The What Is and How To of Smudging

The Native Americans and other indigenous cultures practiced smudging ceremonies for centuries. Smudging is a way to purify the body, aura, energy, ceremonial/ritual space or any other space and personal articles. Smudging is performed to remove negative energy as well as for centering and healing. Our bodies and environments are not only physical but vibrate with invisible, silent energy.

If you’re feeling stuck, negative, sluggish, or even downright depressed, it may be due to some stagnant energy in your field. Your field can include your emotional, energetic, mental, spiritual or physical body, and your environment—whether it’s your home, office, or other physical space. Stagnant or negative energy can have extremely detrimental effects on your mental and physical state and is even believed to manifest into things like a lack of happiness and success as well as pain and disease. Smudging can help combat this negativity, clear the energy in your field, and help you start anew. Smudging is an ancient ceremony in which you burn sacred plants, such as sage, to allow the smoke to clear and bless a space.

If you research the “how to” of smudging you will come across many variations. Some will say windows must be open so that negative energy and spirits have way of exit. While others state the smoke neutralizes negative energy, transforming to light. Then there’s allow the stick to completely burn out on its own vs putting out. You will also find many prayers and specific tools to be used. So what’s the right way? Simple, your way is the right way and will get the job done!

I’ve frequently used liquid sage (which I love adding lavender oil to), sage sticks, loose sage, with a feather, without a feather, with an abalone shell, without, windows closed, windows open and various prayers…you get the point. So was there a different outcome with each? In my experience, no. Regardless my method, the energy in my home, space, self, etc. was left feeling clear and light. In the end it’s all about belief and intention.

Smudging prayers – Just as with praying in general, there is no wrong or right way. Again, belief and intent. You may even wish for your prayer to include archangels. I usually say something like…Negative energies that invade this space, I banish you away with the light of my grace. I drive away all harm and fear, only light and love may enter here – So it is, Amen. I will keep repeating the incantation in my mind or aloud as I diffuse the smoke. I move the smoke into all corners, across doorways and into shadow spaces, all along envisioning the space being filled with golden/white light coming down from above.

Remember that smudging is for cleansing your body and environment, not to fill the room or your lungs with smoke! Avoid smudging where there are allergic people, infants or pregnant women. That being said, inhaling a little of the smoke will purify your insides. People often feel more relaxed, lighter and brighter after smudging.

If you’re smudging for reasons such as illness or removal of strong negative energies, you may also call upon and invoke archangels. For example, Archangel Michael for protection, removal, and Archangel Raphael for healing.

What You Need 12795378_10205785828541713_979591661563962170_n(if this is your method of choice)
Sage (most commonly used) or other sacred plants. Sage represents the earth element and when burned, the smoke from it represents the air.
Abalone shell. This is meant to hold and burn the plants. The shell represents the water element.
Matches or a lighter. These represent the fire element.
Feather. This represents the air element.

Clearing the body; Clearing your body, mind, and spirit of any negativity, stagnation, or energetic disturbances within or surrounding you. Make sure to invite the sacred smoke around your body from head to toe and front to back before smudging your space.

A few tips:

  • You may need to relight your sage stick a few times during your process.
  • If a true flame appears, shake the bundle gently or blow until it is just an ember or smokes.
  • Be sure you have a heat-proof burning surface handy, like a abalone shell.
  • Do not run sage sticks under water to put out. Simply press it out gently in your heat-proof shell or container.

So although we’ve been focusing on smudging with sage here, there are many other energy clearing modalities – oils, sound, crystals, incense, holy water, and more, but we’ll save those for exploring another time.

~ Brightest blessings♡





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