What is smudging or what does it mean to smudge?
The most common herb for smudging is sage. When we smudge we burn the herbs in an abalone shell or something similar. We wave the smoke all over our bodies and into our hearts then out into the rest of the word to pray and give thanks. Smudging may be used for many purposes including removing negative energy from a person, place or one’s home. If you are smudging a home or building, you would start first by opening all the windows and doors, then move in a clockwise direction making sure to wave the smoke in all the corners really well. In some Ancestral traditions, they would use an eagle feather to wave the smoke. It is said that the eagle would carry our prayers to Creator because the eagle is the one who can fly highest into the sky. The story also says that the eagle could fly so high up that it burnt the tips of its wings when it touched the sun.
HOW TO SMUDGE:
Put some dry loose sage in a shell and activate it with fire. Once the sage is well lit, blow out the flame and let the sage begin to create smoke. Waive it with your hand or a feather. Cup it with your hands and wash it over your head and down your body. Cup some more smoke and put it into your heart area.
There are several different types of smudging depending on what your goal is.
- Smudging to clear negative energy. If there is any form of negative energy in a person, group, home, workplace, land or particular place, you can smudge to clear the negative energies away. When smudging a space, first open all the doors and windows so that any negative energy may escape. Start at the front door and work your way sun-wise around the space until you come back to the front door. If you smudge your home daily in the morning, you will start to feel it becoming more and more clear.
- Smudging before the ceremony. The intention of smudging before a ceremony or working with a client is to enter the session with a clean, clear and open state of mind where both the client and the practitioner can become present and let go of any expectations in order to receive the best possible outcome.
- Smudging and prayer. Also, a good practice is to smudge while praying. The smoke is said to carry our prayers up to the creator.
- Clearing your energy after working with a client. It is a good practice to clear your own energy before and after a session with your client.
- Clearing crystals and physical objects. You can clear your crystals regularly by smudging them. Other ways of clearing crystals include laying out under the full moon for three nights. The night before, the night of, and the night after. You can also run water over them or bathe them in a stream. Laying them out in full sunlight is also a common practice. You can also smudge to clear physical objects whether they are new or used. This is just a safe practice to clear any possible negative energies that were previously attached to the item.
MOST COMMON HERBS FOR SMUDGING:
Cedar: Used for protection
Copal or Pine Sap: Copal is actually a resin but very commonly used in the purification lodge.
Deer Tongue: Burned to inspire luck and love.
Lavender: Promotes spiritual healing, tranquility, higher consciousness, release energy blocks, release tension, calming. Lavender is also used for purification and promoting love.
Palo Santo: Palo Santo also know as “Holy Wood” is a native tree of Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula to Peru and Venezuela that inhabits South America. It is also found in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and on the Galápagos Islands. Palo santo may be burned, similar to incense. In Peru, a shaman, or medicine man, reportedly lights palo santo sticks and the rising smoke will enter the “energy field” of ritual participants to “clear misfortune, negative thought-prints, and bad spirits.
Sage: Used for prayer and purification. Clearing energy.
Sweetgrass: Invites the good spirits to come. Also burned when something good happens to show gratitude to the good spirits. Sweetgrass braids are known to attract positive energy. Many Native tribes use sweetgrass in prayer, smudging or purifying ceremonies and consider it a sacred plant. Just as sage is used to clear negativity, to cleanse, sweetgrass is used to bring positivity.
Sweetgrass represents positivity, strength, connection to the Creator and all our relations.
The scent when burned dry is sweet, reminiscent of our ancestors. When braided, sweetgrass represents love, peace and harmony or mind, body and spirit.
- The Manifestation Mix: sage, sweetgrass, deer tongue and cedar create an energizing atmosphere. Used to promote prayer in manifesting your desires.
OTHER TYPES OF ENERGY CLEARING
To clear yourself:
- Briefly immerse yourself in cold water.
- Scoop up any negative energy with your hands and toss it into the sun.