Cleansing Rituals

cleansingWeeks ago, I had a number of family and friends over to the apartment. This was part two of a process in getting the apartment organized after my mother’s death. All of her clothes were bagged up, to donate to the homeless. Closets were gone through, and papers separated for shredding. Books that have piled up have been sorted, and rearranging of items (pictures, bookcases, nick-knacks, etc) has begun.

There is still more to do: the kitchen cabinets need to be done, as a few other places. If there was a nook or space, there is something there to go through. Then will come time to invite an estate person in, and sell what is worth selling and donate what isn’t.


Rabbi Pam suggested that, when this is all under control, that I hold a cleansing ritual, to claim the apartment space as mine. Even though I’ve lived there for years, taking care of my parents, and taking refuge for myself  in the long run, and I’ve never felt comfortable in any space but the bedroom. That has to change.

Sometime in the near future I’ll invite family and friends over again. We’ll hold some sort of ceremony (even though the burning of sage and walk through the apartment, room to room, has been suggested, I don’t think that’s me), throw a bit of a pot luck, and hopefully find the way to take comfort in places I find little to none at the moment.

So, as I plan this, I am curious as to what YOU have done (or would do) in a cleansing/claiming of space ritual? Plucking a chicken and waving it over my head three times is an option 🙂 , but I’d rather not go there, like the burning sage.


About StuHN

I am a creative individual with many areas of passion: Professional Storyteller; NYS Certified Drama Specialist/Educator; Professional Development Coordinator & Facilitator; Workshop Leader; sometime Puppeteer; Playwright; Director; Performer; Teaching Artist; and sometimes more.

Posted on February 15, 2013, in Spiritual, Support, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. The only rituals I’m familiar with are those held by various religions, where someone comes in and basically offers a blessing upon the house/apartment itself as well as current/future occupants. I know many Eastern Orthodox priests do this for parishioners on a yearly basis, and I believe some Roman Catholic priests do this upon request as well. Not sure if your Rabbi would do something similar (if that’s something you’d be interested in).

  2. Rituals are all about intent and the focus of your energy Stuart. A candle, incense or simply saying a prayer in each room…whatever works for you. When I move into a new place I always open all the windows and doors and using an old fashioned broom start sweeping out the ‘old’ energy from the back to the doors and out the door. Then I invite in good energy with a white candle in the window.

  3. It might sound silly, but I clean everything and repaint the walls.

  4. Smudge isn’t necessary, but by the sounds of it something definitely is. Your idea of a pot luck sounds perfect! I would come to terms with the uneasiness in the apartment first, or else risk just covering up the underlying issue. Personally I do smudge, not all that often, but regularly. It’s also not something feasible during the winter months here in the Northeast. Something about opening all the windows mid-November till mid-April just doesn’t sound very…warm thought inducing.

    If smudging isn’t something you want to do try this example (should help you settle in, I did something like this when my family moved into my mother in laws old home *yikes*) – Say you have a particularly bad feeling about the kitchen. Go through and find the few things that make you smile about that room – knick knack, recipe, favorite dish etc. NOW – take all the stuff that doesn’t make you feel good and move it. Don’t have to get rid of it, but get it out of there. Paint if you need too, or just thoroughly clean everything from top to bottom. Now put those few happy things back in the room. Just those, though, not the other stuff you removed (unless they’re necessities…like a coffee pot, or toaster…and even if they’re those – replace them or trade them with someone else in the family). Add a few other details that also make you smile (new ones, diy-ed ones, gifted) and there you have it!

    Also – flowers. Get a plant, or a bouquet from the grocery store in an old mason jar for the newly reclaimed space.

    Last tip – put your favorite color in every room. LOUDLY! throw pillows, blankets, rugs, funky serving platter…

    Okay…I’ll shut up now.

    Warm thoughts to you in your time of loss and healing.

    • Thank you for all the ideas. I’ve been moving out all the knick-knacks and such, replacing them with my own things. I understand the need of transforming the rooms. There is still a sense of unease, but it’s getting better.

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