A Quick Guide to Space & Energy Clearing with Sage, Herbs, and Crystals
Incense blog by Shaefeather Windsong
Have you ever walked into a room and felt old or negative energy suddenly pull your mood down? Or perhaps after a long day of work you come home feeling like you took home with you a pile of stress, your co-workers problems and other energetic burdens. Even when moving into a new apartment or home, or taking home something second-hand, you might sense old energy lingering. Luckily in our modern world we have easy access to tools and supplies to help clear out old or negative energy in ourselves, our possessions and our space. This is a quick in-a-nutshell guide to clearing your space.
Sage: The burning of sage (there are many types of sage) is also known as Smudging. The tradition of burning white sage is derived from many traditions from around the world but most are familiar with White Sage, which comes from California regions. It is said that burning sage smoke helps send your prayers, requests and intentions up to the heavens.
Depending on the tribe, the sage is burned in a bundle or in a shell and the smoke is wafted with your hand or a fan of feathers. Nowadays burning sage has been adopted into other spiritual traditions and cultures. The idea is to see the smoke as washing away negative energy and at the same time seeing it purify the space. Personally, I like to mentally or verbally speak my intention for the item or space. An example would be "I now fill my space with peace and harmony." Some people feel called to invoke a deity, ascended master or angels to help in the space clearing ritual. Although "ritual" can sound like a long process, it's as simple as lighting your sage bundle and walking around your house saying your intention, and after you're done walking, setting the sage in a dish or shell and letting it burn for at least 20-30 minutes and up to an hour. Scientifically, white sage is naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial, meaning that it will clear out bacteria and viruses. So in other words, you're hitting two birds with one stone! If you don't like smoke, there are alternatives. There is white sage essential oil, spray, soap, and even tea. White sage tea is very cleansing and refreshing for the body. East West sells the essential oil, many varieties of sage to burn, and the white sage tea with mint.
Palo Santo: The second most used smudging tool is palo santo. In Spanish “palo santo” translates into "holy wood". The tradition of using palo santo smoke for healing and purification comes from South America and Peruvian Shamanic traditions. Burning this fragrant wood, whether for ritual use or for incense burning, is pleasing to the senses. Its beautiful scent will freshen any room and create a relaxed mood. Simultaneously it will purify, heal and uplift you and clear your space of negative energy. Palo santo has become so popular and widely used outside of traditional rituals that companies are creating all types of products. East West bookshop carries a special line from Skeem Design that has the essential oil of palo santo in spray bottles, roll ons, solid perfume and candles. They also have beautiful glass storage jars filled with palo santo sticks for the palo santo enthusiast. The incense section at the bookshop also carries a couple brands of palo santo in incense stick form. Look for Incausa resin sticks, Prabhuji's Gifts Palo Santo sticks and Mountain Naturals resin sticks.
Other popular herbs, woods, resins, and plants that are used for smudging and healing are blue sage, silver sage, sweet grass, cedar, juniper, piñon, douglas fir, pine, lavender, rosemary, copal, frankincense, dragons blood, and many others. Often herbs like lavender, cedar and sweetgrass are burned simultaneously with white sage in a smudging ceremony. Each herb and wood represents an aspect, quality, or energy. I haven't studied the traditional meanings from Native shamans, but personally I have discovered what the plant/wood means for me by how their energy feels to me..
For example, lavender carries a peaceful and relaxing energy. Cedar helps me feel grounded. Copal resin feels like it's deep cleaning and releasing stagnant energy. Frankincense resin uplifts my mood and helps me to dive deeper in meditation and my spiritual path. To learn more about the types of herbs to use during your personal smudging ceremonies, there is a book section at East West devoted to smudging and incense. Books listed below.
Now let's talk crystals!
Using crystals is another great option to purify and uplift the energy of your space. Some crystals are known for their space clearing and protecting abilities. I like to pair my protection crystals with crystals that have loving and peaceful qualities to enhance the energy of my space. It's important to regularly clear and charge your crystal (with the exception of a few) so it can work to the best of its ability. There are lots of books on how to charge and clear your crystals. For further research, visit the bookshop. See book list below.
Selenite: One of the best crystals to use for purifying and uplifting energy. I have selenite pillars in each of the 4 corners of my home, and in the center space of the house. I also put these around my yoga mat to aid in clearing and releasing as I go through my poses. If you have polished pieces of selenite, I suggest using them for massage on areas of your body where you're holding a lot of tension. The crystal will help you clear out that stuck energy and stress! When I feel nervous, its nice to massage my hands with small selenite pieces (remember it needs to be polished).To clear a room, you can leave the crystals inside or wave a “wand” of selenite around as you would sage. It never needs cleansing because it will always clear and recycle the energy.
Hematite: Absorbs negative energy and helps keep you grounded. I find that when I wear a ring made of hematite, it instantly goes to work and absorbs what I need to release, energetically speaking. Rings will often absorb so much that they will crack and break over time. It's nice to have a polished stone to use for your room cleansing ritual or perhaps on your yoga mat if your aim is to clear and release. Carry a couple pieces in your pocket during your day if you know you have to enter a stressful situation or an emotionally toxic or negative place. It's good to clear your hematite crystals occasionally in case they get overloaded.
Black Tourmaline: Protection and grounding. It's nice to have a chunk of black tourmaline in the center of your home or even buried in the dirt in multiple places around your garden to create a protective barrier and to ground the energy of your home. You can carry small pieces in your pocket or wear it as jewelry for a boost of protection wherever you are. It's great to have in case you are consistently in a negative or draining work environment.
Blue Kyanite: This stone cleanses with a soft and gentle energy. Because of its blue color, I associate the stone with the energy and qualities of the Throat and Third Eye chakras: communication, speaking your truth, intuition and connection with your higher self. I remember a time when I needed to cry and release a wave of emotion, so I held my blue kyanite close to my heart and fell asleep. When I woke I felt uplifted and clear. This is also a stone that doesn't need to be cleansed, as it cleanses itself.
Shungite: This is a great mineral that aids in protection, detoxing, and blocking EMF waves (electro-magnetic frequencies) that emits from our wifi routers and cell phones. You can wear shungite as jewelry, place a chunk of it by your computer desk or wifi router, and even create a tincture from it to drink for cleansing (please do proper research before trying this!)
Obsidian: Another wonderful stone for clearing negative energy and connecting you with your root chakra. It helps you feel grounded and releases anger, fear and greed.
Amethyst: This crystal clears and protects, but it also brings clarity, spiritual growth, and stress relief. It's purple color reminds me of the crown chakra, which is the chakra that connects us to the Divine.
Other crystals to add positive energy: Rose quartz for loving energy, citrine for happiness and prosperity, tigers eye for balance, jade for good luck, malachite for transformation, labradorite for intuition and moonstone for balancing hormones and the divine feminine energies.
There are so many more crystals with wonderful uplifting and healing properties—too many to list! Luckily East West Bookshop has a large crystal book section to help guide your journey.
For further reading at East West Books:
Sage and Clearing books...
The Modern Guide to Energy Clearing by Barbara Moore
The Smudge and Blessings Book by Jane Alexander
Sage & Smudge (mini book) by Donna Stellhorn
Sacred Smoke by Harvest McCampbell
Sage & Smudge: The Ultimate Guide by Diane Ronngren
Sacred Sage: How it Heals by Silver Wolf Walks Alone
Crystal Muse by Heather Askinosie
Elemental Energy by Kristin Petrovich
Encylopedia of Crystals by Judy Hall
The Crystal Healer by Philip Permutt
The Book of Stones by Robert Simmons, Naisha Ahsian