Some people use these two terms interchangeably but there is actually a huge difference between them, as this article will explain.
Space clearing is the feng shui art of clearing and revitalizing stuck energies that become imprinted over time in the walls, furniture, and other objects in the buildings we occupy. The term “space clearing” has passed into the English language as a generic term for all kinds of energy clearing techniques, but originally it was the name I coined to describe the specific ceremony I have pioneered and developed since 1976. It involves the use of various techniques such as clapping and belling, done in a particular way and a precise order.
Clutter clearing is one of the recommended steps to prepare for a space clearing ceremony. It can also be done by itself, with no intention of doing a space clearing ceremony or even knowledge that such a ceremony exists. It primarily involves clearing physical objects from a space, although there are also deeper levels that address mental, emotional and spiritual types of clutter. People generally begin with physical level clutter clearing and then progress to the other less tangible but equally important types.
Why there can be confusion between the two
Where the two overlap is that clearing physical objects from a place also clears out the energy that is imprinted in them, which is why I recommend that clutter clearing is done before space clearing. The ceremony is much easier to do and much more effective that way.
It’s also understandable that people confuse the two because clearing clutter undeniably creates more space. And also because the term “space clearing” was only coined in 1989, so is relatively new to the English language. Since the publication of my two bestselling books, just about anyone with knowledge of feng shui has heard of space clearing and clutter clearing, and knows the difference between them. But you can still find many articles and blogs where space clearing and clutter clearing are both used to mean clearing out physical things to create more physical space.
The difference between the two
No specialized knowledge at all is required for clutter clearing. Anyone can do it, anytime, any place. Everyone has clutter of some kind, and clearing it is never a one-time event. It needs to be repeated regularly to keep the things you surround yourself with up-to-date with who you are and where you’re headed in life.
Space clearing, on the other hand, requires special equipment and techniques, and is generally only for people who are ready for major change in their life. Clutter clearing can be done gradually as you feel able to let go of things you no longer need, but space clearing happens in a matter of hours and changes the entire energy of a space. There’s no going back. The degree of change will depend on the skill of the person doing the ceremony, and can range from a do-it-yourself lightening-and-brightening of a space to the profound levels of change that the professional space clearers I have trained are able to bring about.
That’s why I often recommend clutter clearing to people but never suggest professional space clearing unless a person brings up the topic themselves. They have to be ready for change. It’s also why the training to become a professional space clearing practitioner has to be of such a high standard. In my book, Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui, there are carefully built-in safeguards to enable anyone to do the space clearing ceremony in their own home, but doing it at practitioner level in someone else’s home requires a much greater degree of knowledge and skill.
Clutter clearing and space clearing work beautifully together, but for most people it’s too much to do both on the same day. I recommend clutter clearing first, but it can also be done the other way around. While there’s no denying you’ll get a better result if you clutter clear before doing space clearing, if you find yourself unable to get going with clutter clearing or unable to complete it, then skip it and do the space clearing, just as your home is, no matter how untidy or cluttered. The ceremony works best if it’s done with a specific focus in mind, so make clutter clearing the focus of this one because until you clear your clutter, you really can’t move forward in life anyway.
Space clearing is the most effective way I know of loosening the stuck energy that accumulates around clutter, so doing this ceremony will enable you to re-engage clutter clearing afterwards with renewed enthusiasm and gusto.
You’ll probably find, as most people do, that after ousting your junk and reclaiming your space you will want to do the space clearing ceremony again, this time with the focus on you rather than your junk. So this is yet another example of how clutter makes everything harder work. You’ll be space clearing twice instead of once. But hey, at least your life will be moving forward again, and that’s what counts.
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Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2011