Smudging

Smudging is an ancient ceremony which was usually performed to cleanse an area or person of evil spirits and negative energy by filling the area with fragrant smoke. A practice which is still used by many today. In it’s simplest form Smudging is burning dried herbs, that have been bound together. Once the herbs are lit the flames are allowed to die and the embers are then fanned or gently blown to maintain a steady flow of the resulting smoke. The smoke is allowed to drift and help clear away any negative energy. Sage is the most commonly used herb but it can also be done with other herbs such as Lavender, Cedar or Lemongrass.

The benefits of Smudging are steeped in science, as when burned, sage and other herbs release negative ions, which research has linked to a more positive mood. Smudging is also believed to cleanse the surrounding air of harmful bacteria.

All homes collect negative energy over time so it is good to smudge your home thoroughly several times a year. I smudge about once a month – sometimes more if I feel the need, sometimes less. I tend to smudge after any disagreements to “clear the air” or to dispel negative energy when anyone is feeling depressed or ill.

Smudging is also thought to purify the body and soul, and help to bring clarity to your mind. After smudging your home is therefore an ideal time for meditation and the smoke can be used to enhance the experience.

You can make your own Smudge Sticks by binding dried herbs together to form a cigar shape. This can take a little practice, too tight and it won’t burn properly, too loose and it may burn too fiercely or fall apart. Alternatively you can buy ready made Smudge sticks or even use incense sticks to start off with. If your Smudge stick stops smoking just relight it and allow it to go out again.

I have read on social media that white sage is endangered and that we should stop using it. However well meant, this information is not true. Some of the habitat that it grows in is being lost though. There are many small suppliers online that sell smudge sticks they have made from the plants in their own garden. Or like me you could grow herbs yourself and use the cuttings to make your own smudge sticks.

To Smudge a room, first open a window to allow smoke and any bad energy somewhere to escape. Light your smudge stick and allow the flames to go out. Walk around the room with your Smudge stick, paying particular attention to corners, cupboards, windows and doors, allowing the smoke to drift into all the recesses (use a bowl to catch the ashes as you go). I like to use a simple chant as I walk round from room to room in my house. “Smoke of Sage seek out every cavity. Rid this house and those within of all negativity” or maybe “Be gone all negativity and fear, only good may reside in here”. Repeating these words helps me to focus my intent and add my own energy into the removal of any negativity.

To Smudge yourself, a fan may be helpful to waft the smoke around your body. Concentrate on any areas you think may be causing problems. Imaging the smoke carrying away that illness or negativity and watch it disappear. You can also chant if you find it helps. “Smoke of Sage take my pain. Smoke of Sage make me well again” or perhaps something like “Into this smoke I release all illness and negativity.”. Adjust the words to suit you. Alternatively, use a chant of your own or find one on the internet.

Smudging can be used to cleanse stagnant energies from objects, such as crystals and personal items. This is particularly good for cleansing an item that has previously belonged to someone else or that might pick up energy from others, such as Tarot cards. Pass each item back and forth through the smoke to cleanse. If it is a large object it can help to do a full room cleanse too.

What herb you use is very much down to personal preference. It is believed that different herbs have different properties when used for smudging or meditation, for example:

  • Sage is used to banish negativity, for cleansing, strength and balance.
  • Cedar is chosen for comfort, purity and protection. Also to attract good spirits.
  • Pine is believed to be good for cleansing, strength and renewal.
  • Lemongrass is good for refreshing energy and to enhance communication.
  • Lavender is known to be calming and is used for love, peace and health.
  • Rosemary for protection and cleansing, also burnt to enhance memory and to ward off evil spirits and nightmares.
  • Rosemary and Juniper (berries) together are used for health. In times past this combination was commonly burnt in sick rooms and hospitals to purify the air.

Happy Smudging 😊🌱🌿

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