In autumn, it’s a common spiritual practice to reflect upon on the past year and decide what needs to be let go in order to begin the rest and rejuvenation period that takes place throughout the colder months. Now is the time to release and purify your spirit. If you get the sense that a room in your home or any particular space you spend time in is giving off negative vibes from leftover events and experiences, cleansing the space by burning incense could really help. Here’s how.
1. Select incense sticks that are as natural as possible.
Not all incense sticks are made equal. The ones you’re most likely to come across in any old store are typically long, thin, and relatively inexpensive. These incense burning sticks really only exist to make your space smell nice, but unfortunately aren’t appropriate to use for energy cleansing.
Look for non-toxic, all-natural sticks that are hand-rolled and are thick rather than thin. The thicker they are, the greater the chance that they’re made with high-quality, all-natural materials.
2. Choose aromas that align with your intentions.
Sage and sandalwood are a couple of the most common aromas used for energetic cleansing, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to them. While they may be most effective specifically for cleansing any space, you can certainly choose aromas that resonate with a particular desire or intention of yours.
For example, lavender, jasmine, and frankincense can help open your chakras while cleansing your aura. On the other hand, Pine, chamomile, and lemongrass are ideal for promoting relaxation.
3. Get a good incense burning stand.
You certainly don’t want to place your burning incense stick just anywhere, which is why you’ll want to get a stand that’s specifically designed to hold incense sticks safely and securely as they burn. You can find all sorts of different kinds—big and small, expensive or inexpensive—in different styles both online and in New Age stores.
Some incense stands are designed to actually catch the ash as it burns and falls away. Take this into consideration if you don’t want your incense to make a mess and potentially damage your furniture or floors.
4. Put your safety first.
Just like a burning candle, where you place your incense stand matters. Make sure you put it on a flat, heat-resistant surface (such as ceramic tile as opposed to a wooden table).
Take note of the surrounding area and be sure to avoid placing your burning incense anywhere near curtains/drapes, lampshades, upholstered furniture, or other flammable items. And if you have pets or kids, put it somewhere far out of reach.
5. Ensure the area is well ventilated.
No matter how natural your incense may be, breathing in too much smoke isn’t good for anybody—especially those who have asthma and other respiratory conditions. Be sure to open up all the windows you start burning your incense and keep them opened during and after you’re finished to allow fresh air to circulate and help the cleansing process.
As you open the windows, take note of how windy it is and avoid placing your incense stand directly near any windows to prevent it from being blown over. And of course, if you just can’t open up the windows due to unfavorable weather conditions, make sure you limit the amount of time that you burn your incense or save it for another day.
Image (edited) via Ze’ev Barkan