Why I Believe Spiritual Cleansing Should Be a Last Resort
I must establish that I specifically mean the act of cleansing a spirit from a designated location. I do not mean the routine cleansing of tools, self or established homes. I also need to establish what I mean by spirit. I am defining spirit as the spiritual energy of anything’s existence. This could be the spirit of a deceased human being (note, I avoid the word “ghost” in this sense as, within my work experience, it is a slur of sorts and not a respectful title), a nature or land spirit, the spirit of the land itself or the spirit of an object. This concept is found in all faith paths except some more modern sects of Christianity. The older Christian sects, Judaism and Islam do have this concept of spirit in all things. It is often considered a more animistic belief and has been spoken to, in Abrahamic faiths, as recently as the past couple decades.
With that out of the way, yes, I do believe we should not cleanse away spirits as a first response, now let’s get to why.
It is probably the standard reaction when someone feels a paranormal or spiritual presence… make it leave. This is an understandable reaction. The unknown is fearful, that emotional response is valid and real. However, it is not always needed. It is a defense mechanism put in place and is often not needed. Many people, upon suspecting their home or place of work, has spiritual activity, will seek out ways to rid the space of that presence. Logically it seems to make sense. A presence scares me, a friend wouldn’t scare me, therefor this is a foe. Realistically it does not work that way. Unless someone knows what I call the “energy marker” (sometimes called the hamr) of a being, they will be scary even if they’re family, friend, a guide or even your patron god. The unknown IS scary because it is unknown. Until you know who, or what, it is you feel, cleansing them away might be detrimental.
The first thing to do should be to establish a boundary and figure who or what the presence is. If you’re asking Jesus for a sign and a couple weeks later the lights flicker and you get the spooks, that might be Jesus. Insert any god or power you wish there. If you push them away, you’re refusing the sign you just asked for. It could be a god, a grandparent, a spirit guide. Cleansing them WILL push them away and could potentially damage the relationship. In addition, it could be the spirit is reaching out to you to warn you or aid you in some way. There are countless possibilities; it may be a nature spirit warning you that a weather pattern will change and damage may occur to the land you live on. It could be the spirit of a deceased human reaching out to you for aid or support. To cleanse away a spirit presence without finding them out first is to say “screw you and go away” to all of existence. I will not speak to other persons practice, but to my practice that is inappropriate.
Beyond pushing a potential ally away, it might be a spirit deeply connected to the land. It could be the spirit of the land itself. These spirits might not be friendly. In my experience they tend to like to be left alone and will only seek out attention if they need help or don’t like you. Individuals who possess the natural ability to see, feel and experience spiritual states will more likely see, feel and experience these spirits without the spirits reaching out to them. No different than walking down a quiet street and being seen by someone else walking down a quiet street. They might not be reaching out and you may feel their presence. They are not easily removed. The spirit of the land cannot be removed whatsoever. I know many people believe that they are powerful and, in their space, they can do anything. The spirit of the land is the spirit of the land itself; it cannot be removed. To remove the spirit from an object would be to remove its energy, which requires removing its matter. Think of Albert Einsteins E = mc2. The energy, the spirit, IS the matter. The spirit of the land isn’t going anywhere. Trying to remove it will do nothing more than potentially provoke it.
A spirit deeply attached to the land would be any spirit that has significant time and history tying it to a specific location. These spirits are not the land but have deeply morphed into the land and can be removed but doing so is very difficult and should be handled with care. Examples of these spirits would be mass graves, people who died in sacrifice, areas of extreme hardship and death. Family lines with long standing positive ties to the land. In North America a great example would be any of the native tribes. With centuries tied to the land, working with the land and then extreme hardship and genocide. Their spirits, their spirit guides, their land spirits will be heavily tied to the land. Cleansing their spirits away is near impossible and may result in provoking many more spirits around you.
This last reason as to why cleansing should be a last resort is what I feel the hardest to accept as human beings. It’s not our land. Simply put, just because we signed a contract from another human being saying it’s our land, doesn’t make it true. The mindset of “I bought/rented this land and if I don’t like a presence, it must leave” is, to be frank, a colonizer mindset. We aren’t in control no matter how much we like to pretend we are. The most powerful witch, the most powerful priest, the most powerful sorcerer cannot pretend to control all of existence. To claim that it is solely our land because a piece of paper says so, is laughable. Even more so when you take an animistic perspective. Spirits were there before anyone built a home, before the previous occupants lived there, while we live there and long after we vacate the land. We are not the indigenous spirit anywhere we go with rare exception being long standing family ties. Today it is not the norm in western civilization to have land passed down generation to generation. In some situations where land has been passed down for many generations, it still might be an issue depending how the land was obtained and I’ll save that conversation for another journal entry. Most of us are living in homes which our great-great grandparents did not live in, most of us aren’t even living in a home our parents lived in. There are few generational ties to homes in western culture today. The land spirits, elemental spirits, even spirits of long deceased humans, have occupied this land longer than we. If we truly believe it is our right to come into a new land, with no ties to it, and declare the other spiritual occupants lesser than or even banish them, we just another type of colonizer. A mindset which has caused great harm.
Now…. Sometimes we DO have to cleanse a spirit away. I do not wish anyone to get the impression that cleansing a spirit away is a no-go. It needs thought, care and a lot of intention. Sometimes a spirit will be there and not be a friend, sometimes a spirit will become a foe. Moving isn’t going to be an easy option for most people. If the spirit is pre-existing your existence in that place, I practice and recommend appeasing it first. If that does not work, you may have to cleanse it away. This should be done with extreme caution. Do not take cleansing a spirit away lightly. For cleansing, follow your tradition or contact a TRUE expect.
If a spirit comes in after your occupancy of the space, and you have determined they are indeed a foe and not a guide or friend…. Cleanse as you would regularly according to your tradition or contact a TRUE expect. Your ties to that land will be stronger than theirs.
You can, and sometimes should, cleanse a spirit away. It should never be the first thing one does when feeling a presence, in my belief. As my husband says, you ain’t the ghostbusters, knock it off.