A Guide to Smudging
Smudging, the practice of Indigenous peoples of the Americas, is a ritual that has been honoured for centuries. The smudging ceremony involves burning sacred herbs such as sage and palo santo and using the smoke for spiritual cleansing, bringing about positive energy through blessing your space, belongings and people around you.
Most often, spiritual smudging is performed when moving into a new home to cast away any ‘bad spirits’, however, people often smudge annually, seasonally or more frequently, which makes it perfect for fresh starts at the beginning of a new year.
Read on to discover more about smudging for beginners.
First up, create your smudging stick. This can take the form of a bundle of tied up dried herbs, usually sage. Other herbs that appeal to the senses can be added, including rose, rosemary and juniper. Beldi Maison and Parigotte both offer a range of aromatic herb sticks, all providing different benefits to the ritual. The most important part of the tradition is keeping your materials sacred. To ensure that they’re only used for transformative purposes, consider keeping them stored in a box to keep them pure and to make the box opening a part of the mindful ritual.
As a sacred blessing, there are no plastic lighters allowed. To really immerse yourself in the ritual, consider lighting a series of candles around the house so that you can easily relight the smudging stick should it go out. St Eval offers boxes of dinner candles that can be strategically placed and won’t overpower the aroma. Consider using matches to light the candles as the striking action only adds to the ritual. Archivist have a wide selection of motifs on their match boxes that can be married up with the themes that you’re blessing - whether it’s love, calm, health or wealth.
It’s important to get yourself into the best mindset possible before the smudging begins. Take it slow, relax and meditate to manifest all the prosperities you’d like the blessing to bring. Detox the mind by staying away from any technology on the morning that you begin. Consider aromatherapy mists and roll ons and breathe in the scents. London boutique Bless offers manifestation kits, bath oils and books that will immerse you in the relaxed state of mind needed for the ritual.
Begin the process at the entry to the house, the front door. Light your smudge stick and begin taking slow, sweeping motions to fill the space, clearing the air. Work your way around the perimeter of the home, ensuring that every corner is given the treatment. It’s important to move slowly and with care - doing breathwork or chanting manifestations as you go will enhance the experience and fill the space. You can close the ceremony when you arrive back at your starting point by voicing one last affirmation.
If the idea of a whole ritual sounds daunting but you’d still like to cleanse your space and practice mindfulness, alternatives to smudging include burning incense and spraying mists. Earl of East offers incense in the form of sticks and cones in a range of aromatic herbal scents. Simply light the incense in its holder and let it fill the room. For mists that can be spritzed across the home to bless the space in a less ritualistic way, look to Lab Tonica, Blasta Henriet and Norfolk Natural Living for a unique blend of fresh scents.