The primordial healing traditions of the world vary in many ways, but one core belief they all share is that everything in and around us possesses an energy or spiritual charge. Feelings of negativity aren’t dismissed or coped with in these cultures; they are worked with and cleared, often through the ritualistic burning of herbs or plant resins.
If you feel stuck, stressed, overwhelmed, blocked, low energy, or laden with inner conflict in your life, this ancient method of clearing the air is definitely something to try.
The intentions that are set—when used alongside certain herbs—can make for a powerful ritual that you may wish to incorporate into your regular practices.
Below, I’m going to share three shamanic ceremonial herbs that are perfect to use for space clearing and how best to use them all together.
1. Use sage to clear
Sage is a wonderful healing and medicinal herb, that can be used for purification to cleanse your aura, home, automobile, or any other space you spend time in. I like to also use sage, known by the scientific name Salvia officinalis, when I travel to cleanse the energy of hotel rooms before I settle in.
I burn it after having guests over, to send their energy, any connective cords, or any soul parts along with them. For anyone working in healing arts, sage is especially important to use for cleansing after each session, to purify the energy of your space between clients.
To cleanse the space, open a window or a door, then slowly walk through each room with a piece of burning sage, allowing the smoke to remove any stagnant energy through the open portal. Try setting the intention of clearing, releasing, and letting go of anything that no longer serves you, or that doesn’t belong.
“I release attachment to anything that does not serve my highest and best self.”
“I let go of any negative thoughts, worries, or any energy that does not belong here.”
What do you want to clear, release, and let go of in your life?
2. Use palo santo to call in your desires
Palo santo’s ancestral “holy wood” medicine brings with it a sweet citrus scent and a hint of pine. The native South American tree, known as Bursera graveolens, is believed to bring good fortune and enhances creativity in those who use its medicine. Now that you’ve cleared old, negative, stuck energy from your space with sage, what specific good fortune would you like to call in? As you walk through your space with your stick of burning palo santo, be present to what you want to create more of.
Perhaps when you’re walking through your living room, you may want to call in joy, connection, healing, celebration into this space.
In your kitchen, you may want to call in health, wellness, and vitality.
In your office, call in productivity, contribution, inspiration, focus. And don’t forget wealth!
In a child’s room, you might be inspired to call in safety, protection, and growth.
In your bedroom, you might choose to call in passion, love, sensuality, and rejuvenation.
What do you want to create for your life?
3. Use copal as an offering
Copal, or Protium copal, is a saplike plant resin often used in Maya medicine. When you light it, let it burn like an incense. In addition to its clearing properties, consider also using copal as an offering, giving thanks and expressing gratitude for your sacred space and the abundance you’ve already been blessed with.
Traditionally, copal has been used as an offering to Tlaloc (Aztec god of rain, water, lightning, and agriculture) and to Chalchiuhtlicu, (Aztec goddess of running water and springs, rivers and lakes). However, you can use copal as an offering to whichever Higher Spirit you connect with, or use it to express gratitude for all the things and people you’re thankful for.
“I offer up my gratitude for this space. May it serve as a sanctuary for all who enter.”
What are you grateful for?
If you’re new to the practice of clearing space using sacred smoke, sometimes it’s best to simply start with one herb and get to know its action well. Let it work through you, paying attention to how it behaves when burned.
Clear intention and presence are everything here.
Founder, The Sacred Science
PS: These 3 shamanic herbs and a bunch more like them are featured in our Secrets of the Ancient Healers course! You can check it out using the link below:
I have trouble keeping my palo santo lit.
And need to get copal.