What is smudging and how do you do it?
♥ What is smudging?
Smudging is an ancient practice of clearing negative energy from yourself or a space using the smoke of burning herbs, usually white sage. It is often associated with Native American rituals but ancient Romans, Greeks and Egyptians also used this type of practice.
♥ When would you smudge yourself or your space?
You can do smudging whenever you like but some of the situations you may want to do it include:
- when moving into a new house or leaving an old house
- if you feel sad, depressed, angry, anxious or just a bit flat and tired
- you want to remove any negative presences or spirits
- if you have had an argument with someone or want to remove energy left in your space by other people
- before and/or after celebrations or rituals
- to cleanse crystals
- to mark each season or
- just because you feel like you need it
♥ What do you use to smudge?
The easiest way to smudge is to use a smudge stick – this is a bundle of dried herbs (usually white sage for its healing properties) tied together to make a stick. Sometimes lavender or other herbs are added. You can also use a stick of Palo Santo. You can get them from health food stores, new age stores or online. If you are the crafty sort, you can also make your own smudge sticks.
There are ethical considerations in using white sage and Palo Santo, so please make sure you source from a reputable supplier.
♥ How do you smudge?
First of all, think about why you are smudging, the intention and what you want to achieve. Then, holding that intention, light the smudge stick and once it’s burning, gently blow it out so the flame is out but there is smoke curling out from it and it’s smoldering.
To smudge yourself or someone else, swirl the smudge stick gently around the person, from head to toe. This will cleanse their aura.
To smudge your house or office or any space, open the windows and walk through the area with the smudge stick, allowing the smoke to get into all the corners and cupboards.
You can say or think your intention for the smudging while you are doing it. Don’t worry if it feels a bit awkward, it’s the intention that counts.
Some people like to hold a heat proof bowl under the smudge stick to collect the ash (which you can take outside and bury in the earth). You can also do drumming, chanting or fanning the smoke with a large feather too.
When you are finished and if the stick is still smoldering, tamp it out on the earth or some sand.
I find the smudge stick lasts for several uses.
♥ How does it work?
Well, there is some actual science here, it’s not just all woo (but I do love the woo!).
The sage releases negative ions into the space – just like running water, the beach or the forest does.
If you aren’t keen on burning things for space clearing, you could also use sage essential oil in a diffuser.
Do you smudge? Have you noticed the benefits?