Cleanse Your Body and Space with the Art of Smudging
Feeling a bit stagnant around your home lately? Had an argument with someone in your household and now every time you enter the house, it feels... meh? What you're actually feeling physically are the lower vibrational energies that are present in your space. So... what can you do about it? So glad you asked! The cheapest and the most effective way to clear negative energy from any space and even from yourself is smudging.
What is smudging?
Smudging is a Native American ritual that is used to clear and cleanse the space by burning various herbs and plant materials. It is believed that the smoke produced during this ritual absorbs the negative energy present in the room and is carried out through openings such as open windows and doors. You can also smudge yourself or other people who might be feeling "low."
When should I do this smudging ritual?
Smudging can be done at any given time, as many times as you'd like and there are no "number" of times you have to smudge per week. However, it is always good to smudge when you move into a new house/space, after any negative emotions that were exerted into the space, feeling spirits that make you feel uncomfortable/scared, and any other times when the energy in the room may feel stale and need to "clear things up a bit"! The same timing when you "know" you need to clean your bathroom because it's dirty. What do I need for this smudging ritual?
Here are the 4 essential items you need to gather for this ritual:
+ Shell / Smudging Bowl Abalone shells are commonly used for the smudging ritual but any kind of shell that has a large mouth opening will do. You can also use a clay bowl instead of a shell. Plastic bowls and other synthetic materials during the ritual are NOT recommended! (We're dealing with fire here, folks! Please use your best judgement!)
+ White Sage / Smudge Stick Make sure you get "white sage" and not just regular sage. You will find smudge sticks at pretty much any metaphysical shops around town or I get mine actually at WholeFoods! It has been by far the cheapest and the largest smudge stick I can find!
+ Lighting Agent (match, lighter, etc.) I use a Bernzomatic lighter which I had a HUGE success in burning all kinds of plant materials. Some people prefer to use matches over a lighter because you are honoring the nature world by igniting a wood from Earth, rather than butane. I haven't really had any success in lighting sage with a match, unless I use tons of it. People also don't like to introduce butane into the ritual but honestly, I'm not a huge fan of the smell of phosphorus either. So your choice!
You will need a large feather to waft the smoke around your area. I initially got mine at Jo-Ann for couple of dollars or you can also find a smudging fan at metaphysical shops or Native American craft stores (I purchased the smudging fan pictured above at The Om), and many various designs online!
Within these 4 items, represents the 4 elements on Earth: Water Earth, Fire, and Air.
The shell that comes from the ocean represents the element of Water, the white sage that grows from the ground represents the element of Earth, the lighting agent represents the (you guessed it right!) element of fire, and lastly, the feather that allows the bird to soar between the Earth and the heavens represents the element of Air.
How do I do this smudging ritual?
Step 1: Open all doors and windows. Once the smoke absorbs the negativity in the air, you will want all of that to go out swiftly. If you keep them closed, the energy has nowhere to escape! It's like a clogged sewage pipe. YUCK!
Step 2: Grab your shell and break off bits and pieces of sage, separating from the stem. Tip: Put a small amount of sand on the bottom of the shell to prevent the heat directly transferring to the shell and also keep the beautiful iridescent shine of the shell. I have placed a wired mesh in the photo but that is optional.
Step 3: Light your sage with a lighting agent. We're dealing with fire here, folks. Things DO heat up and things CAN catch on fire so proceed with caution.
Step 4: Cleanse your energy first. Take some deep breaths, hold an intention of clearing the negative energy around you while you waft some smoke towards your heart. Next, waft some smoke over your head, aiming for your crown chakra, and waft the smoke all the way down to your toes of your frontal side and into the ground. Then, starting from the top of your head, waft the smoke all the way down to your heels. It gets a bit tricky if you're doing it by yourself but you'll figure out the best way after trying it a couple of times! Or have someone do the backside for you! After that, take a couple more deep breaths, inhaling a bit of smoke to cleanse your inside. It is never advised to inhale the smoke directly from the burning sage, make sure you dilute by wafting the smoke before you inhale them. Especially with those with asthma and other lung issues, please use your best judgement and if it is causing you issues, stop and go outside to get some fresh air and wait couple of minutes for the smoke to dissipate in the room.
Step 5: Starting from the entrance of your home, walk counter-clockwise while wafting the smoke around the room. Pay close attention to the nooks and crannies where energy can be stagnant and stale. As you walk around room to room, hold the intention of clearing the space and removing negativity, allowing only positive energy to filter back into the space. End the smudging ritual by wafting the smoke out of your house.
Step 6: After you are done smudging and once the sage has completely burned itself into ashes, throw the ashes outside so the ash can return back to Mother Earth. *PLEASE make sure that the fire is completely out! Again, we are dealing with fire and you don't want to begin smudging your community with brush fires!
And there you have it, folks! That's how you smudge yourself AND the room in 6 easy steps!
***IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE*** There is fire involved in this ritual. I cannot stress this enough! Be careful of the embers that might fly off while wafting the smoke. When it is windy, either don't do it or don't open the doors and windows all the way! I had learned that the hard way and almost burned my bed! 😬
Along with white sage, there are numerous kinds of herbs and plant materials such as cedar, juniper, cypress, etc., that you can burn for various reasons.
Palo Santo is my personal favorite to burn after smudging the room with white sage. It helps cleanse the aura and aid in healing illnesses.
Sweet grass is another favorite but I use it more sparingly, on special occasions such as on New Year's day, to invite good energy into the room/space.
Today, I leave you with Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" from The Midnight Show in 1973. Once you smudge your space, you will definitely feel the difference and see things clearer, almost like you are in a different house! Oh and this reminds me, if you have a chance, go get Wayne Dyer's I Can See Clearly Now. Such an awesome book that makes you reflect on different aspects of your life and allows you to see things in a bigger picture, even though things might not seem like it now.
Keep flying high!