Many folks come into Curio, Craft & Conjure looking for smudging herbs because they moved into a new space.
There is something within each of us that connects smoke with spirituality. Smudging is a powerful way to clear stagnant energies and bring renewed wellness into your living and workspace.
In Native American traditions, it’s seen as a bridge to the higher realms, a way to bring in good spirits and dispel the negative or stagnant ones. In other earth-based traditions, the belief continues that the smoke carries our prayers to the spirit world. The most common smoke-purification ritual is a technique called smudging. When you make the connection that different cultures across multiple continents use a particular method, it indicates that it yields tangible benefits. The potency of this practice reveals itself as you work with it.
Today, I’ll share how you can explore the wisdom behind it.
Traditional smudging is the ritualistic burning of herbs and/or plant resins in a shell while prayers of gratitude are spoken. Traditionally, the smoke is fanned using a feather and directed over a person (or throughout your space). The idea here is to wash away impurities, sadness, anxieties, dark thoughts, or any unwanted energies and emotions that are clinging to a space or person.
In Native traditions, this is often done before a ceremony or special gathering. (I’ll often do this after an argument with my son to literally “clear the air.”) I also suggest smudging when relocating into a new home and at the end of the cold season to re-invigorate your space (there are other occasions – the possibilities are endless!)
Centuries of wisdom are woven into the process, and there is symbolism that supports each of the objects used in smudging.
A common practice in earth-based traditions is to include each element metaphorically. Each of the materials involved in this practice represents one of the four primary elements.
- The shell represents water
- The herbs (or resins) represent the earth,
- The feather represents air
- The flame used to ignite the herbs represents fire
Sometimes only one specific herb is burned, but at Curio, Craft & Conjure, we’ve created a carefully prepared mixture that supports a particular outcome. Our Special Blend is excellent to be used to clear your space of the energetic impurities that come with bad habits, thoughts, or ideas as well creating a space for joy and peace.
It’s important to be fully present and hold a focused intention while you perform a smudging (or any ritual.)
1) You’ll need a shell, your dried herb (or a blend) of choice, a flame, and a larger feather.
2) Only the leaves are used, so be sure to separate the stems from the leaves of your herbs and place the leaves into your shell.
3) If you are inside, open the windows, creating airflow.
4) Light the herbs and let them burn for 20 seconds before sweeping your hand above them to extinguish the fire. (Never use your breath to blow the fire out, as it blows away your intention.)
5) Make sure your breathing is slow and relaxed. Using your feather, draw the smoke around you. Start at your head and bring the smoke over and down your torso, down to your feet. After smudging yourself, move on to others or your surrounding space.
6) If clearing your space, once you are finished with yourself, use your feather to waft the smoke gently into the corners of the room and over any plants or pieces of furniture. Be present with the smoke and watch how it behaves and flows around specific objects. Notice that it moves differently as it touches certain things. Where the smoke settles tells you of the amount of dense energy there.
7) Once you have finished, take the ashes outside and leave them on the earth. Many traditions believe that the residue carries its own energy and must be given back to the earth for transmutation.
Making Smudging a regular practice can enhance your life on many levels, so don’t wait until you move to start smudging!