Cleansing Protocols

Distrust anyone who doesn’t take spiritual and ritual cleansing/purification seriously. That’s my general rule of thumb, largely because it shows that, for whatever reason, they either aren’t taking what they’re doing seriously, or they haven’t been fully or properly trained. I cannot emphasize the importance of cleansing too much. It is one of THE single most important things you can do, right up there with regularly honoring your dead. 

As I said recently on twitter, the only people I’ve ever had whine and bitch about cleansing, purification, and the need to avoid miasma are those too polluted to be able to stand to be in spiritually clean space with integrity. That’s actually a thing too. I think some people are so mired in the shit of this world, so miasmic, so polluted, so disconnected from the holy that clean, ordered, holy space feels bad to them. It’s one of the saddest things I’ve seen. 

There are a number of reasons to be concerned about spiritual pollution and it’s incredibly easy to wash it away. 

  • Firstly, it can really cloud and clutter one’s spiritual discernment.
  • It can affect one’s health and well-being.
  • It can exacerbate depression and anxiety.
  • It can damage one’s luck. 
  • It can cause disharmony and arguments between friends, family, etc. 
  • It slowly occludes the devotional connections that we share with our Holy Powers. 
  • It can open one up to the influence of evil spirits and malefica. 
  • It makes it more difficult to connect when in sacred space and actually pollutes that sacred space. 
  • It is contagious and can affect others. 

I probably missed a few things but at the moment, these are the primary dangers that come to mind. Why, in the name of all that’s holy would you NOT want to deal with this? Miasma and spiritual pollution isn’t difficult to remove (there are exceptions to this but since most of us aren’t behaving like Pelops or Pentheus usually it’s not that hard!). 

Now, if you’re a spirit worker, priest, or other spiritual specialist, the requirements for cleansing might be a bit more intense, but still, it’s not rocket science. All it requires is a bit of mindfulness and consistency. 

Here are some things we do in my house to keep ourselves clean (this is not a comprehensive list). 

  • We take regular cleansing baths. There are any number of things that can be added to a cleansing bath to remove miasma. I usually combine salt (I like pink Himalayan salt, but any salt will do. Black salt is particularly strong for cleansings), beer (beer baths are awesome), milk, and khernips. I make the entire bath khernips. I might also add other things like a scented oil, Epsom salts (not for removing miasma but to help my old and aching joints), bubble bath, etc. So I combine cleansing pollution with regular bathing. 
  • I put a cup of khernips in every load of wash (yes, I also use detergent!).
  • Every morning we cleanse our head, heart, and hands with khernips. 
  • I wear protective charms and sometimes cover my head when I feel pollution is particularly bad. I also routinely cover my head when I pray. For the lay person, this can be as simple as wearing an evil eye charm or a Thor’s Hammer or other religious symbol. Cleanse it regularly and if you can, bless it. 
  • I vacuum and clean my house weekly (though it is cluttered), and khernips the hell out of it. 
  • We light candles, do fire blessings, and pray almost every night as a family. 
  • I pray regularly throughout the day. 
  • I khernips my bed whenever I make it. 
  • If I have been in a potentially problematic situation, I’ll change my clothes and asperse with khernips when I come home immediately. 
  • Then of course, before prayer and ritual, we again asperse with khernips or do some other cleansing. It’s simple and fairly easy. 
  • I try, but often fail, to make sure there are no dirty dishes left before I go to bed. There’s an ATR tradition about warding off a particular type of evil spirit if the sink is completely devoid of dishes. 
  • I bless the salt in the house and keep it in one large container in the kitchen and this is used for all our cooking and food. 
  • We regularly bless our food and drink. 
  • Before any divination or spiritwork, we do special prayers, offerings, and cleansings.

There are a few other things too that we do to protect our home. 

If we take our Gods seriously and understand that every time we step into ritual space we have the opportunity to reify Their creative process, then this isn’t too much. With the exception of what we do as specialists, which admittedly is more than the average lay person need worry about, cleansing away pollution and miasma is no more problematic than brushing our teeth, washing our face, and dressing in clean underwear every morning. Anyone who makes it more than that, who goes on and on about how problematic it is, how it’s a red flag, etc. etc., well, take a step back and look at why they’re saying that. Perhaps they themselves are so polluted that such cleansing rites are painful to them. Perhaps they have no desire to be truly clean before the Powers. Perhaps they have no respect for those Powers. Perhaps they are so mired in pollution and foulness that cleanliness seems aberrant to them. Or, perhaps they’re just assholes. 

About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on July 28, 2021, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Greetings from the Texas Gulf Coast, USA. Whenever you write about cleansing, I remember the story about your Mother – her home was so clean that nothing unclean would or could enter. She left a great legacy. Thank you for sharing her wisdom.

    Being a ‘shower-person’ the ritual bath idea takes the form of pouring the salts onto a wash cloth and scrubbing my body with it. There is also a meditation I do under the stream of water (Laguz).

    I use an aromatherapy diffuser to clean our space. My “go-to” essential oil for really aggressive cleansing is Palo Santo. When a new ritual item enters our home, my roommate smudges it with Palo Santo and leaves it out over night.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. At one of John Michael Greer’s blogs, he fields questions about cleansing and demons. Apparently, a lot of Neo-Pagans and others get in over their heads and have dirty auras. Or sometimes imps attached to them.

    I always do a full house cleaning every Lemuria with pots and pans banging and smoking with cedar. Of course, a part of Roman piety is cleanliness. So that is second nature to me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • ganglerisgrove

      Yep. J.M. Greer is seeing precisely the same shit I am. It’s what happens when someone steps up filthy as hell. as I tell all of my apprentices and the only one who has ever complained about it is one who was grossly polluted.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Anyone know where I can get a good batch of Natron? Or do I need to just get Washing Soda? I used to get some from Soma Luna but they have been out for a while (@ $1.10/oz it’s a steal! )

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  4. Want to hear something you won’t be surprised about?

    Someone tried telling me the other day that they believe miasma is a modern invention. Guess who said that? I did some digging and it was the kid who has been doxxing Polytheists we know on that Hellenismos blog. Surprise, surprise…

    Liked by 1 person

    • ganglerisgrove

      I think that many people are servants of evil, of the Enemy, that which aligns itself against the Gods — whatever you might call it (the Kemetic name I was taught is ISfet, I just call it the Enemy). They may not consciously know it, but they serve it well and part of that service is destroying, mocking, and attempting to corrupt anything that would help people stay clean of its pollution. Avoid the impious. Avoid them like the plague. Counter their bullshit when you find it, but consider them contagious as hell. Don’t be afraid though — our Gods are stronger than any of that wicked Bullshit.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I won’t be afraid. Not now, not ever. Especially not of that person. I won’t gossip but I learned some things that were quite telling about them by their own admission…

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      • That is something to think about. The Enemy. One FB group called which has Pagans in the name discusses how miasma is something that is made up. That it is something that people get weird over.

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  5. ganglerisgrove

    They don’t matter, Marcus. The garbage out there simply doesn’t matter. don’t give it space or you will be distracted from the rightful work of honoring the Gods. THAT is the only thing that truly matters: clean veneration of the Holy Powers and all the ways that transforms us.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. ganglerisgrove

    neptunesdolphin, let me be extremely frank: that fb group calling miasma/pollution made up…they’re idiots.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t understand the willful obtuseness on this issue. It smacks to me of laziness, as well as ignorance of their own religious traditions. We clearly have substantial evidence in a wide plethora of cultures and religions from antiquity (as well as in continuously observed religious traditions) that there were codified and ritual occurrences of cleansing. Like the practice of lustratio in areas dealing with the religious traditions of ancient Greece and Rome. In Northern Tradition heathenry we see aspects of it survive in stories and folk traditions about boundaries between sacred and profane space. In some denominations of Christianity you have a cantharus used to ritually clean yourself as you transition from the outside profane space into the holy ground of the church. We see it survive to the present day when Hindus take to the Ganges to ritually bathe, or during the rite of abhisheka where the deity’s idol is ritually cleansed. Misogi in Shinto practice. And this is but a mere scratching of the surface.

    Trying to pretend this doesn’t have importance is as ridiculous to me as those in the Northern Tradition who like to ignore the substantial evidence about bowing, kneeling, prostrating or some other similar observance to the gods. Kjalnesinga saga tells us the story of Bui who arrogantly didn’t want to prostrate himself in front of idols of the gods in Iceland. He was charged with átrúnaður (false religion) by the son of the temple goði, and the charges resulted in Bui being judged and outlawed. So, to summarize the refusal to prostrate before the Heathen gods was a criminal act.

    People need to pull their heads out of their asses, I don’t know why this is triggering. Is it triggering to go take a bathe after being hot and sweaty before dressing up for a nice dinner? No. What’s next, are they gonna shun soap and water too?

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Ooooh I love washing the clothes with khernips and asperes some on your bed each time you make it! That’s fantastic, I’m definitely going to start doing that!

    My cleanising practice is more involved because I am not just a spiritworker, but I work in a feild where I am surrounded by death and people approaching that final threshold(nursing home) I’ve been firming up my shields and through trial and error, learning what works and what doesn’t. I pray and cleanse every morning before work. I TRY to do it every morning, even on days I stay home, but I admit that I don’t every time. I at LEAST sage when I get home. I’ve been developing a routine of prayers and offerings at the ancestor shrine each time a resident a does actually pass over, and then after the prayers more extensive cleansings. I also am fond of Uncrossing Oil, so much I’ve been known to wear it behind my ears like perfume, lol.
    Yeah, I’m too much of a sponge to be able to do my job if I didn’t know how to cleanse. Even if I wasn’t doing it out of piety and respect for the Deities and ancestors, I don’t understand why people wouldn’t want to do it for the personal benefits alone.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I walked away from a temple community I used to belong to over precisely this issue: I saw major psychological and spiritual changes for the worse overtake the personalities, speech, and behavior of the senior officiating clergy. It infected them to the point that they abandoned, and saw no need to ever perform again, the cleansing ceremony that preceded each of our rituals that were open to the public. So total strangers with unclear intentions, people not vetted by anybody, were encouraged to come in off the street into a private residence and not only did those strangers never undergo cleansing, the formerly required, tradition-mandated energetic work needed to establish the sacred space to house the rituals were subsequently deemed by this clergy to be “silly” and “a waste of time” and discarded. After witnessing two such consecutive public rituals (without participating in them because I warded myself and went into an adjacent space to observe), I walked away and deleted and blocked the temple members’ phone numbers and emails from my phone. I underwent weeks of expiatory cleansings. I’ve never looked back and my life is all the better for having those toxic people absent from it. I’m much more discerning about where and how and with whom I choose to share my energies; it’s good to lean into my Virgo Sun Sign’s penchant for aloofness. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

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