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Smudging for Clearing

To smudge is to make a smoky fire. A smudge stick is a bundle of dried herbs tied together with twine. We usually think of the herb sage as a smudge, but often lavender, cedar, or juniper are added for their clearing properties.

Smudging for clearing and purification has an ancient history. We know of the Romans and Greeks using rosemary branches as a smudge to prepare participants for holy rites before entering the temples. The Celtic peoples in ancient Britain were instructed by their Druid priests to build bonfires with sacred herbs added and walk their livestock through the smoke to protect and bless them.

These days it is popular to follow the Native American tradition of using a smudge of sage and/or cedar to clear negative vibrations from homes or offices. The idea of smudging with these herbs is the sage levels the energies of upheaval and tension so they can be elevated and harmonized by the cedar smoke. The result is a more peaceful and uplifting environment for relaxing or for creating a more productive working space. Smudging can facilitate smoother relationships and ease tensions giving time a and room work out problems constructively. A little goes a long way with a smudge, so a smudge stick can last for several clearings. After using the smudging blend that you like, it is always good to burn a sweet incense to make the environment more inviting and friendly. Sweet grass is used by the Native Americans as well as a wood called palo santo that has been used since ancient times by indigenous peoples in Central and South America. Sandalwood is also commonly used to sweeten and promote peace and calmness

To smudge for clearing and balance, first gather all the things you will need:

The dried bundle of herbs you wish to use and the sweetening incense you want to burn after the clearing work is done.

A lighter or matches to light up the herbs

An ash tray or abalone shell to put out the smudge stick. Be sure to use something that is heat tolerant. I use a terracotta clay pot with some sand in the bottom.

Begin at the front door of your home or office. Light the smudge and then blow it out so it is smoking. Now carry the smudge slowly around the inside moving in a clockwise direction throughout all the rooms allowing the smoke to gently flow around you. When you get back to the front door, open the door to let all negative energies exit your space. Now rest the sage bundle in the heat proof container.

Pick up your sweet grass or palo santo or sandalwood and light it up. Now carry that throughout the rooms as you did with the smudge. When you get back to the front door, allow the sweetening incense to continue to burn. Now you have cleared, balanced, and added sweetness to your environment.

You may want to add a bouquet of colorful flowers for their joyful energies and to inspire conscious focus on happiness. Adding a water feature such as a small fountain can also help to create uplifting energies.

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