How to magically cleanse an object

Sometimes, things we bring into our home come with unwanted energy or uninvited guests. In this post, I’ll tell you how and when to magically cleanse an object.

A while ago, I wrote a post on magical house clearing. How to get “uninvited guests” out of one’s home is one of the more common questions I get. Another one is how to magically cleanse objects or items. So, let’s talk about that today.

When should you magically cleanse an object?

Why magically cleanse this when you can just not buy it?

If you read my post on house clearing, you just know I’m going to start this post by asking the question: “Should you magically cleanse objects?”

The short answer is: “It depends.”

In general, there are two cases where I’ll cleanse an object: if I plan to use it specifically and only for magical purposes; or if it’s actively causing “trouble.”

Magical tools

I’ve said before that my magical practice is very “spirit-focused.” This means I experience everything around me as “haunted” in one way or another. When I’m performing a ritual, both myself and the work I’m doing are intertwined with the tools I employ, and the spirits within them.

Candle holders, statues, offering plates–they’ll probably get a cleansing before getting plonked down on my altar. The same holds true for tarot decks, pendulums, and scrying mirrors. Anything I plan to bring into ceremony with me usually gets a once-over. I used to be somewhat lax in this practice, but I’ve had enough…challenging experiences to make this almost a hard and fast rule.

Why “almost,” you ask? We’ll get to that.

“Mundane” objects

As for other things I bring into my home? I don’t give them much of a thought unless they act up in disruptive ways. I don’t feel a particular need to magically cleanse every book I order, or every roll of paper towels I buy.

The same holds true even for things like antiques. Just because something is old, or it was owned by someone else, doesn’t mean I have to magically cleanse it. Besides, if I bought an antique, it’s probably because I liked the energy coming off it. Why would I want to mess with that?

If I bring something home and immediately begin experiencing disruptions or unwanted weirdness? That’s when I get to work.

Talk before you cleanse

Before I magically cleanse anything, I talk to it. As I said, I’m spirit-focused, and I treat spirits as persons deserving of respect and consideration. Even if something seems to be acting up, I’ll sit with it, and try to get a read on what’s going on. Sometimes that means journeying and meeting it on the “Astral Plane,” sometimes that means throwing some tarot cards. Either way, I “diagnose” before I attempt to “cure.”

This is especially true if it’s an object I plan to work magic with.

I read a ritual once for “consecrating a magical blade.” The gist of it was that you buy a knife, and bring it outside. You point it at the sky and say some words, then point it toward each of the four directions saying some other words. Finally, you stab it into the ground “up to the hilt.”

I wonder how many people have done this ritual. I also wonder how many of these people ever bothered to ask the knife how it would feel about that. Or how many people even took the time to explain to the knife what was going to happen.

This might sound silly to some people, but establishing a relationship with the items I bring into ceremony is pretty important to me. And relationships start with communication.

Be nice

Incense is a great way to magically cleanse an object.

If I decide to magically cleanse an object, I first explain to it what I’m going to do, and why I’m going to do it. Then I do the least invasive “cleansing” I can. I first burn some palo santo and make sure all sides of the object are touched by the smoke. This works really well for “mellowing” spirits and energies. In my experience, it doesn’t exorcise things, it just makes them “chill.” And if they don’t want to chill, they usually leave of their own accord.

Once I’ve done this, I then burn some frankincense, and do the same with it as I did with the palo santo. Frankincense “elevates,” and it’s my go-to incense for when I want to “raise the vibrations” in a space, or in an object. Again, it doesn’t drive things away. Or, rather, it won’t drive things away unless those things aren’t comfortable in a positive environment.

Finally, I take a while–sometimes a few days–to just be nice to the object. I talk to it, explain how I’d like to work and play with it, and be as “good vibes only” toward it as I can.

In almost every case, with only one or two exceptions in all of my experience, this is enough to magically cleanse an object.

Are you sure it’s meant to be?

So, what if you take the “nice” approach and things still just don’t feel right? Is it time to break out the “big guns?” Maybe.

Then again, maybe the object just isn’t that into you.

There’s something a bit audacious in thinking that every magical tool or item should be thrilled to be in our presence, and if something acts up, it must be because there’s something wrong with it.

I’ve purchased or been given many items, magical and otherwise, which I just never connected with. Usually, they seem “inert,” for lack of a better word. They cause me grief, but they don’t do anything, either. Rarely, they’ll be pretty adamant that our relationship isn’t going to work out.

How do I know when an object and I aren’t a good fit? It comes back to that whole talking and treating them with respect and dignity thing. And when I find I have such an object in my possession, I send it on its way. Sometimes this means gifting it someone my intuition says might be a better companion for it, sometimes it means taking it somewhere out in the world and leaving it there to be found.

Before you go all “nuclear” on an object, try to get your ego out of the game, and really ask if a relationship is something you both want.

Being not-so-nice

If you're going to magically cleanse something, it's often a good idea to do it outside.

Alright, so you’ve tried to be nice, you’re certain that you and this object are “meant to be,” but it’s still not behaving itself. What do you do?

Get ready to break out the asafoetida resin!

Asafoetida is a dried gum or resin which is not only incredibly potent for banishing, it also has a very pungent smell that some describe as “like the devil’s own butthole.”

Needless to say, if you’re going to magically cleanse with it, you’ll want to take it outside.

Grab the object, an incense burner, charcoal, some asafoetida, and some Florida water. Go outside where you won’t be disturbed and won’t disturb the neighbor. Light the charcoal, toss on a chunk of asafoetida, and move the object through the smoke. Thoroughly engulf it in the smoke.

While you’re doing this, firmly and as vulgarly as you can, tell whatever energy or spirit is messing with the object to get the hell out and go away. After a while, you should feel a definite sense of success. It’s hard to describe, but you’ll know it when you experience it. Usually it only takes a minute or two for that feeling to come, but give it ten or fifteen minutes if you can.

When you feel successful, put a couple of dabs of Florida water on the object, then do the “nice” steps I described above before taking it back into your house.

Did you magically cleanse it?

If the not-so-nice approach doesn’t work, and you think the object still has “issues,” toss it. Throw it away, burn it, or bury it somewhere that’s not on your property. Unless you know someone who specifically works with “haunted” or “cursed” items, just get rid of it, and don’t hand it off to someone else.

Honestly, though? I’ve never, ever had to go to this extreme. Like I wrote above, in almost every case, the nice approach was more than sufficient. And in almost every case it wasn’t, it turned out that the object wasn’t the problem–the relationship just wasn’t going to happen.

That’s my experience, anyway. What’s yours? If you’ve had an object that gave you grief, drop a comment down below. I’d love to hear what happened and how you handled it.

Have a blessed day!