Let The Good Vibes In
I love and need to be surrounded by great energy. And during this unprecedented time in the world with so much time spent in our homes and so much negative energy all around us... we all really could use some good clearing. I'm talking about energy clearing with sage and palo santo to banish negativity, purify the air and really bring home the good vibes.
The term “smudging” refers to almost any type of spiritual or energetic cleansing that uses smoke. The word comes from the indigenous North American tradition of burning dried plant materials to spiritually purify an object, space or person. Smudging is also viewed as a blessing of sorts, giving the gift of purification to a person in need. Smudging is a simple way to cleanse yourself and create sacred space. You can smudge yourself when your spirits are low, when you are feeling anxious and stressed, after you have been around someone who is sick or depressed, after a disagreement, during meditation and when in prayer. You can smudge your surroundings to cleanse the energy, clear a brand new home, clear out after a divorce, clear energy every season, or just whenever you want to begin anew. Or even after watching the daily anxiety ridden news.
Sage, as an herb, is antimicrobial, boosts memory and mental clarity, and can improve air quality, according to science.
In Shamanic practices, the smoke from sage is believed to drive out evil spirits, negative thoughts and feelings and can keep negative energies away.
Sage and Palo Santo both are great to use as an energy cleanser when burned. Traditionally, Native Americans used sage or other sacred plants for smudging. But using palo santo wood in place of sage is sometimes preferential to some people as they find the smell of burning sage unpleasant or have allergic sensitivities to it. Either one works great.
Sage has both antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Research has shown that burning sage can purify the air and eliminate up to 94% of harmful bacteria for up to 24 hours. Getting rid of airborne pathogens.
Sage can boost your mood and decrease stress
The act of burning the sage stick itself can make you feel more grounded. Smudging has a connection to mindfulness. Because of the ritualistic nature of burning sage, it helps people to achieve a sense of calm and clear-headedness as would meditation. Rituals and routines can help calm us by bringing order and predictability to your life.
4 elements involved in smudging:
A shell or clay bowl that represents water
The sage or palo santo that represents the earth and mother nature
The feather and the wind it creates that represent air
The flame used to light the sage or palo santo that represents fire
Setting your intention
Intention is everything with this ritual, so before you begin, ask yourself what you’re trying to purify and/or heal from or release....both in your space and in yourself. This is the most important aspect of clearing energy. And it can be really simple. Visualize your goal. Create a mantra for what you hope to achieve. Something like "I fill this home with light, love, positive energy and great health." Nothing too complicated. Just go with how you feel and how you want your space to feel. Maybe in these scary days we are all living through we can all add something like "I hope for health, peace, understanding and compassion in our world." It can help us all out.
How do I do it?
During a smudge, sage or palo santo should be placed on a container or dish and ignited . Make sure the container is fireproof. That is why I like to use an abalone shell. Totally safe, and it looks pretty too. Ignite the sage or palo santo over the dish. After igniting, the flames are then gently blown out and the smoke, which heals the mind, heart and body, is guided over the person and space, either by hand or with a feather to gently move the smoke around. When cleansing a person or yourself start from the feet up to lift the energy.
Start to waft around your space and through your different rooms with your intention in mind. Starting in one corner and pushing energy toward the door can be a good way to release bad vibes. Pay special attention to wafting in corners as well as high-traffic areas like hallways and doorways. When cleansing a room it is good to start in one corner and go all around...making sure the smoke reaches into all the corners where energy can get trapped. Continue reciting your mantra. After you have cleared, cleansed and blessed your space and yourself... put the end of the sage or palo santo on a fireproof surface to make sure it has stopped burning. After clearing and cleansing, extinguish the sage stick or palo santo by gently pressing it into the abalone shell or a clay dish, glass bowl or ashtray. You can also allow it to burn out on its own.