Nowadays, the terms “energy work,” “healing” and “cleansing” are used and understood by a lot more people than perhaps ten or fifteen years ago. This is due, in large part, to the renaissance of holistic health and a widespread appreciation for living and healing ourselves, naturally.
But prolific, respected authors such as Carolyn Myss, Sandra Ingerman, Wayne Dyer and Scott Cunningham, have asserted that focusing on one’s well-being by way of eating and living holistically, is not enough. Essential, yes – but not enough. It is imperative, these voices unanimously echoed, to keep our energy clear. What, specifically, is meant by “energy”? I am referring to the energy in our own bodies and that of the environment in which we live. Clearing and charging our personal and home energy, can and should be done, these experts say, routinely and with conviction.
If Asian medicine is correct, and the Chi, or energetic force that both enlivens and animates the body, requires a clear path upon which to flow; if Ayurvedic medicine is correct, and our health is directly affected by the state of our energy; if the global Reiki movement is correct and human beings are able to respond positively to a Universal energy that can heal mind, body and spirit as well as cleanse and infuse places and things with healing energy- then could Myss, Ingerman, Dyer and Cunningham be correct? Could it be possible that “the big picture” for humans – wellness, harmony and prosperity – begins with clear, uncluttered energy?
I believe so. Considered by a lot of my readers and students to be an old time mystic living in a modern world, I’ve been writing and speaking about energy for some time now. At the forefront of my passionate proclamations about energy work, is one idea: keeping oneself and one’s home cleansed of harmful, contrary, inhibiting or negative energy, is vital. If we do not, then all the positive thinking and holistic practices in the world will be met with resistance. It makes good, clear sense to me that if we can remove some of the “orange cones” so to speak, those things that block our flow and create obstacles, shouldn’t we do that?
I cannot take much credit for this powerful idea. It’s a practice we’re seeing a lot of now – cleansing oneself and one’s home of negative energies. One very popular method is known as smudging. This is the practice of waving smoke from a purification herb over us, as a way to cleanse or purify. Interestingly, though you hear a lot of people refer to this practice as Native American in origin, this custom is found in the lore, writings and current traditions of many indigenous cultures. Michael Harner wrote about the Shamanic smudging in Peru and Ecuador; Barbara Tedlock noted the practice of herbal fumigation among descendents of the Maya currently residing in the Highlands of Guatemala and the modern day shamans of Siberia. A friend of mine, a man who is a direct descendent of a New York Seneca tribe, tells me he was taught that traditional botanicals to use for smudging are dried white sage, dried cedar wood and dried, braided sweetgrass. We can go back even further; the ancient Egyptians left behind a recipe for their signature incense, Kyphi. This ritual incense included a great many ingredients, among them frankincense – noted for it’s ability to purify, protect and cleanse.
In each of these instances, smudging is what took place – a cleansing of one’s personal energy and the energy in one’s environment, through the smoldering of sacred, powerful botanicals. We can do the same today. Many spiritual groups practice smudging and some modern holistic healers have identified that other natural items such as crystals, some gemstones and herbs, also cleanse or purify. Very often, we find that lunar phases empower this kind of work, depending upon the time of the month and the type of work being done. Farmers and agricultural folk have always known this.
For cleansing energetically, it is best to send away unwanted, negative energy as the moon is waning, or decreasing in light. To draw in or increase positive energy, it is best to work as the moon is waxing, or growing in light. You should check a calendar to determine the dates for current and upcoming moon phases. Botanical or energetic items may be acquired from a health food store or new age shop.
Here are two of my favorite ways to cleanse negative energy and increase positive energy, below. It may seem that these practices are simplistic in nature. Easy, they are. Simplistic, they are not. Please note that each of the items used for cleansing negativity or increasing positivity, are energetic in nature, and thus powerful in themselves. When items are combined with each other, joined with our intention and further fortified by the antiquity of the custom, we are effecting very powerful practices, indeed.
CLEANSING NEGATIVE ENERGY ON THE WANING MOON or FULL MOON
Note: Waning moon is that period of time between the Full and New Moon. This cleansing may be performed on the Waning Moon or on the Full Moon.
1. Dried white sage (in bulk or bundled together as an herbal wand) or dried sweetgrass.
2. 1 piece of hematite, a silvery-black stone
3. 1 white candle
Any time of the day or night when the moon is waning, light dried white sage or sweetgrass. Beginning with yourself, take up the hematite in one hand and with your other hand, wave the smoke first around your head area. Next wave the smoke down your entire body, along your extended arms, down each leg and underneath each foot. It is thought that the smoke clears the body’s energetic aura of impurities, “trapping” them in the fumigation and taking the negative energies heavenward to be released or recycled.
Next, smudge your home. Start in the room you consider to be the hub; for many this is the kitchen. For some, the hub of the home is their office or living room. Carrying the smoldering herb in one hand and the piece of hematite in the other, walk clockwise around each room. Wave the smoldering sage or sweetgrass smoke throughout, including the corners and closets. Custom dictates that one leave a door or window open while performing this type of cleansing, so that the negative energy has somewhere to go, a way to get out.
When you are finished smudging, light a white candle to affirm the release and clearing of negative energy from yourself and your home. Visualize purifying white light permeating your home and sealing it as cleansed. Carry the hematite with you; it is magnetic in nature and will continue absorbing negative energy around and on, the person in posession of it.
AFFIRMING POSITIVE ENERGY ON THE WAXING MOON or NEW MOON
Note: Waxing moon is that period of time between the New and Full Moon. This positive energy blessing may be performed on the Waxing Moon or on the New Moon.
1. Peels from 1 orange, a handful of rose petals and a tablespoon of dried cloves or star anise
2. 1 quartz crystal point or polished quartz crystal
3. 1 white or purple candle
Any time of the day or night when the moon is waxing, fill a small saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Add all botanical ingredients, including the orange peels, rose petals and cloves or star anise. Give the mixture a stir with a wooden spoon. As the scented steam rises, see your home being filled and blessed with positive energy. According to holistic aromatherapy, orange peels facilitate blessings and harmony; rose petals encourage unconditional love, loving communication and expression; cloves and star anise protect against harm. If you like, you can gather “handfuls” of the aromatic steam and “wash” it over your face, inhaling the scent and thus allowing the energies to affect your consciousness. As water evaporates, add more cool water to the pot. With the addition of more water, the potency of the aroma may subside. You may add more botanicals – just be sure to include all the ingredients.
Light a white or purple candle to align with high, Divine energies. This further adds to the potency of your intention. Set the quartz crystal, which is a natural conductor of electricity and a powerful magnifier, near to the simmering pot and lit candle. In this way, you are boosting the energetic power of your aromatherapy and positive energy candle. After a while, you may carry the crystal with you as a way of boosting and magnifying your own positive energy.
KEEPING THE QUARTZ & HEMATITE CLEANSED
Experienced crystal connoisseurs know that while quartz does not retain outside energy nearly at the rate or volume hematite does, both stones must be cleansed and recharged regularly. A good timetable is to cleanse and charge stones monthly, depending on the frequency of their use. You may smudge the quartz crystal and hematite, removing negative energies from them in this way. Another effective method is to hold the stones under cold running water. To charge (restore) hematite, place it on a window sill in the sun or out in the grass or on your front step, in the sun. You will notice the hematite will get very hot; this is part of the charging process. To charge quartz crystal, it may also be placed in sunlight to magnify and restore its’ energy. Alternately, you may bury quartz crystal in the earth, leaving it deep in clean soil for no less than one week, or as much as one month. When you are ready, dig up the quartz and gently wash it off.
ABOUT THE WRITER JO LYNNE GIANVECCHIO-VALERIE is an author and lover of all things holistic. She has been Editor in Chief of holistic and new age print magazines, and was on the production team for the PBS Television Show Nature’s Wisdom Television, which she eventually co-hosted.
Jo Lynne’s latest work is her debut book titled, A Tale For All Seasons: Magical Stories For Heart And Soul. She is the founder of The Natural Food Cupboard and facilitates spiritual circles, workshops and events. Jo Lynne holds a BA in Journalism, Creative Writing and Literature; she is a Reiki Master, Certified Herbalist and Licensed Holistic Aromatherapist. Learn more about Jo Lynne on her web-site, www.JoLynneValerie.com
LISTENING TO “Home” by Chris Coco vs. Afterlife; “Earthlight” by Deuter and “Cycles” by R. Carlos Nakai