Dealing with Negative Energy
I opened part one by talking about ghost hunting shows and how they ask Wiccans to cleanse locations of negative energy. This article will be about what negative energy is, where it comes from, and how to make it go away.
What Is Negative Energy?
Negative energy is exactly what it sounds like: energy that’s become toxic, or that’s dangerous in some way. It can be the result of a build up of bad experiences or bad emotions – a person who’s been badly hurt can get caught up in their own pain, and they begin to emit negative energy. Sometimes a terrible thing happened at a particular place, and the horror of it leaves a cloud of negativity.
This is something that’s commonly encountered at crime or accident scenes, anywhere a person might have died or been badly injured in a sudden and traumatic way. There’s also directed negative energy, where someone is actively wishing you ill, as in the case of a curse or a spell that’s intended to harm or control you.
In addition to people and places, objects can be full of negative energy. A knife that was used to stab someone, or a shirt that was being worn by someone who hated you, or a necklace that was given by someone with the intention of fulfilling a binding spell – all of these things can be very damaging because of the negativity stored up within them.
Negative energy can also be created by ghosts or malevolent entities. A lot of witches and Wiccans don’t actually believe in ghosts, but I do. I’ve seen and spoken with too many to deny their existence. Some negative entities are very dark and very dangerous, and some ghosts seem to carry clouds of sorrow or anger with them. These are powerful sources of negative energy.
Sometimes technology can create negative energy, as well. High levels of electromagnetic energy can have the same effect as negative spiritual energy, and will usually be found by power lines, transformers, fuse boxes and uninsulated wiring. In that case, you’ll usually need some sort of physical remediation to fix the problem, rather than the spiritual remedies this article is going to talk about.
Negative energy can be very dangerous. It can drain you, making you feel tired and sad. It can give you a headache, or make your muscles tighten to the point of tenderness or pain. It can make you sick. It can make a place seem like it’s full of shadows even in the light of the brightest day. In short, it’s bad news.
How Can You Detect Negative Energy?
As a pagan or witch or Wiccan, however you categorize yourself, you are already a psychically sensitive individual. Your instincts will let you know when there’s negativity around. You might feel sad or depressed.
In very bad cases, you might feel like you’re being watched, or worse, that something is hunting you. You might just get an instinctive “yuck” feel about a person or a place, or even an object that’s hanging on to negative energy.
I always depend on my own instincts to tell me when negative energy is present, but if you’d like something a little more external, there are actually several sources who promote what’s called the water glass test.
In order to test your environment for negative energy, these sources say, you need to take a completely transparent glass, one without any sort of etching, color or fancy stuff. It should be a brand-new glass that nobody has ever used, and it’s important not to use it once this test is done. Fill it one third of the way with sea salt. Fill one third of the glass with white vinegar, then top off the rest with water. Put the glass in a secluded place in the room where you think there might be negativity and leave it there for 24 hours. When you come back to the glass, if you find that it’s gotten cloudy, discolored or has a lot of bubbles, then they say that means there’s negativity. The concoction in the glass supposedly will absorb the negativity and remove it from the environment.
I can’t vouch for whether this test works, or if it really can cleanse an area of negative energy, since I’ve never tried it. There are so many people who swear by it, though, that I’m willing to believe there’s something to it.
So, you have negative energy in your home. Now what?
There are several different things that you can do to cleanse your surroundings and restore positivity and balance to your energetic environment. Some of these are simple, and some rituals are quite complex. I would always advocate starting small and working up to the more powerful stuff, depending on what kind of negativity you’re dealing with and just how powerful it actually is.
If the negativity is something that you’re creating, yourself, whether it’s due to depression or illness or a broken heart or grief or what have you, then sometimes all that’s required is a moment to center yourself and determine to release whatever is weighing you down.
You can decide to forgive the friend who lied to you or the lover who was unfaithful. When you release the negative emotions that are within your heart, replacing them with good, clean, positive energy from the center of the world, you’ve done everything you need to do. The negativity should disperse.
Sometimes the negativity is a little harder to dismiss than that. Get a smudge stick – a combination of sage and sweet grass, sold in every metaphysical store known to man – and light it, burning it just until it smolders. Use its smoke to cleanse your home, a person or a thing.
If you’re smudging your home, start at the point farthest from the door and walk through the room, making certain to get the smoke into the corners and all of the nooks and crannies. As you go, say out loud that only love, light and peace can enter, and that all negativity must depart.
Envision the smoke driving the negative energy – or entity, if that’s what you’re dealing with – out the door. Chase the negativity from the farthest corner of your abode to the front door, making certain that the very last thing you smudge is the entry way.
Once you’ve pushed the negativity out the door, close the door on it and leave it alone. If you invoked the assistance of the Goddess or the God or some other spiritual guide or entity, now is the time for a heart-felt thank you.
You can smudge a person who is being oppressed by negative energy. Have that person stand like the Vitruvian man, legs slightly apart, arms held out at the shoulders. Light your smudge stick and use it to outline the person’s body, making sure that you let the smoke surround them. Smudge every part of their bodies, including the bottoms of their feet, commanding all negative energies and entities to depart.
Similar to the smoke of a smudge stick, incense can be used to cleanse a space of negative energy. There are certain scents that are particularly helpful with this. These are:
Pine: Very good for purifying a space before prayers or rituals. Can also break hexes and attract wealth.
Sandalwood: Very effective at banishing negative spirits. Can also aid healing and attract good luck.
Sage: Same as a smudge stick, but in incense form. Purifies spaces for rituals, prayers and mediations. Dispels and protects against negativity.
Lavender: This incense creates positive energy to combat the negative energy in a space. It “lifts” the energy of a space – the higher the vibration of the energy, the more positive that energy will be.
Frankincense: A powerhouse for purification and protection.
Spells and Rituals for Cleansing a House or Room:
Sometimes simple smudging isn’t enough, if the negativity you’re dealing with is particularly strong or entrenched. Don’t despair – there are spells and rituals that can help you, bringing more power to bear on your side.
This is a purification and protection spell that I use when I’m dealing with particularly recalcitrant or powerful negative entities. It’s one of my big guns, and it’s always worked (knock on wood). This is a variation on the old medieval excommunication ritual of bell, book and candle, and I’ve found it to be very effective.
You will need:
Your usual altar tools
A white candle, inscribed with the rune Algiz, a/k/a Elhaz (which is a vertical line with a “v” toward the top, so it looks like a pitchfork)
Sage or Frankincense powder
Charcoal incense burner
Cast your circle as you normally do, but when it’s time to call the quarters, advise them that they’re being called to act as protectors. What I say is this:
“I call to the Guardians of the Watchtower of the North, power of earth, mighty and strong. Protect me with the iron in your soil and the immovable stone of your mountains to withstand attacks.
I call to the Guardians of the Watchtower of the East, power of air, insightful and all-knowing. Protect me with the breath of your inspiration and the clarity of your vision to see attacks before they arrive.
I call to the Guardians of the Watchtower of the South, the power of fire, strength and determination. Protect me with your righteous anger and make me strong enough to stand in the face of my enemies.
I call to the Guardians of the Watchtower of the West, the power of water, emotion and compassion. Protect me with the power of water, which can be a tsunami to sweep away threats, but which can be a gentle trickle to help me understand why these attacks are coming.”
Next, call on divine intervention. When I’m dealing with something like protection from negativity, I call on the Morrigan and the Macha, Celtic war goddesses who are dedicated protectors and all-around badasses. You can call on your patron deity, or any deity who seems like a good protector and someone you’d like to have around when trouble comes to call. Ask politely and respectfully for their help.
Light the white candle. Say, “This candle burns with the power of protection. This candle burns with the power of purification. This candle burns with the power of love. Love defeats all negativity, and all negativity is hereby defeated. Let the protection in this candle burn away the negativity in this space. Let the purification of this flame convert all negativity to positive energy for the good of all.”
Take the bell and ring it three times. “One peal to call you. One peal to change you. One peal to dismiss you.”
Light the charcoal and sprinkle the incense onto the burner. “Let the smoke from this incense purify this space, removing all negativity and leaving only love, light and positive energy in its place.”
Burn the incense and the candle until they’re gone, concentrating on filling the space with positive energy, expanding your own energy to fill the room or the area that’s being cleansed. This will attune the place to your personal energy, marking it as yours, and pushing all other energies out of the way.
When the incense and the candle have burned down, take up the bell again. Ring it three times and say, “One to make this place my own. Two to make this place clean. Three to make this place pure.”
Thank whichever divinity you asked for help and thank the Guardians. Release them all and dismiss your circle, letting all of the energy that built up during the ritual to spread out and disperse.
To back up the ritual, take salt water and sprinkle it throughout the space. Using your fingers and the salt water, paint the protection rune on all doors and windows. Paint lines of salt water across windowsills and door frames, and last but not least, if you’re dealing with something extremely hard, take black salt and place lines along the baseboards of the room or building you’re cleansing.
I hope that you never find yourself in a situation where you have to use these rituals, but if you do, I’m certain that they’ll work for you. I’ve had great success in chasing away negativity and negative entities.
There’s much more to say on the subject of purification rituals and protection spells, but for now, I’ll leave you with this. Be well, be safe, and be blessed until next time.