By Radhika Malhotra - Crony & Lore
Having a clean home is a basic need for us and we spend quite an amount of our free time scrubbing, dusting and mopping, making laundry, putting things back in place and while most of us are not too excited about this part, it does give us a certain satisfaction once it is done. But what about the part we can’t see, but can sense, somehow?
When it comes to the subject of clearing ourselves and our space energetically, a lot of people roll their eyes, smile at the subject, and can’t deny thoughts on barefoot dancing hippies, spooky Shaman, some esoteric weirdos. And you know what? There are indeed some strange people out there who, instead of giving some down-to-earth advice or support, are rather focussed on impressing their lifestyle as the only ultimate, lecturing you in an uncomfortable way. And I am not going to start to talk here about rolling eyes on ghosts, or an alien invasion, or anything else.
Let’s forget all these, stay open-minded to this subject and rather remember our personal experiences. “You are so energetic today being for hours at the gym” or “You put a lot of energy and effort into your work” – We hear a lot of phrases holding the word energy, but in most of the context it is used to define a performance, an act, rather than talking about our personal energy and energy field.
Do you remember an occasion where you walked into somebody’s space and immediately felt calm and welcomed or on the opposite, felt tense, maybe even nervous, uncomfortable and the only thought you had was ‘Let’s get out of here!’? Do you remember an occasion being in the presence of a person and feeling somehow in tune, maybe even drawn to the person? Or was there somebody who was nervous or angry and after a while of being in his presence, you felt similar even you did not hold this emotion before meeting this person? If we remember our own experiences with spaces and people and translate it to ourselves, are we able to simply agree that we personally and our space holds a so called ‘energy’?
If so, let’s continue and get hands-on. We can treat smudging simply as a clearing or cleaning tool, just that we don’t shower with water, but give ourselves and our space an energetic shower while smudging. So, let’s do this!
What do we need? Let’s keep it simple here – Sage or Palo Santo. Sage is the oldest method known all over the world to release negative ions and just recently, scientist have observed that it clears more than 90% of airborne bacteria in a space. Sage, which means in this case the California white sage and not the one we know and use for cooking, has a very earthy smell and is not necessarily everybody’s cup of tea, but you should try for yourself. Palo Santo is not an herb, but a South American sacred wood with notes of pine and lemon. This ‘holy stick’ is used for centuries now in the Andes and Amazon.
How shall we prepare? Imagine you place smoke in a closed off jar – Without oxygen it has nowhere to go and more importantly, is not able to change. This means, we need to give the space an open door or window while smudging and about an hour after smudging. Bear in mind that you will light the Sage or Palo Santo on fire to create the smoke. Find a fire-proof bowl, that serves the purpose and is easy to hold and you don’t need to go all fancy with an Abalone shell. The same goes with fanning and spreading the smoke. A lot of people use feathers, but again, find something that works. When you fan, it might occur that there will be some flying ash, please be aware and be careful with that.
Let’s make fire! Hold your Sage or Palo Santo as far as possible from the burning end. Hold it in a 45-degree angle, light it up and let it burn for 10 to 15 seconds, then gently blow the flame out, still seeing the orange embers lit. Sometimes the Sage bundle is very tightly packed and it might be necessary to light it up again.
Let’s start. For clearing your space, you simply walk slowly through your entire space, holding your herb or wooden stick, fanning. Make a round in every room, corner to corner and stay a little longer at your apartment or house entrance area, as well as in rooms like bathrooms, toilets, laundry rooms, as these areas are well used. When you smudge yourself or your partner, start at the top, smoke around the torso (arms and legs outstretched will make it easier), down towards the feet, ending underneath the feet. Please make sure you keep the Sage or Palo Santo at god distance from the body, we don’t want you to get hurt.
A mantra or no mantra? Don’t get stressed with this, your tool will do the job. If you feel like, you can say out loud ‘Any energy that is not of my highest and greatest good, exit now through the open window/door immediately’.
How often shall we do this? There is no real rule, do as you feel you need. If you want to treat it as your personal ritual, you could remember, smudging yourself once a week, your space once a month for example.
You are hosting a dinner, attend a meeting, preparing a project – You are focussed on the subject, giving it your full attention. The same way you should do the smudging, you and your space deserve your full attention and thoughtfulness. And this is it, no magic, no spook, just awareness and a lovely treat. Happy smudging!