Smoke cleansing is a wonderful way to transform your self-care routine into a sacred ritual of energetic hygiene. A simple practice of burning dried herbs, smoke cleansing has both physical and energetic benefits. Herbs like garden sage, lavender, and rosemary have been shown to help ward off viruses and the earthy aroma can increase feelings of peace and calm. It is best to use either home-grown or sustainable and ethically sourced herbs for your practice.
To smoke cleanse, simply light the end of your dried herb bundle until it begins to smolder. Using a fire-proof dish, gently waft the smoke around you and the corners of your space. While you bathe in smoke, allow the smoke to help lift your worries and set in motion new intentions. This ritual can last a few minutes or as long as you need. When you feel ready, snuff out your bundle and open your windows. Letting the smoke out will help refresh your space and leave you feeling renewed.
Derived from eastern philosophy, it is widely accepted that energy moves through the body in several patterns. Chakras are focused areas of rotating energy correlated with nerve bundles located along the spine. When one or more of these energy centers become out of balance with either too much or too little movement, physical and emotional symptoms may arise.
Listed below are the chakra names, associated colors, where they are located, their general function, and correlated crystals + essential oils for balancing.
Root Chakra - Base of the Spine - Security & Belonging
- Black Tourmaline + Lemongrass
Sacral Chakra - Lower Belly - Emotional Flow & Pleasure
- Carnelian + Orange
Solar Plexus Chakra - Belly - Self-Esteem & Confidence
- Citrine + Rosemary
Heart Chakra - Chest - Loving Connection & Compassion
- Amazonite + Eucalyptus
Throat Chakra - Larynx - Speaking Truth & Authenticity
- Sodalite + Peppermint
Third Eye Chakra - Forehead - Intuition & Wisdom
- Amethyst + Lavender
Crown Chakra - Top of the Head - Divine Connection
- Rose Quartz + Frankincense
Understanding our true nature means integrating the physical body with energetic experience. This is empowering and can lead to deep healing.
Tarot cards have been used as an energetic tool for many centuries. There are 78 cards in a standard deck and each card holds a message to gently guide intuition and tune into the Higher Self. Beginning with the Major Arcana, 21 cards represent archetypal energy and act as catalysts for growth and transformation. The message of the Major Arcana reflects the life-death-rebirth cycle and relates to a macrocosm view of life's journey.
The Minor Arcana and Court Cards make up the rest of the deck and provide themes for daily microcosm moments. The 4 suits of the tarot relate to the elements and help to focus on one aspect of a big picture. The suit of Wands hold the element of fire and invite curiosity around creativity and how energy is leveraged for manifestation. The suit of Cups hold the element of water and connect to the well spring of emotion, embodying the sacred space of compassion for the self. The suit of Swords hold the element of air and provides clarity for mental energy, inviting investigation around fear and ego-based thoughts. And the suit of Pentacles hold the element of earth and is the foundation of the physical body through which all life is experienced through and provides a reclamation of boundaries and resources. The Court Cards progress in order; Page, Knight, Queen and King. This progression is the growth, integration and full embodiment of each suit and the represented elemental lesson. Arriving at the King of any suit is a recognition of alchemizing the previous energy into outward and aligned mastery.
There are lots of ways to draw tarot cards for focused meaning. A simple and potent self-refection spread consists of two questions. The first question is, "What would you have me know?" (draw a card) And then, "Can you clarify?" (draw a card). Reflect on the message and embrace its medicine for the present moment.
When tea is consumed as a mindful practice it helps you to become present. Focus is brought to the act of pouring, sipping, smelling, and movement. The objective is to do this without drifting in the past or worrying about the future. Through a tea ceremony, traditionally practiced in Japanese culture, it is revealed that things are always okay the way they are. During a ceremony, a revelation occurs that the world is only imperfect when it is compared to some imaginary world created in the mind. When you tap into this kind of stillness, all experiences and change simply flow through you. The tea ceremony gently guides you to the present moment and reminds you that it is truly all there is.
Cacao has been used in ancient ceremonies by South Americans for thousands of years. It has an active ingredient in it called theobromine—which can be translated to, “Food of the Gods.” Cacao is naturally high in iron, magnesium, and B-complex vitamins; which gives it a number of physical benefits, as well as the energetic benefits it has long been connected with. A cacao ceremony is rooted in helping to balance the energy within and restore good health. Either in a group setting or in private mediation, time spent with cacao can be used for prayer, letting go of anything heavy, setting intentions, and giving thanks for abundance.
Moon Milk is a warm drink derived from Ayuverdic traditions typically made from a mixture of honey, cinnamon and nut, oat, or coconut milk. The drink is used in the holistic practice of Ayuverda as a remedy for insomnia and is usually consumed before bed. One of the core principles of Ayuverda is finding harmony in mind, body and soul and good sleep is an important part of that balance. Another way of transforming Moon Milk into an energetic practice is by incorporating it into a new or full moon ritual. Adding adaptogenic herbs like Ashwaganda or Schisanda allow the mind and body to become more resilient during times of rapid change or growth and can ease moments of stress related to astrological occurrences like Mercury Retrograde.
When you can, choose organic cacao, tea, or other herbs that you want to include in your beverage. Grab a heat-resistant mug or cup. Create your beverage, infusing it with energy and love. Begin with a meditation or prayer. Bless and give thanks for your plant medicine. Let go of anything that needs releasing. Bring to mind all you have to celebrate. Set new intentions. Sip your ceremonial beverage and feel your heart space open. You might want to journal, sing or dance - do what feels right in the moment. Close your ceremony by meditating or giving thanks once more.
Forest bathing is the act of absorbing nature through the senses. When you are forest bathing, it is important to leave your technology behind and not partake in structured exercise. The point is to walk mindfully and aimlessly, without a reason or end result other than to just be in nature. Forest bathing is a reset for your physical, mental, and emotional systems. Studies have shown it helps lower blood pressure, decrease anxiety, improve mood and increase feelings of calmness. By practicing this, you let nature heal you. The wonderful thing about forest bathing is you don’t need an actual forest; you can forest bathe anywhere there are trees or a garden. It is about plugging into the frequency of nature with your undistracted awareness. Simply find a place where there are trees or growing plants and wander.
Earthing is another simple practice, and can be done anywhere there is bare earth; all it requires is that you stand barefoot or lie down on the ground in a place where you are directly connected, such as grass, dirt, or sand. Like a ground wire, standing on the earth barefoot, or lying on it without a barrier, neutralizes any electric charge in the body. Scientific studies have shown that this simple practice allows us to discharge adrenaline and achieve better parasympathetic states within our nervous systems, rather than staying in “fight or flight.” 30 minutes a day is suggested to receive the full benefits of earthing which include pain and inflammation reduction, improved sleep, reduced anxiety and stress, and mood improvement.
A burn ceremony is a transformative ritual traditionally performed as a way of releasing something that no longer serves you. It is often performed on meaningful holidays or in alignment with the full moon. During a burn ceremony, fire is portrayed as a powerful symbol of alchemy, wisdom, passion, and purification. This simple ritual aims to cleanse and let go of situations that have caused bitterness or regret. This could be relationships that have been painful, an unsatisfying job, a pessimistic mindset, harsh self-judgments or a negative thought process.
Use a large fire-proof bowl or a container - metal or glass works well. In a comfortable seated position take three deep breaths, becoming centered and grounded. As tension releases from your body, allow yourself to be in this moment, maybe say a prayer or recite a meaningful mantra. Honor your commitment to change. Write down what you’re ready to let go of on your piece of paper. Light the piece of paper on fire and place it in your fire-proof container. Watch it burn, take a few deep breaths, and rub your hands together for a final release of the attachment you just let go of. Watch the fire extinguish and when you feel ready, with gratitude in your heart, close your ceremony.
An intention is a guiding principle for how you want to be, live, and show up in the world. Whether you want more abundance, self-care, compassion, or a promotion at work, when you are intentional about something, your focus is in the moment: who you are, what you do, and why you do it. Intentions bring a special quality of focus and act as a powerful reminder of the bigger perspective. Your intention should be closely tied to your personal thoughts, values, and perspective on life. Intentions can be clear and specific, or as simple as a word or phrase you’d like to align yourself with.
You can create your own rhythm of when you set intentions or align your ceremony with the new moon each month. In a comfortable seated position take three deep breaths, becoming centered and grounded. Allow yourself to be fully in this moment, maybe say a prayer or recite a meaningful mantra. Grab a piece of paper and pen and write down your intentions. With gratitude in your heart, read them out loud. Take three more deep breaths. In closing, keep your intentions somewhere you can read regularly like by your bed or pinned up on the refrigerator.