Smudging Basics - 101
Smudging is a way to clear negative or stagnant energies from either a place or a living being, both spiritually and physically. While you are smudging you are creating a void which needs filled. It is up to you to state your intentions clearly that this void be filled with healing, positive and loving energies. These energies are all around us and in us. Many see these energies originating from God, Goddess, The Divine Source, and on and on. We as humans have many different perceptions of Divinity and for simplicity I will refer to the Divine Source as God.
You should smudge your home, work place (if possible), and yourself plus loved ones on a periodic basis (as often as you feel it is necessary). As I mentioned earlier when you smudge you are removing negative and stagnant energies with the smoke from the smudge stick and making room to invite healing, loving and positive energies to take their place.
To smudge you will need the following:
The most common herbs to smudge with are Sage, Sweet grass and Cedar. Sometimes you will see that Lavender, Copal, Cedar, or Copal have been added to the Sage Stick. The scent or combination of scents you choose in you smudge stick are up to you, as these different combinations are done to offer you the combination of scents that you like.
Lighting Your Smudge Stick
First set your intention in your mind. This is the most important part of smudging. Smudging with clear intent will have the greatest effect. If it is to drive out negative influences and energies from your home then clearly hold that intent in your mind while lighting your smudge stick. Whatever your intent is, hold it in your mind and speak it out loud as you light your smudge stick. Also invite any higher powers in to assist you, if you want.
Smudge sticks are burned just as you would wand incense. Light one end of the smudge stick. Once you have flames gently blow on the flames until your smudge stick is smoldering like an incense wand. If you do not want to blow on it, then gently wave the smudge stick in the air until the flames are out and the smudge stick is smoldering like an incense wand. While smudge stick is burning you must have a non-flammable bowl underneath it to catch the ashes. This can be any kind of non-flammable container or abalone shell.
What To Do When You Are Done
When you are done, if you have some remaining smudge stick you can put it out, like a cigar or cigarette, and save it for later. Or you can simply place it in a non-flammable container where it feels right to you, and let it finish burning. You should take the ashes, once they are not smoldering, outside and offer them back to the Earth, giving thanks to God.
Smudging Your Home
Your home is your sanctuary and sacred space, no matter what spiritual path you follow. It is where you go at the end of the day to unwind, relax and find peace. Your home is where you cook your meals and sleep. Your home is the place where you should feel at ease and secure.
Start at the highest point of your home, in the case of homes with more than one story, in the west. Fan the smoke from your smudge stick with a feather or your hand, while walking in a counter clockwise direction. Do this in each room, on each floor, in a counter clockwise direction, starting in the west. You are moving in the proper direction to banish all negative energies, influences and spirits. While you are doing this imagine (or visualize) the positive healing and loving energies of God taking the place of all you have sent away with the sacred smoke from your smudge stick.
Fan the swirls of smoke around your body beginning at your head and moving down to your feet. Focus on those areas where there has been or is physical, emotional, or psychic discomfort or pain. Imagine that all the negative thoughts, emotions and energies that have attached themselves to you are being carried back to God on the sacred smoke from your smudge stick to be recycled into positive things for the good of all and harm to none. For example if you are feeling depressed you could visualize the sacred smoke carrying away all your feelings of depression.
It is common, and very often required, to smudge guests as they enter the sacred space for a ritual, ceremony or special event. Smudge as if you are smudging yourself, fanning the smoke all over them, from head to foot. You can speak your intention if you feel comfortable with it. For example "Allow this sacred smoke to cleanse you physically and spiritually".
Healing Work And Smudging
While you are doing healing work on someone fan the sacred smoke over their body from head to foot. Concentrate on areas of the body where you feel guided to by Spirit (God). This clears out all unhealthy energies, while allowing the special attributes of the herbs to go to work. Another suggestion is to direct the smudge smoke into each of the person's chakras while visualizing each chakra coming into perfect balance as the chakra(s) are cleansed and purified by the smudge.
With crystals it is a good idea to thank the crystal(s) for all their past, present and future service. Let them know they are appreciated. Then fan the sacred smudge smoke over the crystal(s). This can be done with any object that is of importance to you.
Where To Get Your Smudging Supplies
We offer a wide variety of smudging supplies here at our online store, just click on this sentence for our smudge supplies page. We welcome the opportunity to be of service to you. You are important, appreciated, and play an important part in the lives of those around you...especially your loved ones.
Rev. Joe Estes
Pagan Presence, Inc.
April 8, 2010