by Marc-John Brown & Lorna Liana
We all know that feeling of having a cluttered living space, right? It gets to our minds, it gets on our nerves, it makes our thoughts cloudy, and it makes us feel generally groggy and unmotivated. Well, from the shamanic perspective, the clutter comes first on an unseen energetic level. Unseen energy is the precursor for energy that we see in the physical, 3D realms. So before we declutter our physical environments, we must first declutter our energetic environments. And this is where shamanic space clearing is a great tool.
What stands greatly in our favor is to build a level of intuition in our perception of the unseen, and to build solid practices for energetic hygiene. Both of these allow us to keep our living spaces (and any space in which we find ourselves, for that matter) free of negatively-charged energy. But how exactly do we go about doing this? Read on to find out.
Your body is your ‘thermometer’ for energy. Your body is where you harbor all of your feelings and emotions. When you become truly attuned to your feelings, being able to trust them in their rawest, purest form, without attaching too much thought to them, you are guided by its timeless wisdom. And it is this wisdom that is able to detect any negative energy in the environment that surrounds you. What this means is that the next time you witness yourself feeling sudden onslaughts of negative sensations in your body in any given environment, slow up your mind and its ‘chit-chat’, and begin to move into communion with those sensations, trusting that they are communicating something to you.
You don’t necessarily need to know the root of the sensations, and you don’t need to understand what they mean, either. Just feeling them and trusting them is enough. From there, you may take the necessary action to clear the space of any negative charges, and thus the negative sensations your body may be experiencing. Remember, your body is your ‘thermometer’. Read on to hear what methods you may use to actually perform the shamanic space clearing.
Why Would You Want to Energetically Clear Your Physical Space?
In the shamanic worldview, we are surrounded by spirits, both negative and positive. They are everywhere, in nature, in spirits, in the office, at home, and we have an entourage of spirits that follow us everywhere. Some of those spirits are our protectors and guides; others are tied to us karmically from this life or prior lives. Others are parasites and demons that are the source of our self-sabotaging behaviors, vices and addictions. It’s believed that master plant medicines like ayahuasca are effective in helping people overcome their cravings, because it can be used to exorcise the negative spirits that have latched onto us during the course of our lives.
Physical spaces have an energetic vibration, and that vibration can be affected by past events that occurred there, or the spirts that lurk there. Anytime you step into a physical space that has a negative vibe – chances are something heavy went down there, and left an energetic imprint. Or an entity.
These negative vibes can impact your life, creating misfortune or illness, unless you clear the energy.
Here are some reasons to use shamanic techniques to clear negative energy from a physical space:
- You are moving into a hew home. Who knows what went down with the old residents. Even if they might be nice people, you definitely want to clear their old energies from your space.
- Somebody died in the space. Sometimes the energy or spirit of the deceased lingers, and is unable to move on.
- Many troubled people pass through the space. This is particularly true of healing centers and ayahuasca retreat centers. People seek these places out to heal their traumas, addictions, and illnesses. In receiving healing, they may leave leave negative entities behind. In the Amazon, gasoline is used to purify and clear the most persistent negative energies from a space.
- Some heavy drama or conflict occurred there. Maybe some heavy, traumatic drama or emotional fighting occurred in the space. It’s worth clearing the residual emotional vibes so that the dramas don’t resurrect themselves when other people step into the space.
- You have a nagging sense that “something” followed you back from ayahuasca ceremony. If a ceremonial container isn’t set up with strong barriers of protection, if the shaman has personal issues (greed, sex-addition, or power trips) or is a brujo, or if your own energetic field has holes in it, you can pick up entities in shamanic ceremony.
Negative energy is heavy, stagnant energy that drags everything down with it and blocks the flow of universal life force. If it’s not cleared, it can bring misfortune, bad luck, fear, anxiety, illness, sadness and sometimes even violence to the people in the house or building.
How Do You Know if An Entity Followed You Back from Ayahuasca Ceremony?
Entity attachments can usually be intuited because there is this sense that another consciousness, one that is not your own, is lurking about. Here are some signs you may have picked something up.
- A nagging negative voice in your head that is not your own.
- Persistent nightmares of being attacked, especially by demons, vampires, or other scary beings.
- A dark presence in your physical space that wasn’t there before.
- A streak of bad luck or misfortune that won’t seem to let up.
- A tendency towards conflicts and dramas with others, that is atypical and not a part of your nature.
Ayahuasca is a shamanic medicine, and the curandero typically calls in helping spirits to assist in the healing process. Not all of the spirits the curandero calls are of the highest vibration, even if they are effective in supporting certain outcomes. Furthermore, ceremony participants purge entities as they vomit, which are released into the space. These entities can find gaps in your auric field related to past traumas, addictions, or self-destructive behaviors, and latch onto your energy body in a parasitic way, feeding off of whatever negative emotions are associated with that gap.
Entities that latch onto people can follow them back home from the Amazon, to take up residence there – if you search the cries for help in ayahuasca forums, you will discover that this is a thing. Now there is a dark presence in your living room that wasn’t there before, and there’s no local Ghostbuster you can call. You have no choice but to take matters into your own hands.
Intention is the Key to Successful Shamanic Energy Clearing
Shamanism recognizes that the biggest influencing factor in any situation that we may encounter is our intention. Our intention is the most powerful tool that we have for manifesting any reality or performing any act. There are a whole bunch of specifically shamanic tools that are very powerful in shamanic space clearing for the removal of negative energies. For example, eagle claws, bear paws, bird feathers, and bird beaks, among other specific animal body parts. The eagle claw can also be used in the act of dowsing, which is another way of deciphering specific areas of energetic negativity. But we’ll leave the explanation of dowsing for another post, another day.
Before I go into detail on how exactly to perform shamanic space clearing for the removal of negative energy, it’s best that you first recognize the different energetic qualities of the following different seasonings:
- Fresh – Anything fresh is cleansing. It clears the space of negative energies. Fresh things will be your primary set of tools for any form of shamanic energy clearing. For example, fresh basil is often used in Central and South American purification rituals, either in flower baths, or as a bundle that is used to brush away negativity from your body.
- Spicy – Anything spicy is banishing and protective. Use spices, peppers, and other spicy seasonings to keep negative entities and spirits at bay. Sea salt can also be effective, either in bathes or in bowls placed around the house. This is especially useful as a complement to shamanic house clearing.
- Sweet – Anything sweet is positive-charging. Use sweet-scented smudging tools after anything fresh in order to positively charge your newly cleansed environment.
Decide what “flavor” tool will best compliment your intention prior to performing your shamanic clearing ritual.
Shamanic Clearing Technique #1: Smudging with Sacred Herbs
Smudging is the act of burning sacred herbs and/or barks and/or resins for the purpose of altering the energy of any given environment. This is one of the primary tools in shamanic energy clearing. Before beginning the smudge, it’s good to close your eyes, tune into your heart, tune into your surroundings, and declare to the Great Spirit that you are opening sacred space to perform a sacred practice. Call on the Great Spirit, and then you are free to open the sacred space with the words of your own choosing, but words such as ‘this space is safe, this space is sacred’ work well. Make sure that when you do this, you are very clear in your intention – sending out a very clear message as to what you wish to achieve with your shamanic space clearing.
With your knowledge of the above seasonings, you will be able to smudge your environment to great effect. First of all, use fresh herbs such as North Californian Sage, or resin such as copal, to clear the space. Have a bowl at the ready to hold the burning herb or resin. Light it up, but make sure it is not flaming – make sure it is burning just enough so that it emits smoke for the purposes of smudging. Many ancient traditions use a sacred object such as a bird feather for ‘spreading’ the smoke around the given environment during their shamanic energy clearing exercises. It is believed that, since they form parts of the wings of birds who fly high in the skies, next to the heavens, feathers carry the sacred energy of the sky gods – or the gods of above. They also carry the energy of ‘air’, which is perfect for ‘carrying’ the smoke emitted by your herbs or resins.
If not using a feather, simply pass the bowl around your environment, using your free hand to spread the smoke around. If using a feather, use the feather to do this. Make sure you are getting into all corners – no matter how tight. If there are areas in the environment of much physical clutter, be sure to give these areas quite a thorough smudge, too. Book shelves, behind the sofa, up high in the corners of each room (the corners are generally areas to give more focus to during a smudging session). Always keeping the sacred intention of clearing the energy and making the space sacred.
Once it feels like you’ve cleared all the areas you possibly could have, begin taking a slow, deeply intentional walk around the space, using your hands (and all of your senses) to feel the area once more. Remember the instructions from the start of this article above – feeling. If you feel there are any ‘sticky’ areas, or parts of the space that still need a bit of cleansing, you can use your hands like the beak of an ostrich and ‘peck’ those parts clean. Make sure your hands are packed full with the charge of your strong intention. Once this is done, you can move onto inviting in energies of a positive charge.
Repeat the exact same smudging process, only this time have a sweet herb, bark, or resin burning in your bowl – such as Palo Santo or Sweetgrass. Again, make sure you get into all corners, no matter how tight or seemingly difficult to reach. If you need to stand a little far from such areas whilst using the feather to send the smoke into them, then so be it. Again, book shelves, behind the sofa, and any areas that are physically cluttered. All the time, allowing the feather and the smoke to be charged with your sacred intention – sending it out with the sacred scents of the smoke that you are emitting.
Shamanic Clearing Technique #2: Cleansing with Agua de Florida Water
Agua de Florida, which simply means “flowered water”, is the perfumed water used in South America by shamans for cleansing during ceremonies and rituals. Florida water is typically applied by filling the mouth, then spraying the cologne through pursed lips. Getting it to exit your mouth as a directional, fine mist takes practice.
Florida water contains water, alcohol and aromatic oils, which may be essential oils or perfume oils. In 1808, the New York based cologne company Murray & Lanman launched the Agua de Florida fragrance (no it’s not an ancient shamanic recipe), and it became a hit in South America, especially in ayahuasca culture. Theirs is the most commonly commercially produced Agua de Florida brand, and while Peruvian shamans seem to swear by it, it does smell a lot like cheap cologne, due to its high alcohol content. Furthermore, its cloying fragrance may illicit vomiting due to your Pavlovian association with ayahuasca ceremony. You can find organic versions that might be handcrafted by a curandero or produced by smaller brands.
While the recipe can differ, here are the most common essential oils found in Agua de Florida, as well as their spiritual benefits:
- Bergamot oil, helps you achieve a greater connection with the Divine, by assisting with the release of unwanted thoughts and emotions.
- Neroli oil (from bitter orange tree) helps to bring light to any situation, and to connect with angels and spirit guides.
- Lemon oil is an uplifting essence used to purify the mind, body, spirit, as well as physical spaces, and spiritual tools.
- Clove oil clears negativity, provides protection and attracts love.
- Cinnamon oil increases psychic abilities and intuition.
- Lavender oil opens you up to spiritual healing, brings internal peace and balances your chakras.
- Rose oil opens your heart and increases the vibration of love.
- Orange flower oil instills a sense of regeneration, optimism, and trust in the Universe.
To employ Florida Water as a space clearing tool, you can spray specific spaces with it the old-school shamanic way, with your mouth, using your pursed lips. If you find yourself drooling over yourself more than successfully spraying the area, you can use a plastic spray bottle. For a general deep clean, you can dilute some Agua de Florida into a bucket of water and use it to mop your floor. Ancient wisdom for modern times.
Shamanic Clearing Technique #3: Blowing Mapacho Tobacco Smoke
Tobacco is a plant medicine considered to be sacred by many indigenous tribes. In particular, mapacho, Nicotiana rustica (a much stronger species of tobacco than Nicotiana tabacum, which is used in commercial cigarettes), is used in shamanic ceremonies in South America for healing, protection and clearing. In ayahuasca culture, mapacho is considered to be a powerful protector plant spirit. Cigars or cigarettes of mapacho tobacco are smoked for the purposes of carrying prayers and to blow purifying and protective smoke over oneself or over a patient who needs healing. Mapacho smoke is NOT typically inhaled in the way cigarette tobacco is; it is held in the mouth and then blown out.
In ayahuasca culture, mapacho is believed to be particularly effective in dispelling negative spirits. If you are using mapacho to clear a physical space, you will want to blow mapacho smoke in the 4 directions (if it’s an open space), or fill your rooms with mapacho smoke. If there is a particularly problematic area or presence, you’ll want to blow it directionally.
How to Close Your Shamanic Energy Clearing Ritual
Depending on the level of negative energy you wish to clear from your space, you may employ one or all of the techniques described. Once the energy clearing ritual is done, simply sit in the middle of the space – perhaps cross-legged or in whatever meditative position you feel comfortable with – and again feel the environment and its newly positively-charged energy. Send gratitude into the space and out into the world. Gratitude for this whole process of shamanic energy clearing. Give gratitude to the Great Spirit, to all the herbs, barks, and/or resins you may have used; to the feather, to the bowl, and to the Great Spirit once more for the sacred power of your intention. With this gratitude in your heart, declare to the Great Spirit that you are now closing the sacred space. Again, this can be done with whatever words you may choose, but a fitting suggestion may be to voice your gratitude out for each and every element of the clearing, in the form of ‘releasing’ these elements – and then say the words ‘this space is now closed’.
As an additional protection mechanism, before you perform the space-closing exercise, you may wish to hang chillies in some of the corners of the space in order to keep other negative entities or spirits at bay moving into the future. But again, this is entirely optional.
So there we have it, a freshly-applied shamanic energy clearing for your environment. Now all you need to do is prepare your body, your muscles, and your stamina for the physical 3D decluttering! But I can assure you that it’ll be much easier now that the energies are clear. What usually takes a long time to tidy physically – after a good energetic deep-clean – will now pass like a breeze!
Interested in learning more about sacred plant medicines, and how to make them a part of your spiritual evolution? Check out EntheoNation’s plant medicine course.
Visionary Art by Juan Carlos Taminchi