Clearing your space(s) of negative energy is a process that will help you feel lighter, clearer, and healthier. If someone has been ill, if you are moving into a new place, if you have had emotionally draining visitors, and if you like to rejuvenate your life on New Year's Day or in the spring, space clearing will help you. Negative energy is stagnant and needs to be rattled and dissipated. It needs to be replaced by fresh, vibrant, positive energy.
While there are levels of "space clearing" that can be done on your space, an effective and meaningful personal ritual is a process I developed utilizing the 5 Chinese elements. I am including examples of tools I use; these can be modified to suit tools you have or what resonates with you.
Different energies are associated with each of the elements. You will make 4 trips around the space you want to clear (if you are clearing something in your house, I recommend clearing the entire house). Begin at your front door and keep moving to the right.
First, the Purification (Water) round—ahead of time, I prepare my water by pouring purified water into a spray bottle. I add an essential oil or lemon juice and then leave the bottle out in the sun (sunlight is the best disinfectant). When it is time to start the clearing, I walk around the edges of my space spraying it with my water blend.
Next, the Vitalization (Wood) round—the purpose of this round is to dislodge and shake up negative/stagnant energy. For this I use a drum, a gong, or just clap my hands. Again, start at the front door and walk the edges of your space—be sure to hit the corners of your rooms as energy can get trapped in them.
The Activation (Fire) round is next—clear out the now loosened negative energy by lighting pre-positioned candles around the space, or by burning sage or special incense and directing the smoke into all the nooks and crannies. [Warning—be careful with the sparks and do not hover near your smoke detector!]
The Transformation (Earth) phase can be used for a more personal ritual—write down something in your life you want to transform and then burn the paper with your clear intention to change the situation.
Finally, the Regeneration (Metal) round—this is to seal in clear/clean positive energy. I use a special bell for this, again setting my intention.
The 5 elements relate to each other in “nourishing” and “controlling” cycles. The above ritual follows the elements through an entire nourishing cycle. Water nurtures wood, wood feeds fire, fires makes earth, earth creates metal.