Jade Mordente introduces us to the aura and the benefits of herbal smudging, ritual baths and meditation.
WORDS Jade Mordente ILLUSTRATION Lily Gale
Although 2020 has been one hell of a ride so far, I think it’s safe to assume one thing – you’ve heard at least one person talk about their ‘aura’. It’s crept its way in from the deepest, darkest occult corners of the internet, to your Instagram feed (today, probably). And here it is again. You might not know anything about it, you might have queued for hours to get your photo taken in a Halo booth only to be told it was closed (ahem), or you might be a total sceptic and want to run off into the distance screaming bullshit. Whether you’re more Phoebe or more Ross it doesn’t matter, because we can collectively agree on one thing – we’ve all experienced that feeling. You know the one – like that time you went on a date and instantly knew it wasn’t going to work before you even sat down, or when you walked into a room and wanted to walk straight back out again without reason. Yes, that feeling. The one that hits us loud and clear from our very core, yet we can rarely put it into words.
Enter, the Mystikal ‘aura’, an electromagnetic field that surrounds our physical body and is made up of six layers. These layers are invisible to the naked eye (to all but a few magickal beings that walk amongst us and a fancy camera), but they each represent an element of our physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health. They are an intrinsic part of our being, just as important as our physical body, and they react to our internal and external environment.
So why would you need to cleanse your aura? I’ll keep it short and sweet.
All of us radiate a level of energy, and this energy vibrates at different frequencies and speeds from person to person depending on our thoughts, words and experiences. We tend to get back whatever energy we put out into the Universe. Positive energy operates on a higher frequency, making us feel lighter, happier and healthier. Meanwhile operating on a low frequency can leave us feeling drained. We are more susceptible to getting sick, feeling depressed and attracting the wrong types of people into our life. The good news though – we have totalcontrol over this. Just like our ever-changing moods, thoughts and experiences, the frequency we radiate is ever-changing too. Checking in with our invisible energy bodies like we would do a regular therapist is key to our overall health, and during these weird, uneasy times, our aura is likely to be needing a little revamp. Here’s a couple of simple ways to cleanse your aura at home.
The burning of fresh herbs has been deep-rooted in tradition for centuries. Sage, for example, has a long history in Roman, Greek and Native American traditions where it was burned as a way to heal, protect, and boost defense against disease. Ceremonially, smudging was (and still is) used as a way to cleanse negative energy, ward off evil spirits and increase intuition. More recently, Sage has been proven to be a powerful antiseptic, a natural anti-depressant, and aid to significantly reduce the effects of stress and anxiety. When burned, it has been shown to purify over 90% of the bacteria in air for just under 24hrs. So it’ll come as no surprise, smudging is a natural aura cleanser too.
You can buy smudge sticks online (they cost about £5) or you can make your own.
To get the benefits of smudging, all you need to do is burn the herbs and allow the smoke to float around your body. Start from your feet and slowly work your way up. As the smoke surrounds you, imagine your body is being clear of negative energy. It makes you feel lighter, clearer, cleased. Do remember to open the windows to let all of those bad energies out. Far, far away from you.
Here’s some of my favourite herbs and their benefits.
Sage: Most notably, sage clears negative energy and purifies the air. It is also known as a natural anti-depressant which can aid insomnia and prevent nightmares.
Palo Santo: It calms the immune and nervous system, making it a good one to fight off sicknesses like the flu. I find it effective for mental clarity and concentration, especially during times of intense stress and anxiety.
Rosemary: Increases energy levels and motivation, also very good for improving memory.
Lavender: Promotes calm and deep rest, I find it’s best to smudge with lavender right before bed.
Juniper: This has been a staple in many traditions, known to ward off evil spirits. You can use juniper to create a safe space within your home and clear away any worries or bad juju.
Ritual Baths (or Showers)
The skin is our body’s largest organ, and it absorbs whatever we put on it. An aromatic, herbal bath is a natural medicine, rich with nutrients and antioxidants. It supports the detoxification process of the lymphatic system, it lowers blood pressure, it improves our immune system function and protects us from infection and disease. It is also an energetic rebirth.
Water is a transmitter of our body’s energy. It can access our auric layers and subtly balance the energy flow. This cleanses the aura, realigns our chakras (the body’s main energy centres) and releases negative or emotional blocks to bring us back into equilibrium. A bath is a sacred ritual for me, a safe space. I get out feeling lighter, happier and more connected to that voice in the back of my head (you know, the one we should always listen too, but sometimes ignore).
I start every ritual with smudging myself and the space – usually with sage and palo santo. I light candles and turn off the lights. As the water is running I pour in my ingredients and take five long, deep breaths with my eyes closed, grounding myself in the present moment. If you don’t have a bath, you can use essential oils in the steam of the shower for the same effect. To do this, place a cup, dish or bowl with some oils on the floor of the shower and let the steam work into them. When you step out, nourish your body with a natural oil, making sure there are no chemicals going into your open pores. I’d recommend coconut oil or shea butter.
Here are some of my go-to ritual bath recipes.
For detoxing: Squeeze 0.5 of a fresh lemon Add 5 drops of eucalyptus oil or three stems of the plant 3 tablespoons of ground ginger 1 cup of Epsom salts (or you can use baking soda if preferred) 0.5 cup of apple cider vinegar Super-charge the water with a piece of Bloodstone
For deeper sleep and stress relief: 8-10 drops of lavender oil 3 drops frankincense 3 drops cedarwood 1 cup of magnesium salts Super-charge the water with a piece of Selenite crystal
For aiding anxiety and balancing hormones: A handful of dandelion flowers 5 drops of Jasmine oil, or fresh Jasmine if you have it 3 drops clary sage 3 drops geranium 1 cup of pink Himalayan salts Super-charge the water with a piece of Moonstone
Visualisation & Meditation
Meditation is one of the easiest ways to cleanse the aura, clear your mind and raise your vibration. It has long lasting benefits too. Extensive medical research increasingly points to an undeniable link between our minds and our bodies, proving that negative, suppressed thoughts and emotions are toxic to our overall well-being, causing a number of physical illnesses and disease. Research proves that holistic treatments – like meditation – are key to creating long-lasting solutions to both physical and mental illness, because they address the root cause of illness rather than providing a symptomatic cure.
The easiest way to release negative or stagnant energy from the auric layers is to do a colour visualisation. This one can take you five minutes or thirty. It is completely up to you. Oh, and if crystals are your vibe, you might want to hold one in each hand or place them around the body for this.
Lie down or sit comfortably.
Take long, deep breaths, counting each breath in and out up to the number ten. Become aware of the sensation of the breath and the way it relaxes your body. Placing a hand on your belly helps too.
Once you feel relaxed, begin to scan your body from your head down. How does your body feel? Are there any new sensations – heaviness, tingling or tension? Is your jaw clenched, are your shoulders relaxed?
As you scan down, imagine each breath is relaxing the muscles, making you sink deeper and deeper into the earth.
Now it’s time to invite in a colour to your space, and whatever one comes to mind is absolutely perfect. I usually opt for rose pink, violet or white.
Imagine this colour fills your entire body, it’s a healing light beaming from you. In this light, you feel light and weightless. It balances you as it moves around your body. It opens up space and clears your mind. It protects you.
Bask in this nurturing light for as long as you need to.
When you are ready, feel yourself come back into the room and open your eyes.
And finally, remember to cut out the bullshit
If you leave a person, situation or environment and feel emotionally drained – recognise it. If your intuition is screaming at you that something isn’t right – listen to it, and more importantly, trust it. Our body tells us exactly what’s working for it and what isn’t, and the more in tune we are to these subtle messages our body sends us, and act on them, the more messages we receive. All we have to do is listen, and be kind.