What is Smudging? Can I Benefit From It?
Have you heard of smudging before? If not, you may be interested in adding it to your spiritual practice.
Smudging has been used for thousands of years by indigenous cultures around the world and has recently become a popular trend among Western audiences.
Smudging generally means burning bundles of herbs or plants, such as sage or palo santo, and letting the smoke from the bundle cleanse your house, spiritual area, or even your own body. It can also alter the energetic vibrations and frequency surrounding you and your space.
Let’s look at what smudging does, how to perform different cleansing ceremonies, and some of the benefits you can receive from smudging.
What Does Smudging Do?
Smudging can be used for a variety of reasons.
Traditionally, specific smudge bundles that include sage were and are still used in Native American ceremonies for various reasons including expelling malignant spirits from a person or area.
In alternative health circles, another reason to use smudging is to cleanse a space. This can be your office space, your bedroom, or even your entire house!
Some people use smudge bundles to cleanse their auras or energies or that of their friends or family members. This is generally done by allowing the smoke to wash over your body or by using your hand or a feather to help push the smoke around your body.
I like to use it in combination with crystals to help increase self-love, cleanse, disconnect, and protect myself from any energies that do not serve my highest good. You can also use smudging to cleanse specific objects, such as the crystals you use in your energy rituals.
How to Use Smudging to Cleanse or Purify
Many people use white sage bundles to perform these ceremonies or to purify their spaces and bodies. But, you are not limited to white sage!
Just like all living things, plants and herbs have a specific energy and life purpose. This means you can choose herbs and plants that speak to you and create your own bundle if you choose.
Cleansing a Physical Space with Smudging
While there are various ways to perform a cleansing ritual, there are a few basic guidelines you can follow to successfully dispel negative energies and spirits from your space:
- Light one of the ends of your smudge bundle until it burns for a few seconds. Let the flame extinguish on its own or move it around to help it self-extinguish.
- Softly blow on the lit end of the bundle a few times to increase the effectiveness of the consistent burning of the smudge.
- For catching the ashes and to protect yourself and your space from being burned, try using an abalone shell, porcelain bowl or bowl filled with sand.
- Be sure to have a window or door open to allow the negative energy to release from your space.
- While there is no best direction to smudge in, some people choose to go in a clockwise direction from the front door or entryway of a room paying particular focus to dark or unused corners and outlining all windows and door frames.
- Once finished, be sure to successfully put out your smudge bundle and bless your space (you can do this with the palo santo or incense sticks also).
Most importantly, smudge with intention! You can say a prayer or mantra before you begin the practice stating the purpose or reason for smudging and what you want to expel or get rid of in your space. TIP: Many people like to let the smoke wash over them first, cleansing them of negative energies before beginning to smudge the space.
There are no boundaries with smudging! Some people and cultures like to smudge their living spaces a few times a year. Others like to do so weekly. There are even some firm believers that like to smudge themselves and their spaces daily as it gives them peace of mind and helps with their healing.
The Benefits of Smudging
Smudging can help improve your mood and to expel stress from your body. The focus that you harness from smudging can go a long way with improving your overall mental health.
It can release fear and make you feel more protected.
If you are anxious or depressed, smudging may boost your mood and make you feel more at ease. Once again, the intention of smudging really helps here.
If you need to cleanse an object or fear that something in your house is hosting negativity, you can cleanse the object with a sage bundle. This works great as gifts as well. You will have peace of mind and feel better throughout your day.
Need to focus? Try burning a smudge bundle while focusing on where the smoke is going.
And, smudging can become addictive! Some people smudge just to enjoy the smell of the bundle.
I hope you have discovered how smudging can benefit you and your space.
Check out the Things I Love to see all of the smudging tools and kits that will inspire and heal you.
XO - Serena