Smudging is a Native American ritual of using sacred energy of plants to clear negative energy from a space, person or object. Namely, Native Americans believe that plants have spirits and they call upon their spirits in order to perform this cleansing process. The process looked like this: They would place herbs and resins in a special bowl, light them, and call upon the spirits within the plants to perform the process of cleansing.
We can also perform this process of cleansing by using smudge sticks. Smudge sticks are made of bundles of dried herbs bound together by a thread. You just light them and set an intention for the practice.
If you sense bad energy in a new place, you can simply pull out a bundle of sage or whatever herb you prefer, and begin the healing ceremony.
If you want to find out more of the power of the plants you need to know that ancient tribes used smudging for various purposes such as:
- Mental, emotional and physical healing
- Clearing negative energy
- Guidance and protection
- Religious ceremonies
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HOW TO MAKE SMUDGE STICKS
There are two options:
- You can buy them at a local natural shop or
- You can do them yourself
If you want to do them yourself you need to:
- Cut the plant material of your choice into sticks
- The sticks need to be 7-10 inches long
- Measure a piece of thin thread that’s 4 times the length of the cut branches.
- Start wrapping the thread tightly around the base of the bundle.
- The tips of the brunches need to be pointed down
- Slowly make your way toward the tip of the branches while wrapping the cord around the bundle and pressing the branches together firmly. Work your way back toward the base, and then tie the cord together. You can trim the edges if you prefer, but this step isn’t necessary
- Leave the smudge stick to dry for 7-10 days
WHAT PLANTS YOU CAN USE FOR SMUDGING
sage — negative energy clearing
sagebrush — to treat wounds + headaches + colds
cedar leaf — cleansing + purification
pine needles — cleansing + purification
balsam fir — cleansing + purification
sweetgrass — healing + purification + brings positive energy
mugwort — lucid dreaming + purification + calming
juniper — cleansing + purification
holy basil (tulsi) — purification + calming
rosemary — protection
lavender — calming
mullein — cleansing sickrooms + heals/improves respiratory function
rose petals — meditation + calming + attracts love
desert chaparral — negative energy clearing + protection + calm
peppermint — healing + protection
yarrow — eliminates toxins from the body
lemon balm — spiritual cleansing + calm
HOW TO PERFORM THE PROCESS OF SMUDGING
- First, you’ll need to light the tip of the smudge stick. Once it has a nice flame, blow it out so the smudge stick is smoking.
- To catch the ashes, bring along a bowl or other fire-safe container.
- Then, you simply set your intentions, and fan the smoke around the room or person you’re cleansing using either a feather or your hand.