Smudging is an ancient practice of clearing negative energy from yourself and your surroundings. It involves using the smoke from burning herbs and is often associated with Native American rituals and ceremonies.
What does smudging do?
Smudging can be used for anything from purifying an environment to blessing a person with peace, harmony and positivity.
Different herbs can have different purposes and while some groups favour certain herbs, these same herbs might be considered a taboo with other cultures or traditions.
How do I smudge?
The easiest way to smudge involves using a smudge stick. This is a bundle of dried herbs which are tied together to form a stick. Some smudge sticks include lavender, sage and cedar.
Before you begin, quietly ask yourself why you’re about to smudge and what you wish to achieve. Do you want to actively remove negative energy or bless a person with a fresh start?
With your intentions in mind, light the smudge stick and once it begins to burn, gently blow out the flame. Smoke should come from the stick, creating a stronger fragrance.
With the stick in your hand, slowly swirl it around the room or gently wave it around the person you wish to cleanse or bless.
Some people chant or sing while smudging, while others drum or play music.
You may feel a little silly the first time you do this but try not to worry what you look like. What matters is that you’re creating positive energy and ridding the environment or people around you of negativity.
The smudge stick may produce some ash and so, if you’re indoors, you may wish to hold a bowl underneath it so that the ash doesn’t fall onto the floor.
Once you’ve finished, make sure you stamp on the stick on the ground or in some sand. Don’t throw it away or place it on any fabrics as you could start a fire.
When is the best time to smudge?
- When moving into a new home, smudging can be used to give yourself a truly fresh start
- Smudging can be used to relieve feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, anxiety or tiredness
- If you’ve had an argument at home, smudging can remove negative energies
- If you use crystals, they’ll be most effective if you cleanse them regularly. Smudging can be a great way to do this
- Are you getting married? Before you exchange vows, get someone to smudge the alter