Wicca Basics and the 3 C’s: Cleansing, Consecrating and Charging

Cleansing, Consecrating & Charging

I call them the “3 C’s”. A lot of books will tell you to do one, two or all three of them to your tools, altar, spell components, herbs, crystals, jewelry... the list goes on.

But have you ever given good thought to what each of them mean? When these terms are new to you and all the books you read are throwing them at you, things can get a little muddy. As usually, I invite you to grab yourself a cup of tea and sit with me a while so we can break it down to the basics. Let’s take a look at the meaning of each of the C’s, the purpose for the process, and how it’s done.

The Basic Building Blocks of Wicca

The Sorceress; Public Domain Image
The Sorceress; Public Domain Image | Source

The 1st C: Cleansing

Cleanse an object
Cleanse an object | Source


To cleanse an object is just as the word implies—you are cleaning it. The difference is, you’re not cleaning it on a physical level (though you can certainly do that first). What you’re attempting to do is ‘clean’ it on a spiritual level—on an energy level.

Cleansing disassociates items with their past vibrations. Sitting in a factory or store, people handling it, being transported, sitting on a shelf in your room gathering dust—items pick up various bits of energy. You want to wipe the vibrational slate clean to attune it with your own energies, or those conducive to your goal.

There are several ways to cleanse an object:

  • Burn a cleansing incense like sage, and run the object through the smoke
  • Bury it in the earth for a while, or in a bowl of salt/dirt/cornmeal
  • Soak it in salt water, or sprinkle/spray it
  • Hold it for a while under running water
  • Wave it over a candle flame, or actually put it into the fire
  • Sweep away negativity with a besom (blessed broom)

Be practical about it— you don’t want to soak metal in salt water overnight or you’ll rust it; you don’t want to put a fabric pouch of herbs anywhere near fire. Use your judgment. But it’s a good practice to get into to cleanse new things before using them for spiritual purposes, or to occasionally cleanse things like your jewelry, crystals, divination or altar tools, especially if they’ve been used a lot, or sitting unused for a while.

Tell Us About You:

Before reading this, how clear were you on the '3 C's'

  • I've been doing this for a while
  • I only understood one or two out of the three.
  • I had heard of them but didn't really understand the concept before.
  • I've only heard of one or two of the three.
  • I've never heard of any of these, this is news to me.
  • I've heard of them, but I don't bother with them.
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Sandalwood Incense

Morning Star Sandalwood Incense 200 Sticks
Morning Star Sandalwood Incense 200 Sticks

Sandalwood is another great cleansing incense. Morning star is MY FAVORITE brand of stick incense-- they are very high quality, and they last-- I bought a box once and it last almost a year because once I burned one stick the scent lingered all day, I didn't have to burn another.


The 2nd C: Consecration

Consecrate an object.
Consecrate an object. | Source


Consecrating an object is to make it sacred through some minor rite or act of blessing. I only do it to my main ritual tools used in the circle. For almost everything else, just cleansing is enough. Some ways to consecrate an item include:

  • simply say a prayer over it and dedicate the use of the tool to your Gods
  • If you keep oils that are cleansed, charged and consecrated, you can anoint an object with those oils and blessing symbols.
  • If you work a lot with the four elements you may wish to consecrate it by Air, Earth, Fire and Water in ritual: run it through incense smoke, sprinkle some salt on it, pass it over a fire flame and sprinkle some water on it.

You can consecrate anything—you can consecrate all your tools, your jewelry, even the ground on which you hold your rituals, but do remember this: once consecrated, the item is sacred, and should be treated as such.

The 3rd C: Charge It

Charging an object.
Charging an object. | Source
Crystal Allies Specimens: Natural Amethyst Quartz Crystal Cluster from Uruguay w/ Natural Edges - Choose You Size
Crystal Allies Specimens: Natural Amethyst Quartz Crystal Cluster from Uruguay w/ Natural Edges - Choose You Size

These kinds of crystal clusters are great for cleansing and charging your jewelry-- just lay them in there overnight.



Charging something is empowering it with energy. You might just imbue it with positive energy, or charge it so its energies are aligned with some specific purpose. For example, in candle magic, I always charge the candle to align it with the purpose of the spell.

Charging requires raising a bit of energy and directing it into the object. Once again, the method you choose can largely depend on your preferences or on the item you’re charging.

  • Rub candles with oil repeatedly
  • Dance, chant, meditate, etc. to raise power then pour that energy in
  • Put the object out under the sun all day to charge it with solar power*
  • Put the object out under the full moon all night to charge it with lunar power*
  • Use the energy you have accumulated in your tools**
  • Lay the item on a healthy crystal for a day or a few days so it will absorb energy

Like consecrating, charging isn’t always necessary. For example, I wouldn’t charge all my jewelry just because I’m wearing it; most I would just cleanse. If I primarily use a piece for ritual, I’d cleanse and consecrate it. If I wanted to use it as an amulet or talisman, I’d charge it.

*The sun, moon and crystals can both cleanse and charge the item at once.

**When you finish a ritual and draw up the circle, ground, etc., it’s a good idea to pour most of that residual energy into your tools—your athame, your pentacle, wand and such. This keeps them charged and ready to use, and empowers them enough so that they can charge other items.

Here is a Way to Charge Crystals With Sound

Putting it in a Nutshell

Cleansing =
spiritual purification
Consecrating =
to dedicate as sacred
Charging =
imbue with power

Go Forth to Cleanse, Consecrate and Charge your Heart Out

When and why you may use one, two or all three C’s is up to you. But it’s good to know about them, the difference, and how to do it. You’ll find that when all the energies are aligned and operating in harmony, particularly in ritual, it can really enhance the experience.

© 2013 Mackenzie Sage Wright

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Comments 13 comments

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Hiya, this was great reading, and reminded me of how I used to do all the rituals, I admit to not doing any for a few years. Its something I have let slip again, now I will get straight back to it, thanks!

Forgot to say, yes I was a practising witch/pagan! lol!

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 3 years ago Author

Thanks Nell Rose, I'm glad I could inspire you! I go through my periods where formal rituals kind of fall by the wayside-- life gets crazy. It always takes a push for myself to get back into them but I'm always happy that I did. Appreciate your comment!

Jacki 24 months ago

This was so helpful!!

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 16 months ago from Oakley, CA

Thanks very much for the referral to this article. Now I know what to do to clear my new pendant, as well as my pretty new blue crystal, and a few clear ones that have been rather just sitting about...

Voted up ++

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 16 months ago Author

Great Ms Lizzy, glad it was what you were looking for!

Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 12 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Mackenzie, this was an insightful hub about the three C's in Wicca. Thanks for sharing.

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 12 months ago Author

Thanks so much, Kristin. I appreciate your comment!

Avery 11 months ago

Thanks for this! It really helped! Now I can do it to my altar!

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 11 months ago Author

Hi Avery, glad to be of help! Thanks for commenting!

White wolf 5 weeks ago

Liked your article only one thing was wrong. That was the sun, moon, and crystals they can do all three, not just two.

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 4 weeks ago Author

Hi White Wolf;

For me, I do not use the Sun or Moon to consecrate items; for me that is a ritual act-- the bestowing of a blessing, deliberately and with specific intent. This is certainly a personal preference though. Thanks for your comment and for bringing a different perspective!

DarkDAH 2 days ago

hi im just starting and all this really helped

my grandmother is a witch but she isnt able to help me

you sure know your stuff

Dark DAH 2 days ago from Utah

i made an account and im sure ill be back on when ever i need help with somthing thanks again

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    Mackenzie Sage Wright (WiccanSage)535 Followers
    203 Articles

    A Wiccan of 25 years, Sage likes to put her background as a writer and teacher to use by helping people learn about this NeoPagan path.

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