Shaman Tools: When Sage Isn’t Enough

Thought this was an excellent article on smudging!  Love me some palo santo and sweetgrass!



Clearing our spaces isn’t simply an act of protection, but is a way to invoke ceremony, to invite the magical and other worldly into our homes, to let them know they are invited guests.

Clearing ourselves and our spaces is necessary from time to time. If the environment feels off, if there has been a fight or illness or even when there are periods of great change and uncertainty, smudging (or burning with smoke) will move these energies out so we can keep our spaces free and clear for our own expansion. Just as you take a shower, wash your sheets and clean your home, addressing the “energy” of your space should also receive some attention.

Sage is unquestionably the go to… it is trusted to be an ally which can help move energies. Used by healers globally, sage can purify, cleanse and heal most any situation. Burning the bundled leaves in any space will create a smoke that permeates the room and moves unseen and unwanted energies out.

*As with all ceremony, be mindful of others, as sage allergies are quite common.

For more persistent (i.e. heavy, stubborn or seemingly more “negative”) energies, sage may not be enough. Consider instead Palo Santo or Copal which tells these energies you mean business. Copal resin comes in 3 varieties – which also equate to their level of intensity – use White for blessings, Gold for manifestations and Black to clear out even the darkest critters. Burning any of these, with a prayer of cleansing and release, can do wonders.

Sage and Palo Santo may be lit and burned easily with a fire proof container under it. An abalone shell is often used, though any heat resistant container that feels special to you will be grand! For the resins, a charcoal tablet (in a fireproof, heat resistant container) will be necessary to keep the resin lit.

In a space where you can’t use fire?? Not to worry, Sage Spray which is an excellent alternative. If you want to change up your clearings and invoke greater sacred healing, sound is also an excellent mover of energy. Use bells, tuning forks or singing bowls to shift the frequency of your space. Coupled with clear intention, these pretty sounds can be incredible energetic cleaners.

Lest nothing be mundane, Full Moon and New Moons are a perfect time to synchronize with the natural worlds to clear our space and honor the rhythm of our universe. Routine clearing will ensure a sanctity of your space and will keep you in communion with the spirits of your home and land. By allowing ourselves to step into this place of clearing, we are creating a path of communication which invites our spiritual selves to better embody our physical environment.

As with all clearing, we do not engage in these activities out of fear, nor the need for protection. Own your power and let your space be a manifestation of your sacred self. Our thoughts will only attract more of these vibrations into our reality. We instead recognize each clearing as a sacred ceremony. An honoring of our space which awakens the invisible realms, the nature beings and Spirits, and invites them into our everyday.

Clearing to invite

Smoke is a messenger to the deities. Just as candles are used in churches, the smoke of sacred plants sends our prayers to the beloveds in the invisible realms. Don’t just rely on smudging to clear the way, but use it also in times of celebration, ceremony and manifestation.

Sweetgrass is an excellent starting point as it is a revered herb relied upon by the Native Americans to attract benevolent spirits. (My soul ancestry is Mayan, so I tend to prefer Copal in almost any ceremony.) As you light it, be clear in your intent and direct your prayers toward the Spirits who can best assist you.

Let curiosity be your guide and explore different elements in your sacred spaces. As you grow more familiar with the ritual use of smoke, you may begin to specify your intention and match it with incenses to strengthen your ceremony. Just as each plant has an identified Spirit, so too does each resin, incense and bundle. Remember that ceremony is spirituality in action and you can’t do it wrong!

Be mindful of where you live and when possible use native plants known to the ancestors and spirits of your region. You may alternatively choose to use resins and plants specific to the tradition in which you are working. Shaman’s Market offers a list by region which can easily help us all locate which smokes are best.

As in all sacred ceremony, pure and clear intention will carry you the furtherest. Far beyond the “otherworldly” haze smoke adds to an environment, it invites Spirit, the mystical and unseen, into our spaces, sanctifying them as places of connection and reverence.



6 Feng Shui Tips To Invite Great Energy Into Your Home

Great post from MindBodyGreen here!


“Imagine hosting a marvelous party in your home. Sparkly lights are strung, and colorful bouquets line the tables. Music is playing, candles are flickering, and delicious food is party platter ready.

As you await the arrival of your guests, you realize invitations were never sent. After all that preparation, how likely is it anyone will show up?

In feng shui, the front door is that detail. What happens inside the home matters very much, but without consideration and care of the front door, our intentions are suddenly diminished.

The front door is where we entice auspicious energy into our homes. And to be clear: this is the architecturally-intended front door of a house. Energy goes where the eye does, so it’s worth making the entrance entrancing.

When an entryway is beautiful and benevolent, we invite possibilities and opportunities into our homes. And with that kind of energy flowing through our space, it has a mighty impressive ripple effect in our lives.

Give the front door dedicated attention, and you create a sweet spot for generously auspicious energy to gather on your behalf. Here are a few simple suggestions to get the good vibes flowing your way:

1. Make the space outside the door as appealing as possible.

Replace any burned out lights with brighter wattage. Wipe down the front door and its hardware. Buy a new doormat, or shake out the one you currently use. Strive to keep this space clean and approachable. And if you can do nothing else, sweep. It’s a simple ritual that maintains pleasing space and calls forth marvelous energy.

2. Infuse the front path or porch with color and fragrance.

Pathways are analogous to opportunities finding their way to us. Healthy plants and bright flowers elevate beauty and suggest good health. Maintain both, and it’s a magnetic invitation to whatever you desire in your life.

3. Hang a wind chime outside the front door.

When the wind rustles, the pirouetting rods harness invisible and wildly good energy for you. And as the wind chime sings, it draws attention to the space, inviting more opportunities into your life.

4. Maintain a visible address.

Refresh it, if necessary: a quick polish to the numbers or a few new screws to firmly hold them in place, a fresh coat of paint to update a faded curb address, or a well-posted name in an apartment building will ensure energy knows exactly where to find you.

5. Use the front door daily.

Most of us enter our homes through a secondary door. However, feng shui holds that the really potent, boundless energy available prefers the front door, if invited. Make it a routine to open the door at least once a day. When we do, we intrigue bounty and abundance into our lives.

6. Keep the front door clutter-free.

The wider a door opens, the more open we become to unlimited resources and opportunities. If there is unnecessary clutter afoot, find a home for it. Designate a basket for shoes and sports equipment, place a tray nearby for keys and mail, and install hooks to hang anything else that might otherwise linger on the floor.

When the front door is left neglected, it suggests resources — time, money, and energy — are in short supply. And that feeling deposits undesirable vibes outside our home. An intentionally inviting door, however, tells the story that safety, comfort, and beauty reside just beyond its threshold.

Opportunity passes our front doors every day. If she likes what she sees, she brings her gorgeous energy to the doorstep. Feng shui has long observed that the front door represents our relationship with the world. When it’s captivating and positive, that is the kind of energy that shows up and channels throughout the rest of our home.

Let your creative juices loose here. Whether you add thriving plants, mega-watt lights, or something else delightfully irresistible, it all beckons the good life to find its way to your front door!”

I need to change some bulbs on our porch, add a plant or two, and a chime – I have those in my back yard, but not the front!