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I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to clear the negative energy from 2022 from my body, family, and house. It’s been one hell of a year where we all got sucker punched! I’m glad the year is over and praying this year won’t be so intense with life-altering events.
An ancient process called smudging clarifies old energy and invites new positive energy. Although studies on the health effects of smudging are lacking, I found one study that validated that natural smoke products have some benefits.
“wood and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herb on aerial bacterial population caused over 94% reduction of bacterial counts in one hour (60 minutes), and the air remained disinfected and clear for up to 24 hours. “
There is no doubt that medicinal herbs promote healing; however, some studies referenced in other articles on the health effects of smudging referenced the healing properties, but if you read the studies, they site the herbs were ingested in some form, such as a tea or capsule versus burned. I am pointing this out for transparency reasons, as the two are different.
On the other hand, sometimes we need to have faith that the ancient Elders and Spiritual Leaders of the First Nation people knew what they were doing by burning herbs to purify, clear negative energy, and bless a space.
Smudging is a tradition that is common to First Nations tribes. It involves one or several medicinal herbs, including woods and resins gathered from the earth. The four most common sacred herbs used in First Nation ceremonies are tobacco, sage, cedar, and sweetgrass.
The most popular plant used for smudging is sage. Sage is known for clearing out negative energy and purifying people and spaces. However, it’s important to note that white sage, the most popular herb in First Nation tribal ceremonies, has been over-harvested in the west, southwest, and Mexico.
The popularity of white sage is in high demand by non-First Nation people internationally. Because I don’t want to support or encourage this sacred plant’s continued over-harvesting and/or poaching, I don’t use white sage. An alternative is Mediterranean sage, also known as common garden sage. The chemical properties between the two plants are similar and will still do what we ask the plant for energy to do. Purify and clear our space.
Other commonly known herbs are not always connected to smudging but offer the same energetic properties — herbs such as rosemary, lavender, and Palo Santo wood. I’ll share a list of herbs and spices that you can burn.
Purpose of Smudging a House
Smudging is a great practice that can substantially impact your physical, spiritual, and mental health. It reduces illness and helps promote mental clarity while reducing anxiety and stress.
Regular smudging can also help lift your mood and leave you feeling lighter, more positive, and more connected to yourself and those around you.
According to the Smudging Protocol and Guidelines published for School District №58 in British Columbia, Canada, their Elders/Spiritual Leader’s rationale for the cleansing process is as follows:
We smudge to clear the air around us.
We smudge to clean our minds so that we can have good thought of others.
We smudge our ears so that we will only listen to positive things about others.
We smudge our whole being so we can portray only the good part of ourselves through our actions.
We smudge to cleanse negative energy within our own being or any negative energy in a space.
The smudging ceremony allows people to stop, slow down, be present, and be mindful so they can ground themselves, reconnect with themselves so they can, focus, let go, and rebalance their energy.
How To Smudge Your Home Or Space
Smudge Stick or Loose Leaf? Smudging your home or space is essential for creating a sacred and peaceful area. It’s a widespread practice in spiritual circles, and with good reason — the smudging prayer combined with burning herbs or smoldering smudge sticks can help bind us to a higher power while realigning our energy.
To start smudging your living space, add a loose-leaf herbal blend or smudge stick to a heat-proof bowl and allow it to smoke.
I prefer using loose-leaf herbs that sit on top of a charcoal disk. These disks are orderless and chemical-free and will allow your herbs to smolder longer rather than creating a small fire in a bowl. In addition, you can control the amount of herbs you want to burn versus a smudge stick that may continue to burn after your smudging is done. I find this wasteful.
If using a loose-leaf herbal blend, place the disk in an incense burner, light it, and let it smoke for a few minutes before sprinkling herbs on top.
I like to use a small cast iron burner with a lid. That way, I can walk through rooms without worrying about burning embers flying out and causing a fire. For other containers, such as a seashell, be careful. Heat can crack the shell and cause a fire. Safety first when smudging!!
When smudging a room, some ancient traditions recommend circularly moving the smoldering bowl and saying your prayer as you move through your space. Feather fans are also used to help the smoke penetrate through the room.
Remember to smudge entry doors into your home (e.g., front and back doors), hallways, kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, and walk-in closets. These are all spaces that can trap negative energy.
Smudging House Blessing
Kiera Fogg’s book Sacred Herb Bundles For Energy Cleansing explains that you should also say a prayer or blessing when smudging your home.
“A sacred prayer is a call to the Universe designed to accompany your ritual and reflect the specific intentions you have set.”
So ask yourself, what is your purpose for burning herbs? If you want to say a prayer or blessing, Kiera recommends you say it at a minimum once while smudging and several times throughout your day after you are done.
Here are some of her examples from her book.
“Thank you for the miracles, all in your perfect ways and all in your perfect timing.”
Receiving Divine Abundance
“Thank you for the divine health, wealth, and abundance that flows to me in all ways.”
Releasing Unhealthy Attachments
“I fully and freely release that which no longer serves me. All is well.”
“I choose to release the opinions of others. It bears no weight on my self-worth.”
“I love my body, and my body loves me in return.”
“God speaks through me.”
If none of these prayers or blessings resonate, then you can write your own prayer. Kiera suggests the following when writing your prayer or blessing:
1. Set a clear intention. What specific outcomes do you wish to manifest?
2. Decide on two or three keywords related to your intention.
3. Write one or two sentences that succinctly reflect your desired outcome. This statement should be made with gratitude as if it has already occurred.
Alternatives to White Sage For Smudging
First Nations have certain herbs that are considered sacred herbs for their ceremonies- herbs such as sage, cedar, sweetgrass, juniper, and lavender. These herbs, in particular, release bad energy from the space home and invite new energy.
However, don’t be limited to those previously mentioned sacred herbs. There are thousands of herbs and herbal blends that you can make or purchase. I’ve used the following blend, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, olive leaves, and rose petals. I’ve also used Palo Santo wood as a single herb.
Here are some medicinal herbs, flowers, and spices that have a pleasant fragrance and powerful metaphysical properties and are appropriate for smudging. (Sourced from Sacred Herb Bundles For Energy Cleansing pg. 27)
Apple — Love, beauty, wisdom
Chamomile — Peace, purification, protection
Lotus Flower — Rebirth, fortitude divinity
Basil — Health, happiness, protection
Clover — Faith, hope prosperity
Lemon — Purification, protection, energy boost
Rosemary — Focus, mental clarity, health
Cinnamon — Love, success, prosperity
Lavender — Love, relaxation, serenity
Dill — Luck, romance, prosperity
Eucalyptus — Health, purification, protection
Ginger — Passion, progress, prosperity
Hibiscus — Passion, femininity, creativity
Peppermint — Prosperity, growth, renewal
Palo Santo — Stress release, protection, good fortune
Rose — Love, happiness, friendship
Sage — Purification, protection, wisdom
Sweetgrass — Peace, purification, positive energy
Vanilla — Love, peace, good fortune
Yarrow — Courage, wisdom, protection
If you’re looking for a way to clear the energy in your space, invite positive energy, and offer a blessing or prayer. Smudging may be for you. This ancient practice has been used for centuries to purify one’s home or space many benefits come along with it. After smudging, people often report feeling better, lighter, more positive, and more connected.
If you want to learn more about smudging, I recommend two books on the topic that I have found helpful in making my own blends for burning.
Sacred Herb Bundles For Energy Cleansing: Your Guide to a Powerful Healing Practice to Purify, Bless and Inspire by Kiera Fogg (2019)
The Healing Power of Smudging: Cleansing Rituals to Purify Your Home, Attract Positive Energy, and Bring Peace into Your Life, by Rodika Tchi (2017)
Have you tried smudging before? What benefits have you noticed? Let me know in the comments.
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