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Everything is energy. It’s everywhere. In houses, surrounding people, in nature. We can’t always see it and you might find it hard to believe that we’re all constantly vibrating, but we are. Some people and places have a light, high frequency, that you want to be around. Think about the people you know, friends, colleagues or family, you’ll recognise them straight away. You feel energised around them. Being with them is never a chore. Then there are spaces and people that have become polluted with heavy, stagnant energy. It’s not bad, it’s just stuck and you don’t necessarily want it around you. You’ll feel drained and depleted by the mood hoovering vibration that surrounds them.

Smudging. A Sacred Ritual

Smudging is a centuries old practice used to invoke  protection, purify and create energetic cleansing. Embraced by the Celts, Druids, Romans, Egyptians, people of the Far East, South America and in animist cultures around the world, using sacred smoke for purification is the most ancient of practices. Smudging cleanses, purifies and raises energetic vibrations. Use it for clearing spaces, places and yourself.

Smudging with Respect

Over the years, white sage and Palo Santo (holy wood) have been over harvested and commodified. Consequently, there is debate about their use if they don’t form part of your ancestry. It’s worth remembering that although they are considered sacred medicine by native peoples, in the US smudging was illegal up until 1978.  As a result, respectful practice is paramount.

For this reason, consider making your own smudge stick using dried herbs that are indigenous to your area. Ancient cultures considered all plants as sacred botanical medicine. Research which plants and herbs are traditionally considered cleansing in your culture and use those. Commonly available examples are dried rue, rosemary, dandelion, lavender, native sage, clove, dill, bay leaves or frankincense, pine and myrrh resins. If you can’t find reliable research, use your intuition. Connect with the earth and choose a plant or herb for a specific intention. 

Moreover, if you are going to use white sage and Palo Santo, purchase ethically sourced products from Indigenous Nation suppliers who will have harvested them responsibly with respect for the earth. Tread lightly and with respect when you embrace these practices. Embracing ancient wellness for modern living is ultimately about raising our consciousness. That’s to say, he energy that we send out into the world inevitably returns to us.

How to Smudge

  • Collect and dry your herbs. Afterwards, allow them to dry for a few days before use.
  • Tie your cleansing herbs together in a bundle. This is your smudge stick.
  • Firstly, light your smudge stick and allow it to burn for a few moments until it begins to smoke.
  • Traditionally, smudge sticks are placed in an abalone shell to contain ash and debris. Any fire proof dish or saucer will work.
  • Set an intention to cleanse and purify. 
  • If you’re smudging yourself after a heavy day or difficult interaction, use your hands or a feather to sweep the smoke over your head and body. Pay further attention to under your arms and feet, behind your knees and around your ankles.
  • Prior to clearing a space, some cultures begin in the east and smudge in each cardinal direction, returning to the east to finish. Guide and fan the smoke into each corner of the room.
  • Lastly, once you’ve completed your sacred cleansing, make sure your stick is extinguished. Either press it against the dish or allow it to finish burning.

Discover more about ecopsychology and indigenous wisdom

Finally, if you’d like to discover more about indigenous wisdom, mindfulness and ecopsychology? Take a look at our courses

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