I found a rosary this weekend.
Well actually, my Catholic boyfriend found it at his work. He works at a car dealership, and it was inside a car that was traded in—essentially free for the taking—and Chris felt it call to him. When he brought it home, he showed it to me and asked if I could spiritually clean it for him.
Uh… okay, yeah. Sure. I have done that before.
I didn’t tell him this, but I have never done a legitimate cleansing routine, ritual, or spell. In the past, my cleansing routine was very… minimal. Usually I would have my newly bought tool, set it on my altar, and just light some incense next to it. I never actually took any energy to properly clean it. I know, I know… That was bad, but I have since learned.
Cleansing isn’t hard when something really needs to be cleaned.
That rosary. Ugh. It had a lot of energy from its past owner. The energy was heavy, and I could almost hear the Hail Mary’s repeated over and over in times of desperation or grief. And it just felt old in general. It really needed a fresh start.
So I cleansed the rosary with all four elements and a little bit of frankincense oil, and then decided to clean a bunch of crystals I had bought over the weekend… And then I cleaned all of my crystals and tools that I had. Because, you know. Better late than never, right?
By the time I was done with everything, which only took me about 30 seconds to do each item, I had a solid routine. I think this routine, ritual, spell, or whatever you wish to call it, is great for newbies who aren’t really sure where to start. There is no calling on deities, depending on specific cultural traditions, or mixing up a bunch of ingredients.
It’s fast, simple, and elemental.
So to start, I would gather all materials, tools, and whatever it is you wish to clean. As a newbie, I would start by grabbing something that can represent each element, since the four elements (or however many elements are in your tradition or culture) are pretty universal. I am going with the elements water, air, earth, and fire.
Earth = Sea salt
Air = Sage smoke
Fire = A candle flame
Water = Moon water
I also added Frankincense oil as an anointing oil (good for tools), and a black washcloth.
The reason why I included a black washcloth was because I wanted to wipe off all the cleansing materials (like the salt, oil, and water) from the tool or crystal so it wouldn’t inherently be damaged. I know that salt could damage softer crystals, and leaving water on certain metals can cause rusting. I think just going through this process puts enough intention into keeping the item clean.
I also use a black towel because black is the color of protection. Black absorbs negativity and provides the wearer (or user, in this case) with power. Therefore, by just rubbing your tool or crystal with the black towel, you’re sort of empowering it with the symbolism of the color.
Let’s start this step-by-step process.
The process is super easy. After I did it about three times, I came up with a great incantation to say during each step, but I am not going to repeat it here. I think you should come up with your own incantation based on the tools and supplies you have available.
Step One: The Salt
So I am putting my steps in a very specific order because it will allow a physical cleansing of the item as well.
I held my crystal in my palm, grabbed a pinch of my sea salt, and then just sort of rubbed the salt on the crystal. As I was sort of exfoliating my item with salt, I imagined all of the negativity and dirt beings scrubbed off the item. Like I said before, the salt can damage the crystal you are using, so do a little bit of research beforehand.
Step Two: Candle Flame
All I did was light a candle—preferably white—and just held the crystal or item high enough over the flame so it wouldn’t be damaged but also absorb the energy at the same time.
Again, a little warning: please be careful with fire. Don’t hold any tool over the flame so it could accidentally slip into the flame. When I held the rosary over the candle’s flame, I made sure it was about a foot above the candle. I could still feel the heat on my hands, but if the chain slipped a little, it wouldn’t dangle into the flame.
Step Three: The Sage Smoke
This part is so easy. Light your sage and waft its smoke over the item. Or you can just have the sage be in one place and hold the item in the smoke. If you can’t use sage smoke, use a sage-scented incense!
Step Four: Extras
Okay, so before we finish with the water element, this is where I added my Frankincense oil to the rosary. I went ahead and anointed the rosary, calling on Chris’s arch angels, and thinking about how the oil was not only blessing the rosary, but giving it new life. I did not do this with my own items, since I didn’t feel the need to anoint them.
Anything else you want to do to help cleanse your items, do now.
Step Five: Moon Water and a Black Towel
I always suggest doing the water last because it is a good way to physically clean off the salt, smoke, and other cleansing supplies that have gotten all over your item. I poured some moon water into a little container, dipped in a corner of the black washcloth, and then slowly rubbed and wiped all of the other elements off.
Do this slowly, and methodically, but be careful again. Some metals can easily rust, so do not let it soak in any water. As well, some crystals are ruined by water like Angelite.
Once you’ve gotten your item sufficiently cleaned and dried, let it sit in the moonlight overnight to charge. Or you can use it immediately if you have to.
What are alternative cleansing methods?
Sage, sage, sage. Sage smoke always works as a simple cleansing method, especially good for spaces and more delicate items like altar cloths or tarot cards. If you can’t find a bundle of sage or you’re worried about its smell, you can use a sage spray.
Or, if sage smoke or spray is still not an option, you can still find ways to cleanse your items. I suggest taking your item to your altar and meditating with it. Visualize a strong, protective white light shining around your item, enveloping it. Allow the white light to completely “wash” the item. Then, that night, sleep with that item under your pillow (or by your bedside) to absorb your energy. This is something I usually do with a new tarot deck!
Do not forget to clean your items!
That was such a huge mistake of mine that I let go for far too long. I truly wish I would’ve developed my cleansing routine early on in my path.
What is your cleansing ritual? Have you created one yet? Let me know down in the comments!