Rice is a simple form of spiritual cleansing used in a similar way to sea salt. This is what I call a “psychic vacuum” because it draws out, and absorbs negative energies. Sometimes people will combine (white) rice and sea salt for spiritual cleansing rituals, especially in Feng Shui traditions.
The use of rice for spiritual cleansing is rooted in the Ghost Culture of China, and Japan.
There is an old Buddhist belief that there are hungry ghost roaming the earth seeking food, and liberation from pain. These ghost are the shadows of the dead who in life were greedy, evil and unsavory. Upon their death they are cursed with very large stomachs that are never full, and tiny mouths only big enough for one grain of rice to pass through at a time.
The Chinese Ghost Festival is an annual celebration in honor of the dead. According to, ChinaCulture.org, “The Chinese Ghost Festival is also called “Half July” (Lunar). It is a popular occasion celebrated throughout China on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month”. This is the time of year when these hungry ghost roam freely looking for sustenance. People honor them with offerings of Rice to keep them at bay, and stop them from causing misfortune.
Feeding the Hungry Ghost is an ancient ritual for appeasing the roaming spirits of the land, and in-turn protecting the home, and those within from their negativity. This is an offering for the ancestors, and a protective barrier for the home.
To perform the ritual of Feeding the Hungry Ghost gather a bowl of white rice. Say a prayer of thanks for those who have passed on, over the bowl. Then with the bowl of rice, walk the parameter of your home, laying a circle of rice around the foundation. A small amount of rice will do!
Halloween is the traditional time to honor the dead, and our ancestors. Perform the ritual of Feeding the Hungry Ghost during Halloween to observe this practice. This will keep your home safe from negative energy, as the veil between worlds grows thinner. You can even leave a bowl of rice by the front door, or on grave stones to honor the dead.
Here are a few more ways to use Rice for Spiritual Cleansing:
- Place a bowl of rice, and sea salt in each window of your home. This will serve as a protective barrier absorbing and disempowering negative energy that comes in your home… including ghost, and stray entities.
- Fill a bowl, or plate with rice (any kind will do). Place crystals, jewelry, Tarot decks, and other objects on the rice to absorb negative energy, and thoroughly cleanse them. Discard after two or 3 uses.
- Place uncooked rice in a muslin sachet, and tie tightly shut. Place this in your bath water, along with some lemongrass essential oil. Soak in the tub for 15-20 minutes. Do not wash with soap, or any body products this is strictly for spiritual cleansing. Dispose after each bath.
- Make a circle of salt around the base of any object, or place to create a protective barrier… as described above in the ritual of the Hungry Ghost.
- Infuse white rice with camphor essential oil by placing a few drops on uncooked rice, and tossing it about to coat each grain. Then place handfuls of the rice in sachets, or bowls around the home as a protective amulet. You can even leave them in the car, or on your person.
© Shaheen Miro 2014