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Words by Yvette Fernandez

When people think about keeping their spaces clean, they think in terms of brooms and mops, not sage and singing bowls.

But what if what’s messing up your place is a ghost and not a dust bunny?

Robert Rubin, founder of Mysterium Philippines where he teaches Intuitive Development and tarot card reading explains how one can tell if a place is haunted. “First is the feeling of being watched whenever you’re in an area. You’ll noticel extreme temperature points in a house. For any reason whatsoever you enter a place, the place will be extremely hot, or extremely cold, or you’ll feel an extreme uneasiness that you cannot logically make sense of,” he says. “When a place feels abnormally uncomfortable and uneasy, if you feel you cannot sleep comfortably in that area even if you wanted to, then chances are there’s something there that needs to be addressed.”

Rubin, who authored the book Defensive Occultism: A Handbook to Supernatural Protection and Investigation and was one of the lead investigators in a paranormal investigative TV show. He has over 20 years of experience dealing with the supernatural, including clearing spaces of spiritual entities, or what is colloquially known as “ghostbusting.”

He explains that a haunting can be caused by different things: “You can have what we call thought forms [the spiritual buildup of one emotion]. You can have an actual sentient spirit. You can have cursed objects. You can have objects that have negative energies attached to them. All of these can perpetuate what people can consider a haunting, but they’re not (the same thing).”

Is Your House Haunted or Do You Need to Get Your Roof Fixed?

Not everything that goes bump in the night is caused by something supernatural. What if it’s the wood settling? What if it’s a roof that needs fixing? How can you tell? Aside from getting a professional to check things out, Rubin offers signs to look out for: “With an actual entity, in most cases, the entity will try to communicate. It will try to let its presence be known,” he says. “If it’s a drafty ceiling, check your ventilation. If it doesn’t trigger an emotional response, (it’s probably not a haunting)… But if I enter a room, most spirits will always resonate toward one emotion. It’ll (for example) resonate toward a feeling of depression followed by coldness—in other words, it will have a physiological actual manifestation and an emotional one as well. That’s when I think okay, there’s something here.”

Was It Always There? Or: Consent is Key

Sometimes, an entity has been in a place long before you ever set foot in it. Sometimes though, it’s you who’s accidentally let it in to party. “If (the spirit has) been there since you walked into the place, chances are it was there before you. If it just came in recently, chances are you invited it in,” Rubin says. “Be careful what you invite into your life because these things in most cases cannot coexist with you without consent.”

Sounds simple, right? Only, “consent” in the spirit world isn’t so cut-and-dried. “One of the biggest causes of hauntings is a person goes, ‘Oh, look at this antique chair. I bought it from an estate auction. I bring it into my house.’ You just invited it into your home,” he says. “In most cases, it’s because you brought it in. If it’s been there, ‘oh, ever since I was born this house has always had this energy to it,’ chances are it predates you.”

Esoteric Housekeeping: Keeping Your Space Psychically Clean

There are many ways to keep your personal spaces, such as your home or cubicle, free from unwanted guests. “(Burning) sage is good with getting rid of anything sentient that’s negative,” Rubin says. “ Another thing that’s helpful are singing bowls and chimes because they disrupt any thought forms that are building up around you so that they don’t grow into something bigger. But when you’re dealing with sentient energy, they hate sage.”

Another effective way of getting rid of negative energy, be it preventing spirits from clinging to you or even just getting the bad vibes from a negative coworker off is to bathe with rock salt and olive oil. “What I like to do is I get olive oil, I mix it with rock salt, I place it over my body, I just let it sit for a minute and then I slowly remove it while visualizing all negativities, everything that’s not helping me coming off,” Rubin says.

Salt is almost universally thought to have spirit-repelling properties. “The olive oil actually helps it absorb into the skin better and it makes it a little less rough. At the same time olive oil has been used in magical rites and anointing for hundreds of years,” Rubin adds. “It’s got a lot of collective energy behind it.”

If you’re Catholic, Rubin also suggests wearing the St. Benedict’s medallion, which has been used to ward away evil since the 15th century. “Have it consecrated, have it blessed, and wear it. It will keep all the bad juju away.”

Anger > Fear

There’s something strange in your neighborhood. How should you react? “The worst thing you can do is be afraid,” Rubin says. “I always tell my clients to never be terrified. If you’ve seen the movie Paranormal Activity, people say it was a demon but in fact it was a fear elemental because this spirit got stronger the more afraid the girl got.”

In fact, he says that anger is the way to go in this scenario. “Given the choice between getting terrified or angry, get pissed off. When you’re terrified, you give power, and its the only form of interaction that the spirit can have. It can’t eat, it can’t sleep, it just feeds off the fear. So the more you’re afraid, the more it feeds off of you because it can get more power over you. The next thing you know, you have things moving and your life looks a little bit creepier.”

When to Call in an Expert

Most of the time, proper psychic hygiene is enough to ensure that your space is your own. At the very least, who doesn’t have rock salt in their kitchen? But there are rare occasions when maybe it’s time to ask a professional for help. “If the simple things that you do are not working. If you feel that your children are getting a lot of nightmares out of nowhere, or things are moving on their own, if you feel that you’re in danger, or if you feel that you can’t handle it,” Rubin says. “Call when you’ve already exhausted everything. If it’s already affecting your standard of living like you’re always fighting with your wife, (or your life has become) something like Amityville, that’s when you need to talk to someone like me.”

There are some cases, however, that even Rubin won’t touch. “If it’s a demonic possession—I’m sorry, I’ve got a wife and kids—I’m not going to risk it. If it’s a genuine case of possession, it should be dealt with the diocese. We do have exorcists. I would not dare do it myself,” he says. “Anything below that, I think I can help.”

The biggest way to keep unwanted energies at bay, Rubin says, is to have faith. “There’s one thing in this world that can protect you from all forms of malevolent energy, and that’s faith. If you have faith in your creator, no spirit, demon, elemental, or fallen angel can harm you. But the minute you’re afraid, you’re simply saying ‘my faith isn’t strong enough,’” he states. “I tell my clients, ‘what’s stronger, your faith or your fear?’ Faith will keep you safe.”

Not every spirit is a malevolent soul out to get you. Most of the time, they’re just trying to exist on this plane, much like we are. “At the end of the day, always respect whatever was there,” Rubin says. “In most cases, what usually happens is we get the spirits to co-exist with the people. Okay, this part of the house is yours. This area of the lot is yours, just let the living people get the rest. It’s about respect.”

For more information, contact Mysterium Philippines at 0916-5511824 or visit their Facebook page.

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