Lydia is a solitary witch who has been active in the occult community for 15 years. She is a published writer and visual artist.
Purifying Your Space
Purifying your bedroom and cleansing it of negative energy can be a good thing to do before embarking on dream work. I am not one to believe in evil spirits, but I feel that negative energy can linger. Negative energy can manifest as real life events. Sometimes we sense negative undercurrents in our day-to-day environment. With a simple cleansing ritual you can clear your mind of these lingering concerns.
It gets you into the moment and puts you in a mindful state. Cleansing your space before beginning your dreamwork shows respect for your practice. That you take what you are doing seriously enough to be reverent. It turns dreamwork into a sacred practice.
Different societies have had different ways of clearing space of negative energy. Scaring away bad energy with noise like bells or drums. You could use an xylophone, a rattle, or wind chimes to clear away any lingering energy at night. You don't want to make loud noise and disrupt the restful state, but sound always is a welcome element to a ritual.
Create Your Own Ritual
A bedtime space cleansing ritual should not be elaborate. You want to find something that is easy to stick and not time consuming. Since you will doing this on a daily basis you need to keep it simple. Be clear about the formula you are going to use. I would suggest creating a ritual of 4 simple parts taking just a few minutes to complete. Use your dream journal to help structure your ritual.
Clear Away Clutter and Bad Vibes
Having an organized bedroom always has a positive impact on the mind. Clutter contains lingering energy. Free up some mental tension by eliminating clutter. If decluttering your space is too time consuming, I would suggest going ahead with the ritual elements anyway. Perfectionism can inhibit us and encourage us to procrastinate. Do not add an hour's worth of housework to your nightmare and call it a cleansing ritual!
Incense Smoke Cleansing
Scent is mentally processed in the same part of our brains that retains our memory. Use a stick of incense to cleanse the space and create a mental shift. The scent of incense will trigger memories and get you in a familiar state each night.
Smoke transmutes the material into the spiritual world. It lifts upwards towards the heavens. We send our prayers, wishes, and hopes up to something larger than ourselves. Smoke lifts up into an expansive amount of space. It transcends our current reality. When we work with magick we are opening ourselves up to a broader experience of reality. We are hoping to pull something positive out of that infinite space which lays all around us.
Smoke can attune us to the divine by creating this bridge between the material realm and the cosmos. Use simple joss sticks in your dreamwork cleansing ritual. You don't want to use something which produces too much smoke. Just enough to cleanse the room. Try walking around your room clockwise to get the smoke in all of the space. You can chant or bless the space as you circle the room.
Cleansing with Water
Using water instead of smoke is also a great ritual practice. You may not want smoke in your home or you have sensitive smoke detectors. Water is a cleansing element. We use it to wash away dirt and the grime every day.
It has the metaphorical relationship of something that drifts to the heavens. Water evaporates and comes back as rain. There is a wonderful Wiccan chant about how we all return to the goddess like a drop of rain returning to the ocean. This is about the cycle life.
You can work water into your cleansing ritual in a few different ways. You can add salt to water and sprinkle it around your room. This works well if you are sensitive to fragrance and don't enjoy using essential oils. Salt is a basic ingredient in a lot of magick used for purification and exorcism. It was once expensive. Did you know that it is the root behind the word 'salary'. Used as a preservative for ages, it certainly would appeared to have magical powers.
Mixing essential oil in with water and diffusing it could be your ritual. Adding in an element of the sacred rather than treating it like a mundane task is beneficial. You could use a chant, mantra, or affirmation as you prepare the diffuser for the night. Sprinkling it or using plant mister also works well. Keep your ritual as simple as possible is the key. You want to stick with it. If dealing with an essential oil diffuser is too much work don't do it.
Chant, Mantra, Prayer, or Written Requests
Creating your own song and chant can be a fun element to add to your ritual. Poetry comes easily to some of us. It can be soothing, uplifting, and energy changing to incorporate your own creative routine into your nightly cleansing ritual. You could make it a habit to write new wording for a chant at each New Moon. Use it for a month. Align it with your life goals. Align it with the emotional undercurrents in your life. Think about the areas in your life which need cleansing and purification when you compose it.
Devotional appeals can be done nightly during a cleansing ritual. Asking a deity to help clear the space of negativity is powerful. There are so many reasons why working with a deity can be beneficial. Gods and Goddesses embody some of the broader archetypes of human experience. When we seek wisdom, guidance, and protection from a deity it can help. Finding strength from a powerful religious or mythical figure can inspire the soul. You don't need to firmly believe in any deity to get something out of the experience.
Taking it Further
I hope the ideas I came up with inspire you to create a nightly cleansing ritual to facilitate dreamwork. There are many other ways to personalize your ritual. Feel free to add in your own ideas and share down in the comments.