Smudging with smoke composed of a variety of plants, herbs, resins, and minerals can be an exceptional energy purifier for getting rid of negative energy from your home, office, or body. Spiritually, smoke summons helping spirits; it represents the transformation from solid matter to spirit, as the smoke ascends and disperses into thin air.
Physically, smoke captures negative energy particles in our illuminated body or habitat spaces and in hard-to-reach places, then removes and transports them to the heavens to be dispersed. A recent article in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology notes that smoke can disinfect the air from a variety of dangerous airborne bacteria, hence it has considerable healing properties.
The most popular plants for smudging and removing negative energy are white sage, sweet grass, lavender, rosemary, valerian root, and other aromatic plants or trees, like cider, pine, palo santo, and copal. For body purifications, start from your head and go down to your toes. You can disperse the smoke with your hands or with a feather through an open window or into a candle flame. You can also scatter these plants and minerals around the house for psychic and spiritual protection against evil spirits.
2. House Energy Cleansing
Clearing bad air, negative energies, ghosts, psychic attacks, and good and bad spirits from the house and workplace is as important as clearing one’s energy field. Often it is important to clear the owner’s energy right after you clear the space. This ceremony for clearing negative energy from the home uses almost the same tools as in La Limpia. The premise of this common practice in South America is that humans, animals, or any object leave energy footprints wherever they go. Sometimes deceased people’s spirits still stay at the place of their death, as they are not willing to move on. Negative energy is heavy, stagnant energy that stops the flow of life; it sinks down. If not cleared, it can bring bad luck, fear, sleeplessness, and sometimes violence to the people in the house or building.
I have seen a lot during the years I have practiced this form of clearing negative energy from homes and spaces—from an old sailor who hanged himself in the attic of an Amsterdam warehouse to a group of electronics thieves in a store in Queens; from an abusive Middle Eastern husband to an uncooperative Indian wife; from a murdered young woman’s ghost that crossed my room at 2 a.m. in Ecuador to a loving old couple who lived a full life in Queens, New York; from a killing dungeon in a Lower East Side restaurant’s basement to an unsuccessful factory in Long Island; from a cheating famous Brazilian healer to a Middle Eastern woman who vowed to ruin my client’s business. All past events that were later confirmed. And the effects of the clearings brought back harmony and good luck and changed people’s life.
The shaman’s role is to shake and invigorate these negative energies to move them out of the house and return the house to harmonious balance and flow. Throughout the ceremony the shaman chants or whistles an icaro (soul song, or prayer). If a house has multiple floors, the shaman starts from the bottom and moves up, getting rid of the negative energy and invoking spiritual protection. Windows are open to let the negative energies and smoke out.