by Elise Bowerman
Smudging sage or other dried plants has been a ceremonious ritual since the dawn of time. Catholicism even uses Frankincense and other herbs during mass. Today smudging may lack some ceremonial aspects as we have drifted further away from nature. However, science is proving from this study that smudging can be another form of disinfectant! Another study stated that inhaling medicinal smoke is an efficient form of healing!
Both studies encouraged more research. One reason we don't hear about these studies in mainstream media is because if they hold up in clinical trials then the pharmaceutical companies have a lot to lose. Production costs are very low for natural forms of healing. When costs are low, it means Big Pharma doesn't have much to gain. And that's a whole other subject!
As a Feng Shui consultant and mom living in our modern, fast-paced society I've learned that smudging can be a complicated ritual or a simple, quick clearing process. (I opt for the latter most often, and it still works.) The picture above is my daughter helping me disperse the smoke from the shell. It's fun for the kids, too!
Short cleanses are great when you're feeling sluggish, noticing family members starting to get run-down, and to keep the energy flowing in your space. Stagnant energy will reinforce lethargy, fogginess in the mind, and the inability to trust oneself.
A more thorough cleanse is needed when major life changes happen. Some examples are: marriage or divorce; birth or death; moving; chronic health issues; and even suspecting paranormal activity. You may browse the internet finding advice/books to guide you through a ceremonial cleanse or you may contact a certified Feng Shui consultant or healer near you.
Smudging For Your Home Is Easy As 1 - 2 - 3!
1. Items you will need:
- Smudge bowl or Abalone Shell to burn herbs in;
- Sand placed inside bowl to prevent bowl or shell from overheating;
- Smudge stick;
- Matches or lighter;
- Feather (optional);
- Drum or bell (optional) - our kids like to help using the bell!
2. Set an intention.
Why are you smudging? What do you want to clear? What do you want to invite into your space: aura, home, office, environment, etc? Set that intention in the present moment, and as if it's already happened. For example: This home is blessed with abundance in love, health, and wealth.
3. Begin walking around.
Once the smudge stick is lit, start moving slowly through your home. Notice each corner of each room, and the doorways leading in and out of your home. Keep your intention throughout the process of smudging. Think of it as a continued thought, prayer or meditation. Wave your hand or feather to guide the smoke into the areas needing cleansing. For example: wave the feather into the corners of each room as they tend to hold stagnant energy.
You may have to re-light the smudge stick. That's okay. There's an old saying that if you leave the lit herbs in a room, they will burn out once it's cleared. Whether it's within a minute or an hour. Trust the process. You intention is the most important part.
Which Smudge Stick Is Right For You?
There a variety of herbs to cleanse, clear, and invite certain energies into your space. When choosing trust what calls to you. Below is a little bit about the most popular ones.
Sage is probably the most well-known herb for cleansing. It's used for healing. It will help heal people when doing personal cleanses, and objects, like a home or couch. The power of sage to wash away the old creates a new path for the person or intention of the object being used.
Sometimes sage is combined with other herbs. When this is done there's usually a guide attached to the stick letting you know the purpose of the herbs being used together.
Cedar is often used when cleansing a new home, as it is a medicine of protection.
When you search online or in stores near you, you'll find a variety of smudge sticks. You can even make your own! Have fun and let me know how it goes!
Where to Purchase Items
Local - Metro Detroit Area
Earth Lore, Plymouth
Irene's Myomassology Institute, Southfield
Whole Foods (sometimes has smudge sticks)
The Annual Dance for Mother Earth Powwow, Ann Arbor