Cord Cutting: Letting Go of What No Longer Serves You

Written by Sherrie Locke on 11 Tzi, October 2014

We hold onto things energetically. People hold onto us energetically. Clearing the field is beneficial for all parties concerned and also gets us out of a rut in our thinking and our emotional states. Cord or Line cutting is a practice I was taught many moons ago when I was in my teens. Later, when I was associated with two foundations for psychic research we did lots of experiments on the principles and the outcomes of this type of work.


How to Clear Energy

There are many ways to cut and clear energies. My suggestion is that you start with a smudge (read my post), then a shower or salt bath followed by the practice of “line cutting.” This can be done in many ways, such as a recapitulation technique (read my post). Recapitulation is used when there is a remaining emotional charge to the subject; it is best performed before the remaining lines are cut to the subject or subjects.

After you have cleared your aura and the emotional charge around the subject, clearly visualize yourself, then the subject or person. “See” the line and connections. Some may look like rope or string, others might look like rotted spagetti or roots. It is not necessary to clear the other person, and I suggest you just stick to yourself on this one. Look all over yourself, especially behind the shoulder blades, in the chest area, front and back and ladies between your legs if you have had any guests there, men too, check your connections and see who has left a hook a line or something.

When you have an idea of “where” they are attached, then pull out a sword or a giant pair of scissors and snip, snip, chop, chop, just like cutting weeds. The other end will go back where it came from. After performing this, breathe deeply the light and fill those holes with clear white light until they are radiating light, until “you” are radiating light. Now seal your aura, and you are done… next!

Don’t worry about cutting a valuable connection. If you cut the existing energy, it will re-connect and be a clearer and stronger connection. When I do cord cutting now, I use one fell swoop and cut all previous connections. I find that my loved ones always reconnect with me and that we are clearer than the previous vibration. Usually I can get a good nights rest, an *extra bonus.

Line cutting allows us to let go of attachment and make room for the Universe to do its job. Our responsibility is to clear and hold space for what we are manifesting, which is rarely a person or money. We may have issues or past experiences with people that need to be cleared or let go of for our best interest and to move forward.

I am posting this article at this time since we are in the very last of the Balsamic Moon and getting ready for a New Moon partial Solar Eclipse (a powerful one). Whatever of the past we can let go of between now and then will serve us much more greatly than we can at this time imagine. Do the work, do your work, it serves your highest good.

Otherwise, a general good day for line cutting is a Tijax day on the calendar Maya. It is also a practice that is well served on the last quarter lunar phase in preparation for the new cycle. Set yourself free.

Love and light. See you on the other side of the Eclipse!
~SL, 2014

The Waning Lunar Phase

Written by Sherrie Locke on 6 Ix (Jaguar) July 2014.

*This is the last in a four part series on lunation cycles.

During the waning lunar phase, things seem to slow down. It’s like a time of “digestion.” We have less physical energy. We are moving into the dark of the moon, so be gentle with yourself. The tides are not running as high, storms are not usually as damaging, and things are not growing quite as rapidly as during the increase of the moon.

How to Deal with the Energy of the Waning Moon.

This third quarter lunar phase begins on Saturday, July 19th, 2014, at 26 degrees 21 minutes Aries (in Western tropical astrology).

We are feeling the need to expand and are also feeling “held in check.” We are still in the process of letting go. The waning lunar phase is the time to let go. Not to polarize more, but less. Do not compare yourself to others or their circumstances, and for God’s sake stay out of other people’s business unless you intend to assist them with loving kindness.

How to Deal with the Waning Lunar Phase

Do not bemoan your situation, otherwise you will only extend the experience. Focus on your “prime directive,” be it health, prosperity or whatever is your true desire/intention. You will be shown what needs further “clearing.”

This is not a time to “push,” but a time to make “space” for what you are asking for. It is a good time to clean and get rid of things. Do not get discouraged! We have a new Moon coming in about a week, and it will be another “Super Moon,” the closest one this year. So clear what no longer serves you before we begin the next amplification process.

Breathe, hydrate, relax. Stay focused on the bigger picture. It’s ok to plot and plan your success, but not at the expense of others. Life is not a “payback,” no one owes you anything, so avoid that mindset. You are not living others’ lives, so you have no place telling them what they should do or what they should do for you.

This remains a time that the truth is being revealed, so “listen,” pay attention and don’t be a control freak (or an ass). This truth is coming to the surface for a deep healing of the past. You are likely clear on what this is at this point. How you handle it is your choice. My suggestion is to be nice.

Some are moving “into,” some are moving “out of.” Whichever it is for you, just let it pass. There is little you can do to change the past, but you have everything to do with “how” it affects the present. It’s coming up to be “re-framed” and “healed.” You can, however, facilitate and stop talking about it. Let these emotions move up and through without judging yourself or others.

Letting Go During the Waning Lunar Phase

Do things that help with the “letting go” process. This last quarter lunar phase is good for doing a “cleanse” in preparation for rebuilding and expanding the system. Refrain from anything that may amplify emotions: no drugs, alcohol or infectious and toxic people. The energies that we are processing are quite potent all on their own, so you don’t need to amplify them by being in (or creating) a toxic environment. Just let them come up and out.

Take frequent baths or showers. Ask the water to assist you in this cleansing process by “washing away” what you do not need. Choose your words carefully. Is what is coming out of your mouth what you want more of? Are your words reinforcing the positive result you want? Are they reinforcing a continuation of the old?

It’s better to be silent rather than to talk about an illness or an undesirable situation. If you have been dealing with a health issue, let your words be of health and well-being. If you have been in a financial pit, let your words express the prosperity and abundance of the present and future, and “give” — do not be miserly at this time, be it with yourself or others. Have a “give away” and let go of what you don’t need.

Now go out there and use this energy to optimize your progress. Let go!

Make space in the vessel to “receive.”

Blessings and a hug from my heart to yours,

~SL, 2014

Grounding and Earthing Techniques

Written by Sherrie Locke on 11 Kej, June 2014

Go outside if possible, otherwise visualize yourself in nature.

I have found that collecting and having earth from different locations is beneficial. Such as a box of red earth from Sedona, or from your familial or ancestral home or one of your favorite beaches. You can connect with the place and also use it over and over.

Before mediation, always get grounded with one of several grounding techniques.Most of the time we are insulated from the most beneficial earth energies. Typical shoes are insulators. Hiking boots, athletic shoes, Dr Martin’s, etc. All are great and can protect you from electric shock, but they also insulate you from beneficial earth energies. Don’t get me wrong, going barefoot all the time is also not an option in today’s world. You may have a connection to earth, but what kind of parasites and pathogens are you picking up? Be mindful.

Any way you do it is better than not doing it at all. I like to take off my shoes at sacred sites to connect more deeply to the land.

Grounding and earthing exercies.

You can ground anywhere at any time, and being conscious of this will help you tremendously in all realms. The more well grounded you are, the further you can “go out” and expand, otherwise the tower will topple over.

Growth requires depth, so sink your roots deep into the earth. I plant my feet on the ground and visualize them as deep roots, but I also take my spine and create what looks like a tail or grounding cord and wrap it around the core of the earth, very stable and connected.

Busy-ness distracts us from reality.

Slow down, come back to yourself. When you do this, when you come back home, the madness dissipates and you create calm, which is what the world needs more of.

Time to liberate yourself from within.

Become the tall tree with its canopy in the heavens and its roots deep within the earth.

Be still, be the mountain.

~ SL 2014

Techniques for Deep Primordial Yin Meditation

Written by Sherrie Locke on 12 Qanil, June 2014

meditation 4

Picture the Yin-Yang symbol. We live in the white part. What we are working to achieve is balance. In order to do so, we must access the primordial Yin, the birthing place.

One moves “down” and “in,” sinking and expanding into primordial Yin.

There are two basic ways of doing this. I learned both techniques from two respected elders, may they rest in peace.

General Relaxation and Meditation

Sit or lay down in a comfortable position, hands and feet uncrossed. I find a straight-backed chair or lying down best.

Take several deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth to clear the energy.

Adjust and get comfortable.

Start breathing deeply, long in breath through your nose breathing deeply from your diaphragm. This is known as “pot belly breathing.”


Exhale slowly, collapsing the diaphram until all air is exhausted.

Do this a few times.

You can also use this to breathe out impurities and anxieties, and to let your thoughts pass.

I like to do this flat on my back. Sitting in a chair works well too.

This basic technique can be used for all types of meditation, such as centering, grounding and earthing.

Over the years I have been exposed to many traditions and types of meditation. I felt guided to share two of the most powerful I have ever run across. Each was taught to me by a mentor, a respected elder, these are advanced meditation techniques to be used to access the plane of the absolute….

A quote that came up as I was preparing to write this article:

“Beyond the Plane of Creation is stillness, the Plane of Absolute. This is beyond time and space. On this plane, the Universe is only information that can be read and altered. From this plane, physical life is a hologram of this information.”
– Carola Arcadia

The Movie Screen Technique

Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground and well grounded (read my post about Grounding Techniques), hands flat, palms down on your thighs or in a cupped position, spine straight. Start the breathing process. Allow the profusion of your thoughts to come into and flow around your head (feels uncomfortable eh?). This is your daily life and thought process. Crazy huh? That is only what is in the field of awareness. Just think what all is running in the background programs of old trauma and belief systems.

meditation 7

While you experience this to its fullness, narrow it down to a TV screen and put all that on the TV screen. Push that TV to the far side of the room.

Let the comfort of stillness and darkness begin to surround you, the way the lights are dimming in a movie theatre. Feel yourself in the movie theatre of your life, apart from the screen, watching the movie.

Move further back in your consciousness until the screen becomes a drive-in movie theatre (farther away), then to something you have to view through a telescope. You will realize that you are sitting in primordial Yin. Let the screen run in the distance, listen or view it if you must, but if you can still tell what’s going on, move the screen farther away. Use this as a point of focus, a pinhole thread.

You are now in “the space,” the “place.”

This is not a place to put out your will, but a place to surrender and receive. Yin “in’..” Just breathe and regenerate. Sit with that part of yourself, that part of your divine nature.

In more advanced techniques one may place the screen on a rolling torus. You might want to work up to this, so wait a bit for such advanced heart expansion work.

For now, bask in the place of regeneration. Heal, reboot, allow yourself to transmute to transcend.

After a while, bring your attention back to the screen. You may wish to place an image or a symbol on the screen, as a sort of intermission break. Pick something beautiful. Whenever you wish to stop mental chatter, go to that picture or symbol and take a mental break or intermission if you will in the long movie that is your life.

Return to the present.

Submerging into the Depths Technique

I like this technique and use it for lots of things. I have a regular set place I can sink into in the bottom of the Mariannas Trench (the deepest part of all the oceans).

This technique is applied in a prone position, flat on your back. Now do as you did with the previous style of meditation…



Float on top of the ocean or any body of water you are comfortable with (I will expand on this subject in a future post). If a kiddie pool seems safer to you, go with that. The idea is to sink slowly to the bottom, under the water. This is a visualization, so don’t try it in a bathtub or pool, at least not without scuba gear, and never ever do this meditation in the ocean literally.

The idea is just like what happens when diving or snorkeling. All the stuff going on in your everyday world is above the surface of the water. If you have ever had the opportunity to scuba dive, you will get what I am saying. The surface is “up there.” The deeper you go, the less of it you can see and hear until you only know where it is but not what is going on there. Enjoy the fish, the coral reef, the depths and find or create yourself a space or a place you like to go explore or feel safe to chill. Remember, you can breathe there very well, gills or not.

water meditation 2

This is a place you can access anytime by diving beneath the hustle and bustle of the world to chill and rejuvenate your soul. Hey, it’s called achieving great depth. You can return to the surface world anytime you like and won’t even get the bends or have to decompress.

You can also use the floating on an air mattress on water technique for quick meditations and balancing. The 3D world is above, primordial Yin is beneath. You are the line, thus balanced between the two.

In closing…
After using these techniques for just a bit, you will find fresh inspiration welling up from the depths inside of you. These are your true callings, gifts and talents being birthed. You will find new points of interest and a fresh view as you have made sacred space, a vessel to be filled. This technique will also assist you in your Yang manifestations so they have a chance to gestate and be born.

meditation 3

These meditations are for “making space.” For recognizing the process of thought and perception. They are for deepening and expanding both fields: consciousness and awareness. Not in conflict but in harmony and balance.

One talks, one is silent.
One is high as the sky, one is as deep as the abyss.
Live in the balance of these.

It is done!
~SL 2014

Closing Sacred Space

Written by Sherrie Locke on 6 K’at, March 2014

Every time a ritual or ceremony is performed, there is an intention set as to the duration of the operation. As in:

Is it a space clearing and protection ritual (short)?

A fire ceremony (two-three hours)?

A business (duration of original manifestation and/or duration of the business)?

In the case of a ceremony, the shaman and possibly certain “gatekeepers” have been holding space for everyone involved; the more who are conscious of this, the easier it is to hold space.

Some circles may become rather elaborate, with someone in charge of watching over and monitoring certain movements within the group and circle. As in many tribes, only the assistants would be allowed to speak directly to the shaman, since they have been trained in proper protocol and customs.

When the shaman/leader of the group concludes the ceremony, usually he or she will say, “It is Done!,” “We are done,” Or “So be it!, it is done!” Then the general group is dismissed.

After that, the gatekeepers and/or shaman will “collapse” the space held and end the entire session, giving all back to the earth.

Personal Ceremonies
In the case of personal ritual ceremonies, just remember that you opened a sacred space, so you must close it and collapse it when done. Never leave ritual items lying around. Put everything away.
Ritual offerings may be left.

On the mundane side, yes, even when selling a car, a simple closing ritual can be done to clear your energy from the item, place or object, before it is transferred to the new owner. When I buy a car, I welcome it, smudge it, and remove all items of the previous owner.

Clear and smudge your vehicle at least once a month and ask that it and all passengers be safe and protected. You check the oil, tires and water don’t you? Just add a few things…check!

(In Guatemala, the “chicken bus” companies bring in shamans to bless their buses and drivers at least once a year. The ceremonies, naturally, are performed on E/Eb days, which mean Road.)

When you are ready to sell the car, thank it, clean all your stuff out of it, smudge it to remove attachment, and she’s ready to go to a new home.

Closing Space for a House and Personal Items
Collapse all fields only when you are moving out of a house. Do the same with jewelry or any personal items you are selling, in order to clear and close out your energy.

Note: Certain things cannot be cleared and can be read for eternity by someone like me, so think about that too.

Closing a space is therefore an ending, a closure, pure and simple: you opened the door, so close it behind you.

We are all good at starting things, let’s get just as good at ending them!

Ho! Mitakuye Oyasin!

Candle Burning 101

Written by Sherrie Locke on 6 K’at/7 Kan, March 2014

The point of using candles is to focus your attention by looking into the flame.

If you can’t multitask and juggle more than one subject at a time, don’t overlap or use too many candles at once. Keep it simple at first.

Let us begin with a simple white candle….

Set up an area where you are to burn your candles. Make sure it’s in a safe spot. Also always put your candles on a candle runner or as I do, in a fireproof bowl or dish with sand or fine gravel (I prefer sand). Don’t use dirt since it may burn or smoke with organic compounds.

Choose your candles based on what you are doing and the duration or extent of the operation.

You can use anything from a tea light or a votive candle to any size taper candle. For us “professionals,” the three-, five- or seven-day glass-encased candles are our ritual candle of choice, there are even longer duration ones. You need to be a seasoned candle worker to have that many fires in your home or space, going 24/7 for the duration of the operation(s). Not for beginners!

The idea is to light the candle and let it burn for the duration allowing it to go out on it’s own. If it’s a “hot” one, you may use a candle snuffer, but never, ever, blow out a ritual candle and for sure you don’t want someone else to put it out. So watch what you are doing and be mindful.

There are many ways of monitoring candle rituals for the more advanced candle workers. Black and sooty usually means it’s clearing a lot of negativity.

Drips can be interpreted by the adept. If a candle burns especially weird, you may want to “piggyback it” with another ritual of the same sort until you get a clean result.

So choose your candles wisely. If you have a short period of time, or a short attention span, use a smaller candle. If you are doing a larger more elaborate operation, you may want larger tapers or glass-encased candles so you don’t have to light candle after candle without letting the light go out.

I do not use scented candles, choosing to add what I want to use myself. In order to be efficient and effective when using scents, you need to be familiar with planetary rulership and a few other things to optimize, otherwise you might just be working counterproductively.

In the case of an ancestor altar, you can use the favorite scent or color or anything else that connects you to that dead relative, all planetary rulership bets are off, it’s just an offering.

A safe bet for any operation is to use a white candle. White represents purity, is widely available and is also used in most religious ceremonies globally. In native indigenous ceremonies, the candles and colors become quite elaborate from the colors of the four directions to the subdirections, deities, nahuales and ancestors. As I said, keep it simple at first until you are more familiar with the usages. Better to stick with white all the way around rather than use something that is way off from the goal or intention.

I will present an article on traditional use of candles in ceremonies of the Maya, both Ki’che’ and the tradition I first learned, Yucatec, at a later time. I will mention at this juncture that candles used in traditional Maya fire ceremony are usually tossed into the fire in bundles rather than lit and burned individually.

General Guidance on Colors

This will help you get started. First off, let’s go with green. A green candle would most likely be for HEALING, not money. I must say something about this now. We are not just working candle magick in the good ole US where money is green. As a matter of fact, most national currencies globally are NOT green. So drop that correlation. Green is the color of the healing ray, the heart chakra, with both planetary and angelic rulership, so let’s stick with green for Healing.

Money is Power

Red is the color of raw energy and power, and thus money. Quote from a teacher: “Red is raw power, and energy = money. Also note that it’s very difficult to sleep in a house with a red candle ritual going on in the space, so you might choose short duration red candles for your first operations.

A gold or yellow candle may enhance intellect or even higher mind or thought process. It also activates the solar plexus, the center of the will. And it also helps with digestion.

An orange candle may help with concentration and creative stimulation in relation to a project or art form. It is directly related to the second chakra. Keep it in the higher realms.

Most people may want to stay away from blue candles, particularly dark blue ones as they are for deep emotional processing and could enhance depression if one has buried emotional issues that are not yet ready to be addressed and released. The lighter blue and turquoise can stimulate the throat chakra to enhance clear expression, so these can be helpful for public speakers and those learning to express themselves more fully and clearly.

Purple helps meditation.

Black is useful for releasing negative energies, for certain protection or grounding rituals or for a directional color.

You may have a favorite color. Please use what you like! Try beeswax candles if you can find them.  Don’t worry if you only have something basic.

Light is light; the candle flame is the catalyst for your prayers and intentions.

I hope this article assists you in getting a proper start in Candle Magick 101 and candle devotional offerings. Remember have fun, pay attention and keep it light! Always remember…

Everything you do comes back to you several times over.

Blessed Be!
Sherrie Locke, A∴A∴

On Being Mindful

Written by Sherrie Locke on 5 Akabal, March 2014

I was planning to post a different article today, but this one seems timely. Being mindful is part of being and staying “awake” as they say. Every action creates an equal and opposite reaction, or like attracts like, and so on…there are myriad metaphors from all sides of the equation. Today we’ll discuss being mindful of your surroundings and the impact you have on the surroundings around you.

In order to hold a 5D construct, we need to be mindful of the energy of the space we are holding, both your own and the space we inhabit on a daily basis. I have provided information in previous blogs regarding space clearing and will post one soon on holding space and also one on closing space, but for now let us focus on this particular subject, Being Mindful.

When you go to the time and trouble of setting and holding sacred space, it enhances the positive energy in the entire area. Same goes with the theory that if you have a sacred space, a vibratory wavelength set up you might want to be mindful of inviting or hosting contrary energies. I will explain:

If you are holding space for a certain intention, or projects or a business, or a home, don’t you want to invite only those energies that are compatible into that space?  Well, of course! And if you were protecting your space, would you want to go pick up anyone off the street and bring him or her home to partake of the family meal? Well, some of you will, of course, say yes.

However, at this time we are talking about bringing into a space what you wish to create. In this case, the way like attracts like. When you are anchoring energies for the positive evolution of something, anything, don’t you want to shield it from anything that might disrupt it’s positive and fruitful growth?

Case in point, I live near what is referred to as the Sedona of Central America, Lots of very specialized healers and therapists and the sort. Also scads of tourists in the high season, most here to do ceremony, a healing quest, or further their education in some modality, of which many are available. All that is great.

Across the lake and not a far boat ride is another town with a bit more of a reputation as a party town. So why is there still the mixing and lack of mindfulness not only from the tourist types but also with the locals, do tell.

Don’t get me wrong, a nice private party or a music venue on any given day is a wonderful outlet for everyone, but please, if you plan to start a rave, a drumming circle, or blast techno (which I have nothing against in reasonable hours) please be mindful of first, your neighbors, then the community (the indigenous first!) and even of how you are affecting the area. If you will be mindful of this, it will save you future challenges with people of your community, please work together!

Space Clearing 101

Written by Sherrie Locke, 4 Toj, February 2014

I tend to forget that most people were not raised the way I was, so there are many things I take for granted as just simple general knowledge. It was after a number of years that I discovered that even though these things are in plain sight, very few people ever take the time or energy to really look at their environment and, most especially, at the state of their own character.

Let us begin with just a few simple things to do and some very simple techniques to do them.

Entry and Exit Points
In a home or business there are entry and exit points, there are windows, there are cabinets, drawers, rooms for special things, a kitchen, a bed room and a bathroom. Thinking in terms of the four directions (Air, Fire, Water and Earth), a room, items and things in your home represent each of these and is ruled by these energies.

The kitchen and bedroom are ruled by Venus. The bath is ruled by the moon (Yemaya) and so on. I will write a future post on planetary rulership.

The manner in which this knowledge is implemented is something that I personally am a stickler about.

Do you think about what you are doing? I mean really. Go in your bathroom, what does it look like? Is it clean? Do you realize the plumbing system in your home is an entry and exit point? So, do you really ever clean the energy around the drains? The faucets? And the toilet?
Some of the most meticulous of energy workers will do all the other cleansings (with sage, sea salt, and the like), and yet they never consider these other entry/exit points. So I am gonna give you a hint, a way of fixing it and hopefully spark you to be more mindful about everything you do and the environment you are in.

The Drain Stops Here
Drains collect energy. There are water spirits, and just like any other realm, some are really sweet and some are foul. So once a week or once a month after you have done a space clearing (see my article on general smudging guidelines) you might want to pay attention to the drains and to the other entry/exit points in your home or the environment you are working in. Especially if there has been negative energy or illness in the space.

A simple inexpensive way of clearing out not only dirt and grime but also unwanted energies. I use ammonia, the cheap stuff you buy at the grocery store. So every once in a while, pour some down all drains and also in the toilet and flush it. The ammonia drives away negative energies.
And another thing I always laugh about is the age-old statement, “You left the toilet lid up again.” Well, ladies, let me tell you, a man leaving the seat up is nothing compared to the fact that you leave the lid up exposing the toilet bowl, like a vessel of water awaiting programming, and then broadcasting out into your home (I am not kidding kids).

So here’s the deal. A bowl of water collects energy. The toilet is an entry and exit point into your home. So why do you want to leave it open unless you are using it?
Consider this, and you might start being more mindful about everything you do. And for you germ-o-phobes, it’s like this: you have your sink where you brush your teeth, you have a toilet in the same room, you go in and use the toilet, flush it with the lid up, and the water molecules not only go down the drain but also swirl up into the room and environment, spreading a thin invisible mist in the entire room, oh including your toothbrush and toiletries and your freshly cleaned body. Think about it, really.

So ladies, stop complaining about men not putting the seat down and close the lid on the toilet when you are not using it! Jeez people. Just be mindful about what you are spreading and doing especially in your own home, if you expect to really do a good energetic job that will hold space. It may sound like a simple thing but it can make a world of difference in your home.

General Smudging Guidelines

Written by Sherrie Locke on 2 Ix, February 2014

In most Native American and other indigenous traditions, a clearing or a cleansing is performed as the opening for all ceremony or ritual practice, whether is it a personal ritual or a group ceremony.

Many traditional ceremonies use local plants and herbs. We will begin with a most basic smudging: a ceremony or ritual performed to either clear oneself and aura or to clear a space such as ones home to evacuate stale or negative energy stored in the space or auric field.

You will need three items.

1. White sage (Salvia Officinalis) or a white sage smudge stick (you can purchase these in the incense section at Wholefoods.) For the non-metaphysical properties of sage, see

2. A fire source (I find the sacred “Bic” works well). I was with an elder at a remote sacred site a very long time ago, and he asked me if I had a light. I looked at him and said, “A light? Like a flashlight?” He said, “No, I was asking if you carry the sacred flame.” I said. “Well, I don’t think I have had that initiation grandfather.” He stood up and proclaimed, “I am the keeper of the sacred flame!” Then he reached in his pocket and pulled out a red Bic lighter, scratched it to life and held it to the sky.

He sat back on the earth, held the lighter in his open palm, looked me in the eyes and said, “My dear Sherrie, you never know when you will need to build a sacred fire, so always carry the sacred flame. This is traditional.” Then he gave me the red Bic lighter. Moral to the story: always be prepared.

3. A fireproof dish, bowl or a pan of some kind so you don’t set the house on fire. This is, of course, not necessary if you are working outside on the earth.

If working with loose sage, you will use the pan to burn the sage in. If you use metal, be sure you consider the heat factor and use an oven mitt or something.

If using a smudge stick, you will be using the pan to hold underneath the smudge stick so that if it pops or gets really hot you can catch the ashes and embers. Trust me you will need this. (Traditionally we use an abalone shell for a smudge bowl and a wing or feather to fan the smoke from the bowl or from a smudge stick. We are well trained in cleaning the aura, place or the like, we can feel it. The wing and the spirit of the bird help us go directly to the “thickness” and remove it like a surgeon.

Practice makes perfect. The tool is only as powerful as the practitioner. These are rules we go by in general. A smudge may be beneficially performed by a novice, but it might not be as powerful as a ceremony performed by a traditional shaman or properly trained practitioner who is tuned in, intentional and heart centered.

I feel it is important to do personal smudging frequently, especially after interacting with others, to re-center yourself in your own energies and clear any negativity. It is required prior to most traditional ceremony. Like we say, leave your shit outside the lodge.

Health and holistic practitioners can benefit greatly by doing smoke cleanses but may need to devote a considerable amount of time to this and also to cleaning the space they have been working in at the end of the day. Note that sage is an antiseptic, so it can also be used in treatment rooms or where people have been ill, not only to clear residual emotional debris but also to clear airborne germs and pathogens.

I must also note that in this day and age many places will not let you burn anything. I have run into this myriad times, especially in California. There are other types of cleansings that can be prepared and used in this situation, which I will address in a future post. We are solely focusing on smoke cleansing or smudging.

Smudging Basics
Basically it works like this. Take a few deep breaths and relax. If you plan to cleanse a room or a house, walk through it first and look at the places that gather energy so you have an idea what to focus on. Set your intention (to clear you and/or the space).

How to Do a Personal Smudging
Always smudge yourself before you smudge another person or start a house clearing or blessing. For a personal smudge: light the sage, get it burning and then blow out the flames. Start at the bottom (feet) and let the smoke kiss your body, bathe in it, thank it for taking away what you do not need, for clearing and letting go of any negativity. It’s that simple.

How to Smudge a Room or House
For a space or house clearing smudge, begin and end at a designated point (you work that out). If you are smudging a house, you might want to start at the front door, move in a steady fashion, clockwise or counterclockwise (your preference or belief system but choose one and stick with it), going in that general direction through each room until you get back to your starting point.

Be sure to watch how the smoke rises in different areas, it will tell you where the negativity hangs out. You might want to spend a bit more time and smoke on those areas. Don’t forget closets, drawers and cabinets. You can expedite this by opening them all on your first walk through, then go back after you have completed the whole project and put everything back the way it was, only now it’s clean and de-cootied. I always open a door or window afterward to let anything out that needs to go out.

Other Notes on Smudging
If you are using a smudge stick, put it out under running water. After it dries you can reuse it, but if you crush it out it will continue to smolder and be a fire hazard.

If you are using loose sage, carry a bag of it around with your bowl so you can add to the fire rather than having it all go up at once.

Go forth and clean that space!

I will post a more advanced cleansing ceremony at a later time, this is intended for newbies and getting used to doing the cleaning rituals.

Ho! Mitakuye Oyasin!