Clearing clutter from your home to let the “chi” or good energy flow in order to give your home more balance and peace is so important.   But sometimes, there is negative energy stagnating in your home and that calls for a more aggressive approach.

How smudging can change the energy of a home.

Believe it or not, your surroundings can attract and hold negative energy, which is created through low vibration thoughts and ideas. Whether mental, physical, verbal or emotional, these vibrations linger long after you can see them. When this energy becomes trapped, it can affect those who live or work in the environment and will ultimately lead to irritability and a lack of harmony. The negativity feeds on itself producing more negativity and thus, creating a vicious cycle.

It is normal to feel a little less energetic and a little down on occasion, but when negativity lurks around for any length of time, it is time for a closer look. Lack of motivation or a rut is not normal. When tension and agitation are present, you can bet there has been a big exposure to negativity. This negative energy must be removed for a happy, calm and peaceful environment.   Anytime things feel unsettled, you may benefit from some “home aromatherapy”. It just might be time to burn a little white sage.

One of the most effective ways to eliminate negative energy is the burning of White Sage. The burning of certain herbs and incense, “smudging” creates a cleansing “smoke bath”.  Smudging is nothing new and is actually a tradition thousands of years old. Bundles of Salvia apiana (White Sage) or Artemisia tridentate (Sagebrush) are burned for ceremonial cleansing, to help release and purify old, stagnant energy.

It has been used as a sacred ritual by Native American Indians and other indigenous cultures such as the Zulus, Australian aborigines & Chinese to cleanse, purify & protect the physical and spiritual bodies.  In ancient times, the end of the smudge stick or braid was lit from the central or cooking fire. Native Americans are not the only spiritual group to participate in incense wafting.   Nearly 20% of the world’s population is Catholic. And even if those Catholics don’t attend church now, most probably remember the strong incense wafting through a church on religious holidays. Remember what gifts the baby Jesus got? – Frankincense and murr. While these posses a more spiritual undertone, there are many herbs that help to eliminate negativity and many can be used together. Just be careful that you don’t choke yourself on smoke or have to call a cleaning company to clean up after you!

The effect of the smoke is to banish negative energies and to re-balance on all levels ~ a kind of energetic “spring-cleaning”. Smudging can assist you in de-stressing, soothing or re-energizing.  It can transform any space into a sanctuary of healing and renewal.

Homes and offices inherit energies from everyone that has previously entered or occupied the building; occupants, construction crews, potential buyers, etc.  It’s a good idea to clear all the unwanted energy even if the space is new.

How smudging can change the energy of a home.

What to use

The most common herbs used in smudging are sage, cedar & sweet grass. The herbs are burnt on their own or in mixtures, depending on tradition and required effect.

Most dried herbs are sold in bundles that can be lit and used as a sort of wand to “shoe” out the bad energy.

Sage is my most favorite and the most commonly used herb for smudging.  The root word, Salvia, comes from Latin word salvare, meaning “to heal” or “to save.”  It is used to drive out evil spirits, negative thoughts and feelings.  It also attracts wisdom & is calming & healing.

Cedar is used in meditation, and also to bless a house before moving in as is the tradition in the Northwest and Western Canada. It acts as a deep purifier and attracts good energy.

Sweet grass is popular in Sioux and Cherokee cultures.   Sweet grass is burned after smudging with sage to attract good influences after the negative had been driven out.

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How is it done?

If your home was previously occupied, discard any items you do not intend to keep.  If this is your current home or office space, discard any items that are broken, not used or anything with a negative emotional tie or memory.

Keep in mind, that many people will think you are nutty, but the fun part is to watch a bitter cynical person, drop down a notch after your first treatment. There will definitely be a change in atmospheric energy.

If you choose to use a smudge bundle, light one end of the smudge bundle – be sure to carry a ceramic or stone bowl or some type of holder to catch any falling ash.  I didn’t do this once and have a constant reminder of my good energy on my guest room carpet. The key here is to exercise caution.

Start at the front door and circle the first room in a clockwise fashion waving the smudge bundle. Your intention should be that the smoke is cleansing and clearing all negative energies and recharging the energy into only that which is positive.  Give extra attention to the corners of the room which tend to collect and hold bad cold energy. Continue to each room until you feel it has been cleared.  Many verbalize affirmation such as, “I completely and permanently cleanse & clear this space with Love and Light.” I just say something like, “Negative energy, you are free to go and I allow the good energy in.” It really doesn’t matter what you say, as long as the intentions are there.   Most things are mind over matter, and even if all it did was change your level of hope or your outlook, it will be a good thing. But believe me, it does much more than that. It will instill peace and harmony in your home. And isn’t that what we all want?

Unfortunately, we often have many people in and out of our homes and we can’t always pick the ones with good energy or peace. So, don’t forget to repeat this process if a disgruntled service technician or unexpected guest comes in your house carrying negative energy. After this exercise, you will be able to spot them much more quickly and will know when it is important to get your sage out and not wait till negative energy has settled into your home. Now, that you have a great new place with good energy, go enjoy it!