Do you know that feeling of weight being lifted from your shoulders the first time you walk into a newly cleaned room? All the toys are put away, no dirty socks or bowls to clutter the floor and surfaces. The fresh scent of cleanliness clings to everything. Your hard work has afforded you this peace and lightness!
Imagine if you could kick it up a notch.
Not only do our physical spaces need cleansing, our energetic spaces need cleansing as well! Smudging is an excellent and accessible way to do just that.
Smudging is the act of burning incense, sage or palo santo in order to remove stagnant, negative or low vibrational energy. Smudging helps to clear the air, freshen a room and move unwanted energy away. Smudging is especially effective if the space is frequented by multiple people (ex: family members, clients, etc).
How do I smudge? In the past I’ve been known to use incense and sage (both loose and in bundles, with and without other herbs). Currently I’m in love with Palo Santo. Palo Santo is a tree native to Mexico and South America and has been used as a spiritual cleansing tool since the time of the Incas. Go here to learn more.
The first step (after physically cleaning the space) is to light your smudge stick. Allow it to flame up and get a good ember started. Frequently the smudge will naturally transition from flame to smoking. If it doesn’t gently blow or shake the stick to extinguish the flame without extinguishing the ember. Repeat as necessary throughout the cleansing process.
Once your smudge stick is putting off a strong stream of smoke, take a moment to say a prayer, say a mantra or set an intention. The intention should be simple, something like “cleanse and renew this space so that happiness and love can bloom here”.
After you are confident in your intention, begin cleansing yourself with the smoke. Using your free-hand, a feather, a hand fan or other similar tool, “fluff” the smoke onto your head and face. Continue fluffing the smoke down the front side of your body, return to the top and do the same on the back side of your body. Don’t be too concerned that you can’t reach somewhere. Again, INTENTION is the key here. If you are preforming the cleansing with a partner, take turns cleansing each other.
Now that YOU are smudged, you may start with the room/space. In a counterclockwise direction, waft the smoke into the top half every nook and cranny, all corners and sides. On your second pass around the space, waft it into the bottom half. During the third pass of the space, intend for the smoke to fill the whole room, floor to ceiling.
Once the room has been cleansed three times, say your intention/prayer/mantra again and close with the appropriate closing (amen/so mote it be/namaste/etc). You may now extinguish the smudge stick our let it continue to burn out naturally. Keep it safe from surfaces by resting in on/in an abalone shell insulated with salt or sand.
Congratulations, you now have a physically and energetically cleansed space.
The following is a list of useful tools for smudging. If you are local to me (Stafford, VA), I can recommend a local metaphysical boutique to pick up your supplies. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t know this shop existed when I began smudging so I found most of my initial supplies online.
- Sage, incense or palo santo sticks
- Abalone shell with salt or sand in the bottom
- Large feather or hand fan