Smudging: The Importance of Setting Intentions

Whether you’re smudging, saging, burning incense, or any other method of purifying the energies in a space, it’s all superficial if you don’t set a meaningful intention. As Sarah Petruno writes in her blog centered on shamanic practices, “clearing your space is about harnessing your internal power.” If you simply wave your palo santo or white sage smudge stick hoping to clear negative energies without having any idea of what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s a hollow external act. This same logic extends beyond shamanic practices — going through the motions doesn’t accomplish nearly as much as executing something with a sense of purpose.

Petruno offers this helpful suggestion for setting intentions before an energetic clearing:

Take a moment right now to think about the reason why you want to Spiritually, Energetically and Emotionally clean up your space. Is it because you’re a medium dealing with Spirits? Is it simply to assure overall Spiritual well-being? What is the reason?


Write down this reason, this intention. Narrow it down to 2-3 sentences and include these things:


- Who or what you wish to release or is no longer welcome in your space


- Who or what you would like to bring in or welcome into your space, in lieu of what is being released


You can release, cast out or let go of anything or anyone in your space no longer welcome or serving you. There’s no limits or rules here. Likewise, you can welcome in, invite or cast in all that you wish to be in your space, such as feelings of love, compassion and  truth, or thought forms of manifestation or creativity or individuals you will help raise you up to align with the higher and greater good, such as human teachers, Spirit Guides or Angels.


This intention, can also be a prayer that you associate with in a religious organization, in which you not only intend for the highest and greater good, but also call upon those in Spirit to assist and protect you, such as Mother Mary, Jesus or any number of Saints and Angels.


Once you have your intention, prayer or words of direct power written down, practice memorizing it. As you clear your space, set your boundaries and put your foot down, you’ll be reciting these things. It’s like spritzing window cleaner on each pane you wish to have shine versus applying tint to change the light coming into the room. Or, like going into a conversation with the goal of a peaceful agreement versus going into a conversation with the goal of ending ties.  For the best outcomes of all individuals involved, you want to be very clear on what your goals are in the interaction.


Read Petruno’s full blog at her site, Sarah Petruno Shamanism.

If you're an incense person, you might check out Incausa's Wildcrafted Incense Sticks, which we carry at The Alchemist's Kitchen. These sticks are handcrafted in Brazil and have been used traditionally in healing rituals, warding off dark spirits and inviting good energy. They're also known to enhance dreaming after ritualistic use. We currently offer three handmade blends of Breu Resin, Palo Santo, and White Sage, with all natural ingredients.



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