Stuff holds energy and memory.
Consider cell-memory. Cell-memory is a theory that suggests a body or geographical area retains the memory of a harsh, tragic event.
Take Gettysburg, for example. One of the most bloody segments of the Civil War in the US, in which more than 50,000 soldiers lost their lives. It’s claimed to have an eerie aura – it’s landscape is saturated by a thick, oppressive essence. I don’t doubt it.
I visited Chickamauga in Georgia – almost 2,000 killed and another 1,000 soldiers wounded. It made me pass out – and left me loopy for an additional 24 hours. I don’t dare go to Gettysburg. I’d love to encounter the history – but my sensibilities would crumble under that cell-memory!
This post isn’t about US Civil War. This post is about the scars and marks that are left behind in our personal lives, and how to heal them.
On a domestic scale, we could say that remnants of previous owners might have left some residue behind in your home. Or – we could say that there are some residual vibrational emanations left behind in our cars, office, or even our storage units.
Life leaves a trace. Why? Because life is all about energy. It’s never destroyed. Only recycled. That means, there is always a fingerprint left behind.
Should you be worried or concerned? No, I don’t think so. If you are functioning well in your environment…if you are happy and feel secure….keep calm, and carry on!
However…for those of you who are uber-sensitive…those of you who feel a need to swoosh out some nefarious badies in your pad, or office space…this post is for you.
Some quick tips about cleansing…
1) Get the proper music-mojo. I have no doubt you all have an infinite source of musical goodies. Something smooth, non-distracting, non-verbal, luscious and wavy. Consider sounds that connect with your astrological sun-sign (air: wind, fire: crackles of fire, water: whale song, earth: rustling of leaves). You get my drift….ambient and pleasing.
3) Ambiance, people. Light some candles. A total must! :) It would be lovely to have your home in amber waves of candlelight, but if you ain’t got that many…no sweat…just light one – that suffices.
4) Say a few words – be intent, be focused – hone yourself within your words – feel the purpose of your steps and actions within your home. Know this exercise is valid, virtuous and vital. Pray to the deities that dig your groove, and express gratefulness in their presence in your essence. Know that each syllable and consonant you utter is heard, validated, loved and reciprocated by the glorious Universal flow.
4) Set to smudging. You’ve got options here….
I don’t mean to get technical, but this is what I’ve written about “what smudging is” on my Tarot site: “Smudging: A ritual purification by means of smoke. A common practice performed by ancient cultures as well as Native American Indians, and modern day practitioners of sacred practices. It is thought that the smoke lifts out any possible negative energy in a space or object. White sage is commonly burned for smudging purposes.”
Technical definitions aside…we also smudge to make a bold statement…to the gods, goddesses, elementals, spirits…and to ourselves. The act of “smoking out” is spiritual, personal, and relevant. Not only does the act prove to the Universal energies that we’re serious (demonstrative action), it also makes purification a physical process for us humans here on earth.
Now for your options: You can burn whatever flicks your Bic. I use white sage. I’ve also used stick incense (love myrrh or frankincense or even my stand-by patchouli). Use whatever is most pleasing to your olfactory palate.
What to do with the ashes? No worries. Use a vessel that means something special to you to capture the burn-off from whatever you’re using to smudge. I use a lovely abalone shell. The opulence and swirly-twirly of the colors kinda set me free as I’m dowsing the place with smoke. I sometimes use an ashtray my grandma had. -Have also used a bowl made for me by a 12 year old sweetie – I love that her teeny-tiny hands made that bowl, and are a part of this special ritual.
I’m the queen of incoordination – so, at this point, I would be asking: “Which hand do I hold the vessel, and which hand do I hold the smoke-stick!?”
Depends: Left hand is yin: Feminine, Receiving, Soft, Mothering. Right hand is Yang: Male, Giving, Assertive. Lean more about symbolic hand positions and hand meanings here. It’s your choice.
Before you set your fire stick aflame…open a window. It may be a wive’s tale…but baby, that’s some of the best wisdom, EVER! The idea of opening a window before smudging deals with having an opening for negative energy to exit. Smart advice! Thank you old wives!
Now…In honor of nooks, crannies and Fung Shui…we have to consider where to start and how to swirl those smoke tendrils around your home (or other orifices).
I’m sure there are other ways to do this, but I like simple. Start north, and move clockwise.
Stand in the center of your space- arms spread with fire-stick and ash-capturing vessel in hand. Move north. Say a devotional for the awesomeness the northern energies provide.
From north, you’ll go clockwise to east.
Here is a cultural run-down of directional symbolism which may help with your devotionals:
In Chinese Feng Shui, each direction correlates to the Chinese zodiac animals:
•North = Rat: Adaptability, charm, creativity, sociability, wit.
•East = Rabbit: Trust, sincerity, love, compassion.
•South = Horse: Physical strength, health, adventure, loyalty.
•West = Rooster: Confidence, business, energy, persistence.
In ancient Celtic symbolism and tradition, the cardinal directions were acknowledged in several ceremonies and festivals. Hand-fasting ceremonies and other earth-based belief systems (pagan) still honor the directions today. Here is a brief outline of these directional representations:
•North = earth, home, security, fertility
•East = air, communication, new beginnings, new growth
•South = fire, energy, passion, creativity
•West = water, emotion, psyche, movement
In certain divinatory practices the directions represent time phases:
•North = Infinite Possibility (no-time)
•East = Future
•South = Present – Now
•West = Past
Native Americans have their own meanings of cardinal directions. The Lakota, for example hold to the following guideline:
•North = wisdom/thought
•East = salvation/spirit
•South = beginnings/purity
•West = conclusions/fullness
The astrological zodiac provides yet another aspect of the four directions and their symbolism:
•North = Air corresponding with Aquarius
•East = Earth corresponding with Taurus
•South = Fire corresponding with Leo
•West = Water corresponding with Scorpio
Don’t get caught up in these segmented definitions of compass assignments. What matters is you feel the jive in each direction.
Pay special attention to corners. Negative-nellies love corners, for some reason. Smudge up and down in each corner. Continue moving clockwise
When you’re done, dowse your fire-stick (sage stick or incense) in a bowl of distilled, purified water. I use holy water from Our Lady of Fatima Shrine. This action is a “hat’s off” to the fire, smoke and energy that helped to contribute to a nice, clean space.
Store your fire stick in a sacred place too. Use it again when you feel the urge, or every equinox and solstice.
If you liked this, you might also like a few other offerings I have for you. Check out the links:
Native American Meanings
Bright blessings, as always,