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ASK A WITCH-Sanctuary

Although I've addressed the issue of home clearing and haunting before in this column, I got two questions this week asking for specifics on how to do it yourself. So, here's my step by step instructional. Feel free to get creative.

I have a situation that you may be able to help me with. My house I'm about to do a sage there anything I need to know about that? Should I call in a pro to do it? Thanks in advance, Home Help

Dear Home,

I'm curious what you mean by "active." You deserve to feel safe and comfortable in your own home, and if this energy is tainting your sanctuary, there may be a need to call in a pro. You can certainly start on your own and see how it goes; before doing any work like this you should absolutely open some kind of protected space. You can call in any "divine beings" that you honor or work with-god, the elements, the cosmos, spirit animals, ancestors, etc. If none of that resonates for you, then try a little intentional visualization: see a light that begins in your heart/center, and, using your breath, slowly expand it outward, first to encompass you and then place it all around your home. Set the intention that this light is protective and sacred and nothing harmful or dangerous can act within it (you can also do both, no harm in extra protection, especially in an "active" home.) I also like to carry stones or other protective talismans with me when doing this work.

Once you feel secure, you can begin. I like to open as many doors and windows as you can tolerate and place a couple bowls of saltwater to absorb anything that doesn't make it out the openings. First walk through the entire house (I like to move counter-clockwise, the direction of release) making noise (I shake a rattle, clapping or drumming or singing or whatever else works great too) to "awaken" any energies and let them know your intentions (that it's time for them to move on). After the initial pass, move through the house the same way with your burning sage (paulo santo, cedar, bay leaves, lavender, yarrow, copal, rosemary, etc all work well too. Use sustainable and well sourced plants always!) and imagine that the smoke is drifting into all the corners and hidden places, filling the home with light and chasing the shadows (heavy, negative, stagnant energies) out the windows. I use a feather to direct the smoke. You may need to do this more than once. Using a broom or a duster to sweep the energy away can be helpful in conjunction with the smoke clearing.

Once the space feels clear, move back through the house clockwise, calling in the energy you want to fill the empty space you've created (I usually call on a mix of earth and sky energy, as well as healing, light, love, inspiration, protection, etc.). I always finish by creating a little altar somewhere central (just a few items, you can gather them outside, such as leaves, rocks, flowers, or things you already own, crystals, feathers, candles, really, anything that feels special to you) to anchor in the new energy. Light a fire or a candle and set the intention that the old energies will stay away and the fresh energies will fill your home with beauty. Shut the windows, dump the saltwater, and close your protected space by thanking the energies you called upon for help.

If the house doesn't feel safe and clear afterwards, you may need to hire a professional-energy can be easy enough to move, but entities may require more specialized care. While this ritual can do wonders to freshen and enliven your home, hauntings are another matter entirely. If your home still feels "active" don't hesitate to find a witch or other magical practitioner to help remove what lingers. You shouldn't have to spend one more moment living in a place that isn't safe and welcoming.

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