Updated: Sep 22, 2018
In the practice of working with energies, it makes sense that what we use develops our energies and intentions. Arguably, it's how a lot of this works, right? You infuse or conjure this energy and push it toward a central goal, or you use energy to determine past, present and future; tarot cards, for instance, are said to work by picking up the querant's energies. But focusing on this energy is just as important after any spiritual work as it is before and during. Let's chat about it.
Cleanse After Ritual
Often, post-ritual, we overlook the residuals of any energy. We sage or cleanse a space before-hand, perhaps, but what about after? Perform whatever cleansing ritual is best for you after the incantation. This may mean using the same smudge stick you used in the beginning, or spraying some Protection Spray or Cleansing Spray in the air.
This is important especially for any banishing work, grief work or cleansing work. If you're banishing or ridding grief or stress, often you're infusing those feelings into another item--a bay leaf, a stone--and that means getting the energy out of you and into that item. But it all doesn't end up there. Just like when we yell or feel stress in general, that energy drifts into the space, and you cant guarantee that your channeling has moved all 100% of that nastiness coming out of you into that item. This space is probably also your home, and you don't want that energy booping about (after all, you're trying to get rid of it).
Ensure that you cleanse that space.
Always Use (and Cleanse) New Candles
This may seem like an obvious point, but often, we may run out of fresh chime candles and use the rest of another. Each of those items had a particular purpose, and to use them for another ritual means mixing intentions. And if one was used for banishing and one was used as grounding, but the banishing energy is still there in a grounding ritual, you might be hacking away at the foundation you're trying to build. Always use new candles to avoid that transfer, and always cleanse and anoint candles to rid them of any residuals from people touching them. After all, you probably weren't the only person to pick that candle up in the store.
Always discard that which you use
We often use herbs or salts in rituals. Those items hold energy, and they had a particular purpose. Some spells, like love spells or any "adding" spells--those that add positive elements into your life--can ask you to carry the herbs (ensure they're dry or you're going to have a rotten time...literally) or salts (not for long; they can begin to liquiefy) to encourage that growth. That's fine. But you can't carry it around forever. When possible, bury the items. This 1) takes them back to the earth and can be viewed as an offering, and 2) can add correspondence to your work. For instance:
Bury items in the western direction for work related to emotions or the subconscious, like dream spells.
Bury items in the southern direction for banishing work or any work that removes something. Also bury in this direction for work related to sex or power.
Bury items in the northern direction for grounding or foundation work.
Bury items in the eastern direction for new beginnings or fresh starts.
If you can't bury items, then it's better to toss them or burn them.
Cast and Close the Circle: An Annoying Reminder
Circles are often cast during large rituals, but it's in my opinion that they should be cast at any time one is performing any spellwork that involves asking any entity, energy or direction for assistance, including something simple like invoking the moon or sun. You're opening a path for other entities to come in, and if you don't 1) define the parameters of that opening, and 2) close it, you might have caused yourself more harm than good if something unwanted comes in and stays.
What are some of your methods to avoid residual energy?