It’s Not All Smoke and Mirrors

Lately, I have felt called to smoke and mirrors, drawn in by their energy and influence over the energy around them. I often use both mirrors and smoke to change the feel of a space. What was the connection? Curiosity drove me on…


The saying “it’s not all smoke and mirrors” is a nod to their use to distract and confound the audience. This happens while a magician performs sleight of hand. That is not their only connection. Both are tools to set powerful intentions in your life and your space. By bringing clarity and insight as well as removing the fog of stagnation, both show us what needs to be amplified or removed.


As I embark on my studies in Feng Shui, I’ve barely scratched the surface of the potential of energy tools like mirrors and cleansing smoke; tools to adjust the flow of energy throughout a property and enhance one’s intentions for a sacred space.

Here are some of the benefits I’ve gleaned for smoke and mirrors as tools to set and maintain powerful intentions in the home:

  • Smoke brings clarity;
  • Mirrors are opportunities for reflection;
  • Smoke and mirrors can move the energy in the space;
  • Smoke and mirrors can bring balance to the Ch’i in the space.


Through the Smoke Comes Clarity

Two sticks of burning incense releasing streams of perfumed smoke

Smoke clarifies a space. Wafting sacred smoke (you may know it as a ‘smudging ritual’) removes unsupportive and stagnant energy from a space. Set your intention that the space be relieved of everything unsupportive. White sage is a deeply clarifying option to burn and others include palo santo and incense. Start by following a step-by-step guide to clearing with smoke.


Aromatic smoke also clears the mind. The smoky haze and aroma are transformative. It transports you to a different mindset, changes how deeply you breathe, and immediately brings you to the present. Once the smoke clears, you literally and figuratively occupy a clearer mental space. 


Mirrors offer an opportunity for reflection


Woman staring at her reflection in smoke and mirrors

Mirrors allow us to look deep within. Often, we stop in our tracks when we see our reflection. Either by studying something in the reflection or using it as an opportunity to confront our inner dialogue. Embrace these moments to look at yourself and talk to yourself with love and grace, and use the mirrors to reflect within.


Next time you’re at a mirror, pause and engage with your reflection. See what is looking back at you and what’s not. Speak your intention to yourself, perhaps for more self-love and self-acceptance. Your reflection will be your witness.


The Feng Shui Perspective: Using Smoke and Mirrors to Enhance Ch’i


Woman enjoying a luxurious bath surrounded by smoke and mirrors

Part of intention setting is to bring your space into harmony and keep energy moving. For example, a crystal grid’s manifestation could get hindered by stagnant or negative energy, or discord in the room. Here, too, mirrors and smoke can be powerful tools. 


Mirrors are great for keeping the energy moving throughout the space. And as noted in the Spruce blog, a modern approach to Feng Shui can incorporate other disciplines and tools, like cleansing smoke, to adjust the energy of a room. 


Balancing the Five Elements with Mirrors and Smoke

One way to begin working with Feng Shui adjustments to your home is to look at the balance between the five elements. These are fire, water, earth, metal, and wood.


  • Mirrors represent the water element. Use mirrors or a mirrored tabletop to add the water element into a space and balance out an excess of fire element in the space, like around a fireplace.
  • Smoke (specifically the burning embers) embodies the fire element. Use candles, smoldering herbs, incense, or burning sage to add more of the fire element into a space and balance out an excess of the metal element in a space.


The color and shape of the mirror or candleholder can bring in additional elements, such as a wood frame around a mirror (wood element) or a white candle to represent the metal element.


Meaning and Use of Mirrors

Large oval wall mirror hung with ribbon above a minimally decorated table top

Known as the “aspirin” of Feng Shui, mirrors are a go-to solution for addressing of host of energy issues in space. They are considered to reflect and double the energy you seek to amplify, so they should be used deliberately in the space. (You can think of them as a powerful amplifier, like a huge piece of clear quartz would amplify energy). They can address many architectural issues and energy blocks. For example, brightening a room by reflecting from existing windows and making a small room feel larger. 


A couple of tips:

  • Size matters. In general, use a small mirror to make a minor adjustment in the Ch’i and a large mirror to make bigger impacts.
  • Location matters, too. Mirrors can shift the energy dramatically, so check the location (on the Bagua Map and the type of room) before selecting and placing a mirror. There are a few places where mirrors need special consideration, like in the bedroom (seeing your reflection from the bed can be distracting or disorienting). 


Before placing a mirror, search for the specific location of the room. Also, consider recommended mirror types and placement, or consult with a Feng Shui specialist for design recommendations.


Consider smoke and mirrors whenever you need greater clarity and movement in your space or yourself.

Prev post: Six Benefits of Having Flowers in Your HomeNext post: Summer Outdoor Ritual Series, Part 1: Getting Grounded

Related posts