1. What purpose does a house blessing serve?

The role of the house blessing is to dedicate the space in which you will live your life. To do that effectively, you must be clear what it is you want to do with your life in this house. Sorting through questions of privacy versus entertaining your community, quiet versus family space, the role the yard plays in your life, the role you choose to play in your neighborhood and in your community will help you understand what you really want to do in your life. The blessing can also help you set up your house to facilitate your hobbies and your habits. Hanging a blessing prayer on the wall can proclaim to all who enter that your house is dedicated to happy and meaningful lives. Why not let everyone know that they have the option of making their house their home?

2. When should I do a blessing?

You can do one blessing for all the endeavors that you will undertake in the house and that's great. But you might want to bless the house every time you make major shifts in your life. It's always helpful to sit and think about what you want and then reconsecrate the space when something changes. If the kids move out, or you retire, if you divorce or reconcile or should your partner die, any one of these times might be an occasion to rethink and rededicate the way you live in your home.

3. Whom should I invite?

Invite people to your house blessing who play important roles in your life. If your home is a retreat and a refuge, make this an intimate occasion with only the closest of family and friends. If you have a large community, who is in and out of your home, include them in the dedication. You can always have layers of guests invited, and proclaim the intentions that are appropriate for the people with whom you're sharing them. While good ritual is a public act, there is no reason for it not to be an intimate act. After all, at a house blessing you are clarifying what is most important to you in the ways you live your life.

4. Before we bought this house there were bad things that happened here. Is there anything I can do to clear this up?

Yes, absolutely. A house blessing is a wonderful way to tell the history of your home (or perhaps your family) and then put a seal on the past. One of my clients talked about ridding their new house of the dander of former owners' lives, which had sunk into the cracks of the floors and walls. Cleanse and purify the house and make it ready for the new life which will grow from this blessing and from your intentions.