What is Smudging?
Smudging is the common name given to the powerful cleansing technique from the Native American tradition; however, the burning of herbs for emotional, psychic, and spiritual purification is a common practice among many religious, healing, and spiritual traditions. The practice of burning herbs for purification and cleansing dates back to the beginning of mankind on Earth. And, it is a ritual that has been documented and practiced by many indigenous tribes around the world. It is a ceremonial way to cleanse a person, place or an object of negative energies or influences.
When to Smudge
Smudging can be useful when you're feeling depressed, angry, resentful, and unwell or after you have had an argument with someone. Sometimes, you may just feel low or negative energy and are looking for a way to pick yourself or your mood up. Smudging is a great way to do this rather quickly!
Another good use of smudging is whenever you move into a new home and you wish to cleanse the old occupants' energy. It can be used after someone has been ill at your home or even take it on vacation and smudge the place where you're staying.
Or, smudging is a great way to simply create some extra positive juju, and who wouldn’t want that?!
What to Smudge
Here are ten things you can smudge to cleanse the energy:
- Any room in your home
- Your office
- Your car
- Your body
- Your loved one's body
- Your yard (although mother nature is a natural smudger!)
- A hotel room
- Your guest room before and after a guest has stayed
- Your pet(s)
What are your ideas?
There are many dry herbs that can be used - either as a smudging stick or wand, or by burning loose leaves. Resins (usually from trees or plants) or incense are also potential smudging tools, depending on what they are.
Some smudge sticks we like are:
- Hibiscus flowers
- Palo Santo
- Any combination of the above!
How to Smudge
Smudging is fairly easy to do on your own. If using a smudging stick, light the ends until a small flame starts. Allow it to burn for a moment, then blow it out, creating a stream of smoke. While holding a dish, such as an abalone shell, under the stick, work in a clockwise motion from floor to ceiling allowing the smoke to penetrate the area as you move in a circle. You may want to use a fan or feather to wave the smoke into higher places.
Several tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure you have windows open if you're smudging a room. This allows the fresh air to come in, while the negative energy flows out.
- Consider your intentions before you begin. Say a prayer or speak your intentions as you move through the room or around the person.
- Be mindful of smoke detectors! Do NOT dismantle the smoke detector! Just try to keep the air flowing and the smoke away from the detector to keep it from alarming. If it does, simply wave a fan or something near the detector to reduce the smoke in that area.
- When smudging the body, remember to lift your feet and do the bottom of your feet, as well as under your arms where negative energy can be trapped!
Note: PLEASE use caution and proper safety precautions when burning anything relating to smudging. Be sure to keep children and pets away from hot substances and keep a fire extinguisher close by in case of emergency.