Sunday, 15 March 2009

Spring Clean

At this time of year many people like to give their house a spring clean, especially when the sun lights up all the dusty corners.

I am often asked to clear homes of unwanted spiritual presences and so I put on my white clothes, take my bells and incense and tootle off to see what I can find lurking in the dust.

I treat the spirit beings I find in the same way as I treat my living clients. I listen to their story, find out what is keeping them bound to the place they seem to have become stuck and then help them on their way. It is interesting work and not at all scary as some people seem to think. Mostly the stories I pick up are rather sad but in the end it is OK.

Some people like to just clear their homes and make them feel clean and peaceful so I don't have to try to find any lost souls. The Spring Equinox is an excellent time to do this.

There have been some interesting cases in the past. Most presences will have been drawn by someone living but it is more often by compassion than anything sinister.

In one house I visited there was a young girl who had been the maid to a rather unpleasant master. She had been beaten and half her face was bruised and she had difficulty seeing out of one eye. She told me that she loved the sound of the bells from the church next door but the master would never allow her to go to church. I asked her why she was still there and she said that she still had work to do. I told her that she could watch what I was doing, as I went through my usual routine, and then I told her I would wash up and, when that was done, it would be finished and she was free to go. As I cleaned the room she told me a bit of her story and then left happily to join the rest of her family who were waiting for her.

While she had been there she had cried a lot and the present owners of the house mentioned that they had terrible damp in the house all down one side of the property. I never found out if the damp cleared up after my visit but I did hear that their daughter, who had never brought her friends into the house since they had moved there, brought two friends in that evening.
One home had a very sad little boy who had severe learning difficulties and had been locked in the room. Both the parents were doctors and, it would seem, had difficulty coping with the fact that their son wasn't perfect. Once I had cleared the room (which was difficult as the presence had some trouble communicating) the whole house felt lighter. I went round to each of the rooms in the house and cleared them. Later that week the owner's mother paid a visit and, without knowing what her daughter had had done, mentioned that the room seemed lighter.
House clearing is simple and very peaceful. If there is something/someone that the owner thinks is present then I just sit quietly in whichever room seems to be the most disturbed. Eventually I will pick up a story and the description of the person. I let them know that it is OK to leave and if it is acceptable then I clear the room. If it's not then I try to find out what will help. I clear the room by visualising a clear, light space then ring several bells, starting with a low singing bowl and ending with a very small, high pitched bell. If there is a presence in the room I put salt on the floor around the edges of the room, leaving a gap by the window. I then lead the presence out of the window into the light.

Thursday, 12 March 2009


February 2nd

At Imbolc, the Goddess returns, and the Earth rejoices as the might of winter loosens its grip on the land. In many areas white snowdrops can be seen nodding their bright heads above the melting snow and the brightly coloured crocuses lift their heads as Persephone steps on the frozen earth again after her long work underground. Life awakens as new lambs are born in sheltered pastures and Mother Nature is renewed, as she becomes the Maiden of Spring.

The Celtic name for this celebration is ‘Oimelc’, literally ‘ewes’ milk’, which would have been a vital part of the family’s nourishment at this starved time of year. It is also known as The Feast of Brigit, Candlemas and Groundhog’s day. For thousands of years, 40 days after the Winter Solstice has been a special festival sacred to women and at this time we celebrate the festival of the White Goddess Brigid, a celebration involving the women of the household (men joining in later). Before the advent of the written calendar, people relied on nature’s own calendar to show them when the Goddess had come back. In the northern hemisphere, spring arrives with the thaw. According to Paddy Slade in her book ‘Natural Magic’, in olden times farmers used to take their trousers off and sit on the ground at Imbolc to find out if it was warm enough to plough.

Together we have found different ways to celebrate the coming of spring and the thawing of the land. We made some beautiful white robes, my daughter’s was silver like the glittering snow, and we lit a large white candle to put in the centre of the table at meal times. We have taken a bowl of snow and lit a candle in the middle allowing the snow around it to gradually melt to represent the thaw; a table full of snowdrops, crocus and other available flowers (we prefer to use potted rather than cut flowers where possible); a meal served in a cauldron or a cauldron of water in the centre of the table. At the mealtime we ask each person what commitment they are going to make to the coming year. We try not to prepare for this part and see what spontaneous ideas come up. It is good to have something to work on as the year unfolds and it is also very important to work on loving yourself enough to help yourself stay committed. (We make a point of not allowing anyone to use this as an excuse to criticize her or himself if they can’t finish what they set out to achieve!) You may like to give out small candles to your friends and family to represent their hopes and wishes as spring gives us hope for the year, and, if you make candles, this is a good time of year to do so; they can then be blessed and, if you make enough, can last you for the whole year.

One of the nicest folk-customs still practiced in many countries is to place a lighted candle in every window of the house, beginning at sundown on Imbolc eve (February 1st), allowing them to continue burning until sunrise. Make sure they are safe and won’t catch the curtains or tip over, as sadly, the number of house fires has risen due to more people using candles for decoration with little thought or respect for the power of fire. What a wonderful sight to see so many windows lit up on such a dreary night.

This is the time of year to look for new beginnings. Sometimes it is hard to believe that warmth and light will ever come again! Go for walks and feel the season turning and see who can be the one to get the first sightings of snowdrops. Make sure all your Winter Solstice decorations are put away before Brigit comes. This is the time of year for giving thanks for all that we have had and seeing what we can give away. Invite your friends round for a pot-luck dinner, take something to a charity shop, make some craft things to put in a present drawer, give to charity or make a commitment to sponsor someone or something, get involved in a community project or spring clean your house and learn from the disciplines of Feng Shui how to best use the energies in your home space.