The Energy Clearing Mistake Everyone Makes (That’s Easily Fixed)

Clearing energy in home using sage / smudge stick - close up of bowl with sage smudge stick

April 27, 2021 — 17:23 PM

Just like our physical bodies, our homes can become cluttered with energy that doesn’t serve us. Energy clearing is one way to help counter that, but according to intuitive counselor and sacred space designer Elana Kilkenny, it can backfire if not done thoughtfully. Here’s how you can make sure your clearing rituals are actually doing what you want them to.

A common energy-clearing mistake.

First and foremost, certain energy-clearing practices like burning white sage can quickly go from appreciative to appropriative of Native American culture and tradition. Sage has also been overharvested in recent years, making it a potentially unsustainable energy-clearing tool. If you’re going to use this herb, research its history and buy it from an Indigenous supplier who is sourcing it sustainably. And remember that there are plenty of other tools that can help you move energy—including dried herbs, sounds, and even your breath.

When clearing energy using any modality, Kilkenny notes that far too many people aren’t actually backing it with a personal intention: “If you’re going to use the same energy to clear that you use in the rest of your type-A life, you’re still increasing that energy,” she explains.

Rather than focusing on and calling in what you do want, it’s easy to think too much about what you’re trying to get rid of. But as the law of attraction makes plain, like attracts like, and the best way to bring positive energy in is of course to embody it yourself.

Simply put, Kilkenny says when you’re doing a clearing ritual of your choosing, “It’s the process that actually shifts you. It’s not just the practical magic.” When you’re truly rooted in the ritual, it “gives you aha’s and insights about things you need to do to heal,” she explains, adding, “It’s about calling in spirit […] It’s really about thinking about how you want to switch your energy and bringing that new energy to how you clear.”

For example, if you’re someone who’s always moving quickly, “it’s about scheduling time to slow down and maybe see what you’re avoiding,” Kilkenny says. And of course, you always want to end on a positive note by thinking about what you want to bring in and where you want to go.

Whatever ritual you choose, be sure to get clear on your intention before getting started and actively work to embody that intention throughout the ritual.

Maybe you bathe your home in sound from chimes or a singing bowl, add energy-clearing crystals to your altar, or simply clean your space with an intention to give room for new, positive energy. Do what feels good to you, and do it with sincerity and mindfulness.

When done right, you’re sure to feel the effects of a good energetic cleansing: a lighter, more energized home sweet home.

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