Things You'll Need
Incense charcoal and loose herbs (optional)
Small ceramic bowl
Soil, sand or salt
If it feels like negative vibes are stagnating in your space, it's time to do some spiritual housekeeping. For thousands of years, indigenous people throughout the world have burned herbs and incense as a way of cleansing sacred spaces and healing illness. Native Americans perform a type of smoke ritual referred to as "smudging," and, with a few tools, you can use this powerful means of clearing negative energy to purify your room as needed.
Select the appropriate purification herbs. Sage and cedar are both potent herbs for driving out negative influences and keeping them from entering a sacred space. Sweetgrass ushers in good energy after a space has been cleansed. These three herbs are most often used in purification rites, but additional herbs may be suitable, depending on your need.
Partially fill a ceramic bowl with soil, sand or salt to insulate the bowl from heat, and select a method of burning the herbs. If you decide to use incense charcoal to burn loose herbs, set the charcoal in the bowl. If you use a smudge stick, or a tied bundle of dried herb leaves, set the bowl aside.
Ignite the herbs. If you're using a smudge stick, gently ignite one end by holding it over a lit candle. Once the end is smoldering, extinguish the flame. If you're using incense charcoal, light the charcoal with a match and extinguish the flame, then sprinkle 1/2 tsp. loose herbs onto the smoldering charcoal.
Focus on your intention for purifying the room. When you burn herbs to purify a room, you are invoking the spirit of the herb and enlisting its aid. It's important to approach smudging with reverence for the power of the natural world, or it may not be effective.
Cleanse the room with smoke. Hold the smudge stick on the unlit end or cradle the charcoal incense burner in your hand and move in a clockwise direction through the room. Methodically direct the smoke up and down walls, concentrating on the perimeters of doors and windows. Use your hand to fan the smoke into desired areas; don't forget to smudge corners, closets or the space behind open doors.
Extinguish the smoldering herb. Gently tap the burning end of a smudge stick into the bowl filled with soil, sand or salt. If you're using incense charcoal, sprinkle additional soil, sand or salt over the charcoal to stop the smoldering.
Smudge sticks, loose herbs and incense charcoal are widely available from both brick-and-mortar and online metaphysical shops.
Extinguish the flame when herbs are burning by fanning it out with your hand. Blowing the flame out with your breath might introduce negativity.
Smudging also helps to remove negative energy from objects and people.
Open windows during your smudging ceremony. A well-ventilated area is easier on your lungs, and the open windows act as an immediate exit route for negativity.
Don’t smudge when small children, pregnant women or anyone with a respiratory problem is in the house, and never leave a smoldering smudge unattended.
Melissa Lewis has worked as a freelance writer since 2004, gaining much of her experience by working in the marketing/PR field. She writes for various websites, specializing in the areas of marketing, home improvement, cooking and pets. Lewis studied English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.