“I’m going to clean. I am going to wash these floors and these dishes and these clothes, and cleanse myself of the pain. I am going to combine my tears with the pungent odour of cleaning materials and essential oils. I am going to smudge away this muck, I am going to drink tea. I am going to clean…”
I recognise magic and spirituality in everyday tasks like cleaning, laundry, cooking and paying bills. I do not believe there is a separation between the mundane and the spiritual, because without these physical, “mundane” things we would not be able to sustain our family or our peace of mind.
Laundry, paying bills, washing floors, packing things away, tidying up, washing dishes etc are things which nourish and sustain your family, home, and life. They may not be the most enjoyable tasks in the world, I certainly am not a Miss-Clean-and-Dandy-Do type of person, in fact it often takes quite a bit of effort to clean and force myself to look at cleaning in a contemplative and even spiritual way.
A few months back I was looking for motivation to clean, because I had let my cottage get into a state of disarray and Bastet certainly did not approve. Her little statue had kept falling from the shrine, and every time it did I was forced to look at the accumulation of dust, dog hair, and coffee stains on the floor. She had in no uncertain terms told me to either clean it the heck up or remove Her effigies from my shrine as she would not tolerate such mess in Her home.
I had been distracted by other things, and not feeling all too well, my depression was flaring up again and I felt lethargic and unable to complete even the smallest of tasks. The laundry was piled up, the dishes were stacked high and the energy in my cottage felt dull and dead and therefore any magic that I was doing in circle and any meditations that I did were blocked, stagnant and unclear.
This is what happens with an accumulation of dirt, in your clothes, home and mind. So I decided to look at some articles online on spirituality in housework to get me motivated and ready to do this work Bastet had asked me to do.
There are a myriad of Hearth and Home deities and spirits, who delight in the simple rituals of laundry, dish-washing and cleaning in general.
In my own home Bastet is a household deity. This is because the head of my previous household is a devotee of Hers, and when I moved, those rituals moved with me. My Home Guardian is another Household spirit, and although He is much less concerned about the dog hair and coffee stains, He also appreciates some order and cleanliness in the place he comes to rest and protect.
Hekate’s Deipnon is soon, and got me to thinking of Hekate as a Household Deity as well. This short article sheds light on the basics of the Deipnon and what it requires…
“At the darkest part of the month, we prepare our homes for the transition to a new month. Hekate’s Deipnon is a time of purification of self, home, and affairs”
Every Deipnon in the last few months I have been cleaning, removing, and purifying parts of my home and self. I have done this as an act of love and devotion for Hekate, in order to remove the muck from my life as much as to remove the muck from my/Her/Their temple.
Many people are under the impression that spirituality should be something that is easy and enjoyable, and although there are some wonderfully enjoyable and simpe spiritual experiences, the most profound lessons we learn come from those less enjoyable and sometimes even terrifyingly hard experiences. Maybe looking at cleaning as “terrifyingly hard” is a little extreme, but for me it can be, because I do not like to let go of things, and I often do not want to acknowledge how far into a depressive state I’ve gone before I start getting annoyed at myself and actually clean.
Here are some of the ways in which I bring my spirituality into cleaning…
When I wash the floors I often add in a few drops of essential oil, like lavender, orange and rosemary in order to bring a harmonious, protective and joyful energy to my home (for big events I wash the floors a second time round with a magical floor wash). I do the same while washing dishes. Sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I do not and just let the repetitiveness of the tasks take me into a state of meditation and contemplation. Some of my best lines of poetry, devotional prayers and ideas have come to me during washing the floors and dishes.
Washing clothes is always a mission for me, I do not have a washing machine so I hand wash everything, I have to heat the water up with the kettle pour it in with the soap, and really get my hands and feet into it, and while I let them soak I imagine that all the nastiness from days before, any angry and aggressive emotions, any painful events and memories, be washed and cleansed away by soap and water. When I hang them up to dry they are blessed by the power of the sun, healing, warming and renewing them with a strong and loving energy. When I pack them away I often hum to myself thinking about the simplicity of this act which creates order out of chaos.
I begin to lose myself in the tasks, and become one with the ebb and flow of “wash, tidy and pack away”, the rhythm is there, and when I’m done I notice the shift in energy, the flow of magic that I’ve weaved in and out, around and about through simple housecleaning tasks. While losing myself in the ebb and flow I’ve completely devoted myself to my house and home, and the spirit of harmony and blessing that I wish to bring to every corner of my life. My thoughts become more clear and I am able to create, relax, and live.