Smudging is a ritual intended to clear a space of negativity, clear the energy in your personal field, offer a blessing, personal healing, to start anew and is often used while mindfully setting your intentions.
Smudging is done with a smudging stick which is a tightly bundled collection of sacred herbs, the most popular being different varieties of Sage and Sweetgrass. I like to think of it also as transformation and a connection to Mother Earth.
Smudging can sound a bit intimidating and can look unsafe or too complicated to be practiced often. Please be assured this is not the case, and very safe when you follow several simple steps. What is important to accept, though, is that smudging is an ancient and sacred ceremony, so it is best to do it with full awareness and in a slow, mindful manner.
To start the ceremony, the smudge stick is then lit on fire until it ignites and then the fire is quickly extinguished leaving only aromatic smoke. Traditionally a bird feather is used to move the smoke throughout your space or even “washed” over your body, but you may use your hand as well or a small fan as well.
Sage has often been associated with healing and the smoke to send blessings, cleanse a space or an object, and Native American Culture has used sage for healing rituals as well. Sage is used to “wash off” the outside world when one enters a sacred space or when creating a sacred space.
Sweetgrass has a very sweet vanilla-like scent and is the breath of the Earth mother, bringing the blessing of the “Mother’s” Love. Sweetgrass is used to remind us of the essence of the feminine and that the earth provides us with everything we need.
You will need the following supplies to perform your smudging ritual
– Your Smudge Stick
– A Candle or Matches
– A bowl with sand (to extinguish your smudge stick after smudging)
Once your smudge stick is lit, move it slowly through the air to create smoke .You may now say your prayer, set your intention or just focus on your positive or healing energy. If you are smudging your home, move through the house slowly allowing the smoke to drift through every corner. This is a wonderful ritual if you’ve had an argument in the home, or any time you need to clear the energy or space you are living in. Make sure to hold the bowl under your lit smudge stick to avoid any falling pieces. Come back to where you started your cleansing and extinguish the smudge stick in the sand.
I love to smudge when I set my new moon intentions – this is a wonderful ritual I adopted from a good friend and one I look forward to every month. On the new moon I get out my journal (I have one solely for this purpose), light my smudge stick and “wash” myself with the smoke from stick … I usually allow it to continue to burn in my bowl, but you may choose to extinguish it. I start writing my intentions for the coming month and give thanks for all the wonderful things that happened during the last lunar cycle.
Here is a simple smudging “prayer” that I use: I would love to give credit for this prayer but have forgotten where I received it from. I’ve used it since I can remember.
“May the sage cleanse my hands, my feet, my heart, my throat, my eyes, my mind and my soul. Thus, enabling me to see, feel, touch and hear all the beauty of this world.
May this space be cleansed by the smoke of sage in a way that the smoke carries my prayers and intentions to and throughout the Universe.”
I then give thanks for all of the wonderful things in my life and say Amen.
I hope you’ll enjoy the smudging ceremony and the process of intentional practice no matter what that may be for you – Love Kelly xo
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