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Space Clearing

By Alex Stark. Copyright and all rights reserved.

Space clearings are procedures designed to change the qualitative content of an environment. They can be performed to prepare a space or a site for habitation; to revitalize the energies of a space exhausted by use, stress, or suffering; to shift the energies of a space for a new or different purpose, and to dispel malaise, disease, unwanted spirits, or other detrimental forces. Clearings should be performed whenever a negative event (such as sickness, loss of fortune, accidents, death) has transpired that may affect the quality of the space.

In addition, spaces should be cleared regularly in order to insure optimal conditions. The value of space clearing lies in its inherent ability to regenerate and revitalize environments for success. All spaces accumulate energy from their surroundings. This includes cosmic forces as well as the ordinary events of life. Hence, if a space is subjected to positive influences, it will tend to hold that charge and therefore energetically assist those living or working within. On the other hand, negative influences or events will have the opposite effect. Clearings are specifically designed to address this imbalance and to return the space to its original pristine condition.

A Blessing, on the other hand, is a ritual process, usually performed in conjunction with a clearing, in which the practitioner invokes the powers of the Cosmos to aid in creating the most auspicious environment for the performance of the task envisioned for the space. Typically blessings are performed by trained spiritual practitioners and require extensive familiarity with these special powers.


All clearings involve the transmutation of one energetic reality into another. In Nature this occurs seamlessly and is part of Nature’s order. Rain, for example washes accumulated debris and also ionizes the atmosphere so that the environment can regenerate itself. Although the fundamental characteristic of rain is yin, it serves to bring about the yang of germination and growth. Lightning performs a similar function, tipping the scales from accumulated yin in clouds into the yang of thunder, and bringing in the rains that make fertility possible. Fire (yang) is another purifier, as it consumes wastes (yin) and often serves to make forests more fertile and crops more abundant.

It can be seen from these two examples that for energy to transmute there must be a shift of phase, a movement from one place in the yin/yang polarity toward another. How much this energy shifts is part of the process and must be managed carefully, as the resulting balance may not be propitious for the purposes desired. Brush fires, for example, are one case in which fire can go out of control, threatening the very web of life it otherwise supports.

Consequently, in order to perform a successful space clearing, it is important to know what the quality of the desired result is to be. Clearing a space for the purposes of healing may require a different process and intention than clearing the same space for business. Using only one technique or approach may be counterproductive, as each technique or procedure has been refined over time to create a result within a range of possibilities.

To determine which technique to use it is useful to think variously in terms of yin and yang polarity, 5-element theory, the I Ching, the Native American medicine wheel, the Kabala, or any other conceptual tools that describe reality in terms of its qualitative content. Knowing where in the spectrum of these various systems you start from and where you intend to end up is critical to the success of the procedure. For example, if you are clearing a space after the death of a person, the tools you use may vary depending on whether you intend to clear the space for a hyperactive child, a business, or for a shrine. Similarly, it makes a difference whether the departed person in this example died peacefully or after a long ailment with much suffering.

Clearing without a sense of the end result is akin to administering one medication for all ailments. On the other hand, with experience it is possible to adjust techniques to specific situations. In general terms, for example, it can be said that the energy needed for a successful business should approximate a ratio of 3/5 yang to 2/5 yin, whereas a bedroom or a place of rest should be closer to the opposite. By the same token, a place of business needs to have more metal as part of its energetic charge than a residence, so the clearing process needs to take this into account.


Despite the differences in the approach mentioned above, it is possible to schematize clearing procedures into basic processes. The steps involved include the following:

1. Evaluate the energetic “profile” of the space to be cleared.
What evidence is there that the space is or is not functioning optimally? Is the space calm or agitated, life-affirming or stagnant? If there are problems in the energy of the space, where in the space are they, and why are they there? Is the energy stagnant or even malignant? Could this disfunction be caused by other factors such as architectural layout, electro-magnetic radiation, geopathic stress, or bad feng shui? What is the history of the space, the site, and its previous occupants? Does the problem involve unwanted entities (ghosts, elementals, poltergeist)? What kind of karmic debt, if any, is involved in this particular case?

2. Determine the desired result
What is the end purpose envisioned for the space? Will the architecture and/or feng shui support this purpose? Are the users matched to this purpose? If not, what needs to be done to balance the situation? What is the energetic quality of the space needed to ensure success for its users? Which space clearing technique comes closest to delivering this energetic quality?

3. Physically clean the space
Although this step is usually undertaken by the client, it is nevertheless a very important part of the clearing. If done periodically, a physical cleaning may often be enough for periodic maintenance, especially if the environment is relatively stable to begin with. In addition to dust and grime, this part of the clearing must also deal with any accumulated clutter and debris. Only under exceptional circumstances (serious illness, death) can a clearing proceed without this step.

4. Determine whether you are fit to proceed with the clearing
A clearing demands a considerable expenditure of your own energy (particularly at the beginning of your career) and it is foolhardy to attempt one if you are physically, mentally, or emotionally unfit. In addition, you should not attempt clearings if you are bleeding in any way (including menstruation). It is also important to acknowledge fatigue, depression, or unhappiness and reschedule for a better day.

5. Center yourself and expand your awareness to include the totality of the space
This involves using the breath and calming the heart and mind to bring your self into balance with the Cosmos. You can also use calming mudras and mantras. It is also important at this stage to call any personal deities or allies to assist you. Once in a state of increased awareness and calm, you expand your aura (i.e. your energy body) and your consciousness so that you can perceive the totality of the space in all its dimensions. This is necessary whether you are clearing the space on site or remotely. Your aim is to connect directly to the space and its energy, history, and ideosyncracies. This information will enter your field of consciousness as a stream of images, sensations, feelings, or knowing. Trance visualizations and shamanic journeying can also be used, but these may require special tools and circumstances.

6. Announce your presence and intentions
This can be done mentally or out loud. The point is to let the space know you are there and that you intent to proceed with a space clearing. It is important at this point to recognize that the space has a consciousness of its own and that it may resist your efforts to clear it. Under no circumstances are you to proceed with the clearing if the space makes it clear you are not welcome. Your goal is to encourage the space to accept you in order to proceed with the actual operation of the clearing.

7. Make offerings
Once it is clear that you can proceed with the clearing, the next step is to make offerings to the space as a gesture of thanks for the work it has been performing for the client as well as for its acceptance to the clearing process. This sets the stage for the clearing itself. Offerings can include flowers, incense, food, sweets, wines, liquors, and precious objects such as gems, crystals, or other valuables.

8. Break down resistant or stagnant energy
This stage involves breaking down the stagnant or resistant energies so that they can be disposed of properly. This can be done in a variety of ways. The most common involve the use of loud sound (clapping, rattles, drums, fire crackers), acrid smoke (sage, chen pei, camphor, copal, juniper), and elemental cleansers (salt, garlic, vinegar, realgar, cinnabar). This process is repeated until the undesirable energies have been broken down completely. It is important to note that most commercially available incense is not suitable for this part of the process, as its vibrational qualities are too refined to breakdown resistant energy patterns.

9. Release the stagnant energies into the environment
This is most effectively achieved by opening the space to the outside. Air and wind are vital to this process as they carry away the residue dislodged by the loud sounds or the smoke. Opening doors and windows is therefore important when performing a clearing. In the case of elemental cleansers such as salt, garlic, or cinnabar it is necessary to dispose of these carefully, either by burying them in the earth of flushing them repeatedly down the toilet. All residues of the clearing process itself also have to be similarly disposed. The persons performing the clearing should also cleanse themselves (at least their hands). Once this is done, it is important to check and see if the process of breaking down the stagnant energies is complete. If it is not, the process can be repeated or adjusted as needed.


A Blessing is a ritual process, usually performed in conjunction with a Clearing, in which the forces of the Cosmos are invoked and requested to participate in the creation of the space envisioned. This can be achieved by invoking the participation of the primary elements of the Cosmos (earth, water, wind, fire); by invoking the manifestations of these elements in Nature (thunder, mountains, lakes, sacred places); or by invoking Higher Spiritual Powers to assist in this process (angels, devas, animal allies, house spirits, deities, ancestor spirits).

Under no circumstances should the person or persons performing the blessing attempt to use their own power to achieve the blessing, as human power is not adequate to the task. Hence it is important to proceed with humility and reverence as the forces required for this task are considerable. It is also essential that the practitioner be fully conversant with the powers she or he is invoking. This familiarity is the product of much training and practice and is the result of daily contact with these forces. Often the practitioner will perform extensive meditations to this end. In certain cultures pilgrimages and vision quests are also required as a way to access these powers and the forces they represent.

Blessing with the Elements
In the case of a purification by Earth, use can be made of flowers, crystals, rocks, or any manifestation of this element, including the site itself. Rice and other foods are commonly used as well. Fire can be invoked with candles, incense, or bonfires. Water is best if activated through meditations or blessings, or if it is drawn from holy wells or springs. The Air element can be invoked with mantras, chants, prayers, and musical instruments such as bells, chimes, bowls, flutes or whistles. Although the use of these elements is common sense when viewed in this context, their actual participation is not often discussed in the literature, and in the case of blessings in organized religion, often denied. Nevertheless, they are at the very center of this process.

To invoke these powers, the practitioner must call them by name, reinforcing this invocation with pertinent gestures, prayers of symbols. Often blessing will involve elaborate mandalas or symbols such as the Christian Cross, the Indian Shriyantra, the Tibetan Kalachacra, or the Native American Medicine Wheel. In these and many other cases, these mandalas are sophisticated representations of the elements and their associated directions, seasons, times, and other attributes. Much of the sacred geometry also used in blessings has a similar origin in the elemental qualities of the Cosmos.

Blessing by Invocation of Higher Powers
Within the context of traditional systems, various deities and spiritual powers have been defined in order to tailor the blessing to the purposes required. The invocation of higher powers is a powerful affair and requires that the practitioner be fully conversant with the power invoked. In many cultures, consequently, certain powers are reserved only for the initiated, and certain types of blessings can only be performed by those practitioners conversant with that level of power. It goes without saying that extraordinary circumstances will require more powerful blessings, and that more common situations may be well performed by less trained individuals. In fact, in many tribal cultures, house rituals are relegated to the head of the household, who can perform clearings and blessings for the home.

Because deities and other spiritual entities exist at various vibrational levels, the selection of entities used must fall in line with the purposes to which the space is to be used. Invoking the Medicine Buddha, for example, may be appropriate in the case of a healing room, but inadequate for a retail shop. By the same token, invoking Fudo, the Japanese fire god may be a powerful way to set the energies of a financial trading room or an advertising agency, but not as useful in the room of an ailing child.


In general terms the Blessing will almost invariably involve an invocation of the powers to be called through a combination of the following:

1. Centering and calming the self in preparation for the invocation. Breathing, mantras and mudras are often used to this effect.

2. Meditational practices in which the power is visualized and asked to become present at the blessing.

3. The presence of the power itself, either in its pure form (water, flames, stones) or its representation through symbol (sacred geometry, mandalas, altars, statues, icons).

4. Gestures that are meant to evoke these powers (mantras, mudras, chants) and which are vibrationally linked to the energy of the element or deity involved.

In all cases, however, the practitioner will visualize the power invoked and call upon its assistance, specifying its role in the process and outlining the reasons for its requested participation. It is considered very important to be specific, as there are many other unwanted entities and energies which could take advantage of the moment to intrude upon the blessing for their own purposes.


Although I consider the Blessing to be a separate step in the overall process of clearing a space, the stage for this component of the procedure has been set through the selection of agents for the shake-down and the purification (see above). In the Blessing, however, even greater refinement is possible. The use of finer and finer bells, for example, can tune the space for higher and higher purposes. A gong, on the other hand, can be more useful if the space is to enhance material growth. Introducing colors at this stage is also useful, as each color has a different effect in the performance of the space.

By the same token, using flowers, additional scents, crystals or talismans can all contribute to the results, as the many varieties of each are endowed with distinct attributes. Red roses, for example, may be a valuable way of enhancing a marital chamber, but clear quartz may work better to neutralize a computer monitor. Coins and metal objects may be useful to promote prosperity, but may be inadequate to prepare a space for the death of a loved one.

One characteristic of all blessing techniques around the globe involves the use of sacred sounds, words, or chants, gestures, and meditations. By refining the use of these and experimenting with various combinations, practitioners of the sacred arts have been able to refine their approaches to cover many different situations.

By the same token, the proliferation of techniques from many traditions and cultures has allowed modern practitioners to create new combinations for specific situations that may not have existed in the past. Clearing and blessing the energy for a web site, for example, was a challenge I accepted a few years ago. Needless to say, I was totally unprepared for this task, as it had escaped the traditional approaches. Nevertheless, I was able to define a technique which was effective, and which enabled the client to create one of the most successful web sites in its category.

Another possibility that has opened up in recent times has been the use of sophisticated technology in the service of spirit and space clearing. Bionic devises of many types exist in the market today which can harmonize and rebalance spaces as well as help to counteract radiation, electro-smog, geopathic stress, and other anomalies.


Once the Clearing and the Blessing are finalized, it is recommended that additional offerings and thanks be made to the powers that have assisted in the procedure. As with all spiritual practices, engaging in ritual with humility and a sense of gratitude and mystery are effective ways to ensure success. Once finalized, all ritual implements are cleansed and properly stored. The space is then opened up to public use.


In general terms it can be said that clearings and blessings are required whenever a significant event has transpired in the life of the space’s occupants. These events can be of a negative or positive nature. Whereas it is evident that a death or an illness would require a clearing of the energies in a given space, fortunate events also require clearing, as the energy of exultation can, and often does, destabilize the balance of an environment. That is why births, initiations, and weddings all receive as much attention as funerals in traditional societies, and clearing rituals are performed at each.

Clearings and Blessings should also be performed whenever something new is about to transpire. Changing jobs, moving house, building a new structure, preparing for a journey, are all cases that come to mind. In many traditional societies it is customary also to clear space and make blessings during the Spring, as this is the time of year that brings growth and regeneration. By the same token, the time of the new moon is often favored, particularly in terms of fertility and prosperity. On the other hand, if the purpose of the clearing is to reduce rather than to augment, fall, or the time after the full moon, might be more auspicious.

Common sense also dictates that a space be cleared and blessed if a traumatic event has transpired. Accidents, deaths, crime, war, or emotional trauma are all such occasions. An angry outburst, or a moment of deep sadness is therefore also cause for intervention.

Clearings are imperative if the client is experiencing recurrent depression, suicidal thoughts, nightmares, insomnia, or unexplainable illness, although there may be other causes contributing to these anomalies. The presence of ghosts, poltergeist, or other abnormal psychic activity also warrant such interventions, although often these will have to be combined with other procedures such as soul retrievals, earth healing, or communal healing rituals.


In addition to intervention, it is necessary also to perform periodic maintenance of a space. This can involve a full clearing, although an abridged format may also be used. If the energies feel relatively well balanced, it may suffice to purify with incense, flowers, or other such agents. If altars are used, it is best to make this maintenance part of the daily rituals. Agents that break down energy can also be used, although excessive use of sage or camphor, for example, may make the space feel brittle and undermine the effects of the clearing. On the other hand, a mild agent such as lavender or garlic can be used repeatedly without major complications in most cases.


I like to categorize clearing and blessing techniques according to their effectiveness under varying conditions. Below are some of my favorite processes and the situations in which I find they are most effective. They are grouped in order of increasing abstraction, proceeding from rituals that involve extensive use of tools and processes, to those involving few if any tools or other external forms of ritual.

1. Native American Medicine Wheel
Native American techniques are very effective at harmonizing earth energies and spiritual energies associated with the directions, nature spirits, and animal allies. They are therefore useful when trying to connect to the site and its environs, and when the landscape as a larger entity is involved. I also use these techniques when ghosts are involved, particularly when these are due to construction on ancient burial grounds. Native American techniques are characterized by their use of sage as a cleanser, and of the drum and rattle as the primary tools of ritual.

2. Andean Pachamama Despachos and Apachetas
As with the medicine wheel, Andean rituals are excellent at harmonizing our relationship to the Earth. The construction of apachetas (cairns), in particular, is an effective way of clearing large geographical areas which may be resistant to techniques devised for interior spaces. Despachos, on the other hand involve the creation, burning and/or burial of small offering bundles which can have a remarkable effect on the energy of a space, and on the outcome of an undertaking. Used in conjunction they present one of the most complete and sophisticated systems for clearing and blessing I have ever encountered. Their use, however, requires extensive training and the rituals can last for many hours, if not days.

3. Shih Kan T’ang rock rituals
This Taoist ritual involves the use of rocks or stone markers to harmonize the energies of a site. Often these will be inscribed with mantras, symbols, or with special prayers and placed or buried in the appropriate spot. Their advantage lies in the fact that they can simultaneously clear energy problems and control geopathic lines. If the rocks are small enough they can become a form of portable protection. They are very effective in creating powerful and secure environments for living, working and carrying on spiritual practices.

4. Yu Wai Exterior Chi Adjustment
This Black Hat Sect ritual consists of casting rice specially blessed with refined liquor and cinnabar around the perimeter of a house. This gesture is conceived both as a way to “feed” the hungry ghosts that may interfere with a space, while simultaneously promoting abundance and elevating the chi of the space. Mantras and mudras are also used. This ritual is very effective to promote growth, harmony, and prosperity, and as a way of addressing predecessor problems, divorce, illness or bankruptcy.

5. Chen Pei Interior Clearing and Blessing
The Black Hat Sect ritual burning of orange peel is a very effective way to rebalance the energies of a structure, particularly if there have been problems with the previous occupants of the space. Although primarily used for the interior of a home, this ritual has applications in the exterior as well. It is also used in situations where there is evidence of influences from invisible sources such as entities of ghosts. It is very effective against energy that is draining, and when horrific events have transpired in the premises or its environs.

6. Sealing the Doors
This ritual is recommended when there may be difficulties that are threatening the space from the outside such as robberies, natural disasters, water problems, jealousies, etc. It can also be used to ward off evil and protects from curses. This process involves the use of realgar and liquor and is performed in combination with mantras, mudras and visualizations.

7. Balinese House Blessing Rituals
These rituals, popularized by Karen Kingston, usually involve the use of clapping to break down stagnant energy and toning with bells to purify and program the space for increased harmony. These are excellent for residences and to promote health and domestic well-being. They can also be used to create effective spaces for spiritual practice.

8. Assuming the form of Fudo
This is a Japanese zen clearing ritual that involves meditation upon the Japanese god of Fire. Although no tools are used, it requires the use of special mudras, mantras, and visualizations. It is an effective method when it is not possible to use ritual objects, as it depends primarily on the practitioner’s meditational prowess and personal chi. It is an excellent method for creating effective working spaces, and for setting the energy in a ritual space.

9. Meditations with Light
There are many such clearing processes, most of which are inspired by mystical practices in several traditions. They all involve the use of focused meditation and highly charged visualizations. They are very effective when the space is not accessible and the clearing must be performed at a distance. They do not involve any tools, although their use is not contradictory.

10. Heart Meditations
As with the techniques which involve Light, these methods make use of unconditional Love as their primary tool. I prefer to use these when there is difficulty in performing any form of ritual or when the situation calls for delicate manipulation. On the other hand, certain practitioners such as Eric Dowsett use these techniques to address all sorts of ailments, including geopathic stress. In Dowsett’s particular form, a pendulum is used to check results and monitor the process.


Since much of Clearing and Blessing involves the use of ritual tools, it is important to know how to keep these clear and energized as well. The guidelines below will work on furniture, musical instruments and other less durable objects such as feathers, cloth, or leather. For more complex tools such as crystals, bells, icons or power objects, it is necessary to use a different technique. See below.

1. Bring the object to be cleared to a clean, open space.
This can be outdoors, but indoors is fine too. Open a window.

2. Visualize the object to be cleared as being porous, almost transparent.
(Negative energy clings to the pores or filaments in the energy fabric of an object.)

3. With a burning smudge stick or with a quality incense, blow smoke over the entire object on all sides.
Imagine that the smoke is penetrating the object and filling in all of the pores, dislodging bad energy. Let the air carry the smoke and the negative energy out the open window.

4. Make loud clapping sounds.
Clapping with the hands is fine, although you can also use rattles, clappers or even fire crackers. The idea is to make very loud sounds. Imagine that all leftover negativity is being scared or pushed into leaving the object.

5. Ring a bell all around the object until the sound of the bells seem to be even and steady.
Often it is possible to hear a marked change in the quality of the sound as the object absorbs the vital energy released by the bells.

6. Keep your clearing tools in a clean dry place, away from traffic and bustle.


1. Bury the object in a bowl full of pure sea salt.
If you have access to the earth, you can bury it in dirt, sand or peat.

2. Leave buried for at least 24 hours.
If the object is depleted or its origin is questionable, you can leave it for longer. For serious cleansing one full moon cycle is ideal.

3. Recharge the object by exposing it to direct sunlight or moonlight.
Again, the period depends on the nature of the object and its intended use.

4. Power objects need to be kept safe from opportunistic forces.
Keep then in your main altar, covered, or out of sight. The more powerful the object the more it needs privacy. Unused object are better stored away.

5. For a quick recharge, spray with lavender, blow through it with intention, or, if you are more advanced in your practice, use your third eye or your hara

6. If you have access to a power place or a power altar, place the object in the appropriate direction and invoke the power of the source you are working with.


An altar is a representation of the Cosmos. It therefore needs to include the four elements that comprise our world. They are Earth, Water, Fire, and Air.

1. The cosmic elements can be represented by the following items:

Earth: a rock, a crystal, or any stone object
Water: a shell, a goblet with water, a water fountain, fish, wine
Fire: a candle, a feather, any image of a wild animal, esp the eagle
Air: incense, candles or any moving object such as a chime or mobile

2. The altar is set out on a special area: a table top, a shelf, or by isolating it on a tray, a piece of fabric, or a tile.

3. Altars must be used. If you do not use it it is best to put it away. It is OK to leave it unattended for a few days.

4. Altars can be used to help in any problem area. If is a prosperity altar, for example, you can add symbols of wealth such as coins, precious stones, or cash.

5. Process at an altar should follow the following steps:

Light the candle, the incense and take a deep breath. Work at slowing down your breathing. Use any meditations you may know to connect to higher power. Say a prayer.

Because the main mechanism to achieve goals involves gratitude, it is important to use the altar to give thanks. One good way to do this is to place any in-coming goods, gifts or money in the altar overnight so that the spirit world can take the essence of the item for itself. You can then use the gross value for yourself, your family, etc.Think of ways in which to give thanks. Some people like to place offering on the altar. These can include foods such as fruit and drinks such as wine. Think of the obvious and the not so obvious.

The best way to ask for something is to thank in advance for the gifts you are seeking, such as health, prosperity or happiness. Keep it simple. If you have a specific request be specific. Vague requests get vague answers. And remember, you cannot think one thing and produce another, so be aware of your thought patterns: if you think you are not prosperous, happy, etc., that is what you will become.

To close your altar blow out the candles and clean up if necessary. Make a vow to improve yourself in any way possible. You can also dedicate your day to the highest good or to any purpose you may think of that day.

It is important to be diligent with an altar. Try to use it often as the benefits to be derived from this practice increase over time and with practice. Have a good time!