Smudging originates in Native American practices, as the act of purifying a room or space with the smoke of sacred herbs as a means of clearing negative energy. But, smudging isn’t only for spaces; it’s also about clearing your body, mind, and spirit to rid of any negativity or pessimism that are compromising your energy and wellbeing.
Smudging is scientifically-proven to release negative ions to which research has proven to be linked to release positive mood receptors in humans. By burning healing herbs and wafting the incense-like smoke around, it’s believed to encourage feelings of wellness and positivity.
The science of smudging is strong, with healers and experts alike asserting that positive ions, and their by-product, free radicals, in the air are unhealthy and polluting to the human body, mind, and spirit.
The art of smudging is administered with the use of smudge bowl and sacred herbs directly lit of burned on a coal tablet. It can also be performed using herbs tied together in bundles – called smudge sticks.
While the methods vary, the concepts are the same: the sacred smoke is used to cleanse an individual or space from moods or dispositions that retract from their wellbeing and higher consciousness. To do this, smoke is ‘washed’ over the person or object with a feather accessory or by fanning the smoke with one’s hand.
Smudging and the Varieties of Blessing Herbs
Sage: removes negativity
Cedar: restorative and transformative
Sweetgrass: gentleness, love, and kindness of Mother Earth
Lavender: protection, cleansing and attracting love
Copal: attracts positivity and good spirits
Myrrh: enlightenment, youthfulness, and truth
How to Perform a Smudging Ritual: Guidelines and Tips
When practicing smudging at home, it’s important to be respectful and handle these sacred herbs according to traditional Native American protocols. The smudging process is sacred and must be treated with reverence.
The smudging ceremony, ideally, ought to be performed when:
· Before and after a guest enters your home
· Before meditation or yoga
· Directly following a heated argument
· Subsequent to any mental or physical illness
· When you move into a space – or returning after an extended period of time
· At the forefront of a new beginning – personal or professional
Smudging processes vary based on their purpose and ceremonial origins. Performing smudging at home can sound a bit intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. To practicing smudging at home, this simple 7-step method is both the easiest and most effective way to rid and cleanse your space of negative energy:
What You Need:
A smudge stick
A fireproof container or bowl
What to Do:
1. Before beginning the ritual, open a window or door.
2. Place the sacred herbs of your choice in an abalone shell or clay bowl.
3. Light the blessing herbs with a match.
4. Gently blow out the flame, allowing to herbs to continue to smolder.
5. Take the smoke and emblematically wash your hands the smoke, submerging your eyes, ears, brain, and heart through the herbaceous fumes.
6. Once finished, you can leave the bowl in a safe secure place and let it burn out, allowing the fragrant vapors to fill the space.
7. Celebrate and treat the leftover herbs with respect, ideally, disposing of them outside and dispersing across the earth.