Smudging is a way to energetically cleanse a space and invite positive energy. When smudging a space (or yourself), you burn plant material. The smoke fills and purifies the environment.
You can use many different plans for smudging. Some of the most common are white sage, mugwort (also known as black sage), cedar, sweet grass (often braided) and palo santo (holy wood).
White sage is the most popular because it is associated with purity and has a pleasant smell. You can find it many places with various types of flowers wrapped around it as well.
If you’re not a fan of smoke, but still want to cleanse your space, there are even special blends of smudge spray.
Where to begin
Step one is to gather your smudge herbs and a fire-safe dish or bowl for ashes. (We use and recommend Abalone shells for their correspondence and versatility. Native Americans also used those to add the water element to the ceremony.) Take your time with this process. In many cultures, it is sacred ceremony and should be treated as such.
If you have a candle nearby, it’s helpful to set the mood, but also to relight the smudge stick. Some people also like to use a feather to spread the smoke.
Allow yourself enough time for the ritual so you don’t feel rushed. If possible, meditate for at least five minutes before lighting the smudge.
Remember that intention is key in smudge ceremony. Take some time to think about what you want for your home and family, or whichever space you are clearing.
When you clear a space with smudge, you are creating a vacuum – an open space for something new. You want to be clear that you are welcoming positive intentions.
If the weather cooperates, open your doors and windows first.
Start at your front door and light your smudge stick. Begin to move around the home clockwise. Go around the entire perimeter of the home and into each room, always in a clockwise direction. Use the feather to spread the smoke as you move slowly and meditatively.
Allow the smoke to drift into even out of the way spaces, like closets, basements and corners. If there are stairs, just go up or down when you encounter them. Keep moving clockwise until you meet the stairs again. Then continue to go down or up the stairs and resume the main floor.
This is called circumambulation – a practice centuries’ old to make a space more sacred.
How to Wrap It Up
When you arrive back at the front door, visualize your entire home filled with bright, white light. Then speak your intention one last time.
Smudging is amazing to clear a space energetically. They can be done annually or monthly, or more often. It’s especially powerful to perform a space clearing when you first move into a home.
Do you smudge? What’s your favorite herb? Or do you prefer the sprays?
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