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All about Smudging

Hi everyone! I am so sorry for how incredibly flaky I’ve been for like the last month or so. I am wrapping my school career up and it’s been ridiculously busy. I promise once things settle down I’ll be more consistent.

Having said that today I want to talk about smudging. It is something that I think is very important even if you are not native, a wiccan, witch, pagan, etc. At the end of the day our homes, belongings, and ourselves collect unwanted energies that need cleared. I personally smudge my home about once a month but really I do it whenever I feel it needs cleansed. I think I want to start a routine of smudging myself on the daily though. In the morning and before bed. We shall see though.

So essentially smudging is the act of burning herbs/plant material and using the smoke it produces to get rid of unwanted energies and to bring balance. There are different materials people burn. You can burn these herbs on their own or in various combinations with each other. You can burn any herb in your home but some of the most popular herbs to burn are:

White sage: it is typically used to get rid of negative energies (this is what I use in my home)

Sweetgrass: Used to cleanse a sacred space and invites good spirits

Lavender: Used to attract peace, happiness, and a restful sleep. It also aids in divination and meditation. It is often associated with fairies and elves

Cedar: Banishes fear and enhances physic power. It is considered a guardian spirit and chases away the bad spirits

Tobacco: It is considered an activator of all plants. It helps with communicating with the spirit world.

Just as there are lots of different herbs you can smudge with there are also various ways to smudge. You can burn the end of a bundle of herbs or you can burn loose herbs. I typically burn in a bundle but today I tried loose herbs. I think I will continue with the loose herbs for a while to really give it a shot. When you burn with a bundle there is typically less clean up. Some think you need to burn it in the bundle because it keeps everything evenly cleansed. With loose leaf you have to have a container of some sort to burn it in. I liked doing it that way today because you can offer the remaining herb in your burning dish back to the earth. Some think you need to burn it loose because it brings more air and lightness to the cleansing. It’s really whatever is best for you though. If you are burning loose you have to decide what to burn it in. It obviously needs to be heat resistant. Ceramic is probably a good bet. Some use Abalone shells (I personally do). I think it is a great way to incorporate the element of water into my smudging practice. Some though associate the shell with the mother of the ocean and using the shell is seen as disrespectful. Once again it is up to you.

As for how to smudge, There are numerous methods and I think, as long as you have the best of intentions, a smudging will always work, regardless of if you do it properly or not.  But what I think is most effective for smudging a home is open the doors and windows, if possible, and start in the lowest part of the building. I light my herbs and start off by saying I and the elements fire (the flame), water (the shell), air (the feather/smoke), and earth (the herb) do not welcome any negative energy in this home. Then I go through the house room by room and chant “negative energy you are not welcome here. This is a place of love, peace, and joy”. I go through each room until I feel moved to leave. You may have to relight your sage from time to time. When I smudge the last room I say something along the lines of “the elements, myself, and any gods and goddesses and positive spirits that would like to join me banish any negative energy in the home. This is a place of love, peace, and joy”. After that I smudge myself and my cats. Then, if I have any remains, I pour water on it and give it back to the earth and say thank you.

When smudging yourself I simply take my hands and wash the smoke over my face and heart. I then feather my self starting at my feet and up to my head and then I try and get as much of my back as I can. As for my cats they don’t like it very much so I just give a couple of fans with my feather in their direction. As for objects I light my sage and pass the object I want cleared, through the smoke. As you do that you can chant what you want from the smudging. Ex) you want to cleanse your crystal. So you pass your crystal through the smoke and as you do it chant “this crystal is cleansed of any negative energy”.

Lastly, I just want to make clear that one if you are in a situation where you don’t feel comfortable chanting out loud you can do so in your head. It will work. I just find saying it out loud when I can helps keep my energies up. Also be aware that smudging can take more focus and energy than you realize in the act. Having said that you may be a little drained afterwords, especially if there was a lot of negativity to clear. So sit down for a bit and have some water.

Thank you all for reading. If you have any tips, thoughts, or questions please leave them in the comments! I love to read them. Also remember if you have anything you’d like to share (be it an experience, request for a post, or just a question) feel free to send me an email at wiccans_arent_wicked@hotmail.com Merry Meet and Blessed Be!

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