Smoke cleansing is traditionally used to “cleanse” the energy in a room, or around an object like a crystal for example.
This is very different from “smudging” which utilizes a specific sacred herb such as white sage or wood like palo santo and involves the practice of rituals handed down through generations.
Smoke cleansing – how it works and how to do it!
For those new to this practice it can seem a little “otherworldly”, as how can waving some nice scented smoke around make a real difference to the space or objects?
The best way to explain this is from my own experience.
Whenever I walk into a room where a nice incense is burning, I instantly feel good. It invokes emotions in me which make me feel calm, centered and at peace within. It literally brings me into my senses. In-sense. I am aware of my sense of smell, but also my other senses, begin to open as my worries and stresses recede.
Incense is used throughout many traditions and religions too. As a child going to Sunday mass, I would always really enjoy the part of the mass where the priest waved the receptacle of incense around the church. Again it made me feel calm and at peace within.
So how does it have this effect on our senses?
Anything that “lifts” us emotionally, or makes us feel calmer, happier, more centred or less stressed, is literally changing our emotional state from one of a lower frequency to one of a higher frequency or emotion. Once our emotional state has changed we are more receptive to other higher emotions. We may feel joy, or deep tranquility if we explore this frequency and allow our higher emotions to fill us.
It really is very simple and not something we must believe in, for it to work for us. Simply enjoying the aroma of the incense, in a room is enough to lift us up emotionally. This is what is meant by raising our vibration – simply allowing ourselves to experience emotions that are uplifting. We can also use music, poetry or beautiful art or objects that captivate us. Being out in a beautiful natural setting will also lift us emotionally and help us to heal from within.
Smoke cleansing can be done with any incense or herb found locally to you. Good ones to use are rosemary, lavender, cedarwood, juniper, pine, mugwort or sandalwood. Try to choose one that you really like and that makes you feel good when you light it. The blend or type matters less than how you respond to it. This is what makes it special.
Take note of your emotional state before you begin. Clear and tidy the area you want to cleanse, and light your incense and breath in slowly and deeply. Notice what you feel upon your first encounter with the aroma. What emotions do you observe arising in yourself? Are they different from what you were feeling before you began?
Pass the incense around the room or area that you wish to cleanse, and allow the positive emotions that you observed to expand and infiltrate the space you are in, or want cleansed, with the smoke. Visualise feelings of peace, love, joy, floating in the air, around you, through you, around your room, around the objects. Let them flow with the smoke.
Inhale deeply and immerse yourself in the experience.
If the smoke becomes overpowering at any time extinguish the incense. It should always be pleasing and never overwhelming. If you use incense as a part of a meditation, it should never distract you from your inner peace, only help you to find it.
So next time you feel as though you’d like a little emotional boost, find some incense that appeals to you, choose a quiet space and get “in-sense”.