Clearing with smoke and sacred herbs is a Universal practice known to many religions, faiths and spiritual practitioners around the world. Catholic Churches would use Frankincense & Myrrh, Buddhist Temples often use special combinations of Agarwood & Sandalwood, First Nations use sacred herbs such as sage, sweetgrass, tobacco and cedar, Avalonian Druids used Mugwort, Bay Leaf, Balm of Gilead – the examples are endless.
There are many names for this practice still being reclaimed by modern practitioners from our Ancestors. Some familiar or reclaimed terms are Smuding (First Nations), Saining (Scottish Folklore), Recaning (Anglo-Saxon), Encenser (Old French), Glanadh (Irish Gaelic) and Jìngxiāng 敬香 (Chinese). I urge you to explore your ancestry and your herbal allies so you can avoid cultural appropriation and move closer to your genuine self. Practices will vary from tradition to tradition and even teacher to teacher. Feel empowered to create your own ceremony!
Otherworld Treasures quick guide to Cleansing with Smoke:
Remember, your intention is everything! Set your intentions before and after ceremony and remind yourself of those intentions if you find your mind wandering.
Place the material of your choice in a shell, clay pot, any non-flammable container. Light it and allow it to burn for a few moments. Fan out the flames if they do not dissipate naturally as it is the smoke of the smoldering herbs or incense you desire.
Using your feather or simply your hand, waft the smoke all around yourself first and then over what it is you are cleansing.
Move about the area, here at Otherworld Treasures we suggest counter-clockwise (the door you enter represents the 12 O’clock position) to open and release energy out of the person, place, or item. Continue fanning the smoke when necessary.
Always remember your 3 C’s. Your intention is to Cleanse, Clear, Claim (in the case of physical or energetic spaces) always while asking the permission of Spirit.
Quick and short movements of the feather or your hand will break up block or stagnant energy. Long, flowing movements create harmony and balanced energy flow.
General rule of thumb for a physical space is to make sure you stop in each corner and allow the smoke to rise into the corners. Energetically, you are creating a pyramid structure while you create this sacred space.
Open doors and windows if the area feels dense or if there has been illness.
Once complete, thank the Spirits of Place, The Land Guardians, and your own multidimensional support team for their counsel.