Fall is fully upon us, gentle readers, at least here in the Midwest, where the leaves and temperatures are both dropping drastically. One of my goals for this season is to get my house, affectionately called The Hibernaculum, mundanely cleaned and magically blessed and protected before Winter sets in and I basically seal the doors until Spring.
Traditional witchy sources often recommend having your house 100% clean before you perform your house cleansing and blessing, and I get why: it makes sense that anywhere clutter, dust, or grime is present, stagnant energy and negativity can stick. Traditional witchy sources also often recommend having a good amount of focused ritual involved with your end-of-year cleansing and blessing, and again, I get why: intention is a very important part of both spellwork and soulwork. If you’re not focusing on raising energy and calling on the Powers that Be, the effect of your magic won’t be as strong.
Unfortunately, cantankerous fibromyalgic and arthritic bodies like mine don’t always cooperate with spirits, nor do minds that are dealing with a lot of change and upheaval, particularly around the Fall and Winter holidays. Physically, I can’t manage all the heavy work I’d like to do, and mentally, I can’t always get into the headspace I’d like to be in during the time I’ve got to clean. In fact, a realistic expectation of me keeping my house in order come January may involve me just stomping my foot and yelling “GET OUT, BAD VIBES!” while I drink a lot of tea and refuse to change out of my enormous and fuzzy bathrobe.
So, the long and the short of it is that I need to get my shit together now so I don’t have to expend extra energy on it later. But if I’m not starting with a pristine house or performing a full-blown and focused ritual, how can I make sure I’m getting the job done “right”?
- First, I’ve made a cleaning schedule that has broken it down into bits that I know I can reasonably do. I intend to do a good, hearty tidy all around over the next couple of weeks – not a heavy, furniture-moving cleaning, but dusting, vacuuming, mopping the floor, knocking down cobwebs, and wiping down the surfaces. Most of these jobs can be done a couple of days a week for an hour or less and will require just a few spoons at a time if I plan them well.
- Second, I’m going to apply a little bit of pre-made witchery to each half-assed step toward hibernaculum nirvana. I’ll start by doing a little kitchen/hearth witchery to create some enchanted cleaners and sprays to boost my power when it may be running low in the future.
- Next, I’ll work a Boundary Blessing Ritual around the outside of my home to make a sort of protective bubble for me to work within and to prevent any new bullshit from tracking on my spiritual carpet.
- Then, I’ll psychically cleanse and bless each room of my house while I physically clean it on the schedule my body and circumstance allows, using very simple spells to focus my attention as I work.
- Finally, at the very end of my tasks, I’ll open a door in the Boundary Blessing, shoo out any negativity I stirred up during cleaning, then perform an abbreviated version of the blessing again to seal the newly clean hibernaculum for the season.
It’s not the “traditional” way of locking things down for the season, but it’s the best I can do with what I’ve got – and if that’s not the definition of half-assed witchery, I don’t know what is. Today we’ll focus on what we need to get started, and next week we’ll hit the ground running…well, cleansing?…with the actual grunt work.
Prep work 1: Plan of Attack
There are many, many sources out there on the internet that can provide you with a pre-made housekeeping schedule or give you inspiration to make one of your own. I don’t intend to go deeply into that here, but the short version is that I’m going one room/area at a time, starting with my living room and ending with my kitchen.
Prep work 2: Potions
PLEASE NOTE: It’s ridiculous that such warnings must be posted, but achtung, baby: if you are worried about any of the cleaners or sprays below hurting any surfaces in your home, amend the recipes to something you trust or JUST DON’T USE THEM. Thank you for employing your common sense.
For my Boundary Blessing, I need a good potion that will keep all that is nasty and negative off my porch and out of my life. I concocted this Protection Spray using Katherine at Green Thickies’s 12 Herbs or Plants Best at Deflecting Negative Energy as a guide. Katherine goes into good detail as to what each of these herbs are good for deflecting, and since I had every one of them on hand, I decided to use them all for good measure. I mixed basil, sage, fennel, rosemary, eucalyptus, frankincense, oregano, clove, lavender, ylang ylang, vetiver, and sandalwood – 2 drops of essential oil or a sprig of the actual herb for each ingredient – in a spray bottle of plain old tap water. (Please remember that I am an herb hoarder and don’t feel bad if you don’t have all of these herbs or oils. Just add a few drops or pinches of any protection oil or herb you have, or use some salt water – in Half-Assed Witchery, it’s much more about intention and less about materials!) To make sure I’m using the spray with magical intent, I printed out the following blessing from Witches of the Craft and taped it to the bottle, along with the recipe for the spell components so I can refill it and reuse it as often as needed:
Blessings and honor to all who guard my boundaries
Blessings and thanks for your help and protection
May my property and dwelling be safe under your care.
I offer you friendship and blessings.
I wanted my home blessing cleaners to help me keep a strong connection with nature even while I’m stuck inside during the winter months, so when I ran across Amy Cesari’s interpretation of Scott Cunningham’s spell to invoke the Five Elements in a home blessing, I felt it was just what I was looking for. This is my own recipe that blends herbs and crystals that correspond to each element into one powerful potion. The magical ingredients for both the cleaner and the spray that I’m creating are the same – just the proportions are different, as you’ll see below.
Lady the Half-Assed Witch’s Five Elements Potion
Air: lavender and mica/fluorite to promote purification, mental sharpness, and relaxation
Fire: rosemary and carnelian/citrine for protection and memory
Water: lemon and aquamarine/rose quartz for cleansing, protection, and invigoration
Earth: patchouli and malachite/jade for prosperity and abundance
Spirit: vervain/lemon verbena and quartz to enhance magic power and magnify personal divinity
I will call in the Lysol spray if things get ugly, but for the most part, I’m using a little soapy water and a powder cleaner made by mixing 2 cups of baking soda with about 50 drops of essential oils (10 for each element) in a shaker bottle. (Old parmesan cheese containers work swimmingly for this purpose!) When I wipe down my kitchen, if I find tough grime on my countertop, I’ll sprinkle a bit of the mixture on and work at the stain with a sponge. When I vacuum my carpets, I will shake a light layer of the powder mix on the carpets and let it sit for 5 minutes in each room before I sweep it up – the carpets will be left nice and clean, the house will smell great, and I will have mixed a little magic into every room as I go. Bonus: this recipe makes enough for me to keep extra on hand so I’ll have help busting both the physical and psychic funk that can settle into our humble abode as the winter months drag on.
To help gather dust and keep things magical between cleanings, I want to keep a bottle of magical room freshener on hand, too. When I use my duster to tidy up and my broom to sweep my hard floors, I’ll give them a spray to help the dirt stick where it belongs and add a little boost of power. A little spritz in the air here and there will clear the energy of my home anytime I feel the need as well. This particular potion is made by adding about 25 drops of essential oils (5 for each element) to 9 parts of water and 1 part of vodka in a spray bottle. (The booze is a cheap add-in that helps the spray evaporate faster and diffuses the oils better. Witch hazel will also work if you like it better.)
On the labels for my potions, I’m including the recipes so I can make them again easily when needed. I’m also tying a tag on each one that includes couple of simple home blessings that I’ve adopted/adapted: one for a straight-up blessing of the home and one for Home Harmony, to be used as needed:
|Bless this home where I reside
Keep it safe from woe and harm
Watch over those who here abide
I make it so by will and charm.
— Deborah Blake, The Goddess is in the Details
|Powers that watch over me
Come and calm my home for me
Banish tension, let it flee
Free from stress we all shall be
Bless us all with peace and calm
Warmth and light, a healing balm
Confidence and joy let flow
So good in words and deeds can grow
Thanks and love to you we give
As you bless us well to live
So mote it be
— Lady the Half-Assed Witch (me), inspired by this spell on Witchery
Planning and Potion-Making are enough for today – make sure you come back for Part 2 of my hibernaculum preparation where I’ll discuss the cleaning and blessing proper next week!
What is your favorite home cleansing or boundary blessing spell? Let me know in the comments below or join the discussion in the Half-Assed Circle on Facebook.