A thorough energy cleanse is as essential to your overall wellness as physical cleansing and personal hygiene.
Removing clutter and sanitizing your home prevents allergies, reduces safety hazards, and boosts your productivity. Showering, brushing your teeth, and changing into clean and comfortable clothes minimize the risk of illnesses. They also help you feel good about your appearance.
In a similar manner, regularly clearing the energy in your space through smoke cleansing produces a positive impact on your well being. It helps purify indoor air and remove bacteria and allergens. Energy clearing also dispels negative energy, improves your mood, and relieves stress.
And you can achieve all these through smoke cleansing. It is an ancient practice of burning aromatic plants, woods, and resins for health and spiritual purposes. Let's talk about how to perform this ritual in this post!
Gather the Elements
Before we get into the step-by-step process of performing a smoke cleanse, let's break down the elements or the materials you need for the ritual.
1. Herbs and resins - There are dozens of ancient botanicals used in this practice. Whether bundled or loose (a choice that's entirely yours), each plant gives off a distinct aroma and provides a unique set of benefits. Among the popular ones include:
- Herbs: White sage, palo santo, sweetgrass, lavender, cedar, pine, and mugwort
- Resins: Copal, palo santo, frankincense, myrrh, dragon's blood, and benzoin
Choose one (or more) that aligns with your intention. Pre-made herb bundles are available in many New Age or metaphysical shops. You can either buy individual sticks, assorted loose resins or herbs in packs, or cleansing kits that already contain 2 or more herbs for a specific intention.
Read this blog on different plants used in smoke cleansing to know more about the benefits and healing properties each plant offers.
2. Bowl - A heatproof, low-sided bowl is used as a holder for burned herbs. It must be large enough to contain your smoke cleansing tools. Your smoke cleansing vessel can be made of different materials. It can be an abalone shell, gold, copper, silver, brass, or tin.
Each of these vessels carry a meaning or symbolism, according to holistic healing practitioner Rebekah Gamble.
- Abalone shell - The abalone shell possesses the energy of the water. Besides balancing the fire and smoke in the ritual, it has the ability to influence emotions. So if your intention is to relieve overpowering emotions like anger, fear, grief, or simply evoke an emotional release, using an abalone shell is ideal.
- Copper - This metal is associated with love, otherwise known as the metal of Venus. Copper carries the energy of balance, connections, and reconciliation. Because of this attribute, the metal is useful in mending relationships and in healing heartbreaks. Copper is also linked to the energies of the third gender.
- Silver - It symbolizes the feminine energy and the moon energy. Silver boosts the body's ability to take action and to fight off infections. It is also believed to stimulate comfort, compassion, intelligence, and intuition. Although too much use of silver is said to result in coldness of energy, depression, and withdrawal from the crowd.
- Gold - As a highly vibrational metal, gold has powerful energies that stimulate the energy of the head. However, Gamble warns of too much use of and exposure to gold to cause too much spiritual energy than what is necessary (or what a person could handle). This may happen if you replace all your spiritual tools with actual gold items.
An increase of spiritual energy is likely to result in increased anger, paranoia, dissatisfaction, greed, selfishness, self-centeredness, and a slew of issues related to familial and romantic relationships. In pop culture, this change in mental state is called dragon sickness (or gold sickness), a term popularized by The Hobbit movies.
- Brass and tin - These metals are good for those who are new to the practice since they carry just the right amount of energy for energy cleansing purposes compared to high vibrational metals. Brass and tin are also affordable and easily available.
- Clay - If you want to infuse the earth element into your ritual, using a clay bowl is the way to go. Some clay materials to consider are red clay, yellow clay, and porcelain.
When choosing which bowl to use, do take time to study what each material contributes to your smoke cleansing ceremony. Know how they're made and where they come from. Make sure they align with your intention. Then honor the culture and heritage that brought the item to you.
3. Fan for spreading the smoke - For this purpose you can use a feather to spread the smoke all over your body and in various parts of a room. You can also use your hand or a bundle of leaves.
4. Fire source - To light your plant or herb stick, you'll need a match or a small gas lighter. For burning resins, use a charcoal puck.
How to Perform Your Own Smoke Cleansing Ritual
Step 1: Gather your materials and prepare your space.
First off, decide on how you want to smoke cleanse. What plants are you going to use? The vessel? How will you spread the smoke? If it's your first time and you're not sure where to start, choose the plants and cleansing methods used by your ancestors.
- Lay out all the tools you'll use.
- Remove objects from the room that you don't wish to cleanse.
- Cover your mirrors as they are entryways to other worlds. This also allows you to concentrate on the moment.
- Open a window or door (even if it’s just a little bit) to allow excess smoke and negative energy to flow outside.
Step 2: Set your intention and cleanse yourself.
Establishing an intention is the necessary starting point of every cleansing ceremony.
- Start by saying an intention of gratitude to the plants and cultural connections that made the use of the plant possible.
- Follow it up with stating your desired intention or an outcome you want to achieve. This could be emotional healing, prosperity, financial freedom, increased self-love, etc.
- Light the top of your herb stick for a few seconds until it's ablaze. Then gently blow out the flame. The herb will then begin to release smoke. Repeat this step throughout your cleanse to keep producing smoke. (Note: never leave a burning candle unattended.)
- Smoke cleanse yourself before moving across the room or an item. Bathe your hands in the smoke. Start smoking your head then move downwards. Include the back of your body, reaching behind as best you can.
- After smoking your whole body, breathe in a little smoke to cleanse your insides.
- Put your herb bundle in your bowl and prepare to cleanse your space.
Step 3: Clear your space.
- For cleansing the entire home, start in the back of your house and move the energy out towards your main door.
- As you do this, focus on your intention by repeating it in your head or out loud. With conviction, speak your desired outcomes and let it radiate into your space.
- Hold your vessel and walk counterclockwise around every room. Waft the smoke throughout every corner of the room including the walls, edges of the walls, doors, furniture, shelves, etc.
- Make sure to fan the smoke into every nook and cranny especially in areas not reachable by air and/or light.
Step 4: Conclude your cleanse.
- Once you've finished cleansing each room, put your bowl containing your herb bundle outside your home to release the negative energy you've collected.
- Extinguish your herb by putting it under running water until it's completely out. If you used a candle, make sure to put it out as well.
- Seal your intention. Enforce the intention that your environment is now free of negativity and is filled with high vibrational, positive energy. The vibe in your space should start to feel lighter and refreshing at this point.
- Say a gratitude prayer to the Universe or to the Higher Being that you worship. Thank them for revitalizing your home and for blessing you with renewed energy.
When Not to Smoke Cleanse
Anytime is usually an appropriate time for an energy cleanse. But there are very specific instances where it's not necessary. There are also items having inherent energy that must be preserved, therefore a smoke cleanse is not required.
- Postpone the cleanse if you are too distracted or doing unwell mentally, as you cannot be totally present in the ritual. If your mind is fixated on an urgent task at work or an errand you must run, take a moment to clear your head and refocus on your intention before proceeding with your cleanse.
- Art pieces don't need an energy cleanse ” they carry the creativity and raw energies of their artist. Smoke cleansing an artwork may alter the intended energy that the artist has imbued into the piece. Unless you're not comfortable with the energy it brings into your space, do not cleanse the artwork to preserve its energy.
- The same goes with mementos or keepsakes. Avoid cleansing a sentimental item to keep the energy of the person within it intact.
Get Your Smoke Cleansing Tools From Your Local Supplier
Ready to get started with your energy cleansing journey? Peace Streaks carries all the tools you need for your smoke cleansing ceremony. Our supplies are grown and crafted here in Ontario.
From assorted herbs and resins to abalone shells and feathers, we have a complete selection of tools tailored to your needs and preferences. Check out Peace Streaks today for your smoke cleansing essentials!
Clearing the Air: A Beginner's Guide to Smoke Cleansing. (2019, January 3). Green Moon Apothecary Ltd. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://greenmoon.ca/blogs/blog/clearing-the-air-a-beginner-s-guide-to-smoke-cleansing
Gamble, R. (2018, March 9). Smudging 101: The Vessel. LinkedIn. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/smudging-101-vessel-rebekah-gamble?published=t
Gold Sickness - Fanlore. (2017, November 26). In Wikipedia. https://fanlore.org/wiki/Gold_Sickness
mindbodygreen. (2020, January 29). What Everyone Should Know About Energy Healing. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-23890/what-everyone-should-know-about-energy-healing.html
Smoke Cleansing: Step-by-Step. (2018, March 8). Mooncat Crystals. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://mooncatcrystals.com/blogs/news/sage-cleansing-step-by-step
Smudging 101: How to Smudge. (2016, March 11). RebekahGambleHolisticPractitioner.Com. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from http://rebekahgambleholisticpractitioner.com/2016/03/11/smudging-101-how-to-smudge/
White, A. (2020, June 22). 11 Benefits of Burning Sage, How to Get Started, and More. Healthline. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-burning-sage#mood-booster