Recently, I was asked to participate in an exorcism and cleansing of a house that had something nasty stuck inside it. I won’t go into all the details, especially since it was a group effort between me and some of my colleagues, but it turned out rather well for the stuff we had done. Long story short, the first thing we did was neutralize the demon (more properly, a shade of the dead that had twisted itself into a creature of hate and loathing) and trapped it. With the major source of the astral ick isolated, we collectively went around the house, blasted away most of the negative energies in the place, introduced nice and pleasant energies, and sealed off the property by setting in place some protective charms around the property. I did something similar to this for a few friends’ a while back, which operated on most of the same principles, but which didn’t have nearly as bad as an astral ick as this place did.
For my friends and I, the process of cleansing a house is a lot like doing dishes. Imagine, dear reader, that you have some kind of cooking implement, like a large pot, that’s been sitting there for a while. You used it once way back when and let it sit in the sink for god-knows-how-long, and it smells. Not only that, but the leftover food in it has probably started to mold and attract roaches, making your kitchen a rather unsavory and unhygienic place to be. Left for even longer, the situation only ever gets worse, and eventually you’re gonna have to take care of that. Barring terrible cooking experiences, the easiest time to take of things is just after you finish them up, lest any residue or grime build up on itself. Sometimes, you just don’t have the time to wash things, or sometimes things are just too bad to clean on one’s own. In these cases, you need to actually work in several stages to get the pot to its original clean state: removing anything that’s causing the stink or grime or mold to get worse, scour the pan thoroughly, wash it and make it pretty again, then dry it and keep it dry until further use is needed.
Similarly, performing a thorough banishing or exorcism of a house, person, or place requires several steps:
- Blast out the causes of the ick. It’s hard to take care of symptoms if the underlying cause isn’t fixed first. If there’s any bad problem entity in the place, get rid of it, whether by entreating it to leave, asking higher powers to make it leave, or banishing/trapping it yourself. Contain it, limit it, loosen its grip on the place, do what you need to to get this thing gone. Depending on one’s method, this could be a short or long process, simple or complicated (as in anything else with magic). This is like prying off the big chunks of food that’ve been molding and attracting bugs to the pan.
- Scour any residual ick. Now that the thing that’s causing the influx of astral ick is dealt with, it’s time to clean up whatever’s left over. Take some good banishing incense, belt out a license to depart for whatever’s there that shouldn’t be, light all the candles and turn on all the lights, and wipe out whatever darkness, defilement, impurity, filth, plague, curse, crossing, or whatever is left. Get rid of it all. It helps to actually clean the house in addition to cleansing it: sweep, vacuum, mop, dust, wipe, the whole nine yards. Get rid of any and all dirt and grime, material and spiritual. In dishwashing terms, after the big chunks are gone, it’s time to take a scouring pad or brush to the rest of the pan to get it all decent for actual cleaning.
- Cleanse, purify, and brighten the place. Now that the place is cleared out, it’s time to make it pretty again. Light some blessing, prosperity, happiness, or healing incense, bless the place with light, play some good music, tell some good jokes, laugh around the place, have a small low-key party for yourself. Make your place livable and enjoyable again, now that the bad crap is out. This would be when you take some pleasant dish soap and gently clean the pan with a sponge, making sure to cover it all in sanitizing, sweet-smelling, wholesome goodness.
- Seal in the purity and seal off the place. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste by letting bad stuff in right away. Now that your domain is clean and clear, keep it that way by erecting some defenses. Stake out the corners of your property, ask for help from the spirits of the land or angels, set up shields and wards, anoint all points of entry with protective oil, and keep the place locked down from any incoming ick and open to any incoming shinies that are actually good for you. After all, after you finish cleaning that nasty-ass pan, you carefully set it to dry and remain sanitized and keep it away from any other dirt and grime.
The process is simple, really, and implementing it could be as easy or as difficult as you want to make it and as the situation calls for it. For example, my friends took care of blasting out the demonic presence and trapped it on their own, and all I could volunteer was my lil’ Solomonic triangle to make sure it was kept locked down. To scour the place out, I lit a consecrated candle in each room of the house and went around the whole house with a censer filled with tear gas-like banishing incense (star anise, black pepper, habanero pepper, basil, asafoetida, dragon’s blood, etc.) while crying out “BEGONE, BEGONE ALL EVIL SPIRITS”. Though it smelled terrible and made us all cough (even me, wearing a thick handkerchief on my face), it definitely cleared the place out of most of the residual gunk that had built up in the place. To cleanse it after scouring the house, I went around with a bottle of blessing and cleansing water (lemon ammonia, holy oil, Florida water, peace water, champagne, etc.) with us all telling jokes, singing songs, and laughing about the place. We afterward went out to a fire pit in the back yard and each threw a handful of blessing incense on it (frankincense, copal, rose, lavender, bergamot, vervain, allspice, nutmeg, olive leaf, bay leaf, etc.) and let the smoke waft all in and around the house. We went around the house afterward and nailed in four large iron nails on the corners of the property, anointed with Fiery Wall of Protection oil and other materials and wrapped in warding and shielding signs, and linked them all together spiritually in the center of the property. All in all, the process took maybe a little over an hour. Smooth, solid, and fast work, all things considered.
The only thing we had no control over was, as ever, the human element. Just like how dishes remain only as clean as you make them and only for as long as you let them, it’s up to the people who live at the house to keep it clean, pure, and safe. The way we set up the wards, no bad stuff could enter their space so long as they didn’t let it in or start shit themselves. If that’s done, the things they’ll cause will have as much access as they will to their space, not to mention their own emotions and troubles they have to deal with. Still, with a bit of care and some minor consultation and advice, the human element isn’t hard to manage. It’s like repeatedly finding a dish in the sink that your roommate uses constantly but always forgets to wash after using it; no matter how clean you make it and want it to stay, unless it’s actively kept clean, it won’t stay that way.
Maintaining purity is something that has to be actively done on multiple levels over time; it’s not just a one-time thing. You don’t take a single shower in your life and be done with it; you don’t wash a single dish and expect it to remain clean forever; you don’t banish a place once and expect it to maintain purity forever. It has to be kept up and protected, touching things up here and there, to make sure that nothing gets too out of hand. Working with a set of forces amenable to housekeeping like this is a good idea; the angels are always helpful, as are land spirits who are usually more than willing to keep their own turf happy and pleasing. Maintaining your own purity and authority is a good idea, too, especially if you plan to be up against anything powerful and malevolent, since you may have to apply elbow grease of a pugnacious variety in order to get shit done. Still, it’s better than living with roaches, leeches, or mold everywhere.