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THE HAPPY HOME: Say Goodbye to 2020 With These Space-Cleansing And Mind-Refreshing Rituals

Smudgesticks, crystals, candles, oils—cleanse your homes, clear your minds, and prepare yourself for a better year ahead

2020 has been a rough ride. From the eruption of Taal Volcano to the year-long global pandemic to the typhoons that ravaged the country, our energies and well-being have definitely taken a beating.

Will 2021 be better? Hopefully. We desperately need a pick-me-up next year! And while there’s really nothing much we can do to change what’s happening with the world, we can only do our best to change what we can—help out others who are in need, and maybe shift our perspectives to be more grateful about the good things. Another thing is to channel some positive energy back into our homes, as our homes have taken care of us well this past year.

Our homes have sucked in all the bad juju of this year, so it’s best to give it a good cleansing. And if you’re not sure how to do that, how about looking to mystics and spiritualism rituals?

I myself have only heard of crystals and saging from friends who dabble in the mystical arts. I do not claim to be an expert on the topic, so I went out to talk to the experts and mystics so they can help ease us in to these cleansing practices and rituals.

But from what I understand, a lot of it centers around channeling and cleansing the energy that surrounds us. Giselle La Pompe-Moore, a spiritual guide and meditation teacher, talks about the importance of energy: “Energy is all around us, so in the same way that our dining table and phones are energy, so are we. Energy is what connects everything on the planet and, as it's our life source, we want to ensure that energy is moving in a free-flowing way both inside and outside of our bodies for optimal well-being.”

So how exactly can we cleanse the negative energy that filled our homes this year, and maybe even cleanse our own energies within ourselves? Here are some rituals you can do to prepare your homes and yourselves for a better year ahead.

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Read below for an in depth discussion of these methods:

White American Sage | @sagesmudgesticksph

Saging and Smudging

Smudging is the tradition of burning sacred herbs and plants to clear or bring energy into a space using the combined elemental energies of fire (flame), earth (plants/herbs), and air (smoke). It can be traced back to some of the earliest cultures and spiritual practices all over the world, with roots especially from Native American tribes.

So what does saging and smudging do for your home?

Kristine Ferrer, a certified sager and owner of @sagesmudgesticksph on Instagram, shares that she started smudging in 2017 after reading articles about it. “Upon trying it, I really felt that there’s something after smudging. My mood stabilized, there’s less negativity in the house, and even my daughters allergies have all lessened. Now, I smudge every morning and at night as well, with palo santo for better sleep.”

There are different herbs and medicinal plants used for smudging, but two of the most popularly used are white sage and palo santo.

Loose white sage with dried flowers on a pearl abalone shell | @sagesmudgesticksph

Palo santo is known as “holy wood,” which is offers a grounded and clear energy while also enhancing creativity.

Sage, on the other hand, comes from the latin word “salvia,” which translates to “to heal.” This was most popularly used by Native Americans for thousands of years for cleansing, purification, warding off evil spirits, and negative energies. And apart from healing your space and energy, sage is also great in opening up the sinus, helping those with digestive issues and hot flashes related to menopause, and is good for the immune system because of its antibiotic and antifungal properties.

American White sage | @sagesmudgesticksph

“Smudging can help boost a person’s positivity, which is very important given everything that’s happening to the world now. It also helps people with depression to stabilize their mind and have a more positive disposition,” Kristine shares. “My clients also say that they feel so much lighter after they smudge.”

@sagesmudgesticksph has American white sage and palo santo smudgesticks for easy burning. She also has loose white sage with dried flowers can be burned in a pearl abalone shell bowl, which was traditionally used by Native Americans in hopes that the smoke will carry their messages up to the heavens.

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Smoky Quartz | @tricrystalph


We’re familiar with semi-precious stones and gems mostly from our jewelry and birthstones. But actually, crystals are much more than the pretty little rocks that they are.

Marco, the human behind TriCrystal PH on Instagram, explains very well why crystals have such an interesting impact and effect on us: “Science taught us that everything is made out of atoms, and each atom vibrates at a certain frequency. Crystals are quite unique as their atomic structure is somewhat symmetrical to us humans. So with that in mind, imagine a huge crystal, with billions or even zillions of atoms in it, vibrating in unison, transmitting a very specific energy around your space.”

Congo Citrine Cluster | @tricrystalph

Different crystals have different effects and healing properties because they have different frequencies and vibrations. Some are slow, which are good for anchoring and grounding an area of the home, while some are faster in frequency, which is great for inspiring creativity. Over the life of the Earth, crystals have been revered as energetic conductors and when used thoughtfully, they can enhance the overall well-being of the home and the people inside it.

Marco, for example, recalls his very first connection to crystals, which was in the form of a dreamcatcher made with Black Obsidian. After being mysteriously drawn to the dreamcatcher, Marco noticed how much the crystal’s presence in his work area helped lessen his stress from work. “Apparently, Black Obisidian is a natural glass formed by the rapid cooling of viscous lava from volcanoes, and it is said to be highly protective as it had stored the energy of the volcano itself,” Marco shares.

If you’re a crystal virgin who wants to discover the magical and healing properties of crystals for yourself, Marco suggests that you can start with by-the-book examples of cleansing crystals: Rose Quartz, for one, can shield your space with love so there will be no room for negativity. There's also Smoky Quartz, which is highly grounding and protective, and can purify your space so energy can flow.

In photo: Rose Quartz Hearts, Raw Cobaltoan Calcite, Spirit Amethyst Quartz, Amphibole Quartz, Aura Quartz, Cobaltoan Calcite, Selenite Stick, Unakite, Blue Tigers Eye, Labradorite, Black Tourmaline, Red Jasper, Clear Quartz, Blue Lace Agate, Raw Zambia Quartz | @tricrystalph

But going beyond these regular crystals, Marco advises: “Each home and person is unique, so when people ask me to recommend a crystal for them, I'll tell them to resonate with the crystal and let it choose them instead. Resonate with the vibration and acknowledge how they make you feel. If you keep coming back to a specific piece for no apparent reason at all, it simply means that you have resonated with that crystal. Our human body is intelligent enough to know what it needs and it will just naturally be drawn to what is meant for it.”

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Sweet Grapefruit - P.F. Candle | @litlifestyleph

Aromatherapy with scented candles

For centuries, white candles have been used for cleansing rituals and removing negative energy from a space. Nowadays, this practice has been elevated with candles infused with essential oils and herbs to create an even more relaxing and purifying experience.

Aly, whose passion project gave birth to Lit Lifestyle PH, shares how much scented candles helped her find beauty and peace inside her home amidst the challenges of the pandemic: “With the travel restrictions and limited choice of activities due to the pandemic, we have to be able to find delight in our own homes. This is how I rediscovered the beauty of scented candles. They can easily transform your space into a haven of relaxation and inspiration."

People respond differently to different scents, and research has shown that negative emotions we attach to certain situations can be altered or eliminated by aromatherapy. This is because our sense of smell has the capacity to carry smells to our central nervous system, so a scent can trigger reactions in your brain, enhance your mood, and even better your health.

Prunus Candle - Boy Smells | @litlifestyleph

As we prepare for 2021, aromatherapy can very much prepare our homes and ourselves let go of the trauma that is this year. Aly says, “Candles can help channel the vibe you want to attract in your space. With everything that’s happening this 2020, we could all use the uplifting aroma and the sense of calm and comfort that candles bring to inspire us for this new start.”

When choosing a candle for your home, Aly says it’s always best to choose scents that align with your intentions. So if you’re looking for a positive boost, go for the energizing P.F. Candle Co. in Golden Coast, which is infused with palo santo and sage. Boy Smells in Prunus contains Yuzu, known for its stress-reducing properties; while Boy Smells in Gardener might be a good one for starting a fresh new year.

Golden Coast - P.F. Candle | @litlifestyleph

All of the candles that Lit Lifestyle PH carries are vegan, cruelty-free, and phthalate-free.

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Lavender | @theradrops

Aromatherapy with essential oils

If you’re the type of person who just doesn’t like fire hazards in their home, you can turn to essential oils for aromatherapy. For thousands of years, people have turned to plants for healing. And as we surround ourselves with concrete walls and city bustle, our bodies long to go back to its original state—which is close to nature. Bringing essential oils into our routines can help simulate that, especially since we can’t go out and travel for our much-needed nature escapades.

But like all things, not all essential oils are made equal. So if you want the best benefit from your oils, only trust brands that carry pure and natural essential oils without any carriers, additives, or preservatives. Founded by Kris and Precious Liau, Theradrops is an online-based store that carries these essential oils you can use for aromatherapy.

Grapefruit | @theradrops

There’s no measuring the stress that 2020 has built up in our bodies, our minds, and our homes. Many of us have transitioned to remote work, which blurred the sacred line between rest and work. You may have noticed that you’re more tense, more anxious, and just overall more stressed about everything, and all of that happens even when you’re just inside your home.

While we’re not yet sure if this is going to change anytime soon, we can at least try improve our own well-being by turning to the soothing and calming effects of essential oils. Many oils have healing properties that can help bring relief to mental and physical discomfort, and helps us stay more relaxed.

Anne Centeno, business development manager at Theradrops, recommends Bergamot for skin healing and reducing anxiety, Frankincense to enhance the mood and reduce stress, Lavender to calm the mind and senses, and Lemon as a way to cleanse and disinfect the home.

If you’re looking for an essential oil to accompany your home cleansing rituals, Frankincense and Sandalwood are frequently incorporated in older spiritual traditions. Frankincense is usually associated with purification, and is used for clearing out negativity in a space.

Sandalwood | @theradrops