by Andrew Pacholyk MS, L.Ac ~
It has always been a family ritual to clear out the old things that have “gathered in the corners” and then cleanse the space around you that you utilize most often.
Many people often do a cleansing of their homes or business on the eve of the New Year or New Year’s day to release the old and ring in the new. Another wonderful tradition is to wait until after the day of the Three Kings, before getting things into motion. These are beautiful traditions that I always love to see people undertake.
In my family, we would always wait until January 2nd. The Christmas holiday has passed, all the gifts have been unwrapped, the food eaten and the pine needles from the tree have started gathering more on the floor, than on the limbs. New Years has been celebrated and the fireworks have all been lit. Resolutions have been stated and the dirty dishes are still in the sink.
Clearing Starts with Ourselves
Start with yourself. A wonderful and powerful tool for creating self-love and confidence is to stand, facing yourself in the mirror. Repeat a positive affirmation, such as, “I will be filled with pride and confidence today”. “I will remain at peace and calm all day”. “I look handsome and confident”. Whatever your words, the power of repeating your affirmations to yourself in the mirror (and throughout the day) is a ritual of self-empowerment.
A ritual bath or “magical” ceremony involving the use of water to immerse or anoint a subject’s body and/or feet, prepares one to be more aware, conscious and open for new opportunities. It can be used to cleanse the mind, the body, as well as embrace the spirit. Ritual baths can clear negative energies and prepare yourself for accomplishments. First, clean your bath tub. Run the warm/hot water. As you do this, add a cup of sea salt, perhaps a tablespoon of lavender, clary sage or rose essential oils and as a final touch, a handful of flower petals. Swirl these ingredients around in the bath water and emerge yourself for a good 15-20 minutes. You can add some nice stress reducers, such as incense, low lighting or candles and soothing music. Make this ritual “your time”, as you deserve it!
A great meditation you can do at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day, can simply be sitting (grounded) on the floor and closing your eyes. Taking some very deep breaths in, so that each breath reaches all the way down to your pelvic bone and then exhale s-l-o-w-l-y each time. Choose an image, person or scenario that empowers you. Always go back to it when you find your mind drifting. Take your focus to the back of your eyelids. Let whatever comes into your mind pass through, then let it go. When you are ready move your focus to between your eyebrow, to your Third Eye. Sense it opening and filling your mind with your chosen image. Allow it to expand outside your head and fill the room. Your image is now, all around you. When you are ready, slowly bring the image back and contain it with your Third Eye again. Move your focus back to behind your eyelids. Then, when you are ready, slowly open your eyes.
Clearing Your Surroundings
Clearing out space is the first step in freeing yourself from the burdens that surround you! The first lesson is to start small!
Start with your holiday decorations. You have added all these beautiful items to your home, so now is the time to clear them away. If there are items you no longer, absolutely love, then it is time to give them away or toss them out. It is easy to get overwhelmed when deculttering. Do not allow this, by taking it slow, focusing on one task at a time and THEN move to the next.
Go room by room. Clear away the bed sheets in the bedroom, clear out the dirty towels in the bathroom, take up the throw rugs in the living room and remove all items that can be washed, room by room.
Clearing is the Best Feeling
- I love to clear the space of everything. Take a look at the empty space. Ahhh… Remember when this last occurred? How do you feel in this space now?
- Take a look at the items you removed. One by one, look over each and every item. Do you absolutely love it? How does it serve you? Is there an emotional attachment to it? Is it a good one or a bad one?
- Items with bad emotions connected to them or items you do not absolutely love or serve you, get rid of them now!
- The items that you do love, why is it? How well does it serve you or play a particular purpose? If you save it, find a great place for it, where it will do the most good.
- Make a pile, box or space for all the items you do not need, want or do not serve you. You can separate them into smaller piles to give them away, gift them or sell them. Throw out the items you wish to discard ASAP. There is an amazing feeling attached to an item (or emotion) we let go of!!
The power of letting go offers the possibility of two types of peace: peace of mind – the potential healing of old emotional connections, wounds, or a clearer consciousness and peace with others – the possibility of new, more gratifying relationships in the future.
It takes no strength to let go. . . only courage. Life either expands or contracts in direct proportion to your courage to let go.
Cleansing Your Surroundings
Now that you have cleared away the clutter, it is time to cleanse everything around you. Cleanse with soap and water. Soap and water have the best cleansing properties of all. Sweep and cleanse the floors moving from the back of the house and end at the front door, sweeping and mopping everything “out the front door”, literally and metaphysically. Cleanse everywhere the feet and hands will touch in the house. Dust, then cleanse the areas that are not often reached. Wash the curtains, do the laundry and cleanse the kitchen.
Saging is a ritual that is done to do clear the house of unwanted energies or spiritual anomalies. Light a sage stick, incense, herbs or cones. Light your sage, allow the flame to burn the herb and then blow out the flame. The smoke will do the work. Start from the back of the house and move forward. Hold the incense up in the air, cleansing the “spiritual heights” moving clockwise, cleansing the four corners, as you move toward the center of the room. Move room by room until you finish at the front door.
Salting is a tradition done for centuries. Some people choose to use black salt, while others choose white salt. The difference, besides the color tends to be the metaphysical properties of the colors. Regardless, which you choose, they are both fantastic for protection and keeping away unwanted “energies” of any kind. There are several ways of approaching this. Depending how much salt you want around or to what degree of protection you are looking for. Sprinkle a little salt in the four corners of each room.
- Sprinkle salt outside, across the front door threshold.
2. Sprinkle salt along the outside window sills
3. Place a pinch of salt in an organza bag and hang the bag around the door knobs of either the front door or specific rooms.
4 Place a dish of salt in the kitchen, front foyer or on your altar, meditation space or prayer space.
A ritual tea or tea ceremony has been done for centuries to honor ancestors, embrace the New Year, a change of seasons or as a “time out” from the day. I always like using fresh or dried herbs sans the tea bag. One or two teaspoons of herbs per serving. Use clear spring water. Colder and fresher makes a tastier, livelier infusion.
Warm the steeping pot. Pour the measured, fresh water into the saucepan and place over medium heat. Heat the water until it just comes to a rolling boil. Add the tea leaves to the warmed steeping pot (one teaspoon per cup, plus one “for the pot”). Immediately pour the boiled water over the loose leaves; cover the pot. Steep three to five minutes for most teas. Longer, to taste. Also be sure and steep the herbs longer for the teas made from sticks, twigs, roots or berries, as well as, herbal infusions.
A ritual with crystals is another way to relax and find stillness after your day. You can use 7 or 9 crystals and place them on the floor in a circle. Choosing the crystals that call to you that day are often the ones you need the most! You can choose crystals to use for your circle based on their colors, names, mineral make-up or the power they give to your life. Lay down within the circle and close your eyes. Sense the ground beneath you accepting your weight. Feel your body relax with each breath as you allow yourself to melt into the floor. Sense the energy of the crystals as they have something to lend to you and that is their subtle energies for healing. After your session, you can carry one or a few of these crystals with you throughout the day or place them in a room where you need some energy. Your instincts will never fail you.
Ring In the New with these crystals:
For many people deepened spiritual growth is a primary goal. Amethyst is a helpful stone in realizing spirituality. Amethyst is a transition stone; it bridges physical and spiritual consciousness, and thus is very valuable in meditation. Psychic, imagery, mind quieting. Wear when sleeping or when awake to reduce anger, impatience, and nightmares. Brow + Crown Chakra. Headaches,eyes, scalp/hair, pituitary, pineal, blood sugar balance. Especially helps sobriety; alcohol/food/sex/other addictions. Famous ancient detoxifier (especially helped with poisons, alcohol). Dream recall. Stone of spirituality, contentment, meditation. Provides common sense, flexibility in decisions. Amethyst has a direct link to the mind.
This stone is a helpful stone in realizing spiritual growth. Part of spiritual development is knowing who we have been and deciding who we want to be. For this expanded sense of self clear quartz is the ideal stone. It is also a stone which can be programmed for any purpose. Clear Quartz is thought to amplify both body energy and thoughts. It can assist in the creation of power, clarity of thinking, meditation, cleansing, clearing the aura, spiritual development and healing. Clear Quartz is considered the “stone of power”. Clear Quartz crystals can help balance all the elements needed to make us whole and fulfilled. Amplify whatever influences are present in an individual or location. Acts as a purifier and tunes into the frequency of each individual.
There are two varieties of Jade, Jadeite and Nephrite. Nephrite is quite similar to Jadeite in its healing abilities, but its colors are creamier and less translucent than Jadeite; Nephrite is the more commonly found variety. Jade may come in a variety of colors, green, blue, black, violet, white, yellow and a reddish and brownish variety. Each with its own slightly different use. Green: Health, wealth, longevity stone. Ancient Chinese used also for courage, wisdom, justice, mercy, emotional balance, stamina, love, fidelity, humility, generosity, peace, harmony.
Whatever your family rituals are for a New Year, use them, embrace them and start the year off right. If you are new to such traditions, try giving one of these suggestions a go and see how you feel afterwards!