By now, most of us have heard of smudging! The theory behind this type of cleansing is that the smoke attaches itself to the negative energy and as it clears it takes the negative energy with it. It’s a practice that uses herbs that are burnt and waved through the aura to cleanse the energy field if a person, object or room.
The simplest of all smoke-cleansing methods is the smudge stick. A smudge stick is a small wand made from dried botanicals. Although today the most famous smudge sticks derive from Native American tradition, this is basically a very simple, universal tool. The old English lavender wand is, in effect, a smudge stick, albeit one that is not frequently burned.
Smudging is the process of using directed smoke to cleanse an area, person, or object. Smudge sticks are popular occult tools and easily purchased, but they can be just as easily created:
1. Dry bunches of herbs.
2. Bind them together with thin cotton thread.
3. When needed, the stick is lit and the smoke directed toward and over whatever needs cleansing.
4. A feather fan is often used to direct the smoke, although you may also use your bare hands.
The smudge stick has certain advantages: it’s neat, compact, easily controlled, discreet, and mobile. Loose incense, however, is also extremely effective and offers you the luxury of a wider selection of botanical material.
Many of the most potent cleansing materials are gum resins and wood chips that do not lend themselves to binding into a wand. These are usually burned on charcoal, which is placed on a dish, iron pan, or incense censer so that the cleansing smoke may be directed as needed.
When should you smudge?
It is a good idea to smudge yourself on a regular basis as well as your home and workspace. Make it part of your weekly housework. Generally, it is recommended you smudge ONCE PER WEEK.
Smudging can reduce negative spiritual vibrations from yourself and your space. The herbs deter some types of spirits from staying in your home or office.
Blessings of the Elements
Each element can provide ritual blessings for spell tools and materials. Whatever is blessed is empowered and charged with that element’s special energy.
Air: Pass the object through or hold within incense smoke. Smudge with a smudge stick
Earth: Sprinkle with dirt, particularly specially chosen dirt
Fire: Pass through a flame or hold within the flame for a few moments
Metal: Allow the object to rest overnight atop the specific metal
Water: Sprinkle with regular water or magically charged formula water
What to Use for Smudging?
Generally, you would use sticks or loose leaves of dried ceremonial white sage. Palo santo, a sacred Peruvian wood, and copal resin incense also are excellent choices. Mugwort, juniper (for good fortune), Eucalyptus (for good health and raising the vibrations of the environment), rosemary, pine, and lavender is popular too!
How to smudge yourself
Light one end of the bundle and then blow out the flame so it is just smoldering. You can guide the smoke over yourself by using a feather or your hands (whichever you prefer). Bring the smoke up over your head, down your shoulders and your arms. Around your torso and your back, down your left and your feet, not forgetting to do the soles to ensure that you walk on the right path. Visualize the smoke lifting away all the negative energies, thoughts and emotions that have attached themselves to you.
How to smudge your home
I like to start at the back of the home and move to the front. So I am taking the energy out the front door. I also like to make verbal statements such as, “…any energy which does not serve my higher purpose must leave now.” Use your hand or a feather to waft the smoke into all four corners, where the ceiling and walls meet. Then, direct the smoke out through windows and doorways.
- It is wise to hold the bundle over a bowl to catch anything bits that may fall off, it saves burning holes in the carpet. Shells are beautiful sacred containers to rest your smudging bundles and herbs.
- When you are smudging your house make sure the smoke gets into all the corners, around the windows and doors, and if you want to be really thorough you can waft it in all the cupboards and drawers too.
- Once you’ve finished smudging, extinguish your sage by rubbing it in dirt or sand, on concrete, or stamping it out in a shell or ceramic smudge bowl.
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