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What is Smudging?

 

It’s the practice of spiritual cleansing with smoke, especially with sacred herbs. You can smudge a person, place, or thing. As long as you use common sense precautions, you can pretty much smudge anything. It’s done to remove bad energy and bring a feeling of peace and clarity, etc. It is an act of will that removes negative influences and sets a positive intention for your home and/or space. Some use it as the first step to creating a sacred space, which is a space specifically used for religious or spiritual purposes. It’s a way to invite higher spiritual vibrations or beneficial entities into a place.
It’s normally associated with many Pagans, Shamans, Native Americans, New Age, etc., but the practice itself does not require any specific religious beliefs. It, like all magick, is based on intent and will. There’s no conflict between smudging practices and any world religions considering there are multiple forms of smudging and the act of it in itself is unintrusive and seems to have some universal views. However, if you have concerns, you can always speak with a leader within your faith.

 

How to Smudge your home

 

Before you begin, you can say a little prayer or invite your spirit guides and/or angels in. Ask your divine helpers to assist you in purifying the energy of the home, space, person, etc. You can also prep yourself by doing a simple meditation, cleansing, or breathing exercise. Preparing yourself is always your first step.
It is recommended to open all windows in the house or the room you’re doing it in before you begin. This gives negative energy a place to exit and allows nice fresh air in. Of course, you’re going to want to pick a nice clear day to do this. For example, if there’s landscaping, construction, bad weather, etc. you’ll wind up with unwanted dust and stuff in the home. If you don’t mind the rain or have awnings. Rain can be made part of the cleansing ritual, as well, but that’s a whole other subject from smudging.

 

Smudging:

 

Light your smudge stick over a dish or fireproof surface. You’ll want to create as much smoke with as little flame as possible. Carry a lighter with you as you go, in case the embers burn out.

 

Once the smudge stick is lit, you’ll need to cleanse yourself. Before you do any purification rites, you’ll need to be pure or purified first. Direct the smoke towards you moving from your feet to your head and then back down to your feet. You can say a prayer as you do so.
You could also do a cleansing ritual ahead of time for good measure.

 

You will now begin to walk around your home while carrying your smudge. Keep your intentions clearly set in your mind. Walk into corners, as you’ll want to sage every corner of every room. Imagine pulling stale and negative energy from them, or driving it away. You can use your hand, a feather, a smudging fan, or even your breath by blowing on it to direct the smoke to where you want it to go. Just steer clear of it getting in your eyes or nose if it tends to bother them.

 

Envision or picture everything you want to let go, remove, etc. going out the windows. Some people recommend starting in a certain room of the home, but we recommend letting your intuition guide you. If a family member has been getting sick, is on edge, or seems to have a string of bad luck we recommend usually starting where they spend the most time at. This can also apply to rooms that seem to have misfortune happen.
Should you want suggestions on areas to start and even end with when there are not any such concerns, here are some suggestions: Entrance to Exit, Exit to Entrance, East to West, West to East, Center of the home to an outer exit, “Heart of the Home” to an outer exit. In the directions you go in each room, it can only be clockwise or counter-clockwise.

 

Pay close attention to unused areas of your home as they can collect stale energy. Take as much time as you need in each step and allow your intuition to guide you. As you walk, you can say a prayer or blessing. Here are some examples below. You can tweak them or just come up with your own. Just be sure to pay close attention to how you word it. You want to make your intentions very clear. Also, you never want to say “bless everything” because you will be blessing the unwanted, bad stuff too, which defeats the purpose and kind actually adds some protection against you. It’s like an indirect invite to stay. Be specific in what or whom you bless.

 

“Cleanse this space, remove the past

I’ve found my happiness at last.

Fill this space with Joy and Love

Send your Blessings from Above”

OR

“Negativity of this, my sacred space

I banish you by the light of my grace.

You have no hold or power here

I stand and face you with no fear

Be gone forever, you will obey

From my sacred space, you must away.”

OR

“God of All, Goddess of Light

Shield and protect me day and night

Positive feelings, alone come near

All others whither and disappear.”

 

Ending the Smudging Ceremony

 

There are two options to wrap things up. Just choose whichever you feel most guided towards. You can always end it in different ways each time, too.

 

Option 1

Once you finished, you can lay the Smudge stick in your fireproof dish and allow it to work itself out naturally. Obviously, don’t leave it unattended.

 

Option 2

After finishing, you can manually rub your smudge stick out, like putting out a cigarette. After it’s out, you bury the ashes to signify the finality of the negative energies that lived in your space. Some even bury the smudge stick with the ashes after use, but we believe the ashes are just fine since that was the part “used” to do the cleansing. That and in this day and age, it’s somewhat “wasteful” considering costs. Though if you get to where you cannot hold it you can still use the remains in an incense burner with charcoal.

 

How often to Smudge?

 

Most people smudge on an as-needed basis. You’ll want to trust your intuition when you feel the need to do so again. Again, don’t worry about having the right prayers or how you move around your home or space.

 

These are the most common occasions for performing a smudging ritual:

When moving into a new space. You’ll want to clear out what the previous tenant left behind. And if you’re feeling generous, you can smudge the home before moving out for the next tenant.

 

When there has been a psychic disturbance. Can be major events like hauntings or acts of violence to minors, such as people in the house quarreling, etc.

 

To mark an important positive change. Smudging is a way of hitting the “reset button” on a home’s energy. So it makes sense to do it when you’re ready for a fresh start. When you’ve finished seasonal housecleaning, when a toxic person moves out, breaking bad habits/addictions, etc.

 

When it’s that time again. Some folks do a regular schedule smudging as a kind of spiritual hygienic cleansing. Regular smudging keeps the home fresh and prevents negativity from coming in.

 

General Safety Instructions

 

  1. Place your burning smudge away from curtains, lampshades, and all that could catch fire easily.

  2. Make sure that you have a ventilated area. We all need fresh air to breathe and thus, while you take in the aroma ensure that you take in the fresh air too.

  3. Never leave the burning Smudge stick unattended. If you need to leave it, do option 2 on the ending ceremony or dip the burning end in water.

  4. Never burn the smudge stick in a closet. You can direct the smoke there but don’t actually burn it in there. The stuff in there is usually a fire hazard.

  5. Keep burning smudges away from children and pets.

  6. Always place smudge sticks in an incense burner on a heat-resistant surface. The outside of the burner may get very hot!

Please use common sense when handling 🙂

 

Alternative forms of Smudging

 

If you are using these for the purpose of smudging, do still follow the instructions as if you are using the smudging stick.

 

  1. Incense sticks: Again, smudge sticks are like big fat incense sticks. This is less bulky but does not do as well for large/multiple areas. Best for single rooms for a slower overtime use, as intended, or in self-cleansing/purification rituals, but in a pinch in various situations it’ll work. It’s also great for its portability in many cases when space is restrictive.
    Some brands even make extra large or chunky incense sticks which can be a great alternative.
  2. Incense using charcoal: This method will produce just as much, if not more, smoke for smudging rituals. It generally requires a “burner” specifically for this type of use. Great for large areas, especially the outdoors. This method is best for an extended time as well since the charcoal will generally be burned for longer than a normal smudge stick since you can’t save or reserve charcoal once burned. The benefit of this type is that you can easily use nearly any form of incense like resins such as myrrh, powdered forms, etc. Even the leftover, non-burned bits of the smudge stick. Be sure that it is resting on a heat-resistant/proof surface.
    If you are wanting to carry this with you for a ritual, you will need one that has a chain or handle, as the burner itself can get very hot to the touch. We do not recommend carrying it on a plate, even a heat-resistant one, because the burner will not be stabilized on its surface and could slide off, causing fire hazards and even injuries. Be sure to follow safety guidelines and common sense in using an incense burner.
  3. Incense cones: You can use them in a burner like for charcoal types but there are also holders specifically for this type of incense.
    There’s even a back-flow version that creates a lovely stream of smoke falling like water. This version is great if you don’t want the smoke to go all over the place at once and if you get the holder made for this type of cone, you’ll have a lovely little scene to look upon. More for meditative and relaxing purposes but still does the job.
  4. Diffusers/Misc.: If you absolutely cannot stand smoke or cannot use it for health reasons, whether it’s in consideration for others in the household, not permitted to burn things, etc., you can use diffuser types of “incense” such as reeds, warmers, sprays, and so on. They will produce the scents without the smoke. Though these methods aren’t considered smudging by any means in a technical sense, because smudging is literally about the smoke itself, it can still work similarly because you are still using the essence of the herbs, resins, etc. It’s simply lacking the fire and smoke.

 

Common Smudging Ingredients

 

There are certainly more that are used, but this is good to start with.

Alfalfa – psychic abilities, attracting animal spirits

Allspice – attracting positive energies, uplifting, determination, increasing energy

Amaranth – removes intuition blocks, healing, comfort, protection

Aspen – protection, reduce anxiety, overcoming fears, ascension

Basil – happiness, money, steady mind, peace, attracting love

Bay Leaf – energy boost, calming, healing, protection, success, victory, psychic powers, money, divination, invoking wish magick

Blue Lotus – psychic enhancer, trance, spirits, visions, intuition, calm, anti-stress

Blue Sage – also known as “Desert Sage” and “Grandmother Sage”, cleansing, warding off bad feelings and influences, cleansing of negative energies, exorcism

Blue Spruce – cleansing, serenity, grace, pure intentions, generosity, giving

Calendula – purification, ceremonial, love, constancy

Catnip – love, beauty, happiness, attracts good spirits, great luck

Cedar – cleansing, protection, balancing, renewal, grounding, removing unwanted spirits, banishing fear, enhances psychic powers

Chamomile – happiness, comfort, protection, purification

Cinnamon – increase energy, luck, prosperity, motivation, healing

Clove – drive away hostile/negative forces, psychic enhancer, purify, protection, exorcism, attracting the opposite sex
Coastal Sage  – clearing negative energies, healing the aura.

Dandelion – divination, spirit calling, wish magick

Desert Sage – clears negative energies, protection, calm

Dill – luck, protection, money, lust

Dragon’s Blood – lucid dreaming, purification, calming, protection, banishment

Eucalyptus – cleansing sickrooms, improve respiratory function, healing, energy boost

Frankincense – soothing, cleansing, protection, holy divine blessing, reduces stress

Ginger – protection, speed things up, brings passion, adds power to ritual work

Juniper – protection, harmony

Lavender – calming, dreams, meditation, psychic protection, spirits, restful sleep, cleansing, increase clairvoyance, purification, tranquility

Lemongrass – purifying, cleansing, removing obstacles, opening doors

Lilac – soothes, grounds, protection, exorcism

Mugwort – also known as “Black Sage”, clarity, deepens intuitive abilities, removes unwanted energies

Myrrh – healing, grounding, enlightenment

Palo Santo – deep cleansing, healing, harmony, purification, getting rid of evil spirits and misfortune, removing energies associated with illness

Peppermint – soothing, energizing, cleansing, protection, releasing, renewal

Pine Needles – blessings, strengthening, cleansing, prosperity, good health

Rosemary – healing, clearing, protection, removing negative energies associated with illness

Rose Petals – meditation, calming, attracts love, beauty; depending on the color of the rose, it can also add different aspects. These are just some examples:
Pink – love
Red – passion, lust
Yellow – joy, friendship
White – transience, purity

Royal Sage – spiritual cleansing, calm

Ruda Rue – healing, protection
Sage Flowers – cleansing, releasing negative energies, wisdom, purity

Sandalwood – strong spiritual properties, divine, calmness, mental clarity, relaxation

Shasta Sage – eliminates toxins from the body

Sweetgrass – healing, purification, invites/brings in positive energies and spirits,

Thyme – removing obstacles, mental blocks, and negative feelings; memory booster, releasing ceremony, recalling past without pain

White Sage – clearing negative energies, clearing a troubled mind, used in preparation for ceremony or teaching, has antibacterial properties

Yerba Santa – purification, calming, inner strength, healing emotional wounds, increasing psychic abilities, protection, connecting to higher powers, opens the crown chakra

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