"In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision."
I like to focus on the positive. Glass half full, white light, "most benevolent outcome", good intentions for all. However, sometimes I still find myself exposed to negative energy, because frankly, that's life! We all have had experiences with negative energy, whether we are aware of it or not.
So how do you know when you have some negative energy hanging around? Have you ever walked into a home and it just felt heavy? Have you ever had someone come into a room, and you felt uneasy for no apparent reason? Felt the energy shift due to someone's presence? Have you moved into a new house but felt as though there was something keeping you detached from declaring it "yours"? Sometimes when I enter a space, I feel as though the air is thicker or there is something that I can't seem to put my finger on makes me unsettled. Any of these instances are great opportunities to do a clearing of energy no longer serving you, and start anew.
There are a great variety of techniques you can use to cleanse a space of negative energy, including physically cleaning it, opening up all the windows for fresh air, hanging feng shui balls in the sunshine to move stagnant qi, and spraying the air with essential oils. One of the most popular ways, however, is to smudge your home with sage.
Smudging your home with sage originates from Native North American traditions to cleanse a space from negative spirits, emotions, and energy. As the smoke rises and is pulled out of the home, it is believed to also carry your positive intention to the Spirit World along with it, therefore blessing the house and the people within.
Before I smudge my home, I like to physically clean my space. Pick up any items lying out, wipe down surfaces, and make sure all of the furniture is set up in a way that promotes flow. Open all the windows in your home, and consider turning on any fans you may have to pull the smoke and negative energy out.
Gather your sage and a tray. (Traditionally, a large abalone shell is used, but a small bowl or tray will work as well.) I also recommend that you fill a glass of water to keep nearby.
Light your sage stick, blow on it to put out the flame, and let the sage molder and smoke.
Beginning in the room of your choosing (if you have multiple stories, begin upstairs), state your intention. You may have a different intention for each room, or you can maintain a general intention throughout the house. I like to use "Cleanse this home of all negative and stagnant energy, fill this home and all who enter it with light, love, and positive energy of the highest vibration." Your intention can be worded however feels right to you, as long as it is strong and for the highest good.
If you are experienced with reiki or energy-work, this is a great opportunity to incorporate reiki symbols and visualization work to add some extra "oomph" to this spiritual cleansing.
Typically done in a counter-clockwise movement around the room, use a feather or your hand to waft the smoke into all spaces of the room, all while keeping your positive intention in the forefront of your mind. Work your way throughout the whole house, repeating your intention in each room and paying special intention to doorways, windows, and corners.
Once you have finished, smudge yourself from head to toe, repeating your intention and allowing any negativity you have personally collected to be carried away with the smoke as well. Keep the windows open for as long as you can, and enjoy the wonderful light feeling your home and you now carry!
Many people ask: How often should I smudge? A good rule of thumb on when to smudge is simple: if you are feeling uneasy in your space, it is time to smudge! Otherwise, some people like to create a ritual of it and cleanse during the full or new moon. My friend recently smudged her house after a bad breakup, and felt immensely lighter and less bogged down with heavy emotions. Additionally, if you are moving into a new home, it is always a good idea to cleanse physically and spiritually to start a new!
Have asthma or sensitivities to smoke? Follow the smudging ritual without lighting your sage! Sage's energy and aura can help cleanse without the smoke.
Have you ever smudged before? What was your experience?