The act of smudging is becoming increasingly popular, and you can smudge your space, an object (think crystals), or yourself!
Before we begin, it's important to know that there is no "wrong" way to smudge. Do what intuitively feels "right" to you. There are many different herbs that you can use for smudging and it is a cleansing practice using herbs or sacred wood.
Smudging is a way to clear negative energy and to lift vibrational energy. But did you know that aside from its divine properties, smudge wraps contain certain herbs that may be healthy to burn? For example, a 2007 study found medicinal herbs to reduce airborne bacteria. Other studies show that burning sage may reduce stress and lift your mood.
Prepare to Smudge
A good way to begin would be to open some windows to encourage negative energy to flow out of your sacred space. Then, say a prayer, or ask your spirit guide/angels to help you purify the energy in your space.
Choose a Smudge Stick
Different herbs are used for different purposes while smudging. For example, white sage is used to clear negative energy, while lavender creates a calm, soothing energy. Palo Santo is a good choice for cleansing and healing. Or, for uplifting vibes, you may choose a mixed herb smudge wrap such as our gorgeous locally harvested smudge wraps, that contain pine, mugwort, mullein, and seasonal wildflowers.
Ethically Harvested Smudge Sticks
It's important to choose smudge wraps that are ethically harvested. Because smudging is more popular than ever, there is an increased demand for smudge wraps. Unfortunately, this also means that many smudge wraps and sticks are unethically harvested, for example, from stolen sage plants in northern California state parks.
How to Smudge
After choosing your smudge stick, you'll want to light the end. It will begin to smolder while releasing its cleansing smoke. You'll want to keep your lighter in one hand, because you will need to re-light your smudge stick several times during a smudge ceremony to keep the smoke going. It's also helpful to carry a little fireproof dish to catch any burnt embers. Not only are our soap dishes beautiful, but they are perfect for holding a burning smudge stick and your lighter.
Begin by gently (and slowly) waving the smudge stick with the smoky end towards your body with intention. Circle around your personal space starting at the feet and working your way up, and then back down.
You are now ready to walk around your space with your lit smudge stick. State your intention clearly and focus on it. Gently wave your smudge stick around your space, paying particular attention to nooks and corners. Relight your smudge stick as necessary. Use either a feather or your hand to help direct the smoke to where you want it to go.
You may simply focus on your intention, or you may say a blessing, a prayer, or a mantra, as your smudge your space. Envision a bright white light enveloping your space.
Closing your Smudging Ceremony
Once your smudging ceremony is complete, you may either allow your smudge stick to burn in a fireproof dish until it goes out, or rub it out in a fireproof dish. If you choose to lay it in the dish until it naturally extinguishes, do not leave it unattended.
A preferred way to extinguish a smudge stick is to place it in an airtight jar, such as a mason jar or a clean, previously used food jar. The lack of oxygen will quickly extinguish your smudge stick and will help you prolong its use for future smudging ceremonies.
How often should you smudge?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Follow your intuition and if your space feels "stale" or "negative" then it is probably a good idea to smudge. Other events that may cause you to want to smudge would be:
- Negative events such as arguments, sad events, sickness
- If your energy feels low
- Moving into a new space
- Lunar new year
- New season
- A lot of energy passing through, such as a in a business space
- Psychic disturbance / haunting
- Anytime you want to raise the vibrational energy of a space, object, or your being. (for example, before meditating)
Safety Tips for Smudging
If possible, open windows or a door to encourage fresh air to flow through your space.
Always keep your lit smudge away from fabrics, draperies, curtains, and upholstered furniture. Do not smudge in clothing closets, or anywhere that contains fabrics.
Never leave a burning smudge stick unattended.
Keep away from children.