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How to Cleanse and Purify Your Space: Smudging 101

Updated: May 13

Smudging is a traditional technique of smoke cleansing, originating from the Native American tradition of smudging. Native Americans and other indigenous peoples have burned sage for centuries as part of a spiritual ritual to cleanse a person, space or object and to promote healing and wisdom.

Energy is all around us. It is in people, in places and even in objects. And unfortunately not all energy is positive. Smudging can clear yourself, your home, your car, your pet, your crystals, your tarot cards and just about anything from negative energy.

10 Benefits of Smudging

  1. Cleanses and empowers objects - clears objects of negative history or energy that may be attached to it. You may want to cleanse new or unfamiliar objects you acquire.

  2. Spiritual tool - can connect you to the spiritual realm or enhance your intuition.

  3. Purifies - may keep infectious bacteria, viruses and fungi at bay.

  4. Dispels negative energy - rid yourself and your space of negativity.

  5. Relieves symptoms of allergens - cleanses the air and could be a blessing to people suffering with asthma, allergies, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions.

  6. Improves mood - can life spirits to banish negativity. May be helpful for people suffering from anxiety, depression and other mood disorders.

  7. Soothes stress - activating certain receptors in the brain to reduce stress, elevate mood and may even alleviate pain.

  8. Improve quality of sleep - rids the negativity that could be interfering with your sleep. May help ease insomnia.

  9. Boosts cognition - may help improve memory and focus.

  10. Creates an uplifting aroma - creates a chemical-free air freshener and order controller that is pure and simple.

Materials recommended for smudging

The four elements of nature (earth, water, air and fire) are usually incorporated in smudging rituals.

EARTH - different types of herbs represent the element of earth. Typically they are bundled into sticks or loose blends.

A few of my favourites:

Cedar - Banishes fear and enhances psychic powers.

Bay leaves - For psychic power, divination, success, and money; invoking wish magic.

Eucalyptus - For healing and protection.

Lavender - Brings peace, relaxation, and restful sleep; purity and love.

Palo santo - For deep healing to the physical body; can be used to clear a home of energies associated with illness.

WATER - An abalone shell is typically used, but you can use any shell or even a clay pot, they are fire proof and heat safe and represent the water element

AIR - Traditionally a large feather (of a hawk, turkey tail, swan or just about any local bird) is used to waft and dispersed the smoke into the air. Not only does the feather represent the air element but so does the smoke itself.

FIRE - The smudge sticks are lit on fire. Wooden matches are typically used, but a lighter would do the trick, if matches were unavailable to you.

Step by Step Guide to Smudging

Step 1: Gather all your materials needed. I recommend having a clean space before smudging. Sometimes clutter, dust, and dirt are said to negatively impact the energy of the space.

Step 2: Light your chosen smudge stick with the matches (or lighter if needed) for about 20 seconds. Blow out the flame and allow it to burn inside the shell or pot.

Step 3: Walk around the room, office, car or person in a clockwise movement, wafting the smoke with the feather. It is recommended that you have a window or door opened during this process. Not only does the negative energy have somewhere to "escape" but also smoke alarms are less likely to be set off.

There is no right or wrong way to smudge. You can pray or say something like "release and let go of any energy that is not serving me and my higher self", or say nothing at all. Just think of something that aligns with your intentions.

Smudging can be done at time and as often as you feel necessary.

Happy smudging!

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