Space Clearing & Smudging
Updated: Jan 23
Smudging rituals - energetically clearing a space with smoke - are as old as time and can be found across ancient, modern, aboriginal, Indigenous, settler, and Pagan traditions. The smoke from burning sacred herbs can purify the mind, body and home. The ritual act of smudging can also unify individuals and groups with Source energy. It can bestow health, mental clarity, spiritual protection, and blessings from on high.
To smudge your space, gather together your tools:
Herbs & Incense: Juniper, Pine, Mugwort, Rosemary, Lavender and Chaparral are abundant plants in many regions and easily sourced. While popular and deeply loved, Palo Santo is on the endangered list - there are only 250 mature trees in the wild (!). Similarly, White Sage and Sweetgrass have been harvested to such an extent that populations are dwindling rapidly - making it harder for Indigenous peoples to source - the very people who carried the traditions of smudging for thousands of years. With respect for Indigenous people, the plants and delicate ecosystems, please do not purchase Palo Santo, White Sage or Sweetgrass. Instead, collect and bundle your own herbs from those listed above or use incense - preferably organic and fairly traded. I especially like cones of dragon’s blood, and sticks of Sandalwood and Tibetan Monastery incense.*
Dedicate a fire-safe bowl to use beneath the lit bundle to catch any embers or ashes. Be sure to carry with you a trusty lighter - herbs have a habit of burning out.
Set your intention for the ritual - are you cleansing the residue of a past relationship, a tricky chapter in your life, a funky feeling state? Call in any supports - ancestors, guides, loved ones, teachers, etc.
Begin by smudging yourself. From your feet, draw soft circles of smoke around your body upwards to above your head. Take several deep breaths and relax any tense muscles. As you enter your center and calm, start smudging your home in a clockwise direction. It’s nice to begin at the front door.
Gently wave your bundle of herbs in the air as you move, dreaming into the smoke to charge its ability to locate and clear accumulations of stale/unwanted energy. Slowly walking through the space, you may notice memories, images, or feelings arise. Be with the thoughts and emotions, be careful not to identify with them or yarn into stories. Soften the mind and body and invite the smoke to dissolve and lift the thoughts and emotions away.
Smudge each room, including all closets, bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages, etc. Take extra time smudging the corners from floor to ceiling, as corners tend to store stagnant energy.
When you have invited all the negativity to dissolve from every room and you are back at your front door, take a deep breath. Feel into the space - does it feel clearer, more uplifting? Hopefully yes!
To close the ritual, step outside the house and smudge yourself once more. Carefully, safely extinguish your bundle or stick. Thank your highest self / source, the herbs and the land, your home, your past and future, and anyone or anything else to help elevate the frequency of you and your home.
If you're not keen on burning anything, you can turn on salt and selenite lamps to uplift and clear the energy in any room. I also like clearing my home with just my mind. I deepen into a space by anchoring it’s connection with the center of the earth. I envision the space surrounded by lavender light for protection and then see a sun in each room expanding it's rays until the light fills every corner of the space, clearing energetic debris room by room . . .
As we clear away the past, there’s so much more room for *new.* Wishing you light, clarity and ease in this New Year!
*Sandalwood helps ground. Cedar purifies. Juniper elevates and comforts. Rosemary facilitates new beginnings. Yerba Santa heals and brings love. Mugwort enhances dreams. Tibetan monastery incense enhances mental clarity. You may also use resins like frankincense and myrrh to elevate your spirit and protect. To burn resins, place a charcoal puck in a bowl of sand and light the edge of the charcoal until it takes. After a minute or so, the charcoal will glow red. Sprinkle a small amount of resin on top. I personally love resins, but don’t love the smell of fuel that accompanies most charcoal pucks so I skip ‘em most of the time.