What is Smudging?
***Affiliate links are used: If you purchase through my links, I will receive a small commission! I only ever recommend products / services that I LOVE and USE myself. The support of you purchasing through my link allows me to continue to pursue my writing dreams! So I thank you for all of your support!!!Cleansing your home and space by burning herbs, aka smudging, is becoming much more popular.
Smudging occurs when burning certain dried herbs to cleanse the energy in your home, office, automobile, or self.
Any residual anger or conflict, illness, negative energy or other evil should dissipate along with the smudge smoke.
While the herbs are burning, the smoke is directed towards areas in need of cleansing, purification, or blessings. Smudge wands are commonly used in this practice. Heavy, negative energy attaches itself to the smoke and leaves the area when the smoke clears. Remember that the clearing occurs with the smoke, not the flame.
It is common to smudge on a regular basis after interacting with people or objects. When obtaining a new object or crystal, it is a good idea to smudge away any lingering energy of whomever handled that object prior.
History of Smudging
Smudging is believed to have started with the Natives of the Americas in which sacred herbs were burned during ceremonies for cleansing, purifying, warding of evil spirits, and blessings. Although, not called smudging by the Natives, the practice of burning the sacred herbs for cleansing and blessings is similar to modern smudging practices.
11 Types of Smudge Bundles and Resins
White sageis the most common herb used in energy clearing. As a great “starter” herb for those new to smudging, white sage has a nice fresh aroma. Found in the high deserts of California and mountains of the US southwest, you may even spot this next to the road as you pass through the area. Please do not stop to pick though, as this is a protected plant.
White sage has become better known for its antibacterial properties taking physical impurities from the air. Energetically, sage smoke removes negative energy, helps with healing, balance, and blessings from an object or person. Try using white sage during meditation to keep the energy surrounding you pure.
Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens) is used in South America to cleanse similar to how white sage is used in North America cleansing. Translated as holy tree, palo santo can only be found throughout Central and South America.
If you are looking for physical healing, palo santo is amazing for the common cold, headaches, inflammation, stress, and other ailments. I personally keep a stick of palo santo in my shower. As the water heats up, the steam releases the healing properties directly to me clearing up much congestion and stress headaches.
Palo Santo is also known to inspire creativity, while bringing love and good fortune while surrounding you with energetic protection and removal of negative energy.
Cedar (Thuja spp.) is perfect for cleansing a new home or office before moving in to protect from unwanted influences. The main types of cedar used are Cedrus, Thuja, Libdocedrus and Juniperus – not technically a cedar, but used as such in the metaphysical community -. Prepare to feel like you just stepped into a forest when working with cedar.
*Combine cedar with white sage for simple renewal, protection, and grounding work.
Sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata) can be found in your local metaphysical shops as long braided grass tied into sections. At first appearance, sweetgrass looks like one spark will send the entire length into a raging fire. No worries, this burns extremely slowly.
As the name suggests, this is burns into a very sweet vanilla scented smoke. Personally, I can only burn for an extremely short time.
Sweetgrass embodies the essence of the feminine and mother Gaia. Use sweetgrass in your blessing work.
Frankincense (Boswellia spp.) will be burned differently as this is a tree resin coming from the African olibanum tree. You should take your mortal and pestle to crush the resin chunks into a powder. Then you will place this powder on a burning charcoal disk. Since charcoal disks last quite awhile, breaking the disk in halves for each use may be preferred. Resins give off a large amount of smoke so be sure to have your windows open and be away from your smoke detector.
The ancient Egyptians believed this resin to cleanse and protect the soul so much so that they used this to embalm their dead. Burn this resin in the room of dying to aid in the passing. Frankincense when used as a sedative is said to ease depression and aid in spiritual clairvoyance.
Frankincense is still used in most major religions today including Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim faiths.
Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) also a resin comes from the Commiphora Mukul tree. You may recognize the medicinal aroma of myrrh now found in many common household items such as toothpaste and skin cream. Myrrh was also found to have been used by the ancient Egyptians during the embalming process.
Add myrrh to your smudge before meditation to align the chakra energy centers and promote healing while working as a sedative to open your spiritual connection.
Yerba Santa (Eriodictyon californicum) has traditionally been used to set boundaries and for protection. Use of yerba Santa centers mainly supports the heart chakra for love, purification, growth, release of emotional pain, and empowerment.
You may also add yerba santa into your smudging when you need encouragement in treating yourself well through self-care and self-love.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) comes from the common marigold. While a beautiful flower, it has many healing properties as well. You can only imagine my delight when I found diaper rash cream with Calendula for my little one! The oils extracted from the flowers have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
To use Calendula as a smudge, you will take the dried flowers and add to your other smudge blends. My favorite to mix is calendula and white sage. These can be burned in a heat safe dish alone or with a charcoal disk.
mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) with its subtle sweet scent is said to aid in stimulating dreams which is extremely helpful when trying to tap into your lucid dreaming. This herb also aids in clarity, deepening intuitive abilities, as well as spiritual cleansing and consecration.
I like to add lavender (Lavandula) to my smudge bundles. Lavender works well with white sage. Lavender brings peaceful sleep, sense of calm, relaxation, and peacefulness.
Lavender will restore balance and recreates a peaceful atmosphere. This brings in loving energy.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is another great herb to add to smudges as it is a powerful that brings clarity to thoughts and issues as well as removes negative energy in the environment. Soothing and clarifying to the user makes this a great herb to use during meditation.
When smudging, do not have any fans going or any open windows that may create a breeze. You are working with an open flame and moving embers that you do not want blown around to flammable areas and items such as window coverings and loose clothing.
Use a heat safe dish when smudging to prevent any accidental fires or surface burns. Abalone shells are the most common vessels used by practitioners. When working with all of the elements, abalone shells represent water.
Example when smudging – you light the smudge (fire), the smudge will create smoke that pulls the energy (air), the abalone shell comes from the ocean (water), and many people put Himalayan salt in their shell as a heat absorbent (earth).
*Most herbs are perfectly safe to burn, but if you are pregnant, you may want to limit your smudging with anything other than white sage. If in doubt, avoid until after pregnancy.
Afterward the Smudge Session
Smudging creates burned ash. Many chose to bury the remaining ashes once done smudging or once a large amount of ash accumulates. As I do not have my own property in which to dig, I chose to release mine to the wind, back to nature on the new moon. I release with blessings and the hope that blessings will come back to me and my family. You will find what works best for you in your practice.
Please do not toss the ash from your sacred work in the trash.
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