Home-leaving ceremony that wasn’t

Ten busy days ago, we moved house. I planned a little house-leaving ceremony and to take some photos of the Box Chaos that the place had become. Despite many house/flat moves during my ten years in Bristol,  I think this was the first time that I’ve had to move out of a home, clean it and move into another home all in the same day. This was certainly the first time moving with a child (albeit with my mother staying to help out in marvelous ways).

I had so many mixed up feelings about leaving our home of three and a half years. The home we returned to after our wedding, after our travelling adventure and after our son’s birth. The home who’s walls saw intense, beautiful magic as well as an awful lot of tears. The home where we grew as people so, so much (and realised just how much growing we still have and want to do). The home where we never really felt at home.

I wanted to present to our buyers a home cleansed of all this uneasy energy. I wanted to chase all the horrible feelings I’d felt within those walls out and away with my sage smudge stick and Glastonbury water and jangly bells, the waning moon’s cleansing pull complimenting this. Of course, I wouldn’t tell the new owners about the ceremony in case they thought I was a little weird. I just wanted to wipe everything clean, physically and energetically, for them and for me. For a couple of weeks I’d gone through the house, washing every throw or cushion cover or rug before I packed it, vacuuming the curtains and wallhangings that too delicate to wash. As they were cleaned of dust or marks I imagined whatever else they had caught being washed away too. I didn’t want it brought to our new house.

On Move Day, once the removal men had put all but a few personal items (and cleaning stuff!) of ours into their van, I started vacuuming and wiping in the house. But, over 3 years, dust finds its crafty way in all these places you can never imagine, so I was still cleaning when our buyers arrived. They were far less fussed than  I was about the cleanliness and urged me not to worry. So I had to just let the sage-waving (and photo-taking) go.

What I reasoned was that the negativity I wanted to cleanse was negative stuff that we knew about. The new owners know nothing of these events. From the things they had said to me, to them the house holds positive meanings; their new home, the first house that they have bought. I guess their coming into the house with positive thoughts, hope and excitement is a kind of healing in itself. If they were into “energy stuff” and concerned about what history may be held there, they would perform their own cleansing.

Whilst there was no smudging ritual, there was a hug between my husband and I as we looked back at the house and thanked it for all the good times we shared there and all the opportunities it provided us with. I believe that with any ceremony or magic, the real power comes from your true intent, thoughts and feelings. I see the sage, the Glastonbury water, the jangly bells or whatever as being tools to physically represent and perhaps to enhance this inner force. And as I learnt ten years ago, in  leaving a geographical location you don’t automatically leave all your troubles there.  The real work, like the real magic, must come from within. ♥

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