"Smudging" is the common name given to powerful cleansing technique from the Native American tradition; however, the burning of herbs for emotional, psychic, and spiritual purification is a common practice among many religious, healing, and spiritual traditions. It is a ceremonial way to cleanse a person, place or an object of negative energies or influences. It is also an effective method for energizing or blessing a person, place or object. You can smudge your home or work space as part of a general spiritual housecleaning, and you can cleanse crystals or other objects of any negative or lingering energy with a smudging ritual.
It’s really personal preference as to when and how often to smudge. Here’s a list of just a few occasions where you may find it beneficial.
- during a full moon to help you release
- during a new moon to welcome new beginnings
- on the equinoxes
- before you meditate, start a ritual or healing session as well as after
- to cleanse your crystals
- when you first move into a home
- when you begin a new job or business
- after a negative guest leaves
- after an argument
- after a break up
- to lift your mood
- if your having trouble sleeping
- during an illness
- if you feel a ‘presence’ in your home
- when you bring a new piece of furniture/home decor into your home (especially if it’s a second-hand item)
When smudging, put the material of your choice in a shell, clay pot or other non-burnable container (putting some sand in the bottom of the container will help when/if you need to extinguish the smoke). Light it, allowing it to burn for a few moments. Fan out the flames, it is the smoke of the smoldering herbs or incense that clears negativity, cleanses, focuses and purifies.
If you are smudging your home, make sure to get the smoke into all 4 corners of each room, in closets and cupboards. Starting in the furthest corner and working your way to the front door is an effective way to move the negative energy out of your space. If you have a multi-level home you can start in the basement and work the energies up the stairs to the front door, do the upstairs next and finally the main floor to finish. Once you are done open doors and windows to help pull out the moved energy.
Popular herbs and incense used:
Sage – purification
Desert Sage - purification
Cedar – renewal & protection
Sweetgrass – welcome good energy
Lavender – invitation of spirits
Myrrh – maintain a state of enlightenment
Frankincense – cleanse & protect
Copal – cleansing, protection & divination
Palo Santo – grounding & clearing
Pine – cleansing & protection
Mugwort – clarity & purification, carries & reflects moon energy