Ritual tools become more powerful and attuned to you the more you use them, but this use comes at a price: they need to be cleansed and charged regularly. There are many different ways to do this, so it is easy for you to pick a method that works with your specific tools and tradition. For example:
Cleansing with water
One of the easiest ways to cleanse anything water-safe is by immersing it in water. Many practitioners prefer using clean running water from a natural source, but you can also add a few pinches of sea salt to a glass of water and use that. Sea water can be used to clean your altar after a magical working, while lake water is very useful for cleansing tools before a ritual. Never immerse water-soluble crystals (like selenite). If you have water-attuned tools or crystals, immersing them in running water is also a great way to charge them.
Cleansing with salt
Salt is, by itself, a useful cleansing tool. You can place some sea salt in a dish, set your ritual tool on top of it, and allow it to sit over night (or, if you prefer, until the next moon phase). While burying crystals in salt is a popular method of cleansing them, it should be avoided in crystals that are very soft or contain a lot of moisture in their matrix -- the salt may be enough to damage them.
Cleansing with soap
It is best to be careful with using soap, as it may damage some tools. As a rule, items that can be immersed in salt water can be cleansed with mild soap and plenty of rinsing. Use a good spiritual cleansing bar, like Florida water soap, and spot test a small area before working on the whole tool.
Cleansing with herbs
If you can't cleanse with salt or water, herbs are another popular method. You can do this by burning the herbs either alone or on a charcoal disc, and passing your tools through the smoke. As the smoke rises, it will carry away any negative or stagnant energy with it. If you cannot burn the herbs, you can also place them in a dish and bury your tools in them. White sage is a powerful cleansing herb for this, as are lavender, lemon peel, rosemary, and peppermint.
Cleansing and charging under the sun and moon
Solar rays are an excellent way to cleanse and charge your tools. Find a place outside where they will not be disturbed, or set them in front of a sunny window before noon. Remove them before the moon rises. As a word of caution, it is best not to place colorful varieties of quartz ( amethyst, rose quartz, or smoky quartz) in the sun, as they may fade.
The moon's phases offer another way to cleanse and charge your tools. The phase from the full to new moon is great for removing or decreasing, so placing tools under the waning moon can get rid of old energy and cleanse things. The phase from new to full is for increasing, so it is excellent for charging items. If you can, place them under moonlight and let them be undisturbed from one full moon to the next.
Cleansing with sound
Bells, bowls, chimes, rattles, and other instruments can also move old energy. Place the object on your altar, or another space where you will have room to work around it. Then, simply use your instrument to clear away the stagnant vibrations with sound. Avoid placing crystals inside of a singing bowl, as the ringing frequency may damage them.
Working with specific tools
Some tools require their own particular cleansing practices. If you find that a few of your ritual objects feel resistant to cleansing or charging, try one of these methods:
- Scrying items, like mirrors or crystal balls, benefit from a bath in some mugwort tea.
- Items that cannot be washed, buried in salt or herbs, or placed under the sun or moon can be cleansed and charged using visualization -- picture your energy sweeping over the object, carrying away all of the old energy and charging it with new power.
- White selenite is a great way to charge crystals, just place them so they are touching each other and leave them overnight.
- Combine things. Fill a dish with a mixture of salt and cleansing herbs, place your ritual tool on top of it, and set it under the sunlight.
Cleansing and charging your tools prepares them for use. It is a good idea to do this every time you get a new tool or use one in a ritual, but many practitioners like to cleanse and charge all of their ritual objects on a regular basis. Learning how to keep your tools' energy fresh and vibrant will go a long way to ensuring the success of your spells and rituals.