How-to: Energetic Clearing
There are several ways you can use wild plants to clear yourself or a space: brushing, aspersion, bathing or burning. When doing any of these clearing methods, call on the spirit of the plant, as well as your favorite spirit helpers or deity. There are detailed handouts for both house clearing and spiritual bathing on my client handout page here.
For brushing yourself or another person, take a bundle of plants and brush them over yourself or the other person, releasing anything you need to with sound, if you are called to do so, tapping the bundle on the ground periodically. Brushing is best done outside. Similarly, you can use the brushing bundle like a broom to sweep a space. In either case, thank the plants then dispose of the bundle in the garbage, compost or in the woods.
Aspersion is washing, spraying or sprinkling with an herbal solution. To use this method for space clearing make up a dilute herbal tea with the plants you wish to use (I use two thirds water and one third tea). Spray or sprinkle the area you wish to clear. You can also add tea to mop water for a hard floor. Do a regular mopping first to clean the floor. A bit of salt can be added to any aspersion technique. Patch test first, especially if you have a light floor/walls. If you’re mopping, once you’re finished, dump your mop water off your property (in the street is fine if you have a septic system or down the toilet if you are hooked up to a municipal sewer system.).
Can you use essential oils here? You can (said with a slight grimace and wince), but I prefer that you use the plant.
For clearing yourself via a bath, run a bath. Add a few handfuls of salt and the herb tea of your choice. Get into the tub with the intention of clearing yourself of anything that is unhelpful or negative in your energy field. Pour water over yourself 3, 6 or 9 times. Wipe yourself down with the last path and drain the tub, visualizing all the negativity going down the drain. Get out of the tub, dry off with a clean towel and put on clean clothes or jammies.
There are two popular methods for burning plants: the wand/bundle/smudge stick and loose incense.
Most people are familiar with the bundle (aka "smudging"): light it and waft around. For loose incense you need extra equipment: a fire proof bowl, salt or sand or ash (if you’d like to be fancy) and incense charcoal for burning incense. Additionally, I recommend tiny tongs, to hold the charcoal round and to place resins on the hot charcoal round, if you’re using resins. Chopsticks will work in a pinch but will get singed. I like Shoyeido incense charcoal and ash. Their incense burning bowls are beautiful, too, and not horribly expensive. I also use an old bowl with handles that I picked up at a reseal shop for $1 or so. I like the handles and it’s shallow so it’s easy to waft the incense. I found the tongs on Amazon.
The ash, sand or salt goes into the bowl. Hold the charcoal round with the tongs (or place it in the bowl) and light with a lighter then place in the bowl. Gently put resins or loose incense on the charcoal. Now you’re ready to clear your space.
Crack a window in each room. You can waft the smoke with your hand, a feather or a stiff piece of paper, cardboard, etc., asking for clearing help as you work through the rooms or space. Go from the top of your house to the bottom and clockwise (left to right), getting the smoke into all the nooks and crannies, closets and corners.
Nice burning bundle combos are mugwort and rosemary; and rosemary and thyme.