Purification by Smudge
Sacred Smudging for Personal & Group Cleansing
What is Smudging? Smudging is purification through smoke of plants to purify and cleanse. The plants made into a smudge are known for taking away the negatives, cleansing; harmonizing, balancing and bringing good back in. By burning the plants, aka “smudging”, the spirits of the Sacred Plants are called upon for cleansing. The smoke surrounds the space, the person, animal, tools and encompasses all and the magick begins! As the physical touches the spiritual mixes with the elements, releases and rids the negatives and brings good energy in.
What plants are used? Most common plants used in Smudging: Cedar, Sweetgrass and Sage. Below is a list of plants which can be used as smudge along with a brief description of their association. Traditionally plants grown local to one would have been used; we now have many varieties of plants and mixes and smudge sticks available to choose from all over the World! You do not have to use what is listed here; allow yourself and the plants growing local to you to unite energies and create a personal, unique smudge!
Sages: White Sage, Dessert Sage and the Sage we cook with (Salvia officinalis): cleansing; purifying; ridding of negatives; bring changes; calming; healing Sweetgrass: bringing positive change and energy; also influences dreams and psychic abilities
Cedar: cleansing; purification; balance emotions; healing; protection; also keeps away bad dreams
Rosemary: purification; cleansing; healing; protection; exorcism; healing
Mugwort: purification; psychic and prophetic; cleansing; protection; healing
Copal: (usually added to loose herbs in a bowl for smudge; not made into a stick) purification; consecration; exorcism; bringing love
Frankincense: (usually added to loose herbs in a bowl for smudge; not made into a stick) protection; purification; consecration; exorcism; spiritual
Needed to Smudge: Bowl or Shell, Matches, Lighter, and/or Candle along with your herbs or smudge stick and a feather if available. You may use a flameproof bowl or shell for holding your Smudge Stick or mixture of loose Smudge Herbs. If you are using a Smudge Stick it is recommended to have a bowl or shell underneath to catch the escaped burning pieces. If you are of the Path who feels a shell is connected to the Water Element and will impair the Fire Element of Smudge; use a Earthenware Bowl.
Begin your Smudge Ceremony: Light your smudge with a lighter or matches and allow it to flame for a few moments. (I prefer to light my smudge stick from an already burning candle or bonfire.) Snuff out the flame, allowing the Smudge to smoke and smolder. Use your feather, feather fan or your hand to keep the herbs or sticks smoldering. It is not considered respectful to blow on the sacred herbs with your breath. (but do not feel bad if you resort to this; I have seen elders do this also.)
Offering and Invitation: Welcome and offer your appreciation to the Elementals, Ancestors and Plant Spirits. Greet each direction with a gift of the sacred herbs or tobacco or cornmeal – sprinkling a bit in each direction while also smudging in the directions. Some begin in the North go toward the West and end back at North then giving respect to Earth (Below) and Sky (Above); Others begin with the Sun Rise Direction moving in clockwise direction and so one.
Smudging Yourself: Bring the Smudge to your heart; over your head; over each shoulder; down each arm; then sweep down your front and to the ground… back to the Earth and the Universe. As you smudge, say (silently or aloud) what your intentions are. Some pass the bowl of smudge from hand to hand encircle themselves several times in a clockwise direction… from front to back and so on.
Smudging Others: Begin at their heart; over their head; over each shoulder; down each arm; down the front to their feet then go to the back of them and smudge down the top of their head; down their back to their feet to the Earth and the Universe. If there is a particular area of the person that you know is in need of healing, you may want to spend an extra moment in that area of the body with the smudge. You can ask the person beforehand if they feel dis-ease or blockages in any area and then proceed to smudge the area during the regular smudging.
To smudge a space or home: I normally smudge in a clockwise direction North to East to South to West and try to end at a window or doorway to allow the smudge to depart. Also the borders of your property will benefit from smudging.
Before hands-on healing ceremonies and other ceremonies/rituals: Purify the space beforehand and then each person or patient before entering the space.
Before and after a healing: I sweep the smoke over the chakras and cleanse the aura. Whether using your hand or feather you may feel a hesitation where the patient needs healing work. Once the healing is preformed; test with your hand or feather to see if the hesitation is as strong or even remains. You will be amazed how these plant spirits work! Also by using a pendulum over the chakra areas, you may feel and see where there is slowness or blockage that need to be balanced and energized.
Once I have smudged myself, others or a space, I tap the feather into the ground or shake/flick my hands towards the ground to rid of negatives. I then smudge the feather or my hands before the plants have burned up and give thanks to the ancestors and directions. If I have performed a healing; I also run my hands through cold water flicking away any negatives or dis-ease which may have come attached.
You may also smudge your sacred tools such as pendulums, stones, feathers, wands, etc. simply by passing through the smoke.
I close the ceremony in same manner as the opening; by giving appreciation to the Plants, Ancestors and Elementals.
At the end of your Smudging Ceremony, allow the ashes to burn totally and then return to the sacred earth creating balance and harmony full circle.
If you have never smudged before, give it a try! You will feel the energy immediately of this Traditional Plant Spirit Purification. The rubbish does build up over time – you can’t see it but I am sure you and those around you can feel it!
After a smudging ceremony if you do not “feel” as though it has worked or you feel troubled or uneasy, there may be more negatives bouncing and clinging that you need to rid. As you in incorporate Smudging into a daily or weekly ritual, you will feel the spaces and yourself “more positive” and at ease.