For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring Equinox is a little more than three weeks away. Many of us partake of time-honored rituals this time of year that have to do with purging and purifying our homes, from thorough physical scrubbing and scouring of our living spaces to donating old clothes and housewares that no longer meet our needs. As we discard the old and unwanted, we open our heads, hearts, and homes to receiving the new, as it should be.
As invigorating as a good housecleaning can feel once you’ve finished, I don’t believe in resting on your laurels. Better to follow up work done on the material plane with a thorough spiritual cleansing of your home, which should occur during the day and not at night (morning is ideal, but anytime after the sun has risen). I have a recipe my Oluwo (Godfather) in Ifá recently shared with me in person and which I have permission, in turn, to share with the aleyo (non-initiate) community.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A ceramic or glass bowl that can hold a generous amount of liquid; ideally, this would be a bowl exclusively reserved for ceremonial use and not something also in use for mundane matters (so don’t repurpose the bowl that holds fruit on your kitchen counter, in other words)
- 3 cups of cold, pure water–spring water is ideal, but distilled or even purified tap water from a filtration system will do
- 1/2 cup of Florida Water, which is available at botanicas and most occult supply shops
- Optional: 1/2 cup of Holy Water from a church
- 7 dollops or spoonfuls of premium-grade honey
- 7 pieces of a large cinnamon stick or 7 small sticks
- 7 tablespoons of milk
- 7 sprays of your favorite fragrance (perfume or cologne)
- 7 pieces of fresh mint
- Ashes of frankincense incense that has been burned on a charcoal incense burner
- Bundle of fresh sage, which will serve as the aspergillum to sprinkle the water
You may notice that many of the ingredients feature the number 7. In the numerologically informed Yoruba cosmology of Ifá, 7 is actually the number of evil; it doesn’t denote good luck like it does in Western lore. The philosophy is that by including ingredients in the amount of 7, you’re acknowledging the forces of stagnation, sickness, oppression, deprivation, betrayal, loss, and death, all of which are seen as evil in Ifá because they hinder human happiness and the quest for each person to fulfill his or her destiny on Earth. The benevolence of the ingredients in the magically charged water overcomes the negative spiritual energies that have amassed in your home. But those benevolent ingredients have to be “activated” first.
This next part is important, and it flies in the face of what most Pagans are taught about the ritual use of clockwise (often referred to by the Gaelic term of deosil, or “sunwise”) versus counterclockwise (often referred to as widdershins) movements. In Ifá, counterclockwise movement is used to open energies, and clockwise movement is used to seal or close them. Thus to magically charge your water, use the index and middle fingers of your dominant hand and stir the ingredients in the water counterclockwise. Call upon your Holy Powers–your Orisha, other Deities, and Ancestors–to lend Their energies to your work.
Start at the far end of your home and work your way through all rooms and hallways. If you have an enclosed garage, begin there and work your way indoors from the back of the house to the front. Dip your fresh sage bundle (easily available in the produce sections of most grocery stores if you’re not already growing your own culinary and magical herbs yourself) into the bowl of charged water and begin sprinkling all surfaces–walls, furniture, floors, objects, etc. Even electronics. Also be sure to sprinkle others with whom you share your home, people and companion animals (yes, my cats hate it) alike. Pay special attention to thresholds, windows, and mirrors, as those are all thought to be portals to the Spirit World in Ifá.
Your role is to authoritatively command all negative energy, all spirits of dis-ease, to depart the premises immediately. Stating your intent out loud is what needs to happen as you go from room to room, traversing the back of your property to the front. Some intentions you can state include:
“I purge and purify all that I see so what it harbors is clean and free. As I do will, so shall it be!”
“Spirits of evil, let there be no doubt: be gone from this space! I cast you out!”
Of course, feel free to cast out the baleful energies in the Names of your Holy Powers as well.
After you’ve asperged the outside of your front door, you have two options on how to dispose of the water: you can either toss the contents of the bowl out into the street directly in front of your building (use a forceful, whipping motion to get everything out), or pour the bowl’s contents out equally on the right and the left sides of your entrance door’s threshold. Evil people and energies will not be able to cross the doorway.
This is a very simple but powerful exercise to purge your home of negative energy. Again, it’s best to perform this after the needed first step of physically cleaning your home and having it be as orderly as possible. The adage of cleanliness equaling godliness is something that Ifá absolutely espouses.
May you be ready to receive the blessings on their way to you! Ashé!