What you are reacting to is energy. Even though we can’t physically see it, energy is everywhere. Everything is, literally, energy. And the more you learn to tune in to yourself, raise your vibration and move forward on your spiritual and personal development path, the more sensitive you will become to others’ energy.
Learning how to effectively clear yourself and your spaces from others’ energy as needed is a wonderful tool in your wellbeing repertoire that will support you in all aspects of your being. One of the oldest and most used forms of energy clearing is called smudging, where you use the smoke from wood or dried herbs to clear the energy of space or person. Two of the most popular and sacred are sage and palo santo.
What it is: Sage is a herb that has been used for centuries for its medicinal purposes. Maggie Harrsen, the Peru-based founder of Puakai Healing, shares, “There’s a long history of Native Americans using sage to connect to the spirit world and cleanse the body and space of impurities before a ceremony,” she says. “The life force energy of its smoke penetrates deep into the ether and alters the vibration of a space, or living being, by absorbing any heavy, dense energy.” Scientific research states that sage has also been proven to absorb up to 94 percent of airborne bacteria.
How to use: Sage is typically used in a process called ‘smudging’ and can be done in a room or on an individual. Get a sage stick (online or from your health food/healing store, or make your own), which is a collection of dried sage tied together with some form of string, a heat proof bowl and a lighter or match. Open all of the windows and doors of the space you are clearing. Light the sage over the heat proof bowl, and then gently blow out the flame leaving a waft of smoke. In your room, move clockwise around the space letting the smoke circulate throughout the room. Pay particular attention to the corners as this is where stagnant energy can accumulate. Imagine that old energy is leaving your space, drifting away with the smoke as it clears.
Smudging a person: you can clear your personal energy (or someone else’s) after an illness, a negative experience or interaction, or whenever you feel the need for a fresh start. Start with the soles of the feet and in a circular clockwise motion bring the sage stick up the body, using a feather or your hand to circulate the smoke around the body and over the head and down the back body. The smoke clears the energy field as it wafts around you. Keep the sage over the heatproof bowl when not in use to catch any ash falling to remain safe.
When finished, extinguish the sage stick in some sand or dirt, or extinguish the smoke in the heat proof bowl and pack away safely for next time. Ensure of course all flames are out first. It is important when using sage that you then fill the room up with something positive, as sage literally leaves a clean energetic state. Using some Palo Santo, some incense or diffusing some essential oils will all add positive energy into your space.
What it is: Translated as ‘holy wood’ it is one of the most fragrant woods in the world. Native to South America it has a sweet scent and for centuries has been a harbinger of good fortune and healing. The wood has long been used by healers, yogis, shamans and anyone seeking a spiritual connection, who want protection and healing. When the wood is burned, as it has been for centuries by the indigenous people of the Andes, it is believed to clear negative energy and bring a calm and tranquil energy into any environment.
How to use: burn the end of a Palo Santo wood stick, and when the flame has gone out you will see a steady stream of smoke wafting from the wood. You can use this to clear a room, walking around the corners of the room and through the space, and also waft the smoke over and around people to clear their personal energy field. I like to use it before meditation and yoga practice, and before and during my writing to clear energy and welcome in positive, harmonious energy around me. I even used my Palo Santo with some new antique furniture I bought recently, to clear any old energy and welcome it into my space.
As an aside, you can also use the wood in boiling water as a tea, and get pure Palo Santo oil to diffuse or use on the body topically. Whilst with sage you need to fill up the space with positive energy once cleared, this is not required with Palo Santo as it adds positive energy as it clears, making it a very simple and beautiful process.
Other ways you can clear your space and bring in positive energy include;
Incense: incense has been used for centuries across many religions and cultures like Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Hinduism as part of rituals and ceremonies. Favourites include Sandalwood, Frankincense, and Rose incense. It is beautiful to use as part of rituals like meditation, and also to bring in fresh new energy and bless a space after smudging.
Salt: place a bowl of salt in the corner of your room, which is known for its ability to absorb negative energy. Placing a small bowl of salt in each corner of a room you want to clear, along with the intention to remove unwanted energy, is a great practice when in a new space or before and after having people in your space. After one day, discard the salt. Having salt baths is also amazing for this same reason.
Keeping your space clear of stagnant and negative energy, clearing your body and spirit, and welcoming in new energies are simple, sacred practices that will support all aspects of your wellbeing.