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All About House Blessing Traditions

Published Thursday, Aug. 25th, 2022


Learn about various ways people bless new homes and cleanse spaces of negative energy

 

 

Listen now: 

AMM Audio Articles · All About House Blessing Traditions

 

 

 

House blessing ceremonies have taken place for as long as humans have needed a place to rest our heads. Whether it be a cave or a castle, every culture and every faith has used some form of blessing ritual to honor a new home. 

 

In the simplest terms, a house blessing ceremony is a spiritual ritual used to cleanse, clean, and purify a personal space of negative energy or lingering spirits; and to create a welcoming, protective, positive energy for its new residents. They are performed by either the residents themselves, a close friend or relative, or by a specially qualified practitioner, such as a spiritual elder or ordained minister. 

 

House blessing ceremonies can also be joyful parties. When included as part of a housewarming event, blessings often gather together friends, family, neighbors, and even whole communities. These celebrations celebrate a new home, or the start of a new life chapter, such as when a couple moves in together – or following a couple’s marriage ceremony. 

 

There are many other instances when an individual or family might seek out someone to perform a house blessing. When there was a death in a home or on the surrounding land, for example, new the surviving family, or new inhabitants may bless the space to usher out those spirits that are struggling to move on, or to create space for both spirit and human to live harmoniously. 

 

Blessings are also used to cleanse homes, offices, cars, and other common spaces of the lingering energy of past arguments, difficult break-ups, residual fear or anxiety, and other negative energy. By clearing out this negative energy, a practitioner makes room for positive energy to flow into the home.

 

In addition to clearing out the old to welcome the new, blessings are also used to protect a space from future harm. These protective house blessing rituals often ask for the protection and care of specific spirits or deities, such as a family’s ancestors or an honored god or gods, to watch over the individual or family as they go about their daily lives inside the home. 

 

The blessing itself can be performed in various ways, usually following unique cultural or religious traditions. As one example, in some First Nations, Native American, and Pagan traditions, a ‘smudging’ ritual is used to bless a home. 

 

Smudging is usually performed by burning sacred herbs or blessed wood, calling to spirits or gods, and filling a space with healing sounds, cleansing smoke, prayer, and good energy – although the details will differ depending on who is leading the ritual. Ash and salt can also be used to ‘smudge’ a space when fire and smoke can not be used. 

 

 

Sage burning in a ceremonial bowl with crystals near by, during a smudging ceremony

Dried sage is one of the most common ingredients used in a smudge stick

 

 

Other types of house blessing rituals involve energy listening – when a practitioner moves through a space touching items and ‘listening’ for stagnant or malignant energy or entities – and performing energy ‘sweeping’ with a broom, body movements, or sounds. 

 

Bell ringing, praying, clapping, singing, chanting, burning incense, and salt pouring or sprinkling are also common elements of house blessings. 

 

Many of these elements show up in several distinct cultural traditions, too. Buddhist and Catholic blessings, in particular, both include incense burning and chanting. And salt shows up in modern Pagan, Jewish, and traditional Iranian ceremonies, among others. 

 

 

A ceremonial bowl of Himalayan pink salt

Salt is believed to have spiritual cleansing powers and is used in various types of ceremonies. Pink Himalayan salt especially is thought to hold many metaphysical metaphysical benefits.

 

 

Prayer (of any kind) is one of the most common elements in a house blessing, and is frequently combined with each of these other unique elements according to specific spiritual traditions. In Christian and Islamic homes, for example, house blessing prayers are offered in the presence of family and friends and are usually delivered by clergy, such as a priest, imman, pastor, or minister.

 

 

 

 

Friends holding hands while praying

Prayer (of many kinds) is one of the most common elements in a house blessing.

 

 

House blessings and other types of space clearing and cleansing, are powerful rituals that have been used for centuries to create welcoming homes in which to feast, work, rest, love, raise children, and celebrate. These rituals have evolved in many ways because they are easily adapted to any individual or family's unique beliefs and values. 

 

It’s no wonder that they remain as popular and common today as they were thousands of years ago! 

 

 


 

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Illustration of two witches holding a new baby as part of a wiccaning ceremony, illustration by Jessica Levey

Illustration by Jessica Levey

From the article: Wiccaning Ceremony - A Guide to Welcoming a New Witch

 



 


Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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