Cleaning As Ritual

Today was a day to clean here for me. The dishes like to pile up even though there is only two of us living in this house, and unfortunately, I get to be the one that washes them (the man gets to come home and put them away).

So what I wanted to write about today is something I’ve been meditating on for the past few months (albeit, still having a hard time truly putting to good use, lol): cleaning as a magic(k)al ritual or daily practice.


The word “ritual” is described in the dictionary as follows:
1. an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite.
2. a system or collection of religious or other rites.
3. observance of set forms in public worship.
4. a prescribed or established rite, ceremony, proceeding, or service: the ritual of the dead.
5. any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner.

History and Origin
1570, from L. ritualis “relating to (religious) rites,” from ritus “rite”. The noun is first recorded 1649. Ritualistic first recorded 1850.

The word “rite” is described in the dictionary as follows:
the performance of ceremonial acts prescribed by tradition or by sacerdotal decree. Ritual is a specific, observable mode of behaviour exhibited by all known societies. It is thus possible to view ritual as a way of defining or describing humans.

History and Origin
early 14c., from L. ritus “religious observance or ceremony, custom, usage,” perhaps from PIE base *re(i)- “to count, number” (cf. Gk.arithmos “number,” O.E. rim “number”). Rite of passage (1909) is translated from Fr. rite de passage, coined by French anthropologist Arnold van Gennep

My lovely dirty dishes, and some bubbles in the sink.

Most of us by now have performed at some point, or quite regularly, a ritual bath. It symbolizes cleaning our bodies and our minds in preparation to commune with our gods, or to have quiet time by ourselves to meditate and cleanse and wash away the physical dirt and emotional dirt.
It’s like brushing your teeth. You do it everyday to make sure that there is no buildup to cause cavities or other nasty mouth related maladies. There is a constant inflow of “dirt”, and if you don’t take care of it, there can be some serious repercussions.

Now translating this to an everyday integration of magic(k) in your life is quite simple, yet a lot of us continue ever to be armchair pagans, not employing this mindfulness and spiritual association in our realities. Again, this is something that is incredibly simple. When washing my dishes, I imagine that while I’m watching the dirty water go down the drain, all of my worries are going with it; the clean dishes giving me a clean slate. For those of us with a hard time keeping the whole house clean, I really do find that a messy house makes me tired, and after it has been cleaned, I feel such an enjoyment that I’ve done work to make my surroundings beautiful and enjoyable. I’m not embarrassed to have people come in, and it makes me feel more in sync with the energies that are now flowing easily through the house rather than having a hard time concentrating on the important things in life instead of wishing the messiness in my house would go away.

Now that is just a simple way of being mindful and magic(k)al when you are just living day to day and doing a mundane thing. There are obviously a lot of spells and chants you can do while cleaning to make it even that much more effective. It’s all a matter of how much you want to integrate your spirituality into your everyday life, and seeing the magic(k) in the mundane. You can bless your house, ward of unproductive or malicious energies, make spiritual room for abundance, love, luck, prosperity. It’s all up to you what you decide to make of things that are less than exciting that must be done.