We are just about halfway through 2020 and our lives are filled with unrest and uncertainty. I feel like it is the perfect time to clear your space with smoke.
If you are like me, you have never been in your home this much for this long, It is time to get rid of any stagnant and negative energy that is hanging around.This will help you shift your energy for the rest of 2020.
In this lesson, I suggest that you create an intention or an affirmation to use as you walk around your space.
Some examples are:
“Help me clear this space from old, stagnant energy.”
“With my intention and this smoke, I clear this space of any negative energy.”
I reached out to my favorite herbalist, Kimberly Kling of Joyful Roots, to help take this lesson even deeper.
I hope you enjoy learning about new herbs to use to clear your space!
Smoke cleansing has been used by many cultures over thousands of years, in both ceremonies and daily life. Also called “smudging” in some cultures, smoke cleansing is done by burning bundles of aromatic dried plants and washing the smoke over a person’s body or throughout a room.
Some of the more well-known plants used for ceremonial smoke cleansing by a variety of cultures are white sage, sweetgrass, juniper, and palo santo. However, there are many other herbs that we can choose which may be more appropriate to our own cultural heritage or be more readily available.
I love making herb bundles from my own garden. There are three herbs which are relatively easy to grow, are commonly found, and make beautiful smoke medicine.
Native to the Mediterranean region, Rosemary is surprisingly hardy and can be grown in many climates. She is one of the oldest herbs for incense and has been used since the time of the early Greeks and Romans (and possibly before that) as an adornment crown to help with memory during examinations. Interestingly, we now know that the essential oils found in Rosemary can be absorbed quickly through the sinus cavity and are absorbed into your bloodstream. Science has confirmed that memory recall is significantly improved with the medicine of Rosemary in your body!
Rosemary is associated with the goddess Aphrodite, and also is considered a plant which protects against evil spirits. Most notably though, it is an herb associated with remembrance. When using Rosemary smoke medicine, she will aid you in cleansing negative energies, help bring forth memories, and also serve as a connection to your ancestors.
Many species of Salvia (Latin name for sage) are used for smoke cleansing, but good old garden sage is the easiest to come by and still makes for beautiful smoke medicine! It is said that sage removes the energies that stick to you like barnacles. Ancient people burned dried sage in temples and during religious rituals; this is still done today.
Tenth-century Arab physicians said that sage brought immortality and health. It has also been attributed to financial abundance. Used in smoke cleansing, sage has a powerful effect on removing positive ions (carbon dioxide molecules stripped of an electron) from the air, which have been shown to have a negative effect on your body when exposed to them in excess. Sage is wonderful for meditation as well.
This is probably not a plant you would think of for use in smoke cleansing, but this beautiful flower is a delightful addition to your herb bundles not only for its magic but also for its beauty! Rose is a powerful symbol of love, but it doesn’t stop there. She reminds us of the duality of living here on Earth, showing us that sweetness and beauty can coexist with the sharper aspects of life.
As smoke medicine, rose petals have also been used historically for meditation and for promoting peace. Use the petals to place throughout your herb bundle for pops of color. Rose can offer us sweetness, love, and yet protection – reminding us that it is easier to walk with an open heart when we give ourselves a little shield.
A slight note of caution, not all herbs are safe to burn, so please make sure you are 100% sure of the plant you are using in your herb bundle and that it is safe for smoke medicine.
I hope that this information has encouraged you to try making your own herb bundles or experiment with plants other than the ones you may be most familiar with using. If you do make your own bundles, don’t forget to enjoy the aroma and texture of the plant as you work with your hands and then imbue your bundle with a little blessing. This aspect of creating herb bundles is powerful as well!
Kimberly Kling is the Creatrix behind Joyful Roots, a botanical wellness brand located in Southern Arizona. Kimberly is committed to offering small-batch, 100% natural body-care and soul-care products that nourish our bodies, respect the Earth, and empower us into greater well-being. In reciprocity to Mama Earth, every purchase from Joyful Roots website over $10 plants a tree!
A RESOURCE GUIDE FOR WHITE PEOPLE TO BECOME RACIAL JUSTICE ALLIES
(These were all recommended to me. I have not read and watched them all yet. I have started by getting on email lists, making phone calls, following the people and organizations below on social media, sharing on social media, starting conversations with both my white and black friends.)
Here are a few adapted lessons from my Free Spirit Guidebook to help you cope with the emotions that come up moving forward.
Letter to Your Younger Self: I want you to think of yourself back in grade school when you learned about Civil Rights. Most likely you were outraged and thought that if you had been alive at the time that you would have marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. Unfortunately, the racism and oppression is still occurring. Look for ways to support the current issues and BIPOC. Make your younger self proud while making a difference in the world.
Working with Your Runners: If you feel overwhelmed by all of this and don’t know where to start, ask your runners for help. Runners are like your energetic guides who help you find things faster. Ask them to find the best path for you to be an anti-racist ally.
Workingwith your Breath: When you start doing this work, a lot of fear and uncomfortable feelings are going to come up. Allow them to come up. Taking deep breaths will help you move through these feelings. Pause. Close your eyes and consciously breath deeply. Inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Feel the belly and ribcage expand on each inhale and draw it back in on the exhale. If your heart is racing, you might like to exhale out of your mouth.
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