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Natural Awakenings Charleston SC

Publisher's Letter January 2021

Dec 24, 2020 01:41PM ● By Toni Conover

I think we have all looked forward to greeting this new year, after the unprecedented challenges we faced in 2020.  There’s never been a better time to make a fresh start. One great way to do that is to get rid of the old to make room for the new. I am in the process of doing just that, getting my house ready to put on the market. Cleaning out the clutter has been a lot of hard work after being here for twenty-five years.  It has also been enormously satisfying. I feel lighter and clearer. I owe that entirely to my uber-organized sister-in-law Jennie. She helped me do a massive purge and find a home for every item in my house. Now there’s breathing room in my cabinets and drawers. My counters are clear, and it is so much easier to find things, and to keep everything tidy and clean. If you are like me and the process of decluttering and organizing seems overwhelming, I hope you can find your own Jennie. Even if you don’t have a Jennie in your life, start small. The effort is worth it! I highly recommend the book Decluttering at the Speed of Life for great realistic tips on making decluttering manageable.

I will be incorporating some of the practices mentioned in the article below for blessing my new home, but the new year is also a great time to bless your space and set intentions for the year ahead. “Simple gestures of intention, sprinkled with some beauty, enable us to claim our space and sow a new beginning.”

Wishing you and yours a healthy and happy new beginning in 2021!


House Blessings

for Clearing and Protecting Spaces

by Marlaina Donato

Moving into a house, office or any new space prompts us to envision bright days ahead filled with hope and joy. Perhaps this is why, from first-century Christians praying to dissuade evil influences to the Mayans smudging herbs to welcome positive energy, the act of blessing a house is such a time-honored tradition.

Whether held in private or with a group of kindred souls, with or without religious elements, blessing a new dwelling takes the concept of housewarming to a sacred level. A house blessing can temper the hair-pulling stresses of a move and be a wonderful way to restore harmony after life gives us a jolt, be it a job loss, a broken relationship, a loved one’s passing or an illness. Simple gestures of intention, sprinkled with some beauty, enable us to claim our space and sow a new beginning.

Arranging seasonal blooms in jewel-toned vases, scattering fresh rose petals over the threshold or misting the air with ethereal scents consecrates what might otherwise seem mundane. Singing a favorite song, whispering a spontaneous prayer or reciting a Buddhist chant during the flurry of unpacking invites calm and attracts benevolent influences. Pungent smudges of dried, white sage, sweetgrass, pine or lilac flowers help dissolve unpleasant memories and energetic imprints from the past.

Honoring the four elements of earth, air, fire and water can create balance and celebrate ancient customs. Adding one or more essential oils to a spray bottle filled with distilled water or culinary rose water is an easy way to mist the air and the space inside drawers, closets and cupboards before filling or refilling them. Hanging fresh evergreens, leafy branches or tufts of blossoms over doorways evokes what 10th-century mystic and healer Hildegard of Bingen called veriditas—the greening energy of the Earth. Employing a crystal or Tibetan singing bowl, beating a shamanic drum or playing an instrument in select rooms can charge the atmosphere with fiery hope. Opening windows, even briefly during cooler seasons, invites in the fresh air of possibility.

Stepping into a new life—or revitalizing an existing one—is one of the most beautiful acts of caring for soul and self. Blessing our spaces is also an expression of gratitude, something that can make any life wonderful.

Marlaina Donato is an author and recording artist. Connect at

Online Bonus!

Concentrated Essential Oil Space-Clearing Mist

 Add 30 drops of lavender or spike lavender, 20 drops of ylang ylang and 15 drops of lemon to distilled water in a medium-large spray bottle. Shake well before each use.

 From Multidimensional Aromatherapy: Clinical, Practical and Vibrational Applications, by Marlaina Donato.

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