Have you ever felt like you are susceptible to feeling or being affected by the energy around you? I can recall times where I’ve walked into a room that gave off strange vibes. There are even a couple people who have been introduced into my life recently who I can’t help but feel weary around. Well I no longer think it’s just me being paranoid. I realize, I feel this way around these places or people because of the energy they give off, and because I am one of those people, more sensitive to sensing it.
Recently I’ve learned that there is an easy way to purify some of these negative energies by smoking it out. Now this is not the type of smoke you’re probably thinking of… it’s a spiritual practice referred to as smudging. Smudging is a sacred spiritual tradition that has been performed by Native Americans for centuries to purify and cleanse, as well as to ward off evil. It is a ritual that involves the burning of dried herbs; such as sage, sweet grass and cedar, to create smoke which clears and purifies – it smokes it out. Smudging can be used in the home, in an object, in an office or even on a person. It can be used when you’re feeling depressed, angry, resentful, unwell, after having nightmares or after you’ve gotten all worked up from having an argument with someone. I’ve even read that smudging can help you get over a traumatic negative experience.
When moving into a new home some people like perform a smudging to clear out the energy of other people, as the previous tenant’s or home owners energy could be old, sad or negative. Or maybe suddenly for either no reason at all, or after a bad experience, you are aware of an off energy in a familiar place that you never felt before? Smudging can help to correct these energies. When smudging your home, once the stick is lit it is suggested to spread the smoke in a meditative way while stating what your intentions are. For example, “Bless this home and all who enter it with love and positivity. Please cleanse this home of any negative or stagnant energy and we ask the good spirits to stay and the bad spirits to leave.” Walk around your home beginning at the front door, going around the door frames, waving the smoke so it reaches the corners, the walls from floor to ceiling, from room to room, until you end up back at the front door, or wherever you started. Make sure you have windows and or doors open so that the negative energy you smoke out can flow out of your space while the positive energy takes its place. It’s also ideal to clean your space before you smudge it. The same methods can be used for smudging your office or work space.
I have heard the term “you should burn sage” before and I sort of knew what it meant, but now I have a deeper understanding of what it is all about (like who knew you could smudge a person?!) and how to do it. And now I know you can even smudge Yourself! By smudging yourself, you purify and remove your own negative energies. If you would like to perform the ceremony as the Native Americans do, you will want to honor Mother Earth. First, thank the Four Directions by beginning in the East, then South, West and North, working clockwise. Next, hold the smudge near the ground to thank Mother Earth and then above to honor Father Sky and the Great Spirit. Then you can begin to fan the smoke onto yourself from top to bottom, front to back, and side to side, cleansing your aura of any disturbances, and then also inhaling a small amount of the smoke to cleanse your insides.
Okay it all sounds great, so how do we do this? Well you can buy smudge “sticks” or “wands” for burning or you can burn loose dried herbs in a “smudge bowl” (or any fire safe bowl). Smudge sticks are dried herbs that come bundled, usually bound with a string like the picture below.
If you are located in the city in Toronto, you can buy smudge sticks at, International Herbs, in Kensington Market. All you do is light one end of the stick with a long match or a candle, (it may take a moment to fully light) then carefully blow out the flame so that the end is just smoking (like a cigar) and gently fan the smoke. You will want to have something under the stick to catch any embers or ash when lighting it and while spreading around the smoke. When you finish smudging simply extinguish the smudge stick by suffocating the flames. Ensure it is completely extinguished as it could start a fire. If you are burning loose dried leaves/herbs in a bowl, you light just one or two leaves or a pinch of the herbs at a time, as we want the herbs to smolder, not flame up or start a fire. When burning herbs in a bowl, they also suggest using a fan to direct the smoke. Oh and yes, you can make your own smudge sticks. Try to obtain and burn a variety of herbs to see what you like best. All three mentioned above, purify and remove negative energy, the most popular being white sage. Obviously, if the smell of an herb turns you off, you shouldn’t use it for clearing negative energy.
We smudged our home last night to remove all the stale, negative energies (including the ones I used to produce myself before my days of yoga and meditation). I also smudged as a way to celebrate my new energetic, vibrational spiritual connection with the world. It didn’t happen right away (as I was kinda waiting for something to happen once we finished) but I did feel a sense of calm after I just sat on the couch and chilled out. With the condo so spick ‘n span I also felt like we were starting a fresh new slate. I felt really relaxed and was in bed and passed out before 10 pm (which is super early for me – whose goes to bed at nine something?).
The use of smudging is so versatile and is an important spiritual practice that will help attract good and positive energies to your aura. The purity of your intent is the most important factor as well as treating this sacred practice with respect. So if you’re feeling negative or stagnant energy around you – smoke it out! Happy smudging!
peace & smudge! irie soul Xx