I’ve received so many secondhand magical items. The list is vast, and includes books, an athame, a Tibetian singing bowl, crystals, statues, a cauldron, jewelry, and more. All had to be cleansed before I could use them. If you don’t cleanse the residual energy from objects you’ll use for energy work, you might unintentionally draw upon someone else’s energy, or be drawn upon.
I’ve noticed that this energetic residue doesn’t occur as much with new objects, but they still have to be cleansed too. Here are my favorite ways to cleanse objects so that they can be used for ritual or energy work.
Water is and always has been an excellent cleansing element. The list of cleansing waters includes spring water, river water, rainwater, lake water, and ocean water. Use moonwater to cleanse and charge the item. Some fancy pagans might like to use rosewater, or another floral water to cleanse. The addition of a little vinegar might also be a good cleansing method; however, it’s not good for all crystals and stones. It might make the ones containing carbonates start to dissolve. Although this isn’t a great method for books, I have washed the covers before.
Salt is one of my favorite methods of cleaning, especially combined with water. Salt charges items too, but be careful that the item won’t corrode. Salt doesn’t work well with metals, as it makes them rust. I like to use it to cleanse crystals. Set the item in a dish of salt or sprinkle some salt over it and let it sit.
If an item is greasy, contains leather, or has been touched a lot, fingerprints and oils likely cover the object. Soap might be the only way to remove the grimy energy still clinging to it. Nothing else comes close to the power of a strong, natural soap to get rid of hard-to-kill energy. If all else has failed, consider using soap.
Fire cleansing works great for metal objects, especially after washing them with water (and possibly soap). Light a candle and pass the item quickly over the flame, being careful to not let it get too hot. You might want to use tongs or an oven mitt to protect yourself from the heat. Do this several times until the energy feels different.
Burning herbs is an ancient practice that cleanses air and objects. All manner of dried plants and herbs can be used, including rosemary, lavender, sage, thyme, bay, catnip, mint, pine, and more. It can be used for cleansing virtually any object. It’s my favorite method for cleansing tarot cards and books.
When I received a bronze statue of Gaia, I liked it, but the energy didn’t quite feel right. It went straight into my garden, getting rained on and being entrenched in the mud and earth. After a month, the energy of the statue felt different. Contact with the earth cleansed most of the residual energy. However, the statue didn’t come into the house yet…
Air, Sun, and Moon
I left the statue of Gaia outside the back door of my house. It was exposed to the air, the sun, and the moon. Weeks later, when it finally came into the house, all residual energy was gone and it was ready to go on my altar.
Air cleansing is a good last step. It decompresses the remaining energy and can create an atmospheric shift that makes it more receptive to new energy.
If there isn’t a good place for cleansing objects by air, sun, and moon outside, a windowsill inside your home can work. Be aware, however, that some crystals and stones may be harmed by sunlight. It’s best to do some research before leaving them outside for a long time. Likewise, you may wish for something to receive only a sunlight cleansing or only a moon cleansing, in accordance with the energy of the object.
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Use your intuition to discern the best method to cleanse your new magical objects, but be sure to do your research so you don’t harm the object. The goal of cleansing is to change the energy from the former use to a more neutral energy.
If you know of other good methods, feel free to leave them in a comment below. I’d love to hear about how you cleanse your items.