I get a lot of questions about smudging, how I do it, why I have this habit and how to make the bundle / stick I smudge with. Your questions led me to writting this post so, if you still have any doubts after reading it, please share them with me by the end of the post.
Smudging is the act of burning special healing herbs as part of a cleansing ritual to clear energies, air or a physical space.
According to Marika Messager, at the Numinous, smudging can be seen as the psychic equivalent for “washing your hands before eating” and it has science proved facts: as stated by Prof. Chandra Nautiyal, smoke from some herbs can even change the molecular structure of air and energy. Smoke attaches itself to negative energy and when smoke dissipates, negative energies dissipate as well.
Studies show that burning some plants can reduce bacteria in the air, even after that smoke has gone.
More sceptically speaking, when burned, sage and other herbs release negative ions, which are linked to a more positive mood. How? Smoke increases the oxygen supply in the brain, producing muscle relaxation and, therefore, a happier, more relaxed self.
Personally, I feel the energy shifting around me when I smudge with sage or palo santo and I don’t skip this ritual, at least, on a weekly basis. I use both a homemade sage bundle and a palo santo stick, choosing one over the other when I feel like it.
It is nice to smudge before/after healing practices like yoga, meditation, self-love rituals, after an argument, when you move to a new living or working space, before a special event, whenever you feel down or are surrounded by stagnant energies.
You can smudge daily, weekly or simply when you feel like it. You can also not smudge if you don’t like, believe or feel it, has it is a very personal practice. I believe you can, of course, Please Consider it and try it but, as always, it is totally up to you.
I like to start with an intention while I’m lighting the stick. Think of what you want to cleanse and how you visualize the outcome.
You should be in a good and peaceful place/mood and focusing on cleasing the negative energies and replacing them for positive ones throughout the whole ceremony.
- MAKE IT WORK!
Light up the tip of the smugding bundle or stick with a lighter or candle, let the flame rise energetically and fan the burning side so it starts to smoke (you shouln’t blow it yourself since it can contaminate the smoke and energy of the whole pratice). Repeat until you see red choals, since this keeps the stick smoking for longer.
I like to play nice soothing music during the ceremony, stronf noises are not advised.
Always start by clearing your energies first, gently waving the smoke around you, up and down, 360º around yourself clockwise, and then do the reverse. Meanwhile, ask so that your energies are cleaned and you don’t attract any of the ceremony’s “left-over” energies.
- ROOM / HOUSE
To smudge a house or a room, start in the furthest corner and make your way towards the windows, so energies leave as well as the smoke (windows can be open). Special attention to corners, doors, closets. Continuously focus on cleansing the energies, visualise the room being protected and good vibes to come and stay. Finish it by saying a final sealing prayer.
I like to start by bringing the smudging stick close to one’s heart, go up to the head and make my way down, always visualising the person surrounded by warm loving energy. From the shoulders down and from the waist down. You can bring the smoke to the chakras and cleanse each one individually.
I feel like clearing a bit the room after smudging the person so that the energies don’t stay in the room.
- THE END
Put the smudging bundle or stick on a fire-proof surface, like sand, earth, a shell or a natural ceramic plate. I use a shell I love and the most common is an abolone shell but you don’t find them in Portugal. Do not wet the stick and let it go on until the smoke goes out or, very gently, press the smoking tip on the surface to keep from smoking much longer. Keep the smudging material on an open shelf, if possible, close to your special amulets and above shoulder height.
HOW TO MAKE A SAGE BUNDLE
It may sound difficult at first but I assure you that it is easy and you’ll get even better with each bundle you make.
You’ll need sage and/or other herbs (check here a list of herbs and their uses) and a long piece of cotton string, all natural and, preferably, organic.
Harvest the sage or buy it, always organic – you don’t want to burn all those nasty chemicals during your cleansing ceremony, right? – and make it while still fresh. Choose the biggest leaves and stalks.
Be in a mentally good place while making the bundles. Remember they will have a powerful role cleansing all energies.
- Get all the stalks + leaves together and hold them with the chubiest stalks in your hand. Keep it tight and start from the bottom, crossing the bundle with the cotton string until you reach the upper part.
- Twist the cord and come down, crossing tightly and making sure no leaves stay out from the bundle. If so, holf them in and cross the string over it.
- Knot the root of the bundle very tight – the leaves will dry and loose volume – and cut the ends of the cotton string. Optionally, trim away the top of the bundle, like shown in the photo.
- Let the bundle dry in a well ventilated place. You can hang it so it dries a bit faster. When completely dry (check the interior), it is ready to use.
I hope this article helped demystifying smudging and that you try it, at least one time 🙂
Show me your bundles by tagging them on instagram with #pleaseconsiderliving.