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
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
Tell Us About You:
Before reading this, how clear were you on the '3 C's'
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 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 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
to dedicate as sacred
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