Cleansing Magic

And, most important of all, always Cleanse after a job before interacting with the public, especially with anyone you care about.   In this line of work it's difficult to avoid bits of the job latching on and trying to take you for a ride. Once you master some of the Necromancy needed to stay alive I'll start teaching you some basic Cleansing Magic rituals to ensure you don't bring anything unexpected home with you, but in the meantime here's a list of my favorite commercially available options and where you can buy them. They'll keep you safe if for some reason I can't.
Ghost Hunter to Apprentice
  Cleansing Magic harnesses Imperium and Alchemy to shield a space, object, or individual from harms, curses, and harmful or invasive Psychic Magic or energy. Advanced practicioners can even remove existing curses through an intense regiment of rituals.

Utility

Unlike most other magics, Cleansing Magic relies heavily on Alchemy to achieve optimal effects. The rituals for preparing the herbs and other ingredients used in cleansing spellwork serve to unlock their full powers while grounding them in the magical fields. Cleansing spells are therefore more powerful when using materials prepared by more powerful mages, while properly grounded ingredients prepared by meticulous casters allow for safer cleansing spellwork with no fears of complications or curse rebounds. Cleansing Magic also has little use for Rune Magic, as the Alchemy itself stores its own imbued magic, although some practicioners prefer to store their ingredients on cabinets lined with protective runes.   Curative alchemical preparations are often available from the local Chemist or even many merchants, although it is important to ensure these are from a reputable source when not purchased directly from their manufacturer. Alchemical cleansing products may take the form of dried potpourri, teas, infused oils, herbal food additives, and even basic hygiene products such as soaps, body washes, and bubble baths.  

Psychic Shielding

The simplest form of Cleansing Magic, Psychic Shielding serves as a protective measure against negative psychic or spiritual energy, to prevent the need for further cleansing and protect against most curses. In practice this takes many forms, depending upon the culture, requirements, intentions, and resources of the individual. Most of these methods are also useful in more potent forms for active cleansing.  
Burning
Burning alchemical herbs, specially mixed to produce the desired effects, remains the most widely recognized form. Burning is most effective when wishing to cleanse a space rather than a person or object as the smoke binds to the harms in the air, drawing them out. Often the resultant ashes are then spread outside to serve as an additional protection.   In smaller spaces alchemical incense may be used instead, although this form is not as potent and therefore more effective as a shield against undesirable smells than negative energy. Individuals well-versed in Psychic Magic often burn aural candles as defense against the emotions of others, allowing them to maintain their own emotions without becoming overwhelmed by the emotional imprints of the objects and people around them.  
Steeping and Infusing
Sometimes steeping the alchemical mixture inside a liquid, thereby infusing it with the preventative cleansing, allows for a more effective delivery of the necessary magic. This method is especially effective when wishing to cleanse an individual or object as they can be targeted directly. Many varieties of herbal tea provide protections in addition to flavor, with the added benefits of defending the imbiber from the inside out. Alchemically infused oils remain a popular option, typically to spread on items but also available in moisturizing skin creams. High end bubble baths, body creams, and other hygiene products often contain some degree of preventative cleansing, with specialty products available for a more potent application.  
Steaming
Steam baths and saunas serve as another possible delivery method. Here the alchemical ingredients are infused in water before that water is heated and vaporized into steam for inhalation, allowing the Alchemy to pull harms from both internally as well as externally. Some public bath houses in Rol'na specifically cater to individuals seeking preventative cleansing, offering an emotional and spiritual detoxification.  
And how have you been sleeping at night? Much better, right? I told you! Those aural candles are a life changer!
Psychic Therapist to a coworker
 

Cleansing Spiritual Residue

When prevention is insufficient or applied too late and an individual has already been affected by negative spiritual or psychic energy, more potent versions of cleansing spellwork are required. In these cases the application will remain the same as used for preventative Psychic Shielding, but the alchemical concoctions and their preparation become more potent. Burning, steeping, infusing, and steaming are all effective delivery methods despite the more potent recipes. Individuals accustomed to encountering negative spiritual energies on a regular basis, such as Ghost Hunters or Portal Guides, have further encouraged the development of convenient methods for regular application of cleansing rituals.  
Activated Carbon
The cleansing filter, an additional filter for installation into the shower, remains particularly noteworthy. Burnt alchemical herbs, still infused with cleansing magic, are compressed into activated carbon water filters which also infuse their magics into the shower steam. Air filter versions are also available for use with specialized Circulators, although these are less effective than burning. In severe emergencies activated alchemical carbon may also be ingested to help absorb negative spiritual energies, although the carbon must be fresh (preferably specially manufactured for ingestion, and absolutely never pulled from a used filter). This form of treatment is intended as an emergency measure to slow symptoms until help arrives to apply a more directed treatment, as the carbon remains in the digestive tract and does not enter the bloodstream.  
Edibles
Many of the herbs used in cleansing rituals are edible, leading to the development of cleansing-based food items, especially hearty soups and stews. The Rol'nara have developed an especially potent spirit stew, combining savory meats and vegetables with cleansing-based flavors into an effective and tasteful alchemical concoction.  

Removing Curses

Removing curses from individuals or objects, and especially removing cursed objects from individuals, requires a much more complicated process. While many of the basic concepts remain the same the nature of curses requires a strict order of tasks and rituals for the cleansing of the target and subsequent banishment of the curse. Failure to adhere to these processes risks a failure to remove the curse or, in the worst cases, a false sense of success as the curse seeks its opportunity to reattach itself to the target.  
Severance of the Curse
Before any cleansing the curse's link to the item or individual must be severed. This requires access to the higher planes where the magic anchoring the curse to its target will become visible, as well as the ability to interact with the appropriate plane in order to physically sever the link. For this reason Necromantic Plane Phasing serves as a required skill when removing Curses, as Astral Projection will only serve to verify its presence. As long as the anchor remains the curse cannot be removed, only temporarily weakened.  
Curse Cleansing
Once the anchor has been severed the cleansing can begin. The specifics of the cleansing rituals depend upon the nature of the curse as well as its target, but tend to follow similar patterns with only the components themselves changing from curse to curse.   For cursed items the cleansing involves burning a carefully prepared mix of dried Alchemical reagents in an enclosed space with the cursed object, then coating it with the resultant ash for several days to leech out any curse remnants. The ratio of ash in relation to the object's size has a proportional effect on the length of time required to remove the curse. Large objects are therefore particularly time consuming to cleanse.   To remove a curse from an individual, on the other hand, one must burn the suitable alchemical mix while also drinking a complimentary cleansing tea. The preparation of the tea and its components is a separate ritual, required to be prepared first and then set to steep while the burning mixture is crafted. Once the tea has been consumed and the suitable herbs burned some people will also rub the resultant ashes onto their skin to further assist in leeching out the curse. The wet tea herbs can also be ground into a paste and mixed in with the ash before spreading on the skin. Coupled with the correct rituals by a mage skilled in Cleansing Magic this paste can boost the effectiveness of the consumed tea, but only when applied soon after consumption of the tea created by steeping the pasted herbs.   If the cursed object has attached itself to an individual then both the item and individual will require potent cleansing, using both tea and burning. In this case the ash tea paste becomes a requirement, to be spread around the area where the object and individual touch. Once the object can be removed both the individual and the object must be cleansed a second time, this time separately, to remove any vestigial traces of the curse and prevent reanchoring.  
Anti-Curse Shielding
Once the curse has been cleansed the affected targets of the curse must be shielded against its return. For objects this means application of a ritualistically prepared oil, infused with the applicable concoction of preventative herbs. Individuals require a similar alchemical mixture, steeped in heated water rather than oil, and must either bathe in the infused water or breathe in the warm steam in a sauna-like setting. Some choose to do both as an extra precaution, often with complimentary shielding soaps. Consumption of the infused water is not required, as the curse has already been removed.  
Did you hear about Killa? My cousin Tarly says she's not dying after all! Those beautiful earrings that cheating husband of hers gave her on their anniversary? Cursed!   Course, I could have told her that. That lazy zombie doesn't even remember their anniversary for four years and then suddenly he's buying her jewelry? Oh no. Something just doesn't add up. There's no way that's not suspicious.   But Tarly says Killa had a Ghost Hunter come through, check out the sounds in her basement. Turns out it wasn't a ghost, just squirrels. But he found the curse while he was doing that Necromancy thing, marched her straight to the Chemist and the two of them got her all sorted. Tarly says she's never seen Killa in such good health.   Course, dropping that husband of hers probably helped. Did you know he just moved right on in with her sister? Ooooh if anyone deserves to be cursed it's him. Good for nothing zombie, leeching off the folks too good natured to do otherwise. Some day, someone's going to give him what he deserves.
— local gossip
Parent Technologies
Access & Availability
Components, concoctions, candles, teas, and hygiene products crafted for preventative cleansing magic are readily available for purchase from most Chemist and even the occasional magically inclined Herbalists. In smaller villages without their own chemist it is not uncommon for merchants to import a selection of these items to sell among their wares. Families commonly practice their own general purpose cleanses, passed down through the generations and adapted for use with local easily grown ingredients. Cleanse gardens are a common sight in rural communities.   Curse removal is much more difficult, as the cleansing mage must actively participate in the full ritual. While most Chemist can perform the basics of curse removal a powerful curse requires an equally powerful Chemist.   The cleansing mage performing the rituals must also be free of harms or curses themselves, or they open a pathway for a harm or curse to circumvent the Cleansing Magic. For this reason all preparation rituals involve steps to cleanse harms from the individual performing the ritual. This also means that curses must be removed by someone other than the cursed individual. Even a powerful chemist requires another if they happen to contract a curse, although they can use their own Cleansing Magic to slow the curse's effects.
Complexity
Cleansing rituals require exact adherence to their process, which often involves additional steps to cleanse the mage performing the ritual and ensure their involvement does not become an entry point for a curse to anchor or a harm to bypass the cleansing. Many of the preparation rituals are complex and time intensive, requiring the preparation of ingredients and the use of Imperium in very exacting ways, although when preparing preventative measures a practicioner would typically save some time and effort by preparing in bulk. Curse removal requires personal attention and custom preparation for optimal results.


Cover image: Nature Forest Trees by jplenio

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Comments

Author's Notes

Many thanks to Dani for your and inspiration in refining the foundation of cleansing magic.


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10 Mar, 2021 17:52

<3 ooooo those new bits of vignette are amazing! I LOVE that last one, made me laugh :D


You are doing a great job! Keep creating; I believe in you!
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10 Mar, 2021 18:02

So glad you enjoyed them!   Thank you SO much for being my alpha AND beta reader on this one, too. I had do much fun bouncing ideas off you!

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
12 Mar, 2021 23:38

I love all the different forms of cleansing - especially the cleansing food and the idea of activated carbon. I also really love the idea of a cleansing garden. Feels as though it'd be peaceful just to sit in one. <3

13 Mar, 2021 00:28

You know... Maybe it would be. Gardens are always so relaxing to sit in.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
31 Mar, 2021 12:09

I enjoy always your articles about magic! The closing quote is just amazing and funny! I always felt really connected with the activated carbon usage, since we use it in accidental toxin ingestion too, as I suppose you know!

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31 Mar, 2021 12:53

Yes! Part of why I used it that way here.   I am so glad you have been enjoying these. <3

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
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