Smudging is one of my favorite things to do and it has become part of my everyday life. People often ask why I have so much sage and palo santo laying around. I like to keep a supply as I use if often for so many things, myself and events.
Smudging has been used in Feng Shui practices, many Native American traditions and alternative healing practices. It involves burning selected herbs or sticks that are filled with fragrance and through the use of smoke, it is thought to clear negative energy. To perform smudging, it can date back to an ancient and sacred ceremony so it is best to perform in a slow, mindful manner. Over time, we can accumulate negative energy, a home can take it in, objects, as well as animals and other possessions. It is helpful to smudge a home at least a several times a year. Some can smudge once a week or you can do it when you feel the time is right. If you are moving into a new space, it is best to remove the old energy and bless the area to make it your own.
To gather supplies and to turn it into a ceremonial affair, there are four easy supplies to have handy:
Smudge Stick, Sage loose or in a bundle
Candle and matches
Bowl to extinguish the smudge after completion
Herbs that can be used when smudging: Sage, Cedar, Sweetgrass, and Lavender. I like to add Frankincese incense to the mix when burning too. As you prepare to clear space, use your intuition to guide you as to where the energy needs to be removed. Set intention that only the highest of good can come into this space or into the object and come from a place of white light. Stay protected in the white light when doing the clearing. By doing this, ask that you be encompassed by white light in front, behind and all around you. Ground yourself to mother earth and ask for protection as well as only the highest of good to come in.
Light the candle and light the incense. Once lit, you can pass your object through the smoke of the incense or if you are clearing an area, using a feather as another tool to add to your toolkit to help move the smoke. Make sure you keep the incense in a fireproof container to prevent burning or glowing herbs to disburse. Stay grounded, continue to breathe and allow the lower energies to be released. If you are working in a home, move in a clockwise position, usually starting from the front door and working around. You may want to open the windows too when performing as it allows the old energy to release outside. Spend time behind the doors, in cupboards, inside closets and don't forget all rooms including laundry rooms, garage, basement etc... When you have finished the smudging, return to the starting point and extinguish the smoke bundle. Dip into a bowl with sand, give gratitude and send positive intentions to the new clean area as well as being grateful for the opportunity to be surrounded in the light.
If you are smudging another person, wave the smoke over the entire body. Make sure you get under the soles of the feet, up both sides of the legs, torso, arms and finishing by smudging the space above the head. When you smudge yourself, it is like staring with a clean palate and then you are the creator of the picture.
There is no set time of when smudging needs to be done. If you are new to smudging, I might suggest to try it on a full moon. It allows for expansion and clearing away the old energy from the month before, allows you to feel lighter and be in a place to start again. Whatever your reason is to smudge, incorporate it in your practice and notice how much lighter you can feel and engulf in the power it can hold.