We recently moved to a new home and everybody I talked to — friends, colleagues, acupuncturist, painters — offered up an opinion on how to make sure that we had an auspicious move. Each piece of unsolicited advice was completely sincere and each advice giver assumed their new-home ritual was absolutely a given: “You already brought bread and honey, right?” “Of course, you will boil milk.” Turns out, Mash-Ups have a lot of opinions!
Auspicious has slightly different meanings from culture to culture, but let’s just say it usually has to do with prosperity, food and babies. Never one to turn down a meaningful ritual and added blessings, we included several of these rituals in our move. What are your new home rituals?
Pick the Right Move Date
Some dates are just not auspicious for moving. Check out this Hindu calendar and this Chinese Almanac for some key dates to evaluate whether you are moving on a lucky day — this could be based on numerology, the phase of the moon, the calendar, or your zodiac sign. [Editor’s Note: We are very relieved to look retroactively at our move date and see that it was auspicious!]
Buy New Brooms and Mops
Do you really want to bring in all the old dirt and troubles? Throw those old brooms out and start fresh! The ancient Chinese tradition of Feng Shui says so.
Bring Bread and Salt
As one of the most basic foods, bread is what will allow many of us to survive and in that way is the most basic blessing we need in our new home. Jewish tradition suggests that you bring bread and salt to a new home, to ensure that through your hard work you are always able to eat.
Burning or smudging sage is a Native American tradition which many non-Natives have taken up. It helps move bad energy around and out of your space. Some people do it every week! First, get a bundle of sage (usually white), wrapped with thread and occasionally accompanied by lavender or other herbs. Then get a fire resistant bowl. Light the sage above the bowl and wait for it to start smoking. Starting at the front door walk around the house clockwise and wave the smoke in the air. Focus particularly on corners and remember to open closets and other closed doors.
Boil Milk Until It Overflows
Hindu tradition has us boiling milk on our new stove in an open pot until it boils over the sides. This symbolizes the abundance of prosperity and food which will bless the new home. After it has boiled over and you offer some to the deities of your choice, serve the milk with a bit of sugar to the guests in your home. There are also many more rich and complex ceremonies in the Hindu tradition, but we are taking baby steps.
Plant Pomegranate Trees (Or Just Crack Open Some Fruit)
All those little red seeds that are delicious and tedious all at the same time? Well, in many cultures (Armenian, Persian, Chinese, Indian, Jewish) pomegranates represent fertility, so bring pomegranates and plant pomegranate trees if the new homeowners want babies!
Have a Housewarming Party
Because across cultures, everyone believes that the best way to start your new life in your new home is by filling your space with love and laughter.Feeling homey? Check out where Mash-Ups Maria Hinojosa, Ashok Kondabolu, Heidi Durrow, and more feel most at home.