly detrimental to the health of your new home if you send those entities away.
Right now I’m staying in the home of one of my former students. She says that when she first moved into this house a year ago, she knew it was exactly the way it needed to be. She never bothered to cleanse the house, because it felt so welcoming and comfortable right from the start. When she started to do work to meet the spirits and fae in the house, she found that not only were they not bad, they were actually glad she was there. They turned out to be very helpful to her!
I have another friend who lives in an apartment that has been his for many years now. He told me that he’d spent a lot of time cleansing the house and setting boundaries and protections on it over the years, but there are a few spirits from long before he arrived. He didn’t just kick everyone else out of the house the day he moved in. He took time to find out who the various spirits in the space were, and decide who he was happy to share space with and who he wasn’t. Along the way, he built up the protections on his house carefully and deliberately to enhance not only his own sense of well being, but that of the spirits he shares his space with.
Sometimes a spirit may come into your home after you’ve been there for a while. That spirit may be sweet and friendly or it may be scared or angry. Don’t necessarily assume that anyone new who shows up is trouble. Take the time to do your practices, work your rituals or go on your journeys to meet the spirit and find out who they are and why they have come. If you need to, if they are causing harm to you and yours, then by all means, send them away by whatever means your path suggests. But if you take the time to meet with them, you might find that even some of those who showed up on your threshold angry and violent become good housemates and friends.