The Ancient Art of Cleansing Your Home with Smoke

Cleansing your home with smoke is an ancient practice that has been used in cultures around the world for thousands of years.

Simple as the practice may be, it combines your intention with powerful plant medicines to purify not just your own energy field, but also your living space.

I consider this ritual the first step in calming and clearing the energy in your home, and an important part of  your regular energetic hygiene.

This video is the first in a series I’m calling: The Ultimate Guide to Spiritual Protection for your Home.

I get so many questions from people wanting to clear their homes of negative or low vibe energies and the answer always depends on what's creating the problem in the first place.

It's not always a simple answer, so this series will dive into the common reasons you may be experiencing ghosts or earthbound spirits, negative energy portals, entities or other types of intrusions in your home and what you might be able to do about it.

Creating a calm, safe, and loving place to call home is critical for our health and well being.

When you live in an energetically chaotic environment, it can leave you feeling exhausted, agitated, or downright fearful to even be in your space.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can take charge of the energy in your home and restore the peace and harmony there.

So let’s start with cleansing your home with smoke.

Because there are a few things you need to know to safely and respectfully work with sacred smoke in your home.

First of all, let’s talk about why the energy in your home might need clearing.

Just like washing your hands when they get dirty, your energy field also picks up debris from your surroundings and needs a good cleansing.

So when you’re out and about in the world, you might pick up the emotions of other people, or tap into collective thoughts, pains or grief. Or be processing your own emotions with a particular situation.

Bits and pieces of the energy get stuck in your own energetic field.

And the same thing happens to your house.

Arguments or sadness, sickness or pain….everything that happens in your home is all hanging in a cloud of energy in your space. Prolonged periods of intense emotions can even seep into floors and walls.

It may have already been there when you moved into the house.

Of course, homes can absorb happiness and joy too. And you know those houses – the ones that just make you feel so good the moment you walk through the door.

Being in spaces like that is healing for the humans and animals that call them home. And that’s how you want your space to feel – like a respite from what might be happening outside.

A safe, loving, warm environment.

And smoke cleansing can help create that kind of space.

Now, of course, there are other things that can bring down the vibe in a house like earthbound spirits or other kinds of negative energies.

And in future videos and posts, I’ll share more about how those energies come to be in your house and what you can do about them.

But cleansing your home with smoke can go a long way toward banishing or neutralizing some of those energies as well, so it’s a good place to start. 

Now, let’s talk about specific plants that you can use for cleansing your space.

Because while white sage is often thought of as the go-to plant for cleansing your home with smoke, there are some very important reasons why you probably shouldn’t use it.

First, this is a plant that is sacred to many indigenous tribes in North America and is a part of their traditional culture, ceremonies and ritual.

If this is not part of your cultural heritage or you haven’t been invited to specifically learn the rituals associated with this particular plant and the smudging ceremonies from an indigenous person offering to teach you, I would suggest avoiding white sage for your smoke cleansing.

The commercial demand for white sage in recent decades has created a black market and over harvesting of the plant – making it even more difficult for native people to source it for their ceremonies. 

By the time it has reached you, it’s likely passed through the hands of many wholesalers and vendors and it’s unlikely the person you’re buying it from has any idea if it was harvested ethically or legally.

Not exactly the energy of what you want when trying to bring in some better vibes to your space.

Besides, there are TONS of other options that are well known for their ability to clear energy and ward off low vibe spirits.

And they might even be the plants your own ancestors used.

Starting with Mugwort.

There are many superstitions associated with the magical uses of Mugwort across Europe and around the world.

And its tendency to self seed itself right beside people’s front doors should give us a clue of what it can do for our homes.

It’s a powerfully protective plant and wonderful for smoke cleansing.

There were many superstitions connected with Mugwort: it was believed to save you from fatigue if you kept it in your pocket while walking or traveling, protected you from sunstroke, wild beasts, and evil spirits.

Wearing a crown of Mugwort on St. John's Eve could protect you from disease, misfortune or evil possession.

Related to Mugwort is Wormwood, found all over Europe before naturalizing in the United States.

It has a reputation for being a fumigant and repellant – so, an excellent choice for clearing and repelling the things from your house you don’t want hanging around.

According to the ancients, Wormwood counteracted the effects of hemlock or toadstool poisoning or being bitten by the seadragon.

It was also known as an old love charm to stimulate dreams of your future partner.

Mullein is another wonderful plant for smoke clearing, having a long history of being used to drive away evil spirits.

It was also thought to instill courage and health, provide protection, keep dangerous animals away and attract love.

An old superstition said that witches used the Mullein stalks in their incantations, giving it the nickname “Hag's Taper”.

All of these plants can be wild harvested, dried, and kept in your herbal apothecary for a variety of uses.

Some other options you might also have readily available in your community or your own backyard include:

  • pine
  • spruce
  • hemlock
  • cedar
  • juniper
  • mint, and
  • desert sage

They can be gathered, dried and tied into bundles or used loose in a fireproof plate or dish.

Now, you might be wondering how exactly DOES the smoke work to clear energy from your space. 

Well, it’s not only the smoke but the constituents in the plant itself.

Plants and trees vibrate at a specific frequency – a much higher frequency than our human bodies vibrate at. 

And when you burn a plant, you’re not only releasing that plant’s frequency into your space, you’re also engaging all four elements in your ceremony.

Water was drawn from the earth to grow the plant, fire is used to light the plant, which turns to smoke in the air. 

So you’re literally calling on the power and energy of all that is to support your intentions of clearing your space.

That’s pretty powerful.

And by the law of vibration, when you introduce a higher vibration into a space, it will naturally pull all of the other vibrations up to meet it.

So, your energy will be lifted by the energy of this higher frequency plant, along with anyone else in your house.

And any energy that cannot match that higher vibration is not going to want to stick around.

In fact, it won’t be able to.

And scientific studies on medicinal smoke have proven that it can keep a space clear for a minimum of 24 hours and in some cases up to 30 days.

Now, there are reasons that smoke alone may not completely clear your house of some energies and entities and I’ll get into those details in a future post / video as there are a handful of situations that could be contributing to the issue and different remedies for each problem.

But you’ll find that many issues in your home can be resolved with a simple, but powerful smoke cleanse.

Now, let me walk you through how to create your own ceremony.

Because there are many ways to accomplish this ritual and the most powerful magic is the kind you create.

In other words, the magic comes from your own imagination, not from replicating an identical ceremony that someone else created.

Don’t be afraid to tap into your own intuition to create something that works for you!

One word of caution here though.

As I mentioned, there is powerful medicine held in these plants. And each plant has unique constituents that might not be suitable for every person. 

If you have allergies or asthma or are pregnant, please do your research on whichever plants you intend to use to ensure they’re safe for you to inhale the smoke that’s held in these medicines.

And as with all plant medicines, a little bit usually goes a long way.

You don’t need to fill your house with smoke. Just a little curl coming off the tip of the plant is plenty.

So, to begin, you want to set your intention.

This is more important than almost any other part of the ceremony. Your intention will be carried on the smoke and will color the outcome of the cleansing.

You can say it out loud, in your head, or write it down.

Be clear and be firm. This is your space and you need to own it.

In general, you’ll want your intention to be that any lower vibration feelings, emotions, energies, entities or spirits are no longer welcome in your space. Anything that is no longer serving you is to be released. 

And at the same time, you want to welcome in happy, healthy, high vibrational energies.

Once you have set your intentions, open a few windows throughout your house.

You want to have a way for the smoke to carry the energy out of your home and fresh energy to come in.

Then, prepare your plants if needed and if you’re using a stick of bundled plants, be sure to have a bowl or plate for it to sit on so it doesn’t drop hot ash or embers in your house.

You can light your plants with a match if they’re loose or a candle if they’re bundled.

Once lit, blow gently. Enough to put the flame out, but still let the plants continue to smolder.

I start with clearing my own energy. Pulling the smoke to my heart and then washing it over my head and down my body.

Then, I like to add another layer of frequency to the smoke and my intention with some kind of sound.

I usually play my singing bowl, but you could also sing a song, recite a chant or mantra, say a prayer, tone, turn on some solfeggio frequencies, or anything that adds a high vibrational sound to your ceremony.

Once the stage is set, carry your smoke around the house, waving it into corners and around doorways with your hand or a feather.

As I walk through the house, I repeat my intention again and again in my mind, holding the vision for what I want to happen.

I pay special attention to the doorways that lead in and out of the house, closets or other small spaces, and over top of our bed where we sleep and dream and release the energy of our days.

I even pause over the doorway to our crawl space and imagine in my mind’s eye the smoke traveling down into that space to clear out any stagnant energy beneath the house.

Sometimes the smoke will die down and the plant needs to be re-lit as I go.

And when I’m done, I leave the bowl somewhere in the middle of the house where it can burn out on its own.

Some traditions believe that tamping out the plant to stop the smoke is disrespectful to the fire elementals.

So I just let them decide when the work is complete by burning out on its own.

Then I close the windows and the ceremony is complete.

Now you can relax and enjoy the feeling of a clear and calm energetic space.

How to Cleanse Your Home with Smoke Following Hawks