Demons are not ideal houseguests.
Whether demons are real, malignant spirits uploaded from Hell, or manifestations of human fears and traumas is the topic of another discussion—but regardless, it can be comforting and grounding to go through the motions of cleansing your space.
In general, it's very important to make your living quarters be a positive refuge where you can recharge and escape. Sometimes this can be achieved by cleaning and organizing alone; but other times, you might need a few rituals to help clear the air.
Here's how to keep demons at bay in your home, wherever you are.
1. Burn sage
This is the most obvious thing you can do when it comes to keeping your home demon-free. Sage-burning is a popular practice all around the world. It originated as a sacred practice used by Native Americans, and it usually involves burning herbs to cleanse negative energies. You can do this with lavender, sweetgrass, or cedar, though sage is the most popular choice.
If you decide to practice this, conduct the ceremony with respect and care. Here's how: You'll need only the herbs, a candle and matches, a fireproof container, and a bowl of sand to extinguish the herbs after the ceremony. Start by focusing your energy, then light the herbs and wait for them to smolder. Once the smoke begins to flow, you can begin walking in a clockwise motion around your house, starting at the front door and wafting the smoke all around you. Don't forget to hit the basement, closets, and other enclosed spaces. At the end of the ceremony, gently extinguish the herbs in the bowl of sand.
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2. Salt your home's corners and windows ( or use holy water)
Salt is another classic way to ward off evil spirits. It's so old that its usage as a protective talisman predates the writing of the Bible, Torah, and Quran. It appears in dozens of ancient religions, usually as a way to get rid of ghosts and other malignant forces.
To salt a room, just pour a half-inch along window sills, fireplaces, vents, and the floor under a door. You can also build a salt circle around you if you'll be in one place for a while and want extra protection.
Some traditions propose that salt alone can keep away ghosts, but not demons. Fortunately, holy water can do that trick. To make holy water in your own home, get some fresh water, put it into a clean container, sprinkle in some kosher sea salt, and depending on your religion, recite a prayer. Some sources suggest Psalm 103.
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3. Keep high vibration activities in your home
For a long time, new-age believers (and stoned people) have been waving their hands around and talking about "energies" and "good vibes." However, scientific research has suggested that not only are vibrations present all around us—they actually might comprise all matter, and adjustments to vibrations can actually change our moods and even heal diseases.
There are a lot of ways to get your space's vibrations more in tune. Some sources suggest keeping the lights low, using salt lamps, playing music, adding plants and fresh flowers, burning incense, lighting candles, using singing bowls, crystals or bells, decorating with favorite colors, letting fresh air in, cutting out excessive electronics, and the like. This all might sound hippy-dippy, but think about it: It can't hurt, and at the very least, your space will be a little bit more pleasant to live in.
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4. Get rid of negative objects
The Marie Kondo method will come in handy here. To combat troublesome demons, clear your home of objects that harbor negative feelings or that remind you of bad times. Still clinging to that necklace your ex gave you? Cast it away immediately! In general, clearing your space and maintaining a minimalist aesthetic can allow you to feel more at home and at peace in your home. In the process, you may realize that having more stuff isn't the key to any sort of peaceful mind. Instead, it's about carefully choosing and working with what you have, and not being scared to discard things taking up too much literal or psychological space.
In general, decluttering and keeping your space neat is one of the most important things you can do to maintain a positive inner and outer environment. Even simple changes can lead to major results; extensive scientific research has concluded that people who make their beds are usually happier and healthier than those who don't.
Cleaning needs to be a regular ritual, though. You can't just organize your room once and expect it all to stay like that. If you don't tidy up a bit on a regular basis, don't be surprised when the demons and/or the mess come right back.
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5. Recite a mantra or prayer
This step depends entirely on you and your own personal beliefs, but many religions do propose that certain mantras and prayers can be powerful shields against demonic presences. We'll spare you from having to read a selection of cherry-picked passages here, but powerful sayings and poems are available everywhere. Just find one that aligns with your faith or feels right, and go for it.
Sometimes, a quick, peaceful mantra about love and light will do the trick. If you need something stronger, there are plenty of aggressive banishing spells and rituals that target specific kinds of demons, and in extreme cases, you can hire exorcists and/or professional help.
6. Befriend the demons and/or become one yourself
When all is said and done, sometimes it's not going to be productive to try to banish all demons from your home, especially when those demons are stemming from your head. You're always stuck in your mind, after all, and as essentially all psychoanalyts agree, sometimes you need to face your past traumas or hauntings in order to live with them and eventually set them (and yourself) free.
A lot of America's demon-hatred comes from restrictive and colonial aspects of Christianity, which is built around a binary structure that praises lightness above darkness at all times, as well as preaching a fear of the "Other" (which, some philosophers argue, is a fear of the dark side of the self, projected outwards). Many ancient religions believed that the world's existence requires a cycle of darkness and light, and malignant and trickster gods naturally live alongside the righteous and pure ones. (It's also not great to exoticize or elevate religions other than your own, so balance is key here).
Basically, sometimes, the demons are just looking for a little love, recognition, and/or respect, and so trying to bury them deep down inside you is inevitably going to result in them bursting up in a flash of hellish fury, when you could've been existing in peaceful harmony all along. Be kind and gentle with your demons (within reason), and you might be surprised at how they respond. By suppressing or wasting energy on hating your resident demons, you might actually be hating and suppressing part of your true self—a self that, though it might seem at odds with societal norms or other expectations, could help you in ways you never dreamed.