A recent comment here pointed out that in a 2017 post about Smoke Cleansing, I was just a tiny bit unclear, so, I’m gonna explicate at length! (My fave!)
I’d originally posted:
It’s very important that when you do a smoke cleanse, or attempt to cleanse an aura, that you complete the visualization with the negative energy moving away from you. A freshly cleansed person can become an energy vacuum, and wind up pulling all that negative energy back into themselves. You can wind up pulling negative energies from your friends and family, your coven or group, and taking them all into yourself. The smoke carries it all away, lifts it and takes it for you, so that you don’t have to.
And one person commented asking how one avoids filling that energy vacuum right back up with the same energy that just got cleansed?
Here’s where I was less than clear…
Think of a cleanse as a run through a washing machine. When your clothes are dirty, you don’t throw them out and then buy new ones to wear, you wash them instead. The dirt is lifted out, rinsed away, and then the newly cleansed clothes are ready for you to wear again. The energy vacuum concept comes when you’re trying to do an energetic cleanse and fail to hold your visualization firmly in mind. When that happens, it’s less of a ‘wash and wear’ and more of a ‘cut out the stain and patch it’ situation.
A lot of energy work winds up kinda messy.
You may start out doing a nice simple smoke cleanse, discover that the problem is a whole lot deeper than just a little staining in the aura, and wind up doing a deeper probe into the aura body. Which can then lead to trying to excise unwanted spiritual entities lodged in someone’s energy, and pretty soon you’ve got the ritual knife out and a raw egg and someone’s crying. For any energy manipulation and work, keep your intent and your will on lock, and on topic. Maintain your visualization and you can avoid accidentally doing spirit surgery.
Accidental spirit surgery?!
Yep, you read that right. It’s very possible to accidentally harm yourself or others by trying to excise what seems like an unwanted and uninvited spiritual invader, only to later discover that it was an othered aspect of the self, buried trauma that had been deeply disassociated from, or something else equally benign or meant to be there. When you’re starting out, keep your goals manageable and easy to visualize. Taking your time is never a bad idea, even for a cleanse. Research, meditation, and rethinking what you think you know in the face of the possibility of actual harm to yourself and others are all good traits to start to practice early and often.
In electrical terms, when you are grounded, electricity can move through you without hurting you. You are grounded, connected to the earth, so the energy moves through without actually harming you, touching your inner self, or arcing out to others to harm them. Grounding can be a kind of cleansing force, but only in that if you have depleted yourself you can regain energy, or if you are overcharged you can drop energy. Grounding has nothing to do with negative or positive energy intrinsically: when you ground, you don’t drop just negative energy, you drop it ALL. Grounding balances your energy with the world around you, bringing you into homeostasis with the world around you, or the elemental force you’ve grounded into. (This means you should not try to raise energy, or do in-depth energy work while still grounded: you won’t be able to raise energy while connected to a ground!)
In a pinch, you can cleanse through grounding and centering, but that’s a deeply inefficient method that won’t fully cleanse your energy.
If you’re really good at visualization and energy manipulation, you can drop one vibration of energy via grounding, but if you stay plugged into your ground you’ll equalize all your energy, even the positive energies. It’s easiest for folks starting out to think of grounding as dropping out negative energy, because it’s very easy to visualize yourself letting go of negative things. Sometimes, you harness the power of psychology to learn a basic technique and then later learn the nuances of the techniques.
Super short and simple ritual to Balance and Cleanse Yourself:
Bring yourself into your Center, the space and state of mind and being in which you are most fully seated into your body. Feel your spine lengthen, shoulders drop, and your breathing deepen. Visualize yourself as connected to the ground below you, the sky above, a full circuit of energy bringing you into a state of balanced calm. Light your incense, or bundle of herbs, or other smoke cleansing tool. Feel the smoke against your skin, let it move through yourself, slowly sifting out snarls in your energy, spots of tension and stress. The smoke wafts through you, taking the particulate remains of your day, week, year, the everyday dirt you’ve picked up just by being a living being. Let the smoke wash you clean. Thank the smoke, the burning plant matter, the resin, for helping you. Return to calmness, to grounded and centered, and when you feel ready, release the connection to your ground. Feel yourself as whole and complete in yourself, an autonomous being, in and of the world, moving through it and impacting, being impacted in turn. Now get up and go on with life!