BY SOPHIE MOSS
For most of us, the home is our safe haven. It’s the space in which we sleep, create, cook, nurture relationships, create art, celebrate successes, think our most private thoughts and feel our most deepest feelings, and is a space to be honoured. Just as we respect our homes by dusting away dirt and cleaning up messes, it is also helpful to clean away the energies and vibrations that harbour in our homes over time.
To extend the metaphor, there can be little doubt that an untidy, dirty, cluttered house takes its toll on our happiness and wellbeing, leaving us feeling stagnant, unhappy, and unhealthy. The energies that exist in our home are no different: allowing negative, stagnant energies to manifest in our safe, personal spaces can have a detrimental effect on our professional, personal and creative wellbeing, and it is important that we cleanse these spaces of unwanted energies in order to allow us to fulfill our utmost potential.
There are many ways one can cleanse the home, and these can vary from culture to culture, religion to religion. Using herbs, for instance, has played a major role in magick, religion and divination throughout history, and remains one of the most widely used tools for magick and healing today. In old magickal books, elaborate and strange herbal ingredients were often called upon to create a host of recipes and spells, such as adder’s tongue and the heart of a baboon (which are actually just unusual code names for plantain and oil of lily), and herbs have been historically used for homeopathy, natural medicine, and magickal applications such as health, healing and cleansing.
Below, we have created an easy, cost effective, do-it-yourself guide to using herbal magick to cleanse the home of cosmic nasties and invite health, happiness and prosperity into your household.
The Way of Herbs
There is no easier, cheaper and failsafe method of inviting prosperity into the household (and banishing negativity from it) than to use herbal magick, and I am absolutely fascinated with it. For me, there is something so inexplicably comforting and organic about placing one’s trust in the very Earth itself and, in turn, having this trust rewarded with love and protection.
The great thing about using herbal magick is that a) there are so many ways to use herbs, and b) we can use them for so many different purposes:
When it comes to inciting general positive vibrations into the home, a really easy way to do this is to incorporate herbal magick into your household decor. Buying small pouches or sachets from the store and filling them with different herbs, for example, is an easy way to not only spruce up the come with kitsch decor, but also to incite positive vibrations and a host of positive magical properties.
Hang a sachet filled with chamomile flowers from the doorknob in your bedroom to calm the nerves and promote natural sleep, or place a chestnut in the corner of your bedside table to bring love and peace into the bedroom. Similarly, you can sprinkle cumin seeds into a pouch and hang it from the doorknob of your kitchen cupboard as a general home blessing.
An interesting way to incorporate herbal magick into your household and inspire positive, protective vibrations is via a locket. Sprinkle fennel seeds into a locket and hang from your bedpost, nightstand, or even your jewelry stand to bring protection, purification, healing, passion, courage and strength. Alternatively, wear it around your neck and carry the good energies with you.
Sprinkle allspice in all four corners of the home, or burn it as incense. It is thought to attract success in both personal and business life.
After going through a difficult break up, moving into a new property, or embarking on a new venture, it is important to rebalance and realign the energies in a household, and an efficient way to do this is by performing a sage cleansing ritual. To perform this, purchase a sage smudge stick (I typically buy mine from natural food or new age stores) and set it over a flame-resistant bowl. With every window and door in the house open, light the stick, blow it out and watch as it begins to smoke. Visualising your intention, wave the stick gently and watch as the smoke glides through the room. As the smoke ghosts towards the far corners of the room… along the ceiling… around the windows… up the fireplace… imagine it absorbing the negativity, toxicity and harmful energies from the space, taking any cosmic nasties with it as it dissipates out the open windows. When you have cleansed each room of the house, extinguish the sage smudge stick and discard.
Research the different properties of different herbs, and see which ones are relevant to your needs and requirements, using as necessary. Remember, thorough research is absolutely imperative, as some herbs can be toxic once ignited or ingested.
A Magickal Garden
Indeed, if you are lucky enough to live in an area that affords you garden space (or, even, a window-box on a balcony area), you might want to take advantage of this blessing and plant a garden, grow some herbs, and harvest some plants. However, before jumping right into creating a magickal garden and earning your green thumb status, it is important to keep in mind the general magickal rules for gardening.
In her widely acclaimed book, Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation, magickal practitioner Silver Ravenwolf details a host of astrological rules and considerations for growing a successful magickal garden:
When collecting seeds, for instance, it’s better to do so when the moon is full, or in a fire or air sign — Aries, Sagittarius, Leo, Aquarius, Libra or Gemini.
If you are growing plants that will produce crops above ground (perfect for those of us who live in apartment buildings), it is important that they are sown the day after the new moon and up until the first quarter.
Growing plants that will produce crops below the ground, however, will require plantation during the day after the full moon.
When it comes to harvesting, the smallest harvests and fresh flowers needed for immediate ritual (or recreational! Or culinary!) use should be done in the evening, during which time the plants have maximum food reserves. Herbs and flowers that will be dried and preserved should be cut mid-morning, once the morning dew has cleared. Also, it is better to harvest fruit and vegetables during the waning moon, and when the moon is in the barren (or semi-barren) air or fire signs of Aries, Sagittarius, Leo, Aquarius, Libra or Gemini.
When cutting flowers, always try and cut the stem at a slant. This way, the stem can continue to absorb water and nutrients.
During the Autumn, when the last of the herbs, fruits, and vegetables have been harvested, the last of the dead leaves and plants should be cleared away. It is when the last of the dead plants have been swept that you can perform an Autumn Blessing. To perform this blessing is simple. Firstly, you stand in your garden and ignite a white candle, taking in your surroundings and giving thanks to the year’s harvest. When you feel ready, or when the candle has extinguished, simply bury it somewhere on your property. (Important: please, please take extra care with this if you have animals or small children and bury the candle in a place where children and animals won’t be able to find it. If this isn’t possible, keep it somewhere safe within the household.)
Solitary Witch also contains an incredibly helpful gardening guide to help you with your astrological timings when growing, planting or harvesting, such as being careful to plant beans in the second quarter when the moon is in Taurus, and planting house plants in the first quarter when the moon is in Libra, Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces. Seriously, that book is 590 pages of pure magickal wisdom.
Sophie E. Moss is a dark witch & literary maven. She writes essays for LunaLuna and poetry for all the people she used to be. @Sophiedelays