Everything in our spaces contains energy, often that of events or predecessors who came before us. This is why we spend so much time advocating space clearing as a part of a successful feng shui practice. It's important to clear the spaces around us of pre-existing energy and fill them with our own new, positive chi. But modern feng shui isn't the only cultural practice based around this idea!
Many of our modern day rituals and ceremonies, even though we may not view them as such, are derived from ancient ideas and methods behind space clearing. Actual space clearing, housewarmings and grand openings all help in some way to welcome positive energy into a new space. Even spring cleaning can sometimes be considered a space clearing ritual.
Native Americans used herbs like sage, cedar and sweetgrass to smudge their spaces. The idea behind this is that in burning the herbs and creating smoke, negative spirits and energy attach to the smoke, and when the smoke leaves the space, so does that negative energy. Cleaning and clearing a space also welcomes benevolent spirits to join us.
Salt (think Himalayan salt lamps) is also often used in Middle Eastern areas to cleanse space, and in the Tibetan tradition, it is often mixed with saffron when placed in the home, as this spice is believed to repel evil spirits.
In Peru, sacred ceremonies called Despacho are performed to restore balance between humans, Mother Earth and other spirits. The Ayni Despacho is a prayer offering that includes flower petals, sweets and other offerings arranged into a mandala to clear old energy, invite new energy and welcome abundance and other wishes.
Some believe that a true space clearer should be able to detect the presence of spirits. Others believe that the intention behind space clearing is the most important aspect for success. Using a mantra or other incantation to express your desires can be a great way to ensure that your intentions are in the right place. Check in a few weeks when we talk mantras in feng shui!
Though you can use the practice of space clearing with whatever method you choose, whenever you choose, there are certain times when taking a moment to clear your atmosphere can be more auspicious than others. If you find yourself in any of the situations below, be sure to clear your space for abundance and luck!
- Moving into a new space
- After decluttering
- The Chinese New Year
- After ending a relationship
- To sell a home
- To prepare for a new member of the home
- If your space has been violated
- If you feel a sense of ill-ease in your space
- If you feel stuck, in general
- With meditation
- When bringing used objects or new healing crystals into your space
- Before / after a gathering or party
What's your favorite way to replenish the energy in your holistic space? If we didn't list it, we'd love to know what you do to clear negative energy from your home and office and replace it with positive chi!