They say a clean home is a happy home, but perhaps the same can be said that a cleansed home makes for a happy person.
Our home is often a reflection of who we are, both physically and spiritually. And while we want our homes to be joyous and comforting, sometimes negative energies can find their way in.
Perhaps you’ve moved into a new apartment and something feels off, or your home still carries the emotional weight of a loved one who passed away there. Whatever it is that’s causing a negative energy in your dwelling, there are ways to give yourself, and your home, a new beginning.
Lorrie Webb Grillo, certified feng shui practitioner at Thriving Spaces in Denver, Colorado, explains that negative energies in homes can vary from person to person, and even room to room.
“Have you ever walked into a room where someone was in a heated argument? Most of us can immediately tell that something uncomfortable was going on; the air feels charged,” Webb Grillo says. “That’s the impact of negative energy.”
She notes that negative energy can manifest itself as a “heavy” feeling in the air and even as dulled sounds in spaces where the energy is “murky.”
Cleansing Negative Energy
This is where the art and science of feng shui—and how it can help cleanse negative energies—comes in. “In feng shui, we believe that everything is alive with energy and everything is connected, hence our homes have energy and we are in a relationship with them,” Webb Grillo says.
In other words, how one person copes with a negative space can vary wildly from that of another, and so will their cleansing methods.
The first part of any negative energy cleansing, she says, must begin with acknowledging that it’s there and the root of what caused it.
For instance, when it comes to a household that has experienced a death, the energy “is usually that of sadness and grief, which are not necessarily negative, as they are appropriate for the experience,” Webb Grillo says. “The space cleansing involves acknowledgement, expression of farewell and release.”
Let’s say you’re dealing with getting rid of the energy an ex-lover left behind. “The energy is held in some of the ex’s things—and removing their stuff is a powerful and successful way to release negative energy,” Webb Grillo explains.
While you can practice cleansing on your own (more on that in a bit), experts like Webb Grillo are often called in to help those who need guidance. After the feng shui consultant is told about the negative energy and what caused it, a ceremony takes place.
“I usually write out the ceremony in advance with some information from the participants and make sure that they have time within the ceremony to express themselves,” she says. “It is most powerful when they speak their stories and acknowledgments aloud.”
Using a process from Denise Linn’s book Sacred Space, Webb Grillo abides by these four steps for a ceremony: preparation, purification, invocation and preservation.
“This means you prepare yourself and the space for the clearing, you determine what it is you are clearing, you are grateful for what you are asking to bring in, and you ‘invoke’ or acknowledge that you have done so and have something in the space to preserve the cleansing,” she says.
So, a cleansing can vary from removing items that carry a negative energy (like your ex’s clothing or furniture that belonged to a deceased loved one) to bringing in new, positive things in (like a plant or a crystal, which Webb Grillo says “can preserve a space and encourage a fresh energy to circulate.”)
Tools to Clear Negative Energy
Even if you don’t use a feng shui consultant, you can create your own ceremony, as well as incorporate helpful tools into your cleansing.
“The burning of sage or incense literally eats up the oxygen in the space and this clears [negative energy] out,” Webb Grillo says. You can also get this from candles (a natural one, without synthetic scents) or essential oils. “Citrus oils bring in fresh, positive energy,” she says.
If you don’t want to burn sage for a cleansing ceremony, Webb Grillo recommends that you “leave a bowl of sea salt in a silver dish to sit and absorb” what’s hanging in the negative space.
“Leaving the salt there for a week would be a good time frame, then washing it down the sink, acknowledging that the salt holds the ‘old’ energy that is being discarded,” she says.
And, believe it or not, something as simple as clapping or ringing a bell “can be a great way to bring a fresh energy” into a space harboring negativity, she says.
While a ceremony with a feng shui expert can take about an hour, Webb Grillo notes that if you do it on your own, it can be even shorter, but the positive results can last a lifetime. Plus, space cleansing doesn’t have to be a one-time thing! Whenever you feel any sort of negative energy, whether it’s one corner of a room or your entire home, you can practice the art of feng shui and cleansing.
“When our homes are cleared and cleansed, we feel uplifted and happier, [we are] able to achieve our dreams and goals,” she says, “That’s what feng shui helps us to accomplish.”