Happy New Year amigos! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year surrounded with loved ones and delicious food.
Now that Christmas is over its time to put away all the holiday décor, declutter, clear the energy, and lift spirits with the sacred art of smudging. And when I say, “lift spirits,” I mean mood, not anything creepy. Smudging is a way to get rid of stagnant and negative energy.
We’ve all had those days where we roll out of bed and we just don’t have the energy. You know, those days when you have zero patience and you just can’t seem to shake off being moody. Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep, are feeling stressed out or overwhelmed, or perhaps coming down with a cold. Whatever the cause of your funk, don’t feel bad — it happens to the best of us.
If you are feeling stuck, negative, sluggish, or depressed try smudging. Smudging is an ancient ceremony in which you burn sacred plants, such as sage or palo santo, to allow the smoke to clear and bless a space.
The first time I saw someone smudging I was at a sales conference, and a Native American lady was burning sage in the conference room before the conference began.
I have to admit I was a bit confused, but later she explained that the goal of smudging is to make a place clear of lingering energy that is different from what you may be intending for that space.
When to smudge your home?
I now smudge my home 2 to 3 times per year. I faithfully smudge my home in the New Year, and again in the spring after I spring-clean my home.
How to smudge your home
I wanted to share some tips on how I smudge my home.
What you need
- Ceramic bowl or an abalone shell to hold and burn the plants. An abalone shell represents the water element.
- Sage smudge sticks. Sage represents the earth element and when burned, the smoke from it represents the air.
- If you’re not into the smell of sage, you can also use palo santo, sweetgrass, or copal.
- Matches or a lighter. These represent the fire element.
Tips for smudging
- Clear your space of clutter and mess.
- Open up windows and curtains to provide an exit for trapped negative energy and to allow for clean air to enter.
- Place the smudge stick in a fireproof container such as an abalone shell.
- Turn off your phone and create a sense of peace and prayer.
- Light the smudge stick and say a prayer or just focus your energy. Gently wave the stick till it begins to smolder.
- Wave your hands to disperse the smoke. Remind yourself to stay connected to your breathing and have only positive thoughts throughout your smudging session.
- Smudge the corners of every room, as they tend to accumulate stagnant energy. Be sure to also open the closet doors and carefully smudge inside. I often don’t, but they say it’s important not to forget about spaces such as the laundry room, the garage, or the basement.
Being that I am of Catholic faith I usually pray the Hail Mary and the Our Father, but recently found the smudging prayer below.
Just as a priest blesses a church with aromatics like frankincense and myrrh, I remind myself that the burning incense is a symbol of prayer and the smoke is rising to heaven.
A Smudging Prayer
May your hands be cleansed, that they create beautiful things.
May your feet be cleansed, that they might take you where you most need to be.
May your heart be cleansed, that you might hear its messages clearly.
May your throat be cleansed, that you might speak rightly when words are needed.
May your eyes be cleansed, that you might see the signs and wonders of the world.
May this person and space be washed clean by the smoke of these fragrant plants.
And may that same smoke carry our prayers, spiraling, to the heavens.
Homemade smudge sticks:
- How to Make Smudge Sticks
- Marigold Smudge Sticks for Day of the Dead
- List of Plants Commonly Used in Smudge Sticks
- Making Smudge Sticks From Homegrown Plants And Wildharvested Materials
- Herbs you can choose from to make your own smudge
Photography: Jenna Sparks
Originally published: January 2018.