There are many things we clean when there’s a build-up of residue: we clean our ovens, empty the lint trap in the dryer, wash walls and windows, vacuum carpets, sweep and mop floors, do laundry… But how many of us clean the energy in our living and/or work space? Or is the better question: how many of us do it as often as we should? Not to mention, the energy we carry within ourselves.

I love when a cartoonist draws someone who is in a particularly foul mood – there’s this little storm cloud hanging over the character’s head, or smoke puffing out of their ears. When I think of a real person who is negative, or grumpy, or depressed, or maybe just having a bad day, I think of the energy coming off of them like a storm cloud or smoke. The angrier the person is, the farther a reach that smoke has. The more depressed a person is, the darker the storm cloud, and add in the odd lightning bolt for further effect. That person’s energy has the ability to reach out and infect others, spreading the negativity like a communicable disease. “Patient Zero” likely doesn’t realize the effect they’re having on the people around them, as “Patient Zero” is often times too far into their own funk to see the wake of disgruntled people they leave behind.

Now, think of “Patient Zero” sitting at home and moping, eating a bag of chips and playing video games. All that energy is still wafting off of them, but now it is trapped inside with nowhere to go. It seeps into soft surfaces: the furniture, the curtains, the carpet, even their clothes – much like cigarette smoke does. It touches everything. Not only does it seep into fabrics, but it leaves a residue on hard surfaces: the walls, the ceiling, the windows, and jewelry. Have you ever walked into a building and felt overwhelmed by darkness, anger, sorrow? Many speak of Spirits residing in the building, but really it’s energy. Whether that energy is from a deceased former resident or residual energy left over from someone who moved across town doesn’t matter, it’s still just trapped energy.

I mentioned jewelry. Not everyone realizes jewelry can retain energy. Numerous times I’ve picked up a friend’s ring or bracelet and felt a strong emotion. I asked one friend what had been going on in her life the last time she had worn the ring I was holding. I already knew the answer, but I wanted her to think about it, as it was going to prove my point. The ring held sorrow, anger, hurt, betrayal, confusion, and a little bit of fear. When she remembered the last time she had worn the ring, a shadow crossed over her face – she had been going through a relationship break-up. Another friend told me she doesn’t like getting her wedding set cleaned, as when she gets it back it doesn’t “feel the same”, it feels… inert. And she’s not wrong, the energy – HER energy, has just been cleansed out of the rings. After a couple of days wearing them, they feel ‘normal’ again. And for those who are wondering – “psychometry: the supposed ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them… another term for psychometrics.” The word ‘supposed’ is in there only because I’m quoting a definition I found on-line. Many of us do it, we just don’t (always) realize it when we do.

What do we do to get rid of all the residue we emit on a day-to-day basis? Well, we can cleanse it. Not clean, cleanse. Although cleaning can be a part of the exercise/exorcism… *wink* Many customs use a form of incense to help cleanse away negative energy. There are some that might argue not all incense would be applicable, but the way I see it is – if you find a scent that you like, one that lifts you up Spiritually, that’s half the battle. For those that wish to stick to form, the more commonly used incenses/herbs are: Sage (White Buffalo Sage), Lavender, Sweetgrass, Sandalwood, Dragon’s Blood, Basil, and Cedar. The list is much longer, I assure you. Put your nose to good use, sniff the scent of the incense before you purchase/burn it. Anise is on that list, and I for one do *not* like the scent of it. Lavender gives me a migraine. Everyone is different, each of us have different preferences, what works well for me may not go over so well with someone else. For those who are unable to use incense, another option is to use essential oils in a hydrosol (Pepper, Eucalyptus, Camphor, Sandalwood). Or even a crystal essence, which can be as simple as certain stones set in water and left to soak in the sunlight for a period of time (Hematite, Onyx, Obsidian, Black Tourmaline).

Once you have decided on your ‘cleanse’, set about to do it. My daughter used to go through the house-top to bottom with a smudge stick made of Sage and say a chant I wrote:

Negative Spirits and Energy, Leave

From this home and every eave.

Through the windows and the doors,

Leave this house, and trouble us no more.

As she would get to the windows and the doors, she’d open them so as to allow the negative energy a way to escape. She made sure to send smoke from the smudge stick into the dark corners of the house – as negativity likes to hide in darkness. She would pass the smoke around the doors and the windows to set up a protective barrier against future negativity coming in.

You can also smudge/cleanse yourself – either with a smudge stick/incense, hydrosol, crystal essence or even a long and luxurious bath filled with bath salts and herbs. I know of some people who will drink the aforementioned crystal essence. I would advise that before one tries that to be certain the crystal essence isn’t harmful if taken internally. For example, Galena is great stone – but it’s lead based.

A simple way to cleanse energy from small items is to place them in salt, however there are many finishes that could be marred/scratched by salt. A way around that is to have two glasses or glass jars that can sit one in the other and yet can allow enough room for salt to be poured in between them. The small items (such as a ring or a crystal) benefit from the cleansing properties of the salt without actually touching the salt. Ten to fifteen minutes in a ‘salt bath’ should be enough to remove most, if not all, of the residual energy.

That brings us to: how often should we cleanse our space? It would be good practice to get into the habit of cleansing/smudging once a month. The Dark of the Moon (also known as The New Moon) would be an ideal time as, magically speaking, it’s a time of banishing. For those that don’t subscribe to such thinking, pick a calendar day such as the 1st or the 15th. Of course, one needn’t stick to cleansing once a month. Cleansing can (and should) be done after such events as: arguments in the household, during/after bouts of depression, large family/holiday dinners, moving into a new space, moving out of an old space, coffee with a Negative Nancy or Dennis Downer type person… Generally speaking if you feel the need to smudge then, by all means do so. At the very least, it can help to put you into a better frame of mind.

Please share this blog with friends. Someone may find the answers they’re seeking.

The Bruja Roja
(originally published July 7, 2015)