Witch Tips: Clean Your Altar

I have no idea where the concept of NOT cleaning your altar came from.  Something about not wanting to drive away good energy or some such shenanigans.  But let’s be real here.  If those “good vibes” are so easy to drive away, then perhaps they were never that useful to you.  So here’s a quick guide to changing things up in your sacred space.

When:

  • After Messy Spells: This post was inspired by an incident in which I burned a piece of parchment and the ash went EVERYWHERE. Trust me, you have to in such circumstances.
  • Before Space Clearing: Unless it is an emergency (or you’re out of paper towels), you should always dust your space before cleansing it.  I know this may seem redundant if you use incense or sage to smudge the area, but still it is an important step in the process.
  • Before Rearranging: New statue you are incorporating? Perfect moment to take a cleaning cloth to the items on your altar.

How:

  • Consider Earth-Friendly Cleansers: If you are concerned with synthetic or abrasive chemicals coming in contact with spiritual items, research essential oil based recipes.

Other Ways to Change Things Up:

  • Fresh Flowers: Easy to do and a way to strengthen your connection to the Earth.
  • Seasonal Candles or Crystals: A simple way to change with the seasons.  Consider shape candles and rough cut stones.
  • Altar Clothes: Inexpensive and great for dinged-up tables.

© Ariadne Woods

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A Lifetime of Choices

Not all of Scott Cunningham’s Thirteen Goals of a Witch deal with strictly Craft or Wicca-related matters.  “Breathe and Eat Correctly,” “Exercise,” etc.  In this he suggests cultivating a lifestyle as well as a vibrant spiritual practice.  Cover all the bases, if you will.  Not that he’s specific about what it means to, for example, “eat correctly.”  Scott isn’t all like “All Pagans should eat lots of kale and never have a bowl of ice cream.”  He leaves wiggle room for personal needs and interpretations.

Cultivating a good lifestyle incorporates a bunch of different things: nutrition, exercise, stress release, intellectual stimulation, sex, employment, space clearing, organization, aromatherapy, relaxation, financial stability, keeping on top of health issues, taking vitamins and supplements, sleep, social interactions, family life, education, and the list goes on and on.  It’s putting thought into the way you do things, from getting up in the morning to falling asleep at night.  Life is too short not to put some thought into it.

What I think Scott is advocating is to incorporate these ideas with a spiritual practice.  Everything is connected, so it is reasonable to assume that balancing your checkbook has ramifications in the spiritual world.  I can testify to this fact.  For example this morning, I was meditating and the person on my tape instructed to connect with the Heart Chakra.  As many of my readers know I’ve experienced some heartbreak recently, so this was extremely difficult for me to do.

Lately I’ve been thinking about the lifestyle choices I have made, even the little ones.  To buy fresh-cut flowers every week because they make me happy.  To not use Earth-friendly shampoo because it makes my hair greasy.  To meditate as both a spiritual practice and a relaxation technique.  To not call my mom back sometimes because she drives me nuts.  To move to a new city for school at the sacrifice of close proximity to friends and family.  What impact do these choices have on my spirit?

Take a good, long look at the routine you’ve built.  Do you like it?  If not, think about what you can do to change it, even if it is buying flowers to make you a little happier.

© Ariadne Woods