Updated: May 9
As a medicine man and shamanic practitioner, I have had to develop strong daily spiritual hygiene in order to stay centered, grounded, and free of entities. I also had to fight curses and more serious shamanic attacks and understand how to put shields in place.
Why? Because the universe that we live in is imbued with energy, and everything intrinsically is energy.
So, understanding the nature of energy, the light and the dark, how to shift energy, change its frequency, see energy bodies, move energy, receive it, or release it is essential to stay in good health.
Negative experiences and emotions, trauma, and stress can block our energy flow, creating stagnation that can cause physical, emotional, and spiritual harm. They will also block our path and access to deeper levels of consciousness.
For thousands of years, indigenous cultures around the world have practiced shamanism and understood the importance of maintaining the purity of their spiritual energy.
Through shamanic practices, such as spiritual energy clearing and protection, we can reconnect with the sacred, heal from negative experiences, and live in harmony with the world around us.
If you work or live in places where there is a lot of trauma, pain, death, illness, anger, and anxiety, you want to develop a strong daily energy / spiritual hygiene. To protect yourself in the morning, and to cleanse yourself in the evening. I often call it the "spiritual shower."
In this essay, I provide 10 easy but essential ways to connect with the sacred, clear, and protect our spiritual energy from a shamanic perspective, and for each, provide an example from a specific tribe.
Centering meditation, smudging, sacred space, sound healing, prayer, working with ancestors, nature connection, floral baths, and more.
1. Centering Meditation
Centering meditation is a practice that allows us to focus on our breath, quiet our minds, and become present in the moment. Its purpose is to connect us with our inner selves and the universe, allowing us to align ourselves with our true purpose.
One example of how centering meditation is used by indigenous cultures is in the Hopi tribe of Arizona. The Hopi use meditation to center the mind and body and connect with the spiritual source.
This practice is important because it allows us to clear our minds of any distractions, find peace within ourselves, and connect with the divine.
To practice centering meditation, sit or lie down comfortably and take slow, deep breaths. Focus on your breath and allow your mind to quiet. Continue to breathe deeply and imagine a sense of peace surrounding you. Try to remain in this state of peace for as long as needed. When you are taken out of it by thoughts, gently return to the breath.
Smudging is a practice that involves burning herbal bundles or sticks, such as sage or Palo Santo, to purify our energy fields and physical environment by creating smoke. Burning herbs are believed to ward off negative energies, clear negative emotions, and energies of space.
One example of a tribe that uses smudging is the Ojibwe tribe of the Great Lakes region. The Ojibwe use burning sage to purify their energy fields and ward off negative spirits.
Smudging is very important in shamanic tradition as it helps to purify and cleanse a person, object, or environment.
To practice smudging, light the herbs or stick, then wave the burning end in sweeping motions around your body, after which, move the smoke around the area you intend to remove negative energy AND make sure there is always a window or door open so bad spirits can find a way out of the space!
3. Engaging with Sacred Space
Creating a sacred space helps us to feel safe and connected to the Divine. This space is typically created for meditation, prayer, or spiritual practices that align us with a higher power.
One example of a tribe that creates sacred space is the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria. The Yoruba create an altar where they honor their ancestors and deities. This practice helps to clear and protect their energy while also keeping them grounded.
To create a sacred space, select an area that feels sacred to you and decorate it with items that resonate with you. This could be candles, crystals, statues, or any other sacred object. Think about what makes you feel connected to the Divine. Whether it is a crystal or candle, allow it to serve as a conduit to the spiritual realm. Use a daily practice of connecting to that space so it will speak to you more and more clearly and will empower you and guide you into deeper states of divine connection.
4. Sound Healing
Sound healing is a practice that uses sound waves to clear and balance our energy. The vibrations of the sounds have a powerful effect on our spirits and emotions, allowing us to shift our energy and find balance.
An ancient civilization that uses sound healing was the Inca tribe of South America. The Inca use instruments, such as drums, rattles, pan flutes, and singing bowls to connect with the spirit world and achieve a state of deep relaxation and healing.
To practice sound healing, play soothing music, or an instrument such as a Tibetan singing bowl or shamanic drum. Allow the sound to travel through your body, and feel the vibrations. Repetitive beats or rhythms can help to put the mind at ease and promote a deeper state of relaxation. You can also use sound with your intention to focus on a specific area in the body, an emotion, or a state of mind. Sound & intentions work together.
5. Nature Connection and Grounding
Nature is a vital aspect of shamanism, as it connects us to the Earth, elements, and animals. Being in nature helps us to restore balance and maintain our connection to the spiritual realm.
One example of a tribe that practices grounding is the Sioux tribe of North America. The Sioux tribe practices grounding by walking barefoot on the Earth to connect with the energies of the land and spirit animals.
To ground yourself in nature, spend time walking barefoot on the Earth, sit under a tree or by a river, or hike in the forest. Pay attention to your surrounding and connect with the elements around you. Make sure you slow down a lot and engage the 5 senses. Look, Listen, Feel, Smell, and Taste… By doing so, you can connect with the spiritual, the earth, and the unseen.
Visualization is a powerful tool in shamanic tradition and involves using our imagination to create a mental image of our desired outcome. This practice allows us to focus our energy and attention on achieving our spiritual goals.
One example of a tribe that uses visualization is the Maasai tribe of Kenya. The Maasai use visualization to connect with their ancestors and harness their strength.
To practice visualization, find a quiet and comfortable space where you can concentrate and focus your mind. Close your eyes, take deep breaths, and imagine yourself in a peaceful and sacred space. Visualize your desired outcome, whether that is healing, clearing, or protection from negative energies. Use your senses to create a vivid mental image and allow yourself to experience the feeling of attaining your goal. The most important is to connect to the feeling, even if it is hard for you may be to “see” fully. The feeling is seeing for the body and the soul.
7. Connecting with Ancestors
Ancestors are important spiritual guides who offer protection, guidance, and wisdom to their descendants. Connecting with our ancestors is a way to honor the wisdom and power that has been passed down to us and deepen our spiritual connection.
One example of a tribe that honors its ancestors is the Dagara tribe of West Africa. The Dagara hold ancestral rituals to connect with their ancestors and receive their guidance.
To connect with your ancestors, create a sacred space where you can honor them. Light candles, incense, or use objects that represent your connection to them. You can also offer them gifts or perform a ritual that you feel resonates with your spiritual practice. Allow yourself to feel their presence and listen to any guidance they may offer. You can use specific dates (like the anniversary of elders) or the powerful time of “the day of the dead” to connect more deeply to this realm. Also the time of the winter solstice, when the veil between living and dead is thin, really empowers the practice.
Gratitude is a powerful practice that allows us to focus on the positive aspects of our lives. It opens us up to abundance, joy, and positivity and helps us maintain a positive attitude toward life.
One example of a tribe that practices gratitude is the Haudenosaunee tribe of Upstate New York. The Haudenosaunee practice giving thanks for all the blessings in their lives, from the food on their table to the love of their families.
To practice gratitude, take a few moments each day (I recommend doing this first thing when you wake up in the morning) to focus on the things that you are grateful for. Write them down, say them out loud, or just appreciate them in your heart. Gratitude shifts our energy from negative to positive and strengthens our connection to the divine. It allows us to cultivate the good in our life, especially when there might be a lot of difficulties.
9. Sacred Bathing
Bathing with sacred herbs is a shamanic practice that allows us to clear and purify our spiritual energy while also cleansing our physical body.
One example of a tribe that practices sacred bathing is the Navajo tribe of Southwestern America. The Navajo use sage and cedar to purify themselves before performing sacred rituals.
To practice sacred bathing, add herbs, such as sage, cedar, or lavender, to your bathwater, and soak for at least 20 minutes. You can also add flowers and essential oils. As you soak, allow yourself to let go of negative emotions, thoughts, or energy, and visualize yourself being cleansed.
Prayer is a universal practice that connects us to the divine and allows us to communicate our desires and needs to a higher power. It is a powerful tool that can help us find comfort, guidance, and strength, especially in challenging times.
One example of an old culture that practices prayer is the Tibetans. The Tibetans use prayer flags to send their prayers to the world and the divine.
To practice prayer, find a quiet and sacred space, and focus your intention on the divine. Use your own words or use traditional prayers that resonate with you. Allow yourself to be open to the spiritual realm and the guidance that it may offer. Focus on where you are sending the prayers (intentions) and where the prayer is coming from (heart, mind, love, fear, etc).
In conclusion, if we learn to practice some of these ancient shamanic techniques consistently, we can free ourselves from negative and stagnant energy more often. We avoid staying for too long in a negative loop. It does not prevent life from happening but can help us have more space to handle negative emotions, protect ourselves from negative energies and entities, and open a path of deep self-empowerment.
There are many other practices I did not share here. Some are much more complex, require long training, and are more for advanced practitioners or specific situations like curses, entities, and psychic attacks.
Some of them are also often done in circles, groups, and ritualistic ceremonies. I often recommend my clients to explore something they never did before as sometimes we can have a new direct revelation, like dancing naked in the rain! Sometimes by going out of our "knowing" and comfort zone, our old habits, we might discover a simple practice that can completely shift our energy.
Finally, in case of more difficult shamanic work like entity removal, cord cutting, soul retrieval, etc I recommend working with a well-trained medicine person who can help you deeply with this.
A clear and grounded spirit helps to promote a healthier mind, body, and soul. An open mind gives us permission to reach beyond our everyday existence into the realm of the Sacred, to explore its mysteries, and to know its beauty.
In this way, we can find a path paved with inspiration, practice, and wisdom.