Purification rites have been employed for thousands of years. Keeping physical and spiritual pollution at bay is paramount to good magical and religious practice, as any lingering miasma can cause poor signal clarity, lethargy and even illness. Physical pollution is disrespectful to others you are working with, and to the Gods and spirits, while spiritual pollution can infect our communities.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to keep negative energy from building up in your home and to purify your space prior to magical work. Having a regular practice of just cleaning, hoovering and dusting can work wonders however there are recipes for special waters, washes and incenses that can be more effective than just soap and water alone.
Van van oil is a Hoodoo-derived formula, a brilliant cleansing agent with a variety of positive uses such as driving away bad luck, opening new roads and empowering charms.
In a large jar place five stems of chopped lemongrass, with 100ml of jojoba oil, twenty-one drops of lemongrass oil, ten drops of palmarosa oil, ten drops of citronella oil and one drop of vetivert oil. Cap the jar and shake well. Let it sit for two weeks, shaking the jar daily, and then strain and add a teaspoon of blessed sea salt (you can bless this yourself).
You can add two tablespoons of van van oil to a mixture of 30ml bleach and 30ml washing up liquid to make a floor and surface wash.
After you have physically cleaned your space it’s wise to smudge as well. Smudging is the art of using smoke to astrally clean and purify your space. Using smoke to purify has a long history. Iron Age roundhouses lacked a ventilation hole in the roof so the smoke would gather in the top of the house and kill any bugs that tried to make their homes in the thatch, and Ancient Egyptians burned various resins to keep their temples pure.
A common smudge is to use bundles or sprigs of white sage (Salvia apiana). Simply bunch the sage together and light the tip in a naked flame. The leaves smoulder and create a pungent pleasant-scented smoke. If you’re worried about burning your fingers you can put crushed sage leaves on a glowing charcoal instead, though traditional smudging calls for fanning the smouldering herbs about the space and your person. Other common smudges ingredients are cedar, yarrow, rosemary, lavender and juniper.
You can also use khernips (lustral water) to cleanse and purify an area. Khernips was used in Ancient Greece as a purifying agent. It is made by lighting and then extinguishing burning bay laurel leaves in a bowl of spring water, bay laurel being sacred to the god Apollon who governs purification rites. You can add extras if you wish, such as sea salt and essential oils, but it isn’t needed. The water was used to wash hands, and also sprinkled about an area to keep it cleansed.