At some critical times I find it is most useful to recall that everything is energy! Although I am sure I do not really understand or behave in everyday life as if it is. Even without a scientific knowledge or understanding, various spiritual traditions have developed some pragmatic uses based on this ancient insight that can benefit our daily life.
The ancient practice of smudging is one of the best known practical applications of energy. Smudging our home, our space or ourselves can clear stagnant energy on all levels, mental, emotional and physical. Used by many first nation peoples, for example, in Australian Aboriginal and Native American cultures, smudging features burning herbs or leaves in a sacred invocation of spirit, ancestors or other higher beings or energies. The plant used varies according to tradition and location, but may be sage or eucalyptus, juniper, cypress, cedar or sweet grass. With reverence and intent the higher energy invoked, combined with the smoke and scent, clears out energies of lower vibration.
Just like dust and dirt accumulate in our homes, energy particles [or waves, if you wish] accumulate and stagnate in the finer levels of being, particularly when there have been bad feelings in that place. Arguments, anger or intense greed or selfishness can linger in the ethers, in the astral [ie, emotional] levels. Rigid beliefs and abuse of power can linger in the mental levels. Both can be felt and can hang around, impacting the subtler levels of our being, and making us feel bad and even bringing physical sickness.
In other traditions, the same effects are achieved by many different means – from Morocco, through the Middle East, to India, Bali, China and Japan to Peru. The means might involve burning incense sticks, or the burning or sprinkling of essential oils, or even a mixture of petals, oils, spices or resins, referred to in Western culture as a pot-pourri.
These energy clearings mostly began as part of spiritual rituals, in which the power of the higher energetic vibration of flowers and plants was recognised inherently. Their higher vibration can be understood as the energy of their soul, available to us to clear the obstructions between us and the higher worlds, and to cleanse our sacred places and our own being to allow those sacred vibrations, those angels, guides and gods to connect with our purified selves.
Often, these plants were recognised for their ability to heal us on the physical level as well. Their vibration is not just in the scent, but in the physical substance as well, forming the basis of the first medicines used by humanity. Modern science, in reducing traditional medicines to their ‘active chemical components’, and then synthesising them, fails to recognise these finer vibrational effects and the synergistic power of substances occurring naturally in our world.
Fortunately, in aromatherapy, flower remedies and homeopathy, these vibrational powers and effects have received full recognition and expression. These uses of naturally occurring substances taken internally, or through our nose or skin, help to heal our bodies, clear our minds and raise our spirits, as they purify us and clear our energies.
Clearing energies can be achieved without plants too, and is a feature of many healing practices in different traditions. It is always best to learn to do these from an experienced teacher, as there are many traps for young players in the subtler worlds.