Cleansing And Smudging
Smudging is the burning of certain herbs to create a cleansing smoke bath, which is used to purify people, ceremonial and ritual space, and ceremonial tools and objects.There are different ceremonies and rituals that can be done.
The burning of herbs or incense is a practice held sacred by many indigenous cultures. It is a ritual for cleansing, purifying and protecting the physical and spiritual bodies. The effect of the smoke is to banish negative energies.
Many differing cultures and peoples have their own methods and herbal mixtures for this purpose. Smudging, done correctly, can bring physical, spiritual and emotional balance.
The term Smudging originated in the Native American culture. Native American Indians use a variety of smudging mixtures. In olden times, the end of the smudge stick or braid was lit from the central or cooking fire.
Not everyone views the practice of smudging in the same way and different herbs may be used for different purposes.
Smudging may be done by yourself or with one or more other people.
There are many different rituals and methods used when smudging.
One or more herbs used in different combinations or alone.
Rooms and psychic tools, such as crystals and other objects that hold energy, are often smudged/cleansed on a regular basis.
The initial smudging is for the purpose of purifying the space and participants and for banishing any unwanted energies.
Cleansing the ceremonial or ritual space before and after the event is an essential part of spiritual hygiene.
The final smudge is to cleans any negative vibrations and energies attracted or created during the proceedings.
It is also a good thing to do on a regular basis for both one's self and one's living space, to maintain individual and domestic harmony.
Smudging itself takes many forms.
Sometimes herbs are tied in a bundle called a 'smudge stick' and allowed to dry.
Some herbs lend themselves to braiding.
In olden times, the end of the smudge stick or braid was lit from the central or cooking fire.
Today a candle is recommended as it takes some time to get the stick smoking.
Loose dried herbs may also be placed directly onto the burning wood in an indoor fireplace or crumbled between the fingers over a piece of charcoal. The container used for the charcoal and herbs needs to be fireproof.
Ceramic or glass bowls with a layer of sand or salt work well.
Especially nice is an abalone shell with a layer of colored sand in the bottom.
Remember that the container may be come warm enough to scorch a surface or burn your hand.
Things to Avoid
The idea behind burning herbs is to release their energy and fragrance, not to fill the room or your lungs with smoke.
Make sure the bowl/vessel you use can support the heat that will be produced so it will not crack.
Burning excessive amounts can lead to respiratory distress or problems.
Avoid smudging in the room when infants, pregnant persons, asthmatic or allergy-prone people are present.
Never leave your smudge sticks, candles or charcoal unattended to avoid fire hazards.
Blowing into the mixture is not encouraged as it is seen as blowing one's own negativity into the mixture. The mixture is then wafted around one's self like a smoke bath.
When burning a smudge stick or braid, they will eventually go out on their own, but should you need to put them out quickly, you can tamp the end out in sand or soil, shaking off the excess. Using water is messy and not generally recommended.
Rememebr that all things are created from some form of electromagnetic energy/ aura and can merge to bring balance or imbalance.
The aura and souls of the plants/herbs and people can merge to this end when smudging.
Smudging is often used by healers. During the healing the smoke may be fanned over the person by the healer either using their hand, feathers or a fan.
This clears out unhealthy energies and brings in the special attributes of the herbs. There are various invocations, chants, and prayers used during the healing.
A spiritual connection is thought to be made between the person and his spirit guides - and between the person and the spirit of the herbs to join and guide in sacred/higher frequency work.
Part of the spiritual work of the plant is to work with human spirits.
When you have the intention to be partners, it enables them to work actively with you and much more of their magic manifests in their lives.
Try one of our White Sage Smudge Sticks available at our online shop.