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Herbal Cleansing and Purification in Folk Witchcraft - Episode Four


Have you ever walked into a room and immediately felt a sense of heaviness or negativity? Or perhaps you've noticed that after a disagreement or argument, the energy in your home just doesn't feel quite right. In folk witchcraft, these feelings are often seen as signs that the space, objects, or even oneself may be in need of cleansing and purification.

Cleansing and purification are essential practices in folk witchcraft, much like taking a shower or cleaning your living space is in the physical world. They're about clearing away any energetic residue or negativity that might be lingering, whether it's from our own emotions and experiences or from outside influences.

One of the most common ways to perform these practices is through the use of herbs. Just as certain herbs can have physical effects on our bodies when ingested, they're believed to have energetic effects when used in cleansing and purification rituals. Herbs are thought to carry specific energies that can help to clear away negativity, protect against harm, and create a sense of balance and harmony.

In this blog post, we'll explore how herbs can be used in various forms of cleansing and purification rituals, from simple smoke cleansing to more elaborate herbal baths. We'll also discuss how herbs can be used to purify objects and even ourselves, helping to create a more positive and harmonious environment.

So, whether you're new to folk witchcraft or looking to deepen your practice, join us as we delve into the world of herbal cleansing and purification. Discover the power of these ancient practices and how they can help you maintain spiritual and energetic balance in your life.

Part 1: Understanding the Basics

Cleansing and purification in folk witchcraft are like hitting the reset button for your energy. They're about clearing out any negative or stagnant vibes that might be hanging around, giving you a fresh start and a clean slate. These practices are all about spiritual and energetic hygiene, keeping your inner and outer worlds feeling fresh and balanced.

One of the key things to remember when practicing cleansing and purification in folk witchcraft is the importance of respect and understanding. Many of these practices have roots in indigenous cultures around the world, and it's essential to honour and acknowledge those origins.

For example, the act of using smoke to cleanse a space, often referred to as "smudging," which comes from indigenous traditions, particularly those of Native American and First Nations peoples. While this can be a powerful and effective practice, it's crucial to use the term "smoke cleansing" instead of "smudging" out of respect for the culture and ceremony from which it originated.

Similarly, the term "saining," which refers to the act of blessing, consecrating and protecting a space or person, comes from Scottish traditions. Again, while this can be a meaningful practice, it's important to understand and respect its cultural context.

When it comes to the actual methods of cleansing and purification, there are many different approaches you can take. Smoke cleansing, as mentioned earlier, involves burning herbs or resins and using the smoke to cleanse a space or person. Herbal baths are another common practice, where you soak in a bath infused with cleansing herbs to purify your body and spirit.

Other methods include using sound, such as bells or singing, to clear out negative energy, or using water and salt to create a protective barrier around a space. The key is to find a method that resonates with you and feels right for your practice.

In the next sections, we'll dive deeper into these methods and explore how you can incorporate them into your own cleansing and purification rituals, all while honoring and respecting the traditions from which they come.

Part 2: Selecting the Right Herbs

In folk witchcraft, herbs play a vital role in cleansing and purification rituals. Each herb has its own unique properties and energies, making some more suitable for certain purposes than others. Here's a guide to help you choose the right herbs for your cleansing needs.

Overview of Commonly Used Cleansing Herbs

  • Sage: Perhaps the most well-known cleansing herb, sage is used for its strong cleansing and purifying properties. It's often used in smoke cleansing rituals to clear out negative energy. Just make sure its Garden Sage, not White Sage. 
  • Rosemary: Known for its protective properties, rosemary is often used in cleansing rituals to create a barrier against negativity.
  • Lavender: With its calming and soothing scent, lavender is often used in cleansing baths to promote relaxation and clarity.
  • Cedar: Cedar is another powerful cleansing herb, often used in smudge sticks or loose incense for its purifying properties.
  • Mugwort: Mugwort is known for its ability to enhance intuition and psychic abilities, making it a popular choice for spiritual cleansing and purification.
  • Frankincense: This resin has been used for centuries for its purifying and protective properties, often used in incense blends for cleansing rituals.

How to Choose Herbs Based on Their Properties and Intended Purpose

When choosing herbs for cleansing and purification, it's essential to consider their properties and intended purpose. For example, if you're looking to create a sense of calm and peace in your space, you might choose herbs like lavender or chamomile. If you're looking to banish negativity, you might opt for herbs like sage or black salt.

It's also important to consider how you'll be using the herbs. For smoke cleansing, you'll want to choose herbs that can be burned safely, such as sage or cedar. For herbal baths, you'll want to choose herbs that can be steeped in hot water safely, such as rosemary or lavender.

Tips for Sourcing and Storing Cleansing Herbs

  • Sourcing: When sourcing herbs for cleansing and purification, it's essential to choose high-quality, ethically sourced herbs. Look for herbs that are organic and sustainably harvested whenever possible.
  • Storing: To preserve the potency of your herbs, store them in a cool, dark place away from sunlight and moisture. Consider storing them in airtight containers to prevent them from losing their potency over time.

By carefully selecting the right herbs for your cleansing and purification rituals, you can enhance the effectiveness of your practices and create a more

Part 3: Techniques for Herbal Cleansing

Smoke Cleansing

Smoke cleansing is a powerful way to clear negative energy from a space, object, or person using the smoke of burning herbs. Here's how you can prepare and use herb bundles or loose herbs for smoke cleansing:

  1. Choose Your Herbs: Select herbs known for their cleansing properties, such as sage, cedar, or rosemary. You can use loose herbs or bundle them together to create a herb bundle or stick.

  2. Prepare Your Tools: If you're using a bundle, light one end until it catches fire, then blow out the flame, allowing the herbs to smoulder and release smoke. If you're using loose herbs, place them in a heatproof container and ignite them with a match or lighter.

  3. Cleansing Ritual: Hold the bundle or container of herbs in one hand and a using your hand or breath to guide the smoke, begin at the entrance of the space you're cleansing and move clockwise around the room, making sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies of the room. As you do this, visualise the smoke absorbing and carrying away any negative energy.

  4. Focus on Intentions: As you perform the smoke cleansing, focus on your intentions for cleansing and purification. You can say a prayer or affirmation aloud if you wish.

  5. Complete the Ritual: Once you've moved through the entire space, return to where you started and extinguish the herbs safely. Allow the smoke to dissipate naturally, carrying away the negative energy.

Herbal Baths

Herbal baths are a luxurious and effective way to cleanse and purify your body and spirit. Here's a step-by-step guide to creating an herbal bath:

  1. Choose Your Herbs: Select herbs that promote relaxation and cleansing, such as lavender, chamomile, or rose petals. You can use dried herbs or make a fresh herb infusion. Make sure you know the toxicity of the herbs and test for any allergy before stepping in the bath.

  2. Prepare Your Bath: Fill your bathtub with warm water. If using dried herbs, place them in a muslin bag or tea infuser and hang it under the tap as the water runs. If using fresh herbs, steep them in hot water and strain the infusion into your bath.

  3. Add Other Ingredients: For an extra cleansing boost, consider adding Epsom salt or sea salt to your bath. These salts can help draw out toxins and negative energy from your body.

  4. Set the Mood: Light candles, play soothing music, and dim the lights to create a relaxing atmosphere for your bath.

  5. Bathe with Intention: As you soak in the herbal bath, visualise the water cleansing away any negativity or stress you may be carrying. Allow yourself to relax fully into the experience.

  6. Aftercare: After your bath, pat yourself dry with a towel and moisturise your skin with a nourishing lotion or oil. Take a moment to reflect on the cleansing and purifying effects of the bath.

Floor Washes

Floor washes are a traditional way to cleanse and purify the home, both physically and energetically. Here's how you can make and use an herbal floor wash:

  1. Choose Your Herbs: Select herbs known for their cleansing properties, such as basil, mint, or lemon balm. You can use dried herbs or fresh herbs.

  2. Prepare Your Wash: Boil a pot of water and add your chosen herbs. Let the herbs steep for a few minutes, then strain the infusion into a bucket.

  3. Add Other Ingredients: For added cleansing power, consider adding a few drops of essential oils, such as lavender or lemon, to your floor wash.

  4. Cleanse Your Home: Starting at the back of your home, slowly work your way toward the front, mopping the floors with the herbal wash. As you do this, visualise the wash cleansing away any negative energy and leaving behind a clean, purified space. You can make things double clean by using a besom first to sweep out the negativity.

  5. Dispose of the Wash: Once you've finished mopping, take the remaining wash outside and pour it onto the earth, returning the energy to the earth just be aware that some herbs or salts are not good to be "dumped" on the earth and it may we be more environmentally safer to allow the mixture to evaporate and then put the herbs into the compost.

By incorporating these herbal cleansing techniques into your practice, you can create a more balanced and harmonious environment for yourself and those around you.

Part 4: Herbal Purification of Objects

It's not just spaces and people that can benefit from cleansing and purification; objects can also hold onto energy that needs to be cleared. Whether it's your ritual tools, crystals, or other sacred objects, using herbs can be a powerful way to cleanse and purify them.

Using Herbs to Cleanse and Purify Objects

One of the simplest ways to cleanse objects is to create a smoke cleansing bundle or loose incense using cleansing herbs like sage, cedar, or rosemary. Light the herbs and let the smoke envelop the object, focusing your intention on clearing away any unwanted energy.

For a deeper cleanse, you can create an herbal infusion by steeping cleansing herbs in hot water and then using the infused water to cleanse your objects. Simply dip a cloth or sponge into the infusion and gently wipe down the objects, visualising them being cleansed and purified.

Techniques for Creating Herbal Sachets or Pouches

Herbal sachets or pouches are another effective way to keep your objects cleansed and purified over time. Simply fill a small pouch or bag with cleansing herbs and place it near your objects. You can also carry the pouch with you or hang it in your home to create a continuous cleansing effect.

To create a sachet, start by choosing your herbs. Sage, lavender, and rosemary are all excellent choices for their cleansing properties. Mix the herbs together and then fill a small pouch or bag with the mixture. You can add a few drops of essential oil for added potency, if desired.

Part 5: Self-Cleansing and Protection

Taking care of your own energy is just as important as cleansing your space and objects. There are several ways to cleanse and protect yourself using herbs, from herbal baths to protective charms.

Herbal Baths for Personal Purification

One of the most relaxing ways to cleanse and purify yourself is by taking an herbal bath. Start by choosing cleansing herbs like rosemary, sage, or lavender. You can use fresh or dried herbs, depending on what you have on hand.

To prepare your herbal bath, fill a muslin bag or a tea infuser with your chosen herbs and hang it under the faucet as you fill the tub with warm water. Let the herbs steep in the water for a few minutes before getting in. As you soak, visualise the water washing away any negativity or stagnant energy, leaving you feeling refreshed and renewed.

Creating Protective Herbal Amulets or Charms

Protective amulets or charms are another way to keep yourself energetically protected. To create a protective amulet, start by choosing a small pouch or bag. Fill the pouch with protective herbs like basil, bay leaves, or cinnamon. You can also add crystals like black tourmaline or obsidian for added protection.

Once your pouch is filled, tie it shut with a piece of string or ribbon. You can carry the amulet with you or place it in a specific location, such as under your pillow or near your front door, to keep you protected throughout the day.

Once your sachet is ready, place it near your objects or carry it with you throughout the day. Remember to recharge the sachet regularly by placing it in the sunlight or moonlight and setting your intention for continued cleansing and purification.

By using herbs to cleanse and purify your objects, you can ensure that they remain energetically clear and ready for use in your magical practices. These simple techniques can help you maintain a harmonious and balanced energy in your sacred space.

Part 6: Advanced Techniques and Considerations

As you delve deeper into the practice of herbal cleansing and purification, you may want to explore advanced techniques that incorporate herbs into other practices, as well as considerations for sustainable and respectful use of herbs.

Using Herbs in Combination with Other Practices

One way to enhance the effectiveness of herbal cleansing and purification is to combine them with other practices, such as visualisation or prayer. For example, as you burn cleansing herbs for smoke cleansing, you can visualise the smoke enveloping and clearing away any negativity, while also reciting a prayer or affirmation that aligns with your intention.

Considerations for Sustainable and Respectful Use of Herbs

It's important to consider the source of your herbs and how they are harvested. Choose herbs that are ethically sourced and harvested in a sustainable manner. Avoid overharvesting or using endangered plants, and consider growing your own herbs or purchasing from local growers whenever possible.

When using herbs that have cultural significance, such as white sage or palo santo, Consider alternatives that are more sustainable and locally available, or seek permission and guidance from indigenous communities if you really feel drawn to use these herbs in your practice.

Brief Overview of Herbal Correspondences for Cleansing and Purification

Different herbs are believed to have different energetic properties that make them suitable for specific purposes. For example, sage is often used for its strong cleansing properties, while rosemary is used for protection. Understanding these correspondences can help you choose the right herbs for your cleansing and purification rituals based on your intentions and the energy you wish to cultivate.

As you continue your journey with herbal cleansing and purification, remember to approach your practice with respect, mindfulness, and a commitment to sustainability. By combining herbs with other practices and honouring their cultural and energetic significance, you can enhance the effectiveness of your rituals and deepen your connection to the natural world.

References and Further Reading

If you're interested in learning more about herbal cleansing and purification, there are plenty of resources available to help you deepen your knowledge and practice. Here are some recommended books, websites, and resources to get you started:


  • The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, and More by Arin Murphy-Hiscock - This book offers a comprehensive guide to using herbs in witchcraft, including information on herbal cleansing and purification.
  • Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham - A classic reference guide to the magical properties of herbs, including tips for using them in spells and rituals.
  • The Herbal Medicine-Maker's Handbook: A Home Manual by James Green - While focused on herbal medicine, this book provides valuable information on harvesting, preparing, and using herbs safely and effectively.


  • HerbMentor (https://www.herbmentor.com) - A comprehensive online resource for herbal enthusiasts, offering courses, articles, and videos on various aspects of herbalism, including cleansing and purification.
  • The Herbal Academy (https://theherbalacademy.com) - Offers online courses and resources on herbalism, including topics related to herbal cleansing and purification.


  • Local Herbalists - Consider reaching out to local herbalists or herbal shops in your area for personalised guidance and recommendations on herbal cleansing and purification.
  • Community Workshops and Events - Look for workshops, classes, or events in your community that focus on herbalism and natural healing. These can be great opportunities to learn from experts and connect with like-minded individuals.
  • Library or Bookstore - Explore the herbalism section of your local library or bookstore for additional books and resources on herbal cleansing and purification.

These resources are just a starting point for your journey into herbal cleansing and purification. Remember to approach your practice with an open mind and a spirit of curiosity, and don't be afraid to experiment and explore new ideas. Happy cleansing!

Blessed Be


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