What is smudging?
Smudging is a cleansing ceremony used to rid a person, space, or object of negative energies, spirits, or influences. It is common in many cultures throughout the world and has been practiced for thousands of years. The smudging process involves burning dried sacred herbs, which are often wrapped together in twine. By repeating your intention in the form of an affirmation or prayer, either out loud or in your own mind throughout the ritual, you can release negative energy and manifest positive changes.
How often should I perform smudging?
Smudging can be performed as often as you feel it is needed. Some of the best times to smudge include:
- When you feel energetically drained, overwhelmed, or feel negative energy emitting from your aura, an object, or your environment.
- Moving into a new environment, such as a home or office space.
- During a full moon and new moon ritual, or during any form of healing practice.
- Celebrating a new beginning, relationship, or endeavor.
- After returning from a crowded space, or an environment where there was negative energies or influences.
How is smudging performed?
Smudging must be performed in a well-ventilated area in order to allow the negative energy and smoke to escape. It is important to smudge yourself prior to smudging another object, space, or person.
Light the tip of your smudge stick and allow it to burn (approximately 3-10 seconds for dried herbs, and up to 60 seconds for Palo Santo). Blow out the flame, allowing it to smolder and smoke. Move the smudge stick around, allowing the smoke to fill the space or object of focus. Allow the scent to bring peace, calmness, and clarity throughout your ritual, along with positive energy and feelings.
As you perform the cleansing ritual, repeat your intentions (either out loud or in your own mind), staying focused on the movement of the smoke and welcoming the shift of energy. When you're finished, place the smudge stick on a fire-proof dish and allow it to cease smoking on its own.
What should I use to smudge?
Cedar is known for being one of the four sacred plants used in the Indigenous American medicine wheel. Since cedar is believed to be a tree of protection, healing, wealth, and purification. it is commonly used in ceremonies for protection, renewal, and grounding. Cedar naturally burns much slower than other smudge sticks and is ideal for full smudge rituals. When burning cedar smudge sticks, the smoke will heighten positive energies, remove negativity, and stagnant energy, and enhance the connection to good spirits.
Palo santo, or "holy wood", has been used for thousands of years as an energy cleanser. due to its natural high resin content, it is known for purifying both people and space of negative energies when burned. It has a woody scent with remnants of lemon, pine, and mint. to cleanse a extinguish the flame and gently waft the smoke in the air using your hand or a feather. this ritual will not only remove negativity but also help to attract good fortune.
Juniper is known for being a good luck charm and its ability to attract abundance and prosperity. It has a masculine, protective energy that, when burned, helps to cleanse spaces of any negative, unwanted energies. Once the unwanted energy is removed. Juniper helps to center and detox the environment allowing for positive, healing energy to flow freely. The smoke from Juniper works by attaching to negative and allows it to dispel and transform into universal energy.
Pine, with its intoxicating fragrance, is a herb known for reversing negativity, providing protection, and attracting long-term prosperity. The smoke that's emitted from the herb bundle, has a fresh and aromatically pleasant pine fragrance. it is believed to cleanse negative energy and purify living space (as well as people including objects). it also provides a gentle sense of calm when someone is irritated or upset, but it can also help to spark energy when needed.
Eucalyptus smudge sticks are traditionally used for protection, Spiritual cleansing, and healing. Eucalyptus has a natural ability to dispel negative energies from its immediate environment. making it an extremely powerful cleansing tool (especially when used before rituals or to cleanse altars). with its smoke, it works to renew, purify and heal while alleviating mental exhaustion. Eucalyptus is also known to help reduce symptoms of congestion and relating tension.
Yerba Santa, also known as the "holy herb", is traditionally used for beauty and empowerment, purification, growth, and releasing emotional pain. When burned, it gives off a present and uplifting scent that protects and purifies both yourself and your environment. its smoke not only cleans energy, but it helps to set boundaries and encourage emotional healing.
Rosemary is known for its protective qualities from evil spirits and unwanted energies. As a symbol of remembrance. The earthy smell of rosemary has been used for centuries to improve memory and was traditionally used during burial ceremonies to connect to those who have passed away. Rosemary is a widely used medicinal herb that helps to sterilize and prevent infections from spreading when burned. It also has the same purifying effect on the air.
Mugwort, also commonly know as “dream weed” is a sacred herb that brings clarity and helps to develop psychic abilities. When burned, it has a subtle, sweet scent that can help stimulate dreams. The smoke from mugwort smudge opens up the third eye and will allow you to ease into deeper meditative or trance state. Mugwort is a powerful herb that cleanses the atmosphere of your space - offering spiritual protection. So when you’re in need of something super-heavy-duty, beyond normal white sage smudging, mugwort is perfect.
Bay leaf is know for being a powerful universal herb. It can be used for a wide variety of purposes such as deep purification, exorcism, banishing entities, psychic connection, manifestation, and granting wishes. When burned, the bay leaf releases essential oils that acts as a natural mood booster. It is especially helpful for warding off draining, negative emotions and welcoming in new and uplifting beginnings.
Lemon balm has long been associated with the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter and the Moon. In Magical traditions, lemon balm is dried and burned as an incense to attract love and offer protection from negative energies. German studies show that the essential oils of lemon balm act upon the part of the brain governing the autonomic nervous system and protect the cerebrum from excessive external stimuli.
Peppermint may help to soothe stress, boost energy levels, improve mood and quality of your sleep. The lovely sage scent can be also used as a chemical-free air freshener. Peppermint is known for its antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. The minty, refreshing scent is often used for healing and protection.
Benefits of smudging
Research has shown that scent is one of the most powerful senses to aid in reducing anxiety and stress. Performing a cleansing ritual and focusing on positive thoughts and intentions can be directly linked to the practice of mindfulness and therefore, helpful in reducing stress levels. Smudging has also been found to balance levels of seretonin, promote restfulness, and greatly enhance the quality of sleep.
The team at Quartz Botanica recommend using one of the following affirmations when performing a smudging ritual:
Into this smoke, I release all the energies that do not serve me, all negativity that surrounds me, and all fears that limit me.
May this sacred smoke cleanse away all negative energies. May it open my heart and home to love, light, peace, and harmony.
Smoke of air and fire and earth, cleanse and bless this home and hearth. Drive away all harm and fear; only good may enter here.
I cleanse myself, this sacred space and all of my loved ones within it from negative thoughts, energy and patterns that do not serve our higher good.
Love, light, abundance and positive energy surround me and the space around me.
If you have any questions about the smudging process, feel free to reach out! We're always happy to help.