Smudging is an ancient Native American practice of spiritual cleansing and blessing and involves burning of certain dried herbs. The burning of herbs and resins for purification or blessings has been used in many cultures around the world. Smudging is the Native American way of using the power of herbs for cleansing and blessing. It is a very simple yet effective method of clearing a place, an object or a human being of negative energies. The most common plant used for smudging is sage, specifically white sage. Dried sage stems and leaves are bundled together and bound tightly into what is known as a smudge stick.
Smudging Jewelry, Stones, and Other Items
You can clear your jewelry and other items by passing them through the smoke of white sage. Simply hold a smudge stick in one hand and pass the items you want to clear through the rising smoke provided they are small enough to do so. Just move the smudge stick over and around the objects until you feel that all the negativity has been cleared. Always beware of falling embers that might burn delicate items. All healing tools should be smudged after each use.
This can be done indoors or outdoors, while dressed or naked. When smudging yourself or others make sure you do not burn clothes. Some textiles are so sensitive to heat that the shortest contact with a tiny ember will immediately produce a large hole in the garment.Stay well away from clothes and hold a bowl under the burning smudge stick as you wave it around. Naked smudging is said to be more intense and more cleansing. Smudging is best done in standing. Pass the smudge stick through your aura beginning from your feet and working your way up to the head or vice versa. Cover the whole front of your body, your sides and as much of the back of your body as you can reach if you are working on your own. It is much easier to do this with a partner who can help you with smudging your back. Or you simply take turns in smudging each other.
Smudging a Space
For a quick yet efficient cleansing of the energy in your home or space, light a smudge stick and go around the place while waving the smudge stick through the air. To avoid damage to your home hold a bowl or a fireproof vessel underneath the smudge stick so that falling burning embers cannot damage furniture and surfaces. Do this is a quiet state and allow yourself to be drawn to areas of heavy energy and negativity. You will soon get a feel of it. Typically, where the energy is heavy and negative you will be drawn to smudge longer. Sometimes the smudge stick will burn more intensely, when there is negative energy around emitting large quantities of smoke or making loud cracking sounds. When there is resistance to clearing or strong negativity the smudge stick may go off several times and may need to be relit. Move around the whole room or house smudging every corner and nook and cranny until you feel the energy is clear. Warning: in some houses this may set off your fire alarm. So take care of your fire alarm before you begin.
- Light the candle and say a intention or just focus your energy. Light the tip of your smudge stick with a candle light, then gently wave the stick in the air till the tip begins to smoulder.
- Hold the smudge stick over the fireproof container at all times in order to avoid any lit herbs falling on the floor . You can use a feather, if you have one, but usually just gently waving your hands to disperse the smoke is enough. Remind yourself to stay connected to your breathing throughout your smudging session.
- Go clockwise around your house (usually starting at the front door), and gently wave the smoke into the air. Spend a bit more time smudging the room corners, as they tend to accumulate stagnant energy.
- When you have smudged all areas of your house, come back to where you started and gently extinguish your smudge stick (dipping it into sand while applying a bit of pressure usually works well).