Smudging is One way to energetically cleanse a space to invite positive energy in. When smudging a space, you burn plant material. The smoke fills and purifies the environment.
As the smoke ascends, our wishes and intentions rise and mingle into the universe, connecting heaven, earth and humanity.
Smoke offerings are found in many traditions such as Buddhism, Native American and other spiritual religions. The smoke ceremony creates transformation and blesses a space and the inhabitants.
Before you begin, take time to gather your materials. The mindfulness of a smoke ritual begins when you collect your supplies, so practice this with ease and care. Do not rush this first step. Keep the ritual materials sacred by using them only for space clearing. You can store your other materials on your altar.
There are so many different plant materials you can use for smudging. Some common ones are: sage, cedar, sweet grass and lavender.
My personal favourite is palo santo, a wood from South America. I find that it has a lovely sweet, bright energy to it that’s perfect for everyday use.
White sage is probably 'the' most common and popular herb for smudging. It is associated with purity and useful for when you need a major space cleansing.
CANDLE AND MATCHES
It’s recommended to have a candle nearby to relight the smudge stick during the smudging ceremony. Matches or a lighter is used to light the candle. And you will light the smudge stick with the candle flame.
It's useful to have a fireproof container, like a small clay bowl, to hold the smudge stick (or under it) to catch any ashes or embers. Native Americans use an abalone shell for this, bringing in a water element. I recommend you use a bowl or plate; that you love and only use for smudging ceremonies.
BOWL OF SAND
A bowl of sand is a good idea, as it properly extinguish the smudge stick safely after a ritual is complete.
Allow enough space and time for the ritual so you don’t feel rushed. If possible, meditate for at least five minutes to calm your mind and heart.
If anyone else is present during the ceremony, you can include them in the ritual. Prepare some other clearing tools that they can use while you are smudging. For instance they could work with sound and ring bells or a singing bowl.
Remember when smudging - intention is key. Before you start, take some time to contemplate what you wish for, for your home and family. When you clear your house, there’s a vacuum that’s created. You want to welcome your intentions into a newly cleared clean open space.
Now that you have all your tools and preparations in place, you can begin the smudging ritual.
Start at the front door of the home and light your smudge stick. Then, begin to move around the home. Move mindfully and with care, walking clockwise around the entire perimeter of the home. Be sure to allow the smoke to drift into hidden spaces, like cupboards and dark corners, with stairs just move up and down as encountered, keep moving clockwise until you meet the stairs again. Then continue to go down or up the stairs and resume the main floor. Moving around like this is called “circumambulation”. If it feels helpful you could chant an affirmation or mantra or a prayer that you feel connected to. This is a way to fill the space with more cleansing vibrations.
When reaching the front door, chant your final affirmation, mantra or prayer. Visualize the entire home is filled with bright white sunlight. Then speak your intention one last time to close the smudging ceremony.
Smudging rituals are a beautiful technique to clear a space. This can be done annually or more often. It’s especially powerful to perform when you first move into a home, or on the lunar new year.