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SPIRITUAL CLEARING AND BLESSING – Part 1 Clearing Negative Energy From Home Or Business

Banishing and Blessing are like two sides of the same coin

A Clearing and Blessing Ceremony has two parts – like two sides of a coin. Clearing releases negative energy and sends it back to its source. The Blessing calls in positive energy in the form of prayers, wishes and intentions.

The Clearing expels any negative energy that’s left over in the atmosphere and sends it back to its source. People may feel a heaviness or bad feeling in the whole house or just in certain rooms.

The Blessing calls in positive energy and infuses the atmosphere with support for their individual needs, hopes and dreams of the individuals who live or work in the building. The Blessing includes individualized prayers for the occupants of the building.

Together, these two have the mutual goal of cleansing and refreshing a space, bringing it to a state of peace and harmony, and calling in abundance and good fortune on all levels.


What Is Meant By “Negative” and “Positive” Energies?

no negativity“Negative energy” means any old or stagnant energy from memories or strong emotions that have gotten stuck and linger in the air, walls or furniture. For instance, there may be unresolved anger or sadness from arguments, illnesses, a death, divorce, or child leaving home, etc.  Or something traumatic may have happened, like a fire or domestic violence. A business may have suffered a bankruptcy or a break-in and robbery. Competition may have led to serious betrayal and unresolved anger and resentment that still fills the offices.


positive energyIn contrast, “Positive Energy” means all the usual blessings, like happiness, peace and harmony, good health, long life, safety, protection, etc. For instance, someone who is working toward a diploma, certificate or degree may want a place in the house that affords a conducive atmosphere for studying. A mother who has become an empty-nester may want to re-discover her identity or, perhaps, start a home-based business. In the case of a business, it may want to attract more customers, add products and services, or become successful online.

All these things are addressed in the Ceremony. But, before all that comes the Walk-Through.


First comes the Walk-Through

spiritual clearing of the whole houseThe Walk-Through is the initial assessment of what needs to be done. I put myself into a meditative state and walk through each room, receptive to feelings, impressions and messages. I look for what is light and good and should stay, and also for what is heavy, dirty, stagnant, etc. and must go.

I take notes and take them home to meditate and pray on. Depending on the fruits of that labor, I will contact the person who petitioned the Blessing to let them know what steps to take to ensure and enhance the Blessing. For instance, certain items may have to be moved, a wall may need a picture, a corner may need to be filled, etc.

Then we set a date for the Clearing and Blessing. These may be scheduled as one event, or separate dates may be preferable for any number of reasons.


Next comes the Clearing

smudgingNext, comes the Clearing, which is not simply de-cluttering or feng shui. However, some suggestions along those lines may be recommended. But the main purpose of the Clearing, is to get rid of any old, stagnant or negative energies that have accumulated over time in your home or business. These energies can result from any number of causes. Negative emotions or states of mind, such as depression, anger, fear, etc. would be a very common cause. The negativity may not be from the current occupants, but lingering from a previous family or chain of employees.

Sometimes a person who lived or worked in that place has died (either before or during the period of your time there), but a piece of their soul remains. They left it either unknowingly or because they loved their life there and are having trouble moving on. Their energy can put a drag on the other people in the environment. It can be released in love and freed from its confinement.

Or, in some cases, something terrible may have happened in the space. There may have been physical, emotional or sexual abuse, bullying, betrayal or some other sort of traumatic event.

However, generally speaking, the typical causes in most homes and offices are the inevitable build-up of the stresses. For instance, frustrations, arguments, illnesses, financial worries, etc. are typical.


THEN comes the Blessing

spiritual blessingIn the third part, the Blessing, I summon the powers of healing, protection, and strength. The purpose of the Blessing is to call in all the positive energies desired by the person requesting the Blessing. They can be as unique as the individual. However, we humans have a lot of the same needs and desires. Most people wish for a peaceful atmosphere, safety, compatibility, good humor, abundance and the like. Some people want a quiet retreat-like atmosphere; others ask for an inviting feeling for friends to share and enjoy. The prayers can vary. I encourage people to include personal appeals, as well as collective ones.  


When should I seek a Clearing & Blessing Ceremony for my home?

A really good time to seek out a Clearing is before you move into a new house or apartment. That is one of the most common times for people to request a Clearing and Blessing. They want a fresh start and don’t want to be encumbered by anyone else’s energy – either good or bad.

clearing & cleansing

After that, it’s also a good idea to renew your environment every 5-7 years. The reason why is because – let’s face it – stuff gets stuck. Not only that, but you change. You may well need a different Blessing Ceremony for your changing goals, needs and circumstances.


What if I want a Clearing and Blessing Ceremony for a business instead of a home?

There are some different considerations for an office or business, depending on the nature of the business.

If you have just gotten a new job, or are moving into a new office for any reason (like a promotion), the Ceremony would be much like a House Blessing. You would want to clear out any negative emotional residue hanging around from the previous employee’s disagreements with bosses or co-workers, from resentments (for instance, if the person who inhabited the office before you was fired) or from betrayals of confidence, etc. You would want blessings for a clear space, free of disruption from others (or from your own wandering mind ?). You would want blessings to help you be productive and contribute to the business and your career. And you would want blessings for each of your goals. If you stay there 5-7 years, you would want to repeat the process.

classrooms need clearing and blessing yearlyHowever, if you are in a profession where you are dealing with patients or clients on a one-to-one basis, or in groups (classes, group therapy, etc.), things are very different. In that case, you would want to have a Ceremony more often, simply because more people equals more energy build-up.

waiting rooms & treatment rooms need clearing regularlyIf you work or have a practice in a place that sees many people on a daily basis, like a clinic or school, you would want to Clear and Bless the whole building at least once, or maybe twice a year, depending on the amount of traffic and severity of trauma in the individuals who patronize the business. Doctors and health practitioners of all kinds fall into this category, as do therapists, lawyers and others.


Part 2 coming in the next newsletter at Spring Equinox

In Part 2 of this blog, I will explain what a Clearing and Blessing Ceremony is like and describe the parts of the ritual. I’ll tell you what my part involves as the officiant, and offer suggestions about parts you may wish to contribute as the petitioner.  

SPIRITUAL CLEARING & BLESSING-Part 2 The Ceremony From Beginning to End

In Spiritual Clearing and Blessing – Part 2, I will describe the parts of a House or Office Blessing. And I’ll offer suggestions of where you could contribute in a meaningful way, should you choose to take part in the Ceremony. I’ll also explain what my part as the priest and officiant involves.

It completes Spiritual Clearing and Blessing – Part 1, where you learned what a Clearing and Blessing Ceremony is like, what the ritual involves, and  when and why you might want or need one.


Clearing and Blessing Ceremony – from Beginning to End
An Irish Blessing
An Irish Blessing

Part 2 of the Spiritual Clearing and Blessing blog continues from the point where the Walk-Through has already been completed (see SPIRITUAL CLEARING and BLESSING – Part 1). It is now somewhere between a week and a month since the Walk-Through. You have made many, or all, of the changes that were suggested at that time.

Now, it is the day of the Clearing and Blessing. The Ceremony takes place on premises. Your main responsibility is to have thoroughly cleaned the house, office or building before the Ceremony.



Setting Up The Altar
essential altar for clearing and blessing
some altar components

As the officiating priest, I arrive at the appointed time and ceremonially set up my altar in an appropriate place in your home or office. Setting up the altar is its own ritual that entails several components:

        • Lighting a candle and incense or smudge
        • Laying out all the significant regalia, materials and tools I use to prepare myself, as well as you and any guests you may have invited (family, friends, co-workers, etc.)
        • Creating a conducive atmosphere for transforming the space
        • Saying prayers
        • Chanting (if moved by Spirit to do so)


smudge is used for clearing or blessing or both
smudge stick, feather and abalone shell

Next, I will smudge you, and anyone else who will be participating in the Blessing. Smudging is a ritual cleansing and purification. It is done with a fan made from feathers, which directs the smoke from the burning sap or herb (e.g. sage, cedar, frankincense, etc.) onto the person or object to be purified.

People love being smudged because it brings such calm and peace to the heart and soul. It really puts you in a meditative state. This ritual purification is done at the periphery of the ritual space just before the ceremony begins. After it is completed, you and any invited guests take your place around the altar and I close the Circle (see The Invocation below).

If you want to hear more about smudging, you can read my earlier blog, All About Smudge.


Invocation and Closing the Circle
come to Ceremony with pure heart
come to Ceremony with pure heart

Once you and your guests have been smudged and taken a place in the Circle, I will call in the Directions. I will ask for their blessings on the Ceremony and on you and your invited family and/or co-workers and guests.

With all the energies now assembled (people included ?), the Circle is “closed.” No one else may enter.

Now you, as the petitioner of the Ceremony, may choose to make a formal or informal welcome to your guests. If you prefer, you may ask me to perform that function.


 Declaration of Intent
set intentions for Clearing and Blessing
beautiful intentions

It is appropriate at this point that I describe the Ritual/Ceremony to everyone present. I’ll explain the intention of the Ceremony, what we are going to do, and the order we’ll do it in.

Then, you and your guests will speak from the heart all the hopes, wishes and prayers for the infusion of positive energy into your space. The more specific the prayers are for exactly what you want and need, the better. There is no limit on good wishes. They should be abundant!

After everyone has spoken, if we decide to chant as we walk through the space, I’ll teach the chants and we’ll practice them a bit so everyone feels comfortable before we  proceed.


procession from room to room
procession from room to room

The time has come to proceed through each room of the home or office to clear and bless it. The first procession is the Clearing. We walk through each room and banish any negative energy found there. The banishing is done by me, with the moral support of you and any family or friends you have invited (see options below). I may use smudge, fans, rattles, my voice, or any combination of those to remove negative energy.

Negativity may show up as: stagnant energy; spirits who don’t want to leave, or who got stuck and can’t figure out how to get free; traumatic events involving past or present residents; illness or death; existing bad feelings among people who share the space; etc.

There are options for fulfilling this phase:

        1. I can go through each room alone, while you and any invited guests stay in another room meditating and/or chanting in a prayerful state of mind
        2. You can accompany me as I remove any persistent negativity, while any invited guests meditate and/or chant in a prayerful state of mind
        3. We can all proceed through the rooms together as I banish negative energy and send it back to its source
        4. In some instances, you may be unable to be on site at the time of the Clearing. In that case, you would sit in meditation from your location.

No one way is better than any other. It is simply a matter of choice. And the choice is yours.


After the Clearing comes the second procession, the Blessing. We walk through the room(s) again, repeating the wishes expressed by guests earlier in the Circle. If I receive messages from Spirit, I will add them to the blessings as I call in positive energies and forces to infuse the space.


Closing Remarks and Opening the Circle
share food after Ceremony
ceremonial sharing of good and drink

After the processions of Clearing and Blessing, all of us who have participated return to the altar room to share. We stay mindful that we are still in the sacred space of Ceremony. So, our words honor our experiences, the energies that supported the Ritual, the host (if we are a guest), and each other.

Finally, I will send each of the Directions home with prayers of gratitude for their gifts and blessings to us during this time we have spent together. Saying good-bye to them signals the Opening of the Circle. Everyone returns from “ceremonial  time” to “normal time” and is now free to go about their routine.

As the petitioner, you will incur some expenses. If you have invited guests, you would typically give them a gift of thanks as they leave. In most traditions, you have prepared food and drink to share, and everyone else has brought some, too, for a potluck. In this case, the food may be your parting gift, but usually you will also have an additional token for each guest. It can be small, like a few sticks of incense or some special tea bags or candies.

However, if it is just you and your family, or co-workers who share the space with you, these extra gifts may be omitted. If you have opted not to invite any supporters to your Ceremony, the only expense will be the officiant’s fee.

Although it is the convention to invite the officiating priest to the potluck, you would not be expected to invite the officiant to eat with you if there are no guests. But if you do, you shouldn’t be offended if they decline. Such a Ceremony could give a priest the need for some quiet prayer and alone time to rest. On the other hand, some priests are revived by spending some social time after the Ceremony. There are no hard and fast rules here.


My Role As The Priest/Officiant
officiating a Clearing and Blessing Ceremony
priest performing a Ceremony

Guiding a Clearing and Blessing Ceremony – i.e. a House Blessing or Office Blessing – is a big undertaking. It demands an immense amount of meditation, time and dedication. And it requires a lot of spiritual fitness.

Although the Ceremony itself may take only an hour or two, many more hours may be spent interviewing the petitioner to understand the underlying reasons for the request, along with any accompanying blocks or resistance.

 Plus, the Walk-Through will have taken time and may have been demanding. (see Part 1). Depending on the energies discovered in that process, it can be physically, emotionally and/or spiritually draining. Not always . . . but I have to be prepared for it; I have to reinforce my spiritual protection. Hence, the need for “spiritual fitness.”

Once all of that is completed, it’s time to write the Ceremony. I make sure it has all the components necessary to honor the Old Ways, and include personalizations that honor you and your intentions.

It is my responsibility to ensure the Ceremony is done in a good way. This includes setting up a strong field of powerfully positive energy and maintaining it. It’s my job to direct good energy in and drive bad energy out to create a safe space before Closing the Circle.


Ways You May Choose To Be Involved In The  Ceremony
the petitioner of the Ceremony can take a role
host welcomes guests to Ceremony

The Clearing and Blessing Ceremony is, of course, the responsibility of the priest/officiant. But there are places in the Ceremony that are opportune for you, as the petitioner, to offer your personal input. There is measurable benefit to you in doing so. For one thing, fully investing yourself strengthens your soul. Also, adding your personal touch to the Ceremony makes its effectiveness more powerful.

I have already mentioned above some opportunities in the Ceremony for your input. But there are others. Remember, this is your Ceremony. It should reflect your unique desires for your space and support the needs of the phase of life you are entering into. Here are some functions for you to consider:

        • Write down the qualities and blessings you want this Ceremony to usher in, and bring the paper to the Ceremony
        • Ask your family, friends and guests, if you plan to include them, to do the same
        • Create a delightful and welcoming invitation to email or snail mail to people whom you feel would wholeheartedly support your intention – people who hold the best wishes for your abundance and happiness
        • Prepare welcoming remarks of gratitude for your guests to deliver at the appropriate place in the Ceremony (see Invocation and Closing the Circle above)
        • Thoroughly clean the house, office or building from top to bottom the day before or day of the Ceremony (a must)
        • Take part in the Processions
        • Be generous with food and gifts
        • Be kind to all versions of yourself that you are leaving in the past


Having your space cleared and blessed makes an immeasurable difference. Everything is fresh. You feel invigorated. Happier. Clearer. More relaxed. You are amazingly at home in your space!

SOUND HEALING RESONANCE: The Medicine of the Future Is Here NOW

brass singing bowls can be used in sound healing

Human civilization has recognized the healing power of sound since the Aborigines began using the didgeridoo – some say 4,000 years ago. They used it to heal broken bones, muscle tears and illnesses of all kinds. And we now know that the sounds emitted from the didgeridoo are in alignment with modern sound healing technology.

According to Deepak Chopra, “The body is held together by sound. The presence of disease indicates that some sounds have gone out of tune.”

G clef with notes waving through air

All your organs – indeed, all your cells – vibrate constantly. Their metabolic processes result in movement. Their movement produces vibration, causing them to emit sound. The ratio between the rate of the movement, revolution, and vibration between any two of these bodies results in resonance.

sound healing music from a woman's voice

In my opinion, the voice is the instrument best suited for matching resonance. No other instrument is capable of expressing so many nuanced sounds. Sounding with the voice affects your body, meridians, and chakras for a deep healing.


What is a sound healing session like?

channeling sound healing energy

When I am with a client, I’m listening for the sounds their body and emotions make – the ones that are asking for some healing energy. My client is in a relaxed position, usually seated or lying down. I listen for the sounds coming from their heart and soul to find the sounds that bring that healing. That ease. That harmony and balance. I sing those sounds into the room or directly into their body. When the frequency created matches with the natural frequency of my client, it creates a resonance. The resonance principles are activated and any cells that have been imprinted with disruptive frequencies – like pain, toxins, emotional traumas, pathogens, or even noise pollution – can re-harmonize.

In addition to the vibratory frequencies made up of the depth, fullness and reverberation in the sounds, resonance has another factor: amplitude. Amplitude measures the sound’s breadth, range and magnitude in waves. Resonance has the ability to evoke memories. Images. Emotions. So the sound healer modulates both tone and volume to create a sound of the proper frequency and wavelength to guide it to the appropriate place in the client’s energy field, which includes the physical body.

Sound enters through the ear and travels to the brain. The brain directs it to anywhere it is needed in the physical or subtle body to restore sympathetic resonance and harmony. Very quickly! After all, sound travels about four times faster through water than it does through air . . . and we are about 70% water. When the brainwave patterns relax, the heart and respiratory rates become steady, deep and slow. Stress hormones decrease to a minimum.

But the brain is not the only director. There is another: intention – the intention put forth by the sound healer. Admittedly, sound has an inherent transformative power all its own, even without intent. But when the sound healer has the intention to create an environment of healing for whatever is needed by the client, it magnifies the healing effects and helps the client assimilate them smoothly and comfortably.

Healing sounds can come from voice, instruments, or recorded music. The advantage of a sound healing session is the pure, clear, strong and focused intention of the sound healer to accomplish the right outcome for the highest good of the client. Equally important is their ability to gauge the client’s responses to the channeled sounds, frequencies and wavelengths, and adjust as necessary. 

Matching the frequencies of a healthy resonance will bring a body back to its own healthy harmonic resonance and transmute the lower frequencies of emotions like anger, fear and resentment. “Letting go” just happens. By using rhythm, tone, frequency and amplitude, the sound healer synchronizes your fluctuating brainwaves and gives them something to attune to. Your normal wakeful alert state can downshift to a state of relaxation, meditation, or sleep. In this state, internal healing can take place. You experience a deep soothing of the soul, so to speak. Your energy flows again, and a sense of well-being and balance takes over.

sound healing registering in the brain

Sound not only helps with inducing relaxation, but also has a propensity for moving through areas of blockage. Blockages may be located in our physical bodies, our subtle bodies, or both. The physical body is where we experience localized pain and discomfort.

Sound healing

has been used to treat a variety of symptoms, including:

  • General physical complaints like tension, headaches, stiff neck, shoulder pain, joint pain, digestive disorders, low back pain, etc.
  • Everyday psychological complaints including anxiety, depression, and stress
  • Mood swings, or negative emotions such as sadness, aggravation, anger, self-pity, and heartbreak

It can also bring about…

  • Clarity and balance
  • Deep relaxation
  • Improved memory and concentration
  • Improved sleep (both in quality and quantity)
  • A stronger immune system
  • Improved creativity
  • Heightened awareness, both of the self and the environment

Are there other benefits of Sound Healing?

Our subtle body, or energetic body, is where we find our life force. In east Asia it is called Qi (Chi). In India it is called Prana. You may be familiar with these words if you receive shiatsu or acupuncture, or if you practice yoga. Imbalances and traumas typically hit our subtle bodies first. But if they are not taken care of at that level, they can eventually manifest in our physical bodies. So, it’s important to look at health from a holistic perspective that addresses both the physical and non-physical aspects of our life. Tending to imbalances before they manifest physically is the key to staying happy and healthy.

spirals, like in the ear's cochlea

In conclusion . . .

Physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, we innately desire a life that can thrive, not just survive. We are naturally inclined toward harmony and balance. Sound has a special way of bringing us to the inner peace we all desire.





shooting star


Distance Healing verifies three things I’ve learned in my time on this planet:

  1. We are all connected 
  2. Where you end, I begin, and vice versa 
  3. No matter how hard we try to control it, nothing is exactly as it appears to be

Distance Healing really works. Physicists have explained to us that time does not exist. It is just a human construct we use to organize experience and catalog existence so we can quantify, confirm, and remember it. Einstein did not believe in time. He believed in timelessness, and that all of time – past, present, future – exists at once. He did not acknowledge the concept of now. The way he put it was “The reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once. Time is an illusion.” So, all moments are equally real and equally accessible at any time . . . if we know how.

There are infinite ways to communicate, some better than others.  Today the average person will say 17,520 words to 7.4 other individuals. But, simply change the language, one foreigner to the next, and we are hopeless, stumbling to explain the simplest of concepts. Einstein said “I rarely think in words at all.” He said “I never made any of my discoveries through the process of logical thinking.”

I’m going to quote Einstein a lot in this blog because Distance Healing requires a different language . . . one that is similar to the language of quantum physics, although not in its mathematical form. ?

I love Einstein. I once read that he said he discovered space was curved by imagining traveling on a shooting star. Wow! I love that. He said it took him many years to prove it scientifically, but he never doubted his imagination – his “experience.”

Distance Healing is like that – you might not be able to prove it scientifically, but you cannot deny your experience of it. In this world, we live by the dominant paradigm that holds: things are separated by distance, and time moves in only one direction – forward. The experience of our physical reality is that time and space are real and fixed. And this perception works well for keeping us grounded and able to go about our daily activities. It’s a good thing.

experiments with plants

But it’s not the only paradigm! And clinging to it, as if it were, limits our understanding and experience of our complete being, our whole presence. I remember reading The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Thompkins & Christopher Bird over 40 years ago, when it first came out, and I still remember two of the experiments that blew my mind.

They used an apparatus that functioned in a similar way as a lie detector to attach sensors to plants and measure their responses to various stimuli. One time, they split a leaf in two, kept both parts alive, sent one piece to Europe and kept the other in America. When they applied a particular stimulus to one of the piece, the other reacted simultaneously . . . from thousands of miles away!

Another time, Thompkins was driving and thinking about what experiment he could do next. He thought that maybe he would light one plant on fire to see if other plants in the lab would react. But then he realized that he could never do that because, by then, he had discovered that these living beings had emotions and felt pain. So he decided that he would just “make believe” he was going to light it on fire and see what happened.

distance healing blows the mind

You have to understand that the plants were always hooked up to monitors, 24-7, even when he was out of the lab. So after he got back and conducted the fake experiment, he looked at the read-out to collect the data. What it showed totally shocked him. He saw that the plants reacted negatively when he was in the car thinking of lighting them on fire. But when he actually performed the fake experiment, there was no reaction – they knew he wasn’t going to do it!

“The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition, or what you will.” And, “Mystery is the most beautiful thing we can experience. It’s the source of all true art and science.” Einstein.


Human beings are hardwired to connect. Our brains, our entire nervous systems, are designed for us to form bonds. But still, we define ourselves by our borders and boundaries: I am me; therefore, I am not you. We feel safe within our territory, though borders can be places of instability. And yet, it is at the edges, at the frontiers between us, where ideas are exchanged and knowledge is gained. I am me, but I must push past my borders if I am ever truly to know you.

During a distance healing session, a bond is created that develops a profound connection and a deep intuitive knowing.

distance healer working on the subtle body

A Distance Healing session is very much like an in-person session. You talk with your practitioner and tell her of the needs and concerns you want to address in the session. Your practitioner then leads you into a guided visualization to free your mind and body of any tension. Next, she goes into a meditative state and connects with your being, beyond space and time. The specific intention for the healing was set when you talked, and now the healer adds another general intention to restore your health, well-being and wholeness. The practitioner transmits healing energy to activate your own innate healing power. She directs that power to go where it’s most needed. And, with a quiet mind, she uses a soft focus and relaxed concentration to integrate the newly organized energy throughout the field of your body, mind, heart and soul.

The session comes to completion in its own natural time, usually in 45 minutes or so. Occasionally, it may be a little shorter or a little longer, maybe as much as an hour. By the end, you will typically have had pleasant sensations during the healing. You may have had memories or seen things in your mind’s eye, and there may be an accompanying emotional release and relief. Insights and solutions may pop into your head out of nowhere. If this happens during your session, you can trust this information to be meaningful and helpful for your healing.

you have great self-healing ability

All healing comes from within. An outside force is simply a catalyst to help us sense and recognize energy vibrations – to heal ourselves. Your distance healer is such a catalyst. All you have to do is open up to the energy. In Einstein’s words, “The mind is like a parachute; it only works when it’s open.” And he gave us this encouragement: “The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size.” Einstein. Mmm.

To use his words again to sum it up . . .

Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.

sending love, light and distance healing

The Medicine – Old And New

What is meant by the Old Ways?

When we speak of the Old Ways, we are referring to the innate spirituality of human beings across cultures, from the beginning of time up until the industrialization of our modern era. It holds all of nature in reverence. It calls the earth Mother, and the sun or sky, Father. Indigenous cultures throughout the world shared a surprisingly common creation story despite their separation by continents – and without any means of communicating, or even knowing of the others’ existence. The story goes something like this:

In “the time before Time,” all beings lived together in harmony. They spoke an unspoken language and understood each other’s hearts and souls. In the words of Chief John Snow, Nakoda elder, “We talked to the rocks, the streams, the trees, the plants, the herbs and all nature’s creations. We called the animals our brothers. They understood our language; we understood theirs. Sometimes they talked to us in dreams and visions. At times they revealed important events or visited us on our vision quests to the mountain tops.”

The interplay between the spiritual world and the material world was a common daily awareness. However, as time passed, humans lost their way. They lost connection with the imagining and intuiting functions of their spiritual nature and could no longer speak the language of Spirit. The more they relied on their physical senses alone, the more separated they became from their inner direction. They fell out of harmony and balance. They invented weapons and began killing and eating animals, birds and fish. Later, they even began killing each other. And so the story goes. Each culture has its own details and characters.

There are a few aboriginal tribes, however, who have resisted becoming “civilized” to this day and still live according to the Old Ways. They are known for their uncanny ability to “know” and prepare for events that they have not read or heard about.

The Australian Aborigines may be the best known to us for this skill. They say they get their knowledge from the “dreamtime.” The Dreamtime is where the Aborigines’ world came from. The Dreamtime also brought the knowledge of the laws of existence. Aborigines continue to observe these laws to this day; they are the laws for survival. In addition, they continue the Dreamtime (Creation) as the Dreaming. That is, they continue to dream the world into existence.

What is Medicine?

While this type of knowledge is not typically brought into play in today’s busy lifestyle, it IS still part of our make-up, and we can avail ourselves of its benefits. The Old Ways offer methods for developing the spiritual side of our intrinsic nature – the means to know and understand who we truly are, our best options and actions to take, and how we can contribute to good of all. In many indigenous cultures, this is called Medicine.

Medicine is the power to heal and strengthen the body, mind, heart and soul. That Medicine may be a physical substance, like herbs; a non-substantive agent, like music; or something with both qualities, like touch. Anything that eases the mind or body . . . anything that uplifts the heart and soul . . . that’s Medicine. The means for developing your Medicine is also Medicine. In addition, each being (animal, plant, mineral) has its own special Medicine, a quality or gift that is unique. And you have your own Medicine. Your Medicine is whatever gifts and talents you possess for contributing to that beauty.

The Medicine the Old Ways

There are age-old traditional prayers, songs, practices and ceremonies that have been done in the same way, for the same reasons and commemorations, for incalculable generations. These practices and ceremonies are commonly called the Medicine of the Old Ways. They include ways of praying, meditating, honoring Mother Earth and Father Sky, Moon ceremonies, feast days, sacred songs, pilgrimages and vision quests, to name just a few. There are also prescribed task for rites of passage, as well as practices for clearing and purging oneself. They are tried and true, and still have a potent impact to this day.

Any medicine, be it spiritual or pharmaceutical, has to meet the challenges of a changing world. It must stay abreast of the needs of the people facing new demands. The Medicine of the Old Ways shapeshifts effortlessly to accommodate the needs of the current times. However, that is not what makes it “new,” as that is a quality of the “old” Medicine.

The New Medicine of the Old Ways

The New Medicine of the Old Ways is a term I coined to address the contemporary direction of the latest surge of interest in the Old Ways. Many seers of Native American (and other) Medicine people foretold of the day when the knowledge that had been kept secret and protected for so long should be shared with the white man. Although many indigenous people do not believe they should do that, many others began sharing a few decades ago, believing in complying with the prophecies.

Because of the widespread dissemination of ancient traditional practices across cultural lines at this time, people who have not been brought up in a discreet lineage are prone to mixing and mat

ching the practices from separate traditions. While I can understand how some perceive this to be a misappropriation and watering down of ancient wisdom (and to a certain extent I have to agree), I also see that every generation has a similar complaint about the upcoming generation, even within their own culture.

The best analogy I can come up with (and it may, or may not, be a very good one) is to liken it to adapting a foreign country’s cuisine to one’s own. The taste is not exactly like the country of origin’s typical palate, nor is it like the customary taste of the adopting country’s food.

However, if the persons eating it have an open attitude to something new, both sides will find the adventure stimulating, the taste fresh and the experience rewarding.

There is another difference. The Old Ways require the shaman, priest/priestess, Medicine man or woman, etc. to do all the work on behalf of the person who asks for help. It is my belief that we have reached a time in our evolution where it is not just “special” people who have the power to maneuver in higher realms. I recognize that we have grown enough that Spirit is asking us to assume a more active role in the goings on of everyday life. We’ve been given a promotion, if you will. We’re faced with a new responsibility to step up and be part of the team.

The way I practice the New Medicine is to bring you up to speed on the skills you need for the new position you are wanting to hold in your life. Rather than perform ceremonies for you, I help you conceive your own “ceremonies,” your own new beneficial ways of thinking, new habits, etc. And, most especially, I help you deepen and strengthen your own connection with Spirit and the profound assistance that connection affords you.

I believe the New Medicine of the Old Ways is true to the traditional values of honoring Mother Earth, Father Sky and all living beings. I believe it respects and requires the custom of grounding, centering and clearing oneself to connect with Spirit with a calm mind and open heart. I believe that ancient practices, carried out in their traditional ways, are powerful and have a place in the New Medicine. And I also believe that all the wisdom from all the teachers – if practiced with commitment over a long period – can come together in a new way. It will go straight to the heart and soul of a present-day seeker to touch her and change him in deep and positive ways. The New Medicine takes substance and meaning from the Old Ways and respectfully makes something fresh, stimulating, profound and meaningful for the person journeying in these current times.

All About Smudge

Smudge is the term used for an herb, combination of herbs, or resin that is burned as incense for the purpose of purification. The herb may be burned loose, or in the form of a smudge stick. The “stick” is made by bundling the herb or herbs together with hemp cord or string to form easy-to-burn smudge sticks. A resin is usually burned on a coal.

The most common herb used by Native Americans is sage, but just as familiar are cedar, copal, lavender, sweet grass, or pinon. Common to the Celtic traditions are copal, frankincense, myrrh, and Dragon’s Blood, among others.

When you smudge/purify yourself, you are clearing your mind and auric field. You attune yourself to a higher vibration that reminds you to speak and act in a sacred way, with an open and compassionate heart, and with your ears open to hearing the guidance from your spirit helpers and from Creator or the Goddess, depending on your tradition. Keep in mind that when you smudge yourself, you traditionally want to be very thorough and take at least ½-hr or more.

You can also smudge a house or room to clear it of previous owners’ energy or any negativity that may have entered in the form of arguments, illness, or other entities. You can smudge an object to clear it and make it “clean” or “pure” for use by the new owner – like a book, jewelry, second-hand clothing or furniture, etc.

You can use smudge to pray. The smoke from the smudge will carry your prayers to Creator.

Here is more about Smudging . . .


Clear Your Energy and Lift Your Spirits With the Sacred Art of Smudging

by: Bess O’Connor

If you’re feeling stuck, negative, sluggish, or even downright depressed, it may be due to some stagnant energy in your field. Your field can include your emotional, energetic, mental, spiritual or physical body, and your environment—whether it’s your home, office, or other physical space. Stagnant or negative energy can have extremely detrimental effects on your mental and physical state and is even believed to manifest into things like a lack of happiness and success as well as pain and disease.

Smudging can help combat this negativity, clear the energy in your field, and help you start anew. Smudging is an ancient ceremony in which you burn sacred plants, such as sage, to allow the smoke to clear and bless a space.

To get some insight into the ancient art of smudging, healer and singer Grandmother Wapajea Walks on Water—with lineage from the Choctaw, Creek and Cherokee tribes—sheds some light on the topic.

Grandmother Wapajea says, “The goal of smudging is to make a place clear of lingering energy that is different from what you may be intending for that space. You want to prepare the space for ceremony, the way you would clean your house, cook, and decorate when your family comes for a holiday. We are welcoming Great Spirit, angels, and ancestors to come and share clean space with us as well.”

What you use to clear a space depends on your location and what plants you have access to. Grandmother Wapajea says that people on the East Coast use tobacco, cedar, sweet grass, juniper, pine needles, deerstongue, cypress, and sage. Out west they use tobacco, pinion, desert sage, and sweet grass.

“My family uses sage and cedar to purify, tobacco to send our prayers to the Chihowa, and sweet grass to attract angels and sweet-spirited ancestors. We also use sweet grass to bring ease to a space when we need to discuss something that is difficult to say,” Grandmother Wapajea says.

What You Need

  • Sage or other sacred plants listed above. Sage represents the earth element and when burned, the smoke from it represents the air.
  • Abalone shell. This is meant to hold and burn the plants. The shell represents the water element.
  • Matches or a lighter. These represent the fire element.
  • Feather. This represents the air element.
  • Drum(s) or sacred drumming music, which represent the beat of the heart.

For indigenous people Great Spirit is in all of nature and creation, each thing representing a different aspect of divinity and sacredness. Therefore they honor the elements, and all natural things, from plants and minerals, to animals and people.

The Smudging Process

Often, smudging involves a four-direction ceremony. Here’s a guide to help you get started.

Clear your space of clutter and mess and open up windows and curtains and allow for clean air to enter. Light your sage (or other herbs) on fire and then fan the smoke with your feather around your body and anyone else in your space.

Wapajea’s Smudging Process

  • “We start in the East where the sun rises, and brings us the opportunity to begin again with each new day. Breath.
  • We go to the South and honor our creativity, our children, the child in us, our playfulness, joy, and hope. Earth.
  • We go to the West where the sun goes down, and the blackness of introspection begins when the day is done. Water.
  • We go to the North where our rest awaits us. Knowledge, stamina, compassion, silence. Fire.
  • We use a feather to fan the sacred smoke in each direction, one drums, one sings, one dances, one prays, until we have circled back to the east.”

Tips for Smudging

The art of smudging is a sacred act and Grandmother Walks on Water says these are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Hold sacredness and respect when connecting with the plant people who help you in this ceremony and when you pray.
  2. Remember and honor your ancestors with good deeds.
  3. Honor the divine by caring for what the Great Spirit has created.
  4. See the divine Mother in everything. Women are the embodiment of Great Spirit’s creation on Earth, thru the gift of birth, so women are holy. We are all from the same womb.
  5. Everything is related to everything; nothing is random.
  6. Caring for creation is everyone’s responsibility.
  7. This will is not religion; this is love.

Clearing Your Body

Smudging is not only for spaces; it’s also for clearing your body, mind, and spirit of any negativity, stagnation, or energetic disturbances within or surrounding you. Make sure to invite the sacred smoke around your body from head to toe and front to back before smudging your space.


A Smudging Prayer

May your hands be cleansed, that they create beautiful things.

May your feet be cleansed, that they might take you where you most need to be.

May your heart be cleansed, that you might hear its messages clearly.

May your throat be cleansed, that you might speak rightly when words are needed.

May your eyes be cleansed, that you might see the signs and wonders of the world.

May this person and space be washed clean by the smoke of these fragrant plants.

And may that same smoke carry our prayers, spiraling, to the heavens.


You hear people mention Animal Totems more and more frequently these days. You may also have heard them called Spirit Animals or Power Animals. Certainly, the influence of the animal world on the human psyche is undeniable. It has been with us since the earliest of times. We can observe it in the prominence of paintings on ancient cave walls. We can note the recurrence of animals in fairy tales of all cultures since recorded history. They often talk and give help and advice to humans, occasionally even delivering hard lessons by outsmarting people. Our fascination with animals is so innate that we even have a television channel called the Animal Planet where we can watch them anytime, day or night. And other channels, like Discovery and National Geographic, are filled with documentaries of many of the animals we find most captivating.

Before modern industrialization we were more in tune with the natural world. We were more connected to animals and their wisdom. We learned lessons about life by observing them, and we saw in them a mirror of our own qualities, both good and bad, so that we could improve ourselves and discover how to live in harmony. This lost awareness is reemerging today. It is, indeed, very accessible through any ancestral roots – European, Asian, African, etc. – but the most common view in our culture at this time is through Native American traditions.

Within these traditions, there are variations from nation to nation, and from tribe to tribe within one nation, but some beliefs are generally held in common. For instance, a common view is that when you are born, you enter this life at a certain place on the Medicine Wheel. You will traverse the Wheel many times during your life, as the Wheel encompasses all the virtues and imperfections, all the ups and downs that a lifetime entails. However, your particular placement at the time of your birth indicates which life lessons will be most important for you to learn during your lifetime. Creator gives you help to succeed in mastering these lessons. One such aid is your Personal Animal Totem (or totems, in some cases). In one Cherokee tradition, Creator gives each person seven totems in each of seven categories, for a total of forty-nine. You become familiar with your totems and begin working with them. You then start paring them down until you discover which totem is your strongest ally. This totem is the most influential helper on your path to becoming a “true human being,” someone who who leads your life “in a good way” by developing your gifts and talents to benefit the people for several generations.

Deer Totem

So how does your Animal Totem help you do this? Well, at the most base level, your Totem helps you muddle through your life with a little more grace and peace of mind. But it can do more than that if you work closely with it. It strengthens and deepens your sense of connection – to family, friends, yourself, your purpose, and to the Great Mystery of life. Your Personal Totem shows you where you belong in the great scheme of things. Creator gives you this gift and asks you to cultivate the bond between yourself and your Totem because, as you begin to integrate it into your daily life, you discover how to use its wisdom to remove barriers to your personal and spiritual development. Unfolding your relationship with your Totems brings self-knowledge, healing and purpose. It deepens your intuition and awareness. It improves the stamina in your mind and body, and promotes peace and power in your heart and soul. You arrive at a place where you are contributing to the balance and harmony of all things on earth just by being you. Your Personal Totem takes you there.

So, how do you know what your personal animal totem is? And how do you make its acquaintance? Sometimes an animal enters your awareness because it startles you by flying across your windshield or darting in front of your car as you are driving down the road. Or maybe you just begin seeing a particular kind of animal everywhere you look. People can mistakenly assume that this is their personal animal totem. Usually it is not. Often this is an animal that has come to give you a message for a particular time or circumstance in your life. But your true personal animal totem is there with you throughout your life, all the time, even if you don’t notice it. The way to discover it is through a traditional method called “journeying.”

A journey is a very deep meditative state arrived at by traditional grounding methods and calling on the assistance of the Four Directions, Mother Earth and Father Sky or Great Spirit. Usually you have a guide to lead you, accompany you through the Journey, and bring you safely back. The guide does this through guided visualization, which may or may not be accompanied by drumming. Once you are in the receptive state that Journeying induces, your guide gives you the traditional suggestions that lead to recognizing your Totem, both within you and as a separate being who will assist you. You will be able to ask questions of your Totem, and it will give you insights and answers to what’s been on your mind. You can see your circumstances from a previously unimagined perspective, and new information is offered for considering whatever is at hand.

Horse Totem.

Meeting your Personal Totems is a profound experience. It connects you deeply to yourself and to the Great Mystery – Creator, Spirit, God, Goddess, or however you conceive and call the awe-inspiring wonder of creation. Developing your relationship with your Totems brings self-knowledge, healing and purpose.It deepens your intuition and awareness. It improves stamina in your mind and body, and promotes peace and power in your heart and soul. Its value is timeless – as uplifting and meaningful today as it has ever been.

It has been my great good fortune to have met and studied with some amazing teachers and healers over the years. Medicine people of four cultural traditions have graciously put enough trust in me to give their endorsements so that I might guide others on traditional Journeys to meet their Totems and Spirit Guides, open their Energy Centers (Chakras), find their missing soul pieces (Soul Retrieval), and other such Old Ways of healing. It is a blessing to have received this knowledge ~ and even more so to be able to share this beautiful Medicine with others.