Burning Sage, Buying Crystals: Your Guide to Restoring Good Vibes in the Home

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There are so many ways to keep the good vibes going strong in your home. You can fill every room with bright colors and vibrant plants, perpetually bake cookies, or light up vanilla-scented candles. Candles everywhere!

Or you could just fill up the place with rocks and smoke. Yup, that’s right: If crystals, sage, and palo santo aren’t on your radar, they’re about to be.

Whether or not you believe in good juju, 2019 seems to be the yearpeople are dishing out the big bucks to clear the bad vibes from their houses. So if you’ve recently fought with your partner, spilled red wine on your white couch, or generally feel some bad energy, it might be time to tap into this New Age trend.

“You might notice a feeling of unease or discomfort in your space—and that’s when you know it might be time to throw open the windows and get all those bad vibes out,” says Erica Feldmann, whose book “HausMagick” aims to serve as a trendy New Age manual on how to transform your home into a “spirit-filled sanctuary.”

Here are three very popular techniques you can try out at home to restore your formerly chill vibes.

Smudge your home

Burning sage sticks and pebblesGSPictures/iStock

“Smudging is a practice used by many cultures as part of a practice of cleansing and clearing energy,” says Suzie Kerr Wright, astrologer and psychic medium.

Despite its misleading name, smudging doesn’t involve wiping anything on your walls; instead it’s the act of burning an herb or plant to create smoke. In theory, the smoke attaches itself to negative energy and takes that bad juju with it when it clears.

While there are a few different herbs you can burn, the most common is sage. But before running off to the kitchen pantry and lighting up a spice jar, keep reading.

Yes, you’ll need a small bundle of sage, but some other stuff too: a feather, and some sort of bowl or shell to hold the burning herb. You can actually buy the whole lot of these things in a smudge kit from online metaphysical stores like Energy Muse or even Walmart.

Once you have the goods, here’s how to get started.

“Light the sage with a wooden match, and then blow out the flame,” says Marci Baron, energy healing therapist. “Allow the smoke to rise up out of the container as the sage smolders, and set the intention of the clearing by saying, ‘May all negative energy be released. I invite only positive energy to remain.'”

You’ll then want to start spreading the smoke throughout your home using the feather, and opening windows as you go to release the smoke (unless you’d like to invite the fire department to join your smudging session).

“Make sure you keep the sage burning over the shell as you move around the entire house, getting into every corner,” Baron says. “Cleanse closets, showers, and behind doors, then safely extinguish the embers of the burning sage or allow it to burn itself out.”

We should note that there’s been some controversy over this ancient practice, which has roots in Native American tradition. As smudging has become increasingly commercialized, there have been protests of cultural misappropriation. So if you’re going to smudge, we encourage you to be respectful and treat the practice with gravity.

Get some crystals

Healing crystalswacomka/iStock

If smudging is like that freshman lecture everyone’s required to take, crystals can feel like a master’s thesis. The sheer variety of crystalsavailable for mindfulness practices can be overwhelming,

“There are thousands of crystals, and each one has a unique energy and purpose. Amethyst, for example, can be used in the bedroom to help you sleep,” Baron explains.

“You can make crystal grids in and around your home, around your bed—wherever you need or want the energy of a particular stone, you can create crystal ‘energy centers,'” Kerr Wright adds.

So where to start? These three crystals are fit for beginner and experienced energy-cleansers alike.

  • Selenite: This crystal is “like liquid light,” Baron says, and can clear spaces, people, and even other crystals. “Many people will place selenite at the corners of a room to keep the energy flow strong and clear,” Feldmann adds. “It’s an effective aura cleanser and can lift your awareness to higher planes.”
  • Black tourmaline: This crystal, which keeps negative energy at bay, is mainly used for purification and protection. “Many people put black tourmaline in their front windows to ward off bad energies and protect their home,” Feldmann says. “It’s a very grounding stone and can keep whoever carries it feeling more positive by dispelling negative emotions.”
  • Labradorite: “If you’re looking for a stone to help you tap into your own inner magic, labradorite awakens mental and intuitive abilities in the carrier or wearer,” Feldmann says.

But you can’t just put your crystals out and forget about them. In order to properly work, they’ll need to be maintained.

“You can clear your crystals on a full moon by putting them out to bathe in the moonlight,” Kerr Wright explains, “or you can also literally wash them.”

Burn palo santo

Palo santoLuis Echeverri Urrea/iStock

Palo santo is a tree native to South America whose wood has been used by shamans and in sacred rituals. Much like sage, palo santo is burned or smudged and is said to have both medicinal and therapeutic healing powers.

“Both palo santo and sage give you a lighter feeling when you use them to smudge yourself or your space,” Kerr Wright says.

So which one should you use in your space? Kerr Wright breaks it down: “Sage smells like, well, sage. But after you’ve burned it, it kind of smells like you’ve been smoking pot,” she says. “Palo santo has a sweeter, woodsy smell to it, and no after-smell other than a slight burned odor.”

We’ll leave the choice up to you—you’re in charge of your own good vibes, after all.

Article by Larissa Runkle
Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson contributed to this report.