Space clearing is a ritual found in almost every traditional or native culture in the world. It is a powerful skill that enables the practitioner to change the atmosphere of the home from one of stagnant chi to one of vibrant health, promoting and spiritually enhancing chi. In traditional cultures, space clearing, or having your home blessed, has always been considered a vital measure when moving into a new home. In the West, it is more likely to be linked to having a good spring clean, a housewarming party or to have your local priest bless the home.
Typically, when the body's own chi becomes acutely stagnant, symptoms can include irritability, tiredness, lack of enthusiasm or stamina, and depression. Given that we are active beings and that the condition is acute, it is relatively simple to change stagnant chi. A good night's sleep, a bracing walk, a cool shower or a hot drink can all change your chi relatively quickly. However, the chi of a building can take much longer to change as it absorbs stagnant chi on a much deeper level. Building materials such as bricks, concrete, steel, stone and wood are much more yang than people, taking longer to absorb energy and longer to discharge. A simple way of being aware of this chi is to visit any major public building -- a library, hospital, church or town hall. Over the years, the chi energy related to the activity of the occupants has slowly been absorbed into the building. The atmosphere can be totally different from that of a fairly modern primary school where the materials used are lighter and softer -- more yin -- and where the occupants, children, are vital, fresh, curious, energetic and stimulating to the environment.
The purpose of space clearing is to break up any stagnant chi within the home, refresh it, stabilize it and 'announce' your presence. Here are some practical examples of space clearing that could be considered a vital part of uplifting the chi of your home, clearing the way to a bright fresh future on your journey.
PRACTICAL SPACE CLEARING
1. CLEARING THE PREDECESSOR CHI
When you move into a new home or office, it is important to consider who occupied the space before you. Their health, happiness, and chi has all rubbed off in the space. Even if the new home is stripped bare of all the furnishings, their chi will still remain. This predecessor chi will be strongest where they slept, where they sat, and along the 'pathways' that they created as they walked around the rooms, On the other hand, there will be parts of the room or home that they did not use. This could be a spare bedroom or a corner of a room where a piece of furniture stood that hid a corner, thereby not allowing chi to circulate easily.
I have often been curious whether political leaders have considered using space clearing. Imagine moving into the White House or 10 Downing Street not only as a new leader but with a new party that had previously been in opposition. In some cases, immediately after the elections, the new party takes office in exactly the same space as their predecessor. Apart from changing the furniture, having a good party and probably a few laughs at their predecessor's fate, what do these leaders do to bring their new intention to the space?
2. AFTER PHYSICAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL ILLNESS
If you or someone in your home has been ill for a considerable period, the vibration of the home will be affected. When someone is seriously ill at home, the daily routine is affected, the occupants' social life is often inhibited and there is an atmosphere of stillness, quietness and nervous apprehension. For the person who has been ill, there may have been suffering, pain and anxiety. For the occupants who share the space, their energy naturally becomes more subdued.
In the same way that a good traditional nurse would fling open the curtains in the morning, make you get out of bed while they refresh the sheets and puff up the pillows, open the windows, and bring in fresh flowers, we need to change the chi. Space clearing after physical or psychological illness will undoubtedly improve the chi of the home and set the tone for a fresh, bright future.
3. AFTER BIG LIFE CHANGES
Stress from today's hectic lifestyle can affect all of us. The most powerful causes of 'dis-stress' include divorce, bereavement, end of a relationship, loss of job or change of career. Once we have come to terms with our grief, frustration or anger, it is time to move on. Rather than living in an atmosphere of chi that is charged by the past, it is important, when appropriate, to go forward. There is no progress to be had in hanging on to the past and, from a Feng Shui point of view, what we are actually hanging on to is chi. There is no physical presence of the person we have lost, no physical manifestation of the job we may have lost or have changed. These memories only lie within ourselves and they can manifest in our chi which, in turn, can be absorbed by our environment.
4. AFTER CONFLICT IN THE HOME
Burglary or, worse, assault in your home creates an atmosphere of chi that needs to be cleared. The space has been violated and many people report feeling uncomfortable when entering their home after such an event. On a lesser level, if you have had violent arguments within the home recently, these have undoubtedly left their mark on the atmosphere. Constant bickering and fighting for months or years on end allows this negative chi to seep into the space and almost create an atmosphere that supports further disharmony.
5. MAKING A FRESH START IN LIFE
Having a clear idea of where you want to go and what you want to do is fine, but unless this is supported by your surroundings, you may feel that your path is easily blocked. Setting the tone for a new enterprise or relationship can be vital to its success. It is very easy to separate work from home in our minds. Imagine you have been promoted at work; you are excited and feel challenged about it. Naturally, you will know what to do from the work point of view but what can your home environment provide to support you in this process? Your work, creativity and potential outside of the home is naturally supported by where you live. As with any new relationship, clear away the past cobwebs to allow fresh new possibilities into your life.
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WHAT IS INVOLVED
THERE ARE AS MANY different methods of space clearing as there are cultures in the world. The rituals that have been used include the use of herbs, chants, potions, symbolism, spiritual ceremonies, blessings, sacrifices, gifts, fruits, plants, holy water and sometimes the timing of the event to coincide with the planets or moon cycles. Space clearing can be drawn from the Native American medicine wheel, Celtic ceremonies, early Christian rituals and Balinese methods. For further insights into how to utilize space clearing in your lives, I highly recommend Karen Kingston's book Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui or Denise Linn's book Sacred Space.
There are usually three steps involved in space clearing.
Firstly, it is vital to give the home a really good spring clean and, at the same time, remove all clutter. Following on from this is the use of ritual to further purify the space. This can involve any of the following four elements:
1. Water -- holy water, energized water or purified water;
2. Fire -- candles or an open fire;
3. Earth -- plants, flowers, crystals or salt;
4. Air -- essential oils, incense, feathers, Native American smudge sticks, bells, drums, music or chanting.
Offerings are usually made by placing these elements in different parts of the home. A skilled practitioner will usually start at the front door, moving from room to room, using one of the Air elements, such as incense, drumming or chanting to move the chi.
The second step, once the space has been cleared, is to refine and uplift the atmosphere of the home. This is usually done with a good quality bell, or with music, clapping, prayer or chanting.
The third and equally vital step, is to set the 'intention' of the space. Once the space has been cleared, it has been raised to a higher vibrational level and, rather like a void, is ready to be filled. This moment provides an opportunity to set the tone of the new space. Chi energy will always follow intention. Some kind of ceremony is important now to establish this. This is often carried out by standing at the centre of each room and allowing your energy to expand and fill the space while, at the same time, declaring your intention.
Space clearing is not recommended when your chi is low or you feel run down or ill. It is never wise to space clear someone else's home, as this is much better left to a professional.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Destiny Books,
a division of Inner Traditions International. ©2000.
Feng Shui for Life: Mastering the Dynamics between Your Inner World and Outside Environment
by Jon Sandifer.
Feng Shui for Life grounds the reader in the underlying principles of Oriental Medicine and Feng Shui, then explains the Japanese system of 9-Star Astrology, which is essential to understanding the powerful influences of the stars on both Feng Shui and personal destiny. It includes complete guides to arranging your home and your lifestyle in ways most appropriate for who you truly are, and even discusses concepts rarely considered by Feng Shui consultants, such as electromagnetic pollution and clearing a space of negative energy from past occupants. Numerous anecdotes from Jon Sandifer's 20 years of practice help make it a simple matter to quickly put the powerful effects of Feng Shui to work in all areas of your life.
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About the Author
JON SANDIFER is a longtime consultant in Eastern healing traditions including Feng Shui, 9-Star-Ki Astrology, Oriental diagnosis, acupressure, and shiatsu. His other books include Feng Shui Astrology, and Zen and the Art of Cooking . Jon was the chairperson of the Feng Shui Society. He passed away in 2012.