There are many different herbal materials you can use for smudging. Some you may know, and few that will surprise you. Common ones are sage, cedar, sweetgrass, and lavender.
Don’t be limited by sage. While sage and smudging often go hand in hand, I highly encourage experimenting with other herbs to find what works for you.
Try starting by researching a few different options and select the herb that speaks to your heart. You can choose intuitively or based upon the particular properties you’d like to invoke. (e.g., white sage for protection and cleansing, rose for love and psychic awareness, lavender for balancing and calming, mugwort for divination support or dream enhancement, juniper for spiritual protection, positivity, & healing. )
What is Smudging?
Smudging is a powerful spiritual cleansing technique that calls upon the spirits of various sacred plants to; drive away negative energy, restore balance to an individual, a group, space, or all three. This tradition has been apart of the spirituality of indigenous Americans for thousands of years. And now, this cleansing ritual is available to anyone willing to give it a try.
What Does Smudging Do?
Smudging allows a way to energetically cleanse a space to invite positive energy to wash away all the emotional and spiritual negativity that gathers in your body, your energetic field, and your environment over time. I often refer to it as giving my home and body a spiritual shower. Effects of smudging can be very effective at banishing stress almost instantly and providing energy and peace. Smudging can also help your body and space to adjust to the healing rhythms of the seasonal cycle.
More than anything, though, smudging can turn your space, your body, and your spirit into a peaceful, beautiful temple in which you can feel rejuvenated, renewed, and at oneness with yourself.
How to Smudge?
- All members of the household should be at home.
- Prep your space. Set your intention before you light up. When smudging your space, opening doors and windows allows the old energy to be released out and the smoke cleanses, so don’t forget this step; it makes a huge difference!
- First, light one end of your smudge, allowing it to catch fire and burn for several seconds.
- Once the flame extinguishes, gently blow it out. Now your smudge should be glowing and smoke.
- Lay your smudge on a heatproof dish, such as an abalone shell, to catch the ashes as it burns. (Always practice proper fire safety! Get an abalone shell, an ashtray, or a ceramic dish for, fire-safe tray.) We should always respect the power of fire when using it in the ceremony.
- As the smoke rises into the air, clearly speak your intention, whatever it may be. If clearing away negative energy, Say Into this smoke, (I, We.) release all negative energy that no longer serves (Me, us), I release all negative energy that surrounds (Me, us) and all fears.
- Gently guide the smoke around the space. You may prefer to use a feather as a guide to the smoke. When smudging your space, always pay special attention to getting smoke into; the corners, behind doors, and, underneath things because this is where a lot of energy stagnates.
- You can pray or chant if you feel called. Use your hands or a smudge fan to guide the smoke over yourself and around your sacred space.
After you’ve completed a smudging session for the first time, you can incorporate it into your daily life as much as you feel necessary. The beauty of smudging is that it can be done at any time, as often as you need, no matter your background or culture. It all depends on your lifestyle and needs.
How did your first smudging experience go? Tweet us on Twitter and share with us!