How to Smudge and Preform an Energy Cleansing Ritual

Cleanliness is next to godliness, am-I-right?

Tools for cleansing your energy. Palo Santo wood, rose quartz and a sage bundle on a pink background.

A general sense of cleanliness in your home is important. Daily chores, weekly tasks and those seasonal deep cleans all hold a vital place in maintaining a healthy living space. But when was the last time you cleansed your home’s energy?

Energy cleanliness is just as important as physical cleanliness. For centuries spiritual cleansing has been part of almost every religion and spiritual belief system. And for the very same reason keeping your floors clean; keeping the energy in your space fresh and positive should become part of our everyday routines. By why hasn’t it?

Many factors come into play here, fear of the unknown, fear of somehow offending or “doing it wrong”, fears of appropriation, the list is endless and all valid. I do want to set one fact straight with you right away; spiritually cleansing, with or without the use of herbs is not an act of cultural appropriation, and has been practiced by almost every culture and religion around the globe. As an indigenous Canadian, I have been taught by my elders that it is our responsibility to share our medicine and healings. The medicine and teachings belong to no one and should be shared with everyone.

So! With that said, I am here to guide you through the practice of spiritually cleaning yourself and home space, with the use of my preferred cleansing herb, white sage. You may choose to use palo santo, bay leaf, cedar or other medicinal herbs of your choosing but keep in mind each plant has a different energy and thus will affect your space and aura differently. You may also choose to cleanse your energy without the use of healing herbs or incense, though the use of a burning herb is recommended for beginners. A general rule of thumb I follow is while palo santo is great for cleaning the home, sage (of any variety) can tackle cleaning both the aura and the home. Cedar will attract positive energy into the house versus the pushing away of negative energy done by sage or palo santo. The details of herb energies will follow in another story.

Depending on the form of your herbs (bound in a wand versus loose leaf or powdered) you may need to source yourself a burning bowl or shell to carry your smouldering medicines in.

Abalone shell with scared smudging medicine used in House Blessing services.

You must start all ceremonies of energy with good thought and positive intentions. Think of the things you want to manifest, not the things you want to let go of. Take a moment to breathe before you begin. Once you feel calm and grounded you may begin your cleansing ritual. Light your cleansing herbs,( if you are not burning any herbs or incense, you may choose to rub your palms together to bring warmth and energy to your hands.)

Once you have a consistent pillar of smoke, it is wise to give an offering of smoke to each direction. Start facing the East; the direction of the rising sun, of spring and new beginnings. Waft smoke in this direction. Next turn South, the direction of the midday sun, summer and of youth; offering smoke in this direction. Next turn to face the West, direction of the setting sun, of autumn and adulthood, giving thanks and offering in this direction. Finally turn north, the direction of the night, winter, and of old age. Give an offering a smoke in this direction. Next offer some smoke down to the Earth and up to the skies. Now, you may begin spiritually cleansing yourself.

Direct the cleansing smoke over your heart and head, working your way down to your feet. Give thanks - this can be said aloud or thought silently to yourself. Once cleansed, you may cleanse others of their negative or unserving energies as you did for yourself, then you can move on to cleanse your space.

Think of the smoke (or your hands) like a broom, sweeping out the old, stale energy. You will want to work in the same directions (generally) as you did your opening offering, beginning in the easternmost section of your living space. Move room to room east to north. A good practice is to “seal” off the windows and doors in room by encircling each portal in a ring of smoke (trace around each frame with your cleansing smoke). Once you have completed your entire space it’s time to usher the last remnants of smoke out a main door. And you're done!

You can choose to cleanse yourself and your space as frequently as you would like. Many choose to cleanse once each season, perhaps on the solstice or equinox for that added zap of cosmic energy. You can cleanse on the full or new moons, once a month or just when it feels right. Energy cleansing is useful for moving into a new home or office space, or to “cleanup” after an uncomfortable situation.

Have faith in yourself. You have all you need inside you to complete your first successful energy cleanse. If you need some supplies to get you started, check out my Smudging - Spiritual Box and my Energy Cleansing - Spiritual Box 

- Kelsie Young
Owner, Indigenous Artist & Spirit Talker
Dream Webs - Dreamcatchers & House Blessing 

Leave a comment