Smudging is an ancient Native practice for purifying and keeping one’s space sacred. Smudging is a ceremony which involves the burning of sacred herbs or resins. In some cases the the ceremony is for spiritual cleansing or blessing, but the purposes and particulars of the ceremonies, and the substances used can vary widely between tribes, bands and nations.
The burning of the leaves symbolizes the breath of the Great Spirit and the forces of Mother Earth. As the smoke rises, it takes our prayers and intentions to the Creator.
Traditionally, when herbs are gathered for use in a ceremony, great care is taken to determine the time of day, month, or year when the herbs should be collected; for example, some are to be gathered at certain phases of the moon 🌙, at dawn or evening, or according to yearly cycles. The potency of herbs can vary at different times of the year.
Sage is the plant most commonly used as it is considered the great purifyer; clearing negative energy or low frequency energy within a person’s energy field, living or working space. Tobacco is also commonly used as it was a plant that was readily available in this native culture.
Sweetgrass is traditionally braided to symbolize the intertwining link between Body, Mind and Spirit. When used as a smudge, it invites the energy of Great Spirit for a blessing.
Cedar brings in grounding energy of Mother Earth, Lavender unites and
raises consciousness, and Lemongrass increases the vibrational energy with regards to intent.
Not all Native American or First Nations, Inuit or Metis (FNIM) cultures that burn resins or herbs for ceremony call this practice “smudging”.
Incense, or scented smoke is also used in religious and spiritual rites; it is an element common to many different cultures worldwide. However, the reasons, the details, desired effects and spiritual meaning are usually unique to the specific culture. The types of resins, herbs, incense chosen are often what is commonly available to the local region.
Why Learn to Smudge?
Smudging clears negativity. It is the fastest most effective way to clean and clear the energy field (aura) that surrounds our physical body. We can smudge ourselves or others; this can be especially helpful during an illness or prior to treatments). We can smudge our homes, place of work, plants 🌱, animals, crystals or anything that needs cleansing.
This practice has also been used to help clear unwanted spirits from homes or properties. It can also enhance meditation 🧘♀️. During group meditations or ceremonies it is a pleasant ritual to perform on each other. Smudging is also helpful to use before and after meditations or healing sessions. Always remember- this is a sacred practice- to be performed with the utmost respect and from your heart. ❤️
Personally when I smudge, I like to call upon Archangel Michael for assistance. Archangel Michael’s name means “he who is like God” or “he who looks like God”. Archangel Michael is a leader among archangels. He oversees lightworker’s life purpose. Michael guides and directs those who feel lost, or stuck with respect to their life purpose.
He is a great protector; his chief function is to rid the earth and its people of the toxins associated with fear. You can call upon Archangel Micheal to assist in the clearing of negative energy surrounding yourself, others or a space.
How to Smudge:
Take a small amount of one or more of these dried plants and place into a small bowl, clay or pot. Ensure the bowl will not burn. Do not use plastics. Light the mixture and fan the entire body; begin at the head and work your way down to the feet; use a feather, your hand or your breath. Smudge underneath each foot as well. For sweetgrass, light the braid and smudge separately. The sweetgrass is to be used to bring forth a blessing after the initial clearing has been completed.Personally I like to include at prayer at this time. When finished allow the mixture to burn out. Release the old ashes back to Mother Earth with gratitude.
with great love & blessings,
B.A.,RP-CRA, Intuitive Healer, Usui & Kundalini Reiki Master, Spiritual Guidance Coach, Intuitive Medium, Author