Historically people have burnt dried plants, woods and incense in rituals to create smoke for cleansing and medicinal purposes. Indigenous Americans used a technique called the Sacred Smoke Bowl Blessing, which we have now come to know as Smudging.
Healing plants like Sage, or wood such as Palo Santo are burnt, and when the flame is extinguished they produce smoke which can be gently wafted around to cleanse and purify yourself and your environment.
What does the smoke from a smudge stick do?
In traditional cultures the healing smoke was used to create a bridge to the higher realms and connect us with the spirit world and unseen forces of nature. The smoke from smudging is medicinal; it purifies the air while clearing emotional negativity and helps us to create the right environment to bring what we desire into our lives.
How to smudge
There is lots of information online about how to use smudging sticks which can be used as a guide, however smudging is often a personal ritual which will be unique to each individual.
As a rule of thumb it is good practice to do the following when you start to smudge
- Set your intentions
- Create ventilation for negative energy to be released.
- Have a safe place to rest your smudge stick or incense
White Sage Smudge sticks are good for purification & clearing negative energies
How to set intentions before smudging
By setting intentions before smudging you can call on the universe to help cleanse and purify the air, release negative energy or smudge as part of a ceremony or ritual to bring specific things that you want into your life
For example your intention might be to bless a new home that you have just moved into. You could focus on clearing any negative and stagnant energy and inviting in positivity and abundance. You can state your intention out loud or inside your head.
Here are some examples of places you might want to smudge and what your intention might be:
- Smudge your workspace and ask for creativity while you work
- Clear negative energy from an area where you have had an argument and ask for peace to return
- Invoke a feeling of love in your bedroom to promote strong sexual relations
- Bless yourself with the smoke and ask for balance and clarity in life
- Ask the universe to bring you a new love or more money
The list of how you can use smudging is endless and will be unique to you and to what you want to achieve in life.
How to create ventilation before Smudging
You should always make sure you have a window or a door open when you are smudging. In this way you are allowing an outlet for the negative energy you are clearing to leave the space.
The healing smoke from your smudge stick will rise up and cling onto the negative ions in the air and it will need to have a route to escape the room. Once you have smudged and the smoke has dissipated through the window, you should be able to feel a change in the energy in the room.
Have a safe place to rest your smudge stick or incense
You can buy a specialised Abalone shell to rest your incense in or you can use any other suitable inflammable pot or plate you have available. An ashtray, a saucer or a small bowl will work fine.
You may want to rest your smudge stick or incense while it is still burning, so make sure you can put it somewhere to smoulder that won't cause a fire hazard.
Does smudging actually work?
Ancient art forms such as smudging are often overlooked by people today as nonsensical, but if you’re not already a convert to smudging, you may be surprised to know that science is beginning to show there are health benefits in using medicinal smoke. In one study there was a 94% reduction of bacteria an hour after treating a room with the smoke from a mixture of woods and medicinal dried herbs.
What type of smudge stick should I use?
All smudge sticks will help to cleanse and purify your environment, but if you have specific desires that you would like to achieve here are some examples of which type of smudging stick could be more useful
Invoke personal transformation, ask for what your heart desires and attract good energy
Releases negativity, brings in the positive, creates the energies of protection, calmness, peace and love
White Sage & Lavender
Palo Santo Sticks
Reduces stress and anxiety. Welcomes in creativity and good fortune, clarity and concentration.
You can learn more about different types of smudging and incense sticks here