Smudging is a symbolic exercise common to feng shui practice, many Native American traditions, Pagan/Wiccan practice, and alternative healing practices. It involves burning selected herbs or other materials in a manner that fills your home or self with the fragrance of the smudge stick smoke to clear negative energy. Smudging can sound a bit intimidating to beginners but it is quite easy and completely safe when you follow simple steps.
Smudging is an ancient and sacred ceremony, so it is best to perform it with full awareness and in a slow, mindful manner. Even the happiest homes accumulate negative vibrations over time, so healers and alternative practitioners find it helpful to smudge the home at least several times a year. Some people smudge as much as often as once a day. It all depends on you and how you feel.
When should you smudge? When your home is full of turmoil, after an argument, when you are just feeling "out of sorts", when your kids are acting up, when you are feeling emotional, ALWAYS when you move into a new space or home, after a large gathering at your home or office, when you sense a presence or spirit in your home, or whenever you think you need too. There is never a wrong time to smudge. I also recommend smudging during a full moon. I also smudge myself when I feel emotional.
How to Smudge? Place the candle, the fireproof container and the smudge stick on a table, desk, or any other appropriate surface. It is best to perform smudging at a time when you will not be disturbed. It is best if you create a sense of ceremony when you smudge your home or personal space—allow yourself at least 10 to 15 minutes if you can. I have had to smudge in an emergency and that's ok!!!
Light the candle and say a prayer of your choosing—or just mentally focus your energy. Light the tip of your smudge stick with the candle, then gently wave the smudge stick in the air until the tip begins to smolder.
Hold the smudge stick over the abalone shellat all times to prevent burning or glowing herbs from falling on the floor as you smudge. You can use a feather if you have one, but it is usually sufficient to simply wave your hand through the air gently to waft smoke where you want it. Remind yourself to stay connected to your breathing throughout your smudging session.
Move in a clockwise directionaround your house (usually starting at the front door), and gently wave the smoke into the air. Spend a bit more time smudging the room corners, as they tend to accumulate stagnant energy. Be sure to also open the closet doors and carefully smudge inside. Do not forget about spaces such as the laundry room, the garage, and the basement.
When you have smudged all areas of your house, return to the starting point and gently extinguish your smudge stick. Dipping it into your abalone shell with a small amount of salt while applying a bit of pressure usually works well. Wait a bit, then pack away your smudge and container until your next smudging session. I like to keep mine in a wooden box. If you wish, you can leave the candle burning to continue purifying the space.
How to Smudge Yourself:
It is usually a good idea to smudge yourself, both before and after you smudge the house, when you are feeling negative, after an argument, before making a big decision, when you just "don't feel right", or maybe when you've been put in a negative situation. There may also be occasions when it is appropriate to smudge family members or friends.
Once your smudge stick is lit and smoldering, direct the smoke waves to the overall energy field around your body, starting with the area above your head and continuing down to your feet. Do not forget to breathe deeply as you do this.
Smudging can also be done in the reverse order—starting with the soles of the feet, going up both sides of the legs, torso, arms, and finishing by smudging the space above the head. Choose whatever method feels right for you. The same steps apply when you are smudging another person.
Why do I need salt? Back in the day, people would spread salt around their house in case there were evil spirits hanging out. While some spiritual or religious people may still do that today, there are actually other benefits that come with spreading salt in your home. Salt has been used for thousands of years to protect the home from negative and evil. Once you have smudged your home or space, sprinkle salt around the perimeter of your home (you can do it inside or out) starting at the front door and going in a clockwise direction (I also sprinkle salt in my window sills). While you are sprinkling the salt, say a prayer that you are comfortable with asking for protection of your home and your family.
PALO SANTO: sacred wood that has medicinal, cleansing and therapeutic powers. It helps to fill your home with positive energy. Burn as the last step in your cleansing process as it attracts positive energy and aids in healing after all the negativity has been banished by the sage.
WHITE CANDLE: A lighted candle represents the element of fire. In native North American culture, fire is considered sacred to the gods. As well as having a powerful purifying effect, it is inspiring and can help in times of transformation. Fire brings light, courage and purifies your intention.
WHITE SAGE: A hearty smudge stick hand tied with 100% cotton string. White sage is a cleansing tool used to remove negative energies, purify sacred space and over all spiritual balance.
ABALONE Shell for safe burning
SELENITE CRYSTAL: Symbolize strength and bring the healing energy of the Earth into your space. It has the power to hold your intention and maintain it long after your cleansing takes place.
HIMALAYAN SEA SALT: Acts as a natural purifier when put in your space. It is full of yang energy and helps to absorb the negative energy.