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

Updated on August 10, 2017
WiccanSage profile image

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.

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

Cleansing

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.

The 1st C: Cleansing

Cleanse an object
Cleanse an object | Source

Tell Us About You:

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

See results

Consecrating

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.

Sandalwood Incense

Morning Star Sandalwood Incense (200 Sticks and Holder) - 1 box
Morning Star Sandalwood Incense (200 Sticks and Holder) - 1 box

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 3rd C: Charge It

Charging an object.
Charging an object. | Source

Charging

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.

Crystal Allies Specimens: Natural Amethyst Quartz Crystal Cluster from Uruguay w/Natural Edges - 2lbs to 3lbs
Crystal Allies Specimens: Natural Amethyst Quartz Crystal Cluster from Uruguay w/Natural Edges - 2lbs to 3lbs

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

 

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

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Doug 

      4 days ago

      I am brand new to this. How do I know what Gods to pray to? How do I know who my Gods are?

    • profile image

      Skylance 

      2 months ago

      You had me at "be practical about it". Too many sources for beginners forget that part.

    • profile image

      FreeYourMindXII 

      3 months ago

      Hi Mackenzie, I'm very new at this, and recently I bought a talisman and wanted to charge it with protection. I have a better understanding of charging items after reading your article, but when it comes to protection, should I invoke anyone specific, or say certain things in the spell? Is writing your own spells the best route? Thanks!

    • profile image

      Elena Tagini 

      4 months ago

      And so my journey begins...

    • profile image

      William A 

      4 months ago

      hi i was wondering if i would need to cast a circle before charging an item. i have a bundle of dried clovers im going to charge for protection purposes.

    • profile image

      Autumn White1 

      5 months ago

      Hi Mackenzie, I was wondering does it absolutely need to be a full moon to charge items? Would any other moon phases work as well? Also does it have to be all night or is there a minimum time frame. I ask this because it's hard to leave things charging outside where I live

      without nosy neighbors poking around and touching my things. Sadly moonlight really doesn't come in through any of my windows or I would put things there.Thanks for your insight! I think your awesome!

      Love ya!

    • profile image

      Jensen 

      5 months ago

      Hi Sage, i did a binding spell and braided yarns. Tied it around my wrist. However, i didnt know i had to clease my store bought yarn before doing the binding. Is it too late to cleanse it? Can i do another binding spell for the same intent? Im afraid it might cancel each other out..

    • WiccanSage profile imageAUTHOR

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      6 months ago

      Hi Maddy; through visualization. That's what the meditation & training is for.

    • WiccanSage profile imageAUTHOR

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      6 months ago

      You're welcome, thanks for commenting!

    • profile image

      Maddy 

      6 months ago

      I have a question...how do I pour my energy into the crystal?

    • profile image

      Kelso 

      6 months ago

      Thanks for this information, Sage.....

    • profile image

      Shara 

      7 months ago

      Is it okay to charge with both sun and moon? Or just 1?

    • profile image

      Witch bitch 

      9 months ago

      When I was writing in my book of shadows I was wondering if you could charge amulets, wands etc to have a specific purpose like a herbal amulat

    • WiccanSage profile imageAUTHOR

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      11 months ago

      You can do it again if you like, but there is no one verse only that allows you to do this. If you feel comfortable with the first time you did it and the verse you use, it'll be fine. If it makes you uncomfortable and worried, then you might do it again to put your mind at ease.

      Thank you, hope that helps!

    • profile image

      Deborreh 

      11 months ago

      I consecrated an object but use the wrong verse do I have to reconscerate the object again?

    • WiccanSage profile imageAUTHOR

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      13 months ago

      Hi Ms.Moseille; oh, how terrible. Wow, and paper too. Just being shaped like a knife, crazy they would take that away.

      It's always heartbreaking to lose our beloved tools, I don't personally believe it causes us any bad luck. I wouldn't worry about it on that level. Hopefully the loss of one thing will open the way to something new.

      Hope that helps!

    • profile image

      Gonzalez Rita 

      13 months ago

      Cool

    • profile image

      msmoseille 

      14 months ago

      Hi, i have a question please! last year while i was travelling by air. My athame was taken at Dubai airport ( it was not a knife, it was a very beautiful handcrafted paper knife made out of clay). Just coz it was shaped like that they took it. I travelled half heartedly after as I used it in most of my rituals. do you think its bad luck to lose athame like that :((( i really miss it :( it was with me for 8 years :((

    • WiccanSage profile imageAUTHOR

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      17 months ago

      Thanks Wolves!

    • Wolves Forge profile image

      Wolves Forge 

      19 months ago

      Wonderful article Mackenzie it clears up some questions I had as I am new to the craft and beginning my journey and learning from many different sources. I am in the middle of setting up our alter and this will help me get it done and feel better about the process. Thank you and many blessings.

    • WiccanSage profile imageAUTHOR

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      20 months ago

      You're welcome Erin, and thank you so much for your feedback! I'm glad to have helped.

    • profile image

      Tammy McMillan 

      20 months ago

      I like your article, and look forward to reading and learning more .thanks,tammy

    • profile image

      erin 

      21 months ago

      hey, I'd like to thank you for this article. I have been doing this for a while and understood all three of the c's however I did not know all the options or ways to perform them individually so I really appreciate how you broke it down and kept it brief and uncomplicated yet extremely effective and understanding. you were right in saying that all the books and available information on these things can confuse the **** out of me! lol when meanwhile the message is not that complicated. so, thanks again. i'm new to this site but will follow you and look into more of your posts.. thanks again:)

    • WiccanSage profile imageAUTHOR

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      21 months ago

      Do some research for sure, esp. with crystals, minerals, gemstones and which way to charge them. Some would be harmed by sunlight, some by water, some by salt, etc... so whenever you get a new kind with which you're unfamiliar it's best to do research on basic care.

    • profile image

      suzy 

      22 months ago

      Loved yr article. Im just starting to practice skrying i hv a lead crystal ball and charge it once a month at the time of the full moon i was told that sunlight will actually ruin the ball, how do i kno which crystals can b harmed by sunlight and which ones r ok to sun charge? My crystal/stone collection is getting quite large now

    • profile image

      Xavier DAH 

      24 months ago from Utah

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

    • profile image

      DarkDAH 

      24 months 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

    • WiccanSage profile imageAUTHOR

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      2 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      White wolf 

      2 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Avery 

      2 years ago

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

    • WiccanSage profile imageAUTHOR

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Kristin. I appreciate your comment!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

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

    • WiccanSage profile imageAUTHOR

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      3 years ago

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

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      3 years 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 ++

    • profile image

      Jacki 

      3 years ago

      This was so helpful!!

    • WiccanSage profile imageAUTHOR

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      5 years ago

      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!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 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!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, exemplore.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://exemplore.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)