Late one evening a couple of years ago, I got the news that a friend had passed away unexpectedly. It was a shock to read the news, and my husband immediately said, “Let’s light a candle and do some smudging for her and her family.” Sounded like a good idea to me, until we lit the incense, and set off the hard-wired super-sensitive smoke detectors that we had just installed in the house.

So, yeah, smudging with incense or sage or palo santo isn’t always a viable option. There are some people who are sensitive to smoke, and some places like offices and hospitals where energy clearing with smoke just won’t work, and some instances where you want to clear the energy of a particular item or person but don’t have access to sage or cedar and can’t actually set anything on fire at the moment.

What do you do?

Well, I’ve learned that there are lots of wonderful alternatives to smudging that can help clear energy, even if it doesn’t last as long as smudging with smoke, that are practical and easy.

1. Reiki. Well, duh. Right? Last year, I had to take a course of antibiotics for an infected tooth, and just before I took each dose, I made the power symbol over those pills and asked them (nicely) to be gentle with me and just do their job without causing me the stomach pain and elimination upsets that usually accompany a course of antibiotics. I faithfully took my probiotics and my antibiotics, and you know what? Zero side effects this time around. It was like a fucking miracle.

But actually, it was Reiki. If you’ve had a first level Reiki attunement, you can Reiki an object or space to help clear the energy. No smoke, no fuss!

2. Salt. As a kid, I would take salt and sprinkle it around the edges of the kitchen and dining room – the rooms where my mother would have nervous breakdowns and emotional anxiety from her eating disorder. Did I know what salt was actually a cleansing agent? No, not in my head. I knew it in my heart, that there was a reason I was using salt to smudge the energy of those rooms, but it drove my parents insane. “Jennifer, have you been sprinkling salt on the floor AGAIN?”

Yeah, even when I was 9, I knew that energy clearing with salt would work. Give it a try. Get some of the best quality Himalayan pink crystal salt you can find, and give it a go to help clear negative and unwanted energy from a space.

3. Essential oil sprays. Cedar leaf, sage, cyprus, frankincense, and myrrh are all fabulous essential oils used to smudge and clear energy. You can make a simple mixture of 1 cup purified water (or water infused with an intention) and a few drops of your favorite clearing essential oil. Put it in a spray bottle, and just give a few squirts whenever you have that “not so fresh feeling”.

4. Moon bathing. I’m not suggesting that you haul a tub outside, fill it with water, and take  a bath under the full moon. (Although it does sound good. But not in the dead of winter when it’s like ten degrees below zero up here in the Adirondacks.) You can clear and charge pretty much anything – including yourself – by taking a walk or a soak in the moonlight.

My favorite way to clear the energy of a new Tarot deck, a gemstone or a piece of jewelry, a ritual object, or even myself, is to set it out in the light of the full moon overnight. Let it soak up all that god energy from the light reflected by the moon, and in the morning give it a little charge with an intention and you’re good to go.

5. Shaman mantra. This is one of my favorite ways to clear and smudge myself in a pinch. Say you’ve just had a really unpleasant experience with someone else and you want to get rid of that unwanted energy. Or you might be feeling a little low and need a way to clear and charge yourself. Just cup your hands together like you’re going to warm them up, put them in front of your mouth, and take a deep inhale in through your nose. Before you exhale, say the words, I am clear, and then blow that puppy right into your cupped hands. It feels amazing, and it will help clear your energy before meditation or energy work or Tarot readings or whatever.

You can also blow those intentions into water or gemstones or other ritual objects. It’s a lovely way to charge objects with your own unique energy and intentions.

6. Use a wand. I found this fantastic wand at a holiday boutique I attended back in December, and I’ve been using it for smudging every since! It’s a powerful little piece. Lightweight, easy to use, and no worries about setting off the smoke alarm. It’s great for smudging a person who might be sensitive to smoke.

Got a favorite way to smudge without smoke? Leave a comment, share it with me!