Sometimes we like things clean, but sometimes we like it dusty and dirty on our Taoist altar! Why do we keep all that dust and incense ashes all over the place and not clean up our statues, table and things? Without this article, you might still be clueless and thinking that we are being lazy. However, with the knowledge, you will understand that sometimes we do want the dusty and dirty look for a good reason!
What happen when things are dust-covered? Besides of looking bad to you, maybe you should look at it in a more neutral way. Dust cover things up and it gets more heaty. Dust is a natural insulator, and it drives the heat up quickly. You can witness this with your PC. Open the case and see the scary side of your computer. When you clean the dust out, your computer can operate much better because the component is not heated up as badly and now things it can work properly.
As you can see, dust helps to bring “energy” be absorbed and contained into things that it covers, and so this can be good or bad depending on where and what dust it is.
You burn incense and the smoke is all there because of the particles floating in the air, which results in the dust and ashes. Yes, dust is not good for your pc, because it make your pc heaty. At the same time, it is good for your altar and statues, because it packs the energy from your incense and pre-heaven energies into things. When the statues are filled with dust on top, let them be, it’s good for them and it builds up energy inside these things.
For example, on my ground altar, you can see the five ghost statue all dust-covered from the incense smoke and such, it’s fine! They look great like that and is for sure collecting and building up tons of energy inside, let them be nourished and charged!
Dusty Versus Clean Side
When things are clean, meaning no dust, and the original colors are showing and exposing, its good for your world. Why so? Because the light of the object can show itself and so energy and power can expose to this world. When it’s dust-covered, the energy and power stays inside and gets charged up, energized and it builds up the power.
Therefore, you will want to get your statues dusted, and leave a few parts of it clean from time to time. For example, the face of it, and the hands of it, that’s enough! Use a small brush to help it brush off the dust on the face and hands from time to time when it gets too dusty, that’s enough!
If you are doing Cheng Sun, it’s good to dust off the top of their heads before you start channeling in energies for them, which is to clear up their “entrance” port for the energy to go in. If the top is too dusty, they don’t connect and get things into the statues well.
Your Sun Paai should be dusted from time to time if it is very dusty, but otherwise, we only clean it once a year or so. It’s fine!
When to Clean up the Altar
Every month, we should give the altar a clean up before the next Cheng Sun session on the first day of the lunar month. Every yearend, on the lunar Dec 24-28, is the time when we start to clean up and conclude the altar. You can shut down the altar and do your big clean up, polish up the pot with brasso, and even refinish some of the things if you need to etc. After the 28th, you are all set and everything is waiting to be reactivated again. Rest for 2 days, and then on the first day of CNY (new year), you will open altar, Cheng Sun, and welcome everything in again.
You do not need to keep the altar sparkling clean every day. Instead, just do some minor clean up for the front portion of the altar every day. Sweep or wipe the dust from the table and clean up the front part of it and that’s basically enough.
Interesting read isn’t it? Want to start your own altar? Get ordained today to start learning!