Smudging is the common name given to the sacred smoke bowl blessing. A powerful cleansing technique from the Native North American Tradition. Smudging calls on the spirits of sacred plants to drive away negative energies and restore balance. It is the art of cleansing yourself and your environment using simple ritual and ceremony. For thousands of years smudging has been a part of Native American tradition but now its power of cleansing is available to everyone
How can smudging be so powerful? The answer lies in the subatomic world of subtle or spiritual energy. Homes and bodies are not just made of purely physical matter; they also vibrate with quiet, invisible energy.
Cleansing a space or our bodies with techniques such as smudging clears away all the emotional and psychic 'garbage' that may have gathered over the years or even hundreds of years. it's like spiritual spring cleaning.
The effects of smudging can be surprisingly swift and dramatic. The rituals I will post in following lessons can help you banish stress, attract love, sooth you, or give you energy.
They can bring your family closer together and let you adjust to the healing seasonal rhythms of the year. Above all they can turn any space, however humble, into a soothing sanctuary - a place of renewal and happiness.
Lighting the Smudge Stick
It's recommended to light your smudge stick with a candle, as the stick sometimes takes a moment to fully light. Be sure to have something below it to catch any embers or ash. Many people prefer a large abalone shell set aside for just this purpose, but any fireproof glass or ceramic will suffice.
Light the smudge stick, and once it's burning, gently blow it out. The stick will begin to smoke.
To be most effective, you should always smudge yourself before moving on to smudge the home.
Allow the smudge stick to smolder a moment. Gently fan the swirls of smoke around your body from head to toe, envisioning the smoke bringing waves of positive energy flowing over you. See it carrying away any stress, anger, or other negativity, replacing it with a deep contentment and calm. (Smudging yourself is also very effective after illness, arguments, etc. to refresh and cleanse your energy.)
Now you are ready to bless/smudge your home, space, or others. We will focus here on smudging your home for house blessing and energy clearing.
Smudge Your Home
Do one room at a time, generally starting at your front door. Gently fan the smoke over each door, blessing all who enter and stating that only positive, beautiful energy is allowed to enter. Do the same for the windows, stating that all energy entering is beautiful, full of light, healing, blessing, etc. Move through your home room by room, smudging especially areas that may have contained feelings of negativity. Pay attention to corners and behind doors where energy can get "stuck". Continue throughout your home, blessing each room, and allowing the smoke to carry away any unhelpful energies.
It is helpful to speak your blessings aloud, adding the energy and power of the spoke word to declare and direct the energy. Use any words you like, as simple or elaborate as you like.
Completion - Extinguishing the Smudge Stick
Once your home is smudged, express gratitude for the effectiveness of your blessing, and gently extinguish the smudge stick. One way is to dip the stick into moistened sand, or simply dip the burning end of the stick into water to be sure it's out. (Some people prefer to use a ritual bowl of blessed water for this purpose.) Let your smudge stick dry thoroughly, and store it in a special place for future use.
Smudge sticks are simple yet very effective tools. I believe their unique strength is derived from the fact that they embody all four of the directions/energies combined:
North - Earth: (the sage/herbs sprang from the earth)
South - Fire (while burning)
East - Air (while smoking)
West - Water (while extinguishing)
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