S is for Smoke (and Shielding) – Pagan Blog Project 2013

So today is Friday – which means today is the day I set aside (in theory) every week to do divotions, prep ritual supplies, and similar.
It doesn’t always work out that way, but it’s nice to be able to make the time. 🙂
Today, I’ve made two dozen candles, lit up my altars (huzzah!), and – finally – got around to smoking my house. I say “smoke” rather than “smudge” because… I feel a little weird about using that particular terms (see this entry for reasons why that might be).

I admit I’m not particularly hard-core about wards and shields. I’m very much of the “lemon juice and salt” school of home-protection – although in my case, it’s more likely to be white-vinegar and salt rather than lemon. (Accomplishes the same thing, fyi, in that white vinegar also discourages Nasties from setting up house in your space[1]). As such, what I tend to do is, around about the time that the air is starting to feel like it needs changing (so… 2-4 times per year, plus “as necessary” if we’re going through a period of high-stress or similar) I’ll open up the windows, light some incense (I have dragons’ blood stick-incense right now, so that’s what I’m using, but I typically use cedar and rosemary as well), and wander around the house, smoking the walls, the closets, the mirrors, the windows and doorways and chests of drawers, and all the rest of it, and making it clear what can and can’t come in (or stay in, if it’s already here).
I water the plants (more frequently than this, don’t worry), make the parrot nervous (she doesn’t like the smoke and will sometimes pointedly make the smoke detector noise to point out that “Yo, something is burning over here!”, in case I hadn’t noticed), and leave the incense to burn the rest of the way down on Makaa’s altar, since she’s the one who handles thresholds and meetings and similar, so she seems the most appropriate person to hand it off to, post-house-cleaning.
As in so many things, I’m fairly laisez faire about this stuff, but it does matter. The house feels lighter after I’ve smoked it, more open, easier to breathe (I don’t think it’s just becaused I opened the windows – they spend most of the summer wide open, and it doesn’t necessarily do anything but encourage the neighbours’ cigarette smoke to float into the house). That matters.
So, there you have it. This is how I clean my house.
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
[1] In theory, you could use any kind of vinegar, but I’d opt for white (which, aparently, is somewhere between burbon and fuel-ethanol in that it’s made from distilled corn) because (a) it’s dirt cheap, and (b) I typically use it as a cleaning product (in place of bleach) so it’s fixed in my mind as “gets rid of the ickies” (rather than, say, “food ingredient – omnomnom”) already.


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