Hello everyone! This week's topic is smudging--the ancient practice of using plants and herbs to ward off evil spirits and clear the energy in a particular place. In today's world we call it energy clearing, to create a sacred space.
How Did Smudging Get Started?
Native Americans believed that by burning sage and other plants, it would ward off evil spirits and provide safety and protection for them. They believed that the plant gives up its life so that they could use the smoke for prayers and cleansing. The aroma that is produced by these plants would put them in a different state of mind by bringing them into a deeper part of themselves. They believed that when they opened up in this ceremony, it would bring insights, give them a sense of direction, enhance their intuition, and awaken their soul.
As it turns out, the apparent benefits are steeped in science—when burned, sage and other herbs release negative ions, which research has linked to a more positive mood. (When it's windy, do you notice that you are more irritable? That's because when it's windy positive ions are released, and they adversely affect our mental and emotional well-being...hence the common phrase 'It’s an ill wind that blows no good.')
What is commonly used to smudge?
Here are some of the most common plants that are used for smudging. Although sage seems to be the most common, you can smudge very efficiently and specifically based on what you want to accomplish.
1. Sage is used for cleansing, purifying and healing...to 'wash off' the outside world and create a sacred space, when one enters ceremony or other spiritual space.
2. Cedar is a medicine of protection. Cedar trees are old, wise and powerful spirits. Cedar is often used to cleanse a home or apartment when first moving in, clearing unwanted spirits and protecting a person, place or object from them.
3. Sweetgrass, (also called Seneca grass, holy grass and vanilla grass) is called 'the breath of Mother Earth' bringing the blessing of Mother Earth's love. Sweetgrass is burned to remind us of essence of the feminine, and that the earth provides us with everything we need.
4. Lavender is a native of Europe often used for invitation of the spirits-bringing in angels, archangels, religious leaders (like Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, Krishna, etc.) and other spirits of the light.
5. Copal's smoke has an earthy fragrance similar to Frankincense and is used to bless, cleanse and heal the person or object being smudged. It is sacred to the native peoples of Mexico, as it is a gift 'pleasing to the Gods.' Because copal is the blood of trees, it is offered to honor the enormous gift given to us by all the tree people of our planet.
6. Frankincense-This ancient essence is hard to extract and has been considered more valuable than gold. It is believed to cleanse and protect the soul, attract abundance, ease depression and promote clairvoyance.
7. Myrrh-connects one to the spirit of youth and clears the path of debris that stands in the way of one's truth. It is said to help one maintain a state of enlightenment.
8. A Smudging Feather (any bird's feather) is traditionally used to 'brush' the smoke over the person or object being blessed. Use the underside of the feather to wash the smoke over the object of blessing. It's the underside of the bird (and its wings) that faces Mother Earth as it flies. This surface of the feather offers the blessing medicine of the bird.
(Some of the more resin-based items above are best best done on charcoal tablets, so please research what is the safest way to smudge.) If you are able to purchase your herbs from a Native American community, do so. It helps maintain the integrity and sacredness of the plant and the ceremony.
OK, so you have your herbs and are ready to start!
The process of smudging begins with purification of the body and mind. Start with a healthy body, pure thought, and pure intention. Place the bundle of herbs on a shell, ceramic plate, charcoal tablet, or other fireproof surface. Use as natural of a surface as possible to maintain the integrity of the whole process. Use a match to light (but don't blow on the herbs as it's believed to blow away the plant's special healing properties.) Hold the smudge stick over the fireproof container at all times to avoid any lit herbs falling on the floor.
Smudge yourself thoroughly first, taking in the essence of the plant, the smoke, and the energy. Offer the smoke to the four directions--beginning in the East, calling the blessings and protection in. Start on the left side of the door--stay to the left all the way through the house or apartment--while praying and setting intentions the whole time. Breathe...stay connected, present and calm. Move the herb and bowl in a clockwise circular motion to create the essence of infinity.
When you get to the front, shoot the smoke out the front door and then wait a minute or two. A bowl with sand can be used to extinguish the smudge stick after smudging. Then, go outside and sprinkle the ashes of the herb on the doorstep to protect the entrance.
It is believed that intentions and prayers are carried to Creator through the smoke, bringing in clarity and vision induced by the aroma of what is being burned. The process helps open the mind, soul, and senses
bringing us into a different state of mind. This can awaken us to gain new direction. Good spirits are said to like the scent of the plants, and are drawn to them, opening a doorway for them to help you!
When Smudging Isn't Enough...
For some, there are going to be times when, no matter how many times you smudge, you just can't shake off energy you know is around you. Perhaps you hear footsteps at night and can't seem to remove that energy no matter how much you smudge. In some cases, paranormal activity such as that can be a departed loved one who is around you--and not dark energy--so smudging wouldn't be effective. Perhaps sweet aunt Millie is hanging around just to be near you. In those cases you would want to work with your guides and the light to help them move on. (I can help with this, so feel free to contact me.)
On the opposite end, many of you know that I was under severe psychic attack not too long ago, which completely disrupted my life. Believe me when I say that there is energy out there that can physically violate your body, injure you, pull you into a severe depression, throw things in your house, and much more. I smudged intensely and that energy didn't budge.
Some of the things that you've seen in horror movies actually can happen. Some happened to me. That is why I am so heavily focused on helping you be prepared with the tools, tips, and techniques that I teach on psychic protection, so you'll hopefully never have to go through what I experienced. If you have had frequent experiences with extreme negative entities, please check out my Psychic Protection Emergency Kit. It could be a real life-saver for you or a loved one!