The Ancient Art of Smudging & Why You Should Be Doing It
The Native American tradition called "smudging" is becoming more and more well-known and practiced in our modern day. Smudging refers to the burning of a bundle of dried herbs, typically Sage, such as White Sage (Salvia apiana.)
The burning of Sage or other smudging herbs, produces aromatic smoke. This smoke not only fills the area with a pleasant scent, it also has medicinal qualities that empower this traditional "incense"with health benefits.
SCIENCE AND SPIRIT
This study conducted in 2016 found that White Sage contained compounds that stimulate parts of the brain that are responsible for reducing stress, elevating moods, and reducing pain.
In 2014 researchers found that Prairie Sage has been used to treat depression and anxiety.
Another study found that burning Sage helped to decrease the aerial bacteria by 94%. This supports the traditional belief that smudging cleans and clears negative energies.
In the Native American traditions that include smudging there has been a belief that smudging helps to clean the negative energies from a person, a space, or an object. In many traditions smudging is used prior to a spiritual ceremony, a healing session, or a prayer offering. Many indigenous cultures throughout the world have believed that fragrant smoke, such as smudging bundles and incense, is a way to empower prayers and also to connect with the spirit world. This research project found that most varieties of Sage contains a compound called thujone . Thujone is mildly psychoactive and has been found in many plants traditionally used for spiritual rituals and ceremonial purposes. It has been known to enhance intuition and elevated mood.
HOW TO SMUDGE
The good news is that smudging supplies, such as Sage Bundles, can easily be found at most Natural Foods Markets, Herbal Stores, New Age shops, and even online at Amazon. Once you get yourself started with a Sage Bundle all you need now is a lighter or matches, and something to put extinguish the bundle once you are finished.
The next step is to choose what you wish to smudge. You can smudge your body, someone else's body, a room, your bed, crystals, your pets, or any objects. I recommend that you begin by centering your energy by standing straight and your feet firmly connected with the ground. Take several full, deep breaths - filling your abdomen then slowly releasing. After you are centered and grounded you can set an intention or say a prayer. Now light your smudge bundle with a lighter or match - allow the flame to burn a few moments then blow it out. The bundle should now be producing fragrant smoke.
Go to the person, place, or object you have chosen to smudge and simply use the bundle like a wand and move the bundle around the person, place, or object - allowing the smoke to touch the area you are smudging. You can use a feather wand or you can blow on the bundle to help increase the volume of smoke. Do not touch the actual bundle upon whatever you are smudging. The smudging process can take as short or as long as you like. Once you are finished be sure to fully extinguish the bundle to prevent wasting the rest of the plant material and also to avoid any fires or unwanted damage.
MANY USEFUL PURPOSES
Smudging is a great way to care for your crystals and any ceremonial objects. The sacred smoke will help to dispel negative energies and help your special items to have clean and positive energy. Smudging is also a great way to freshen the energy in a room and to clear dense energies. You can try smudging your home before guests come visit. Smudging the space again after guests leave is a wonderful practice for maintaining fresh and positive energy in your home.
You can incorporate smudging in any spiritual practices you may have. Smudging is believed to enhance the power of prayer, bless a space or object, clean spiritual tools, and open the energy of a space before a ceremony or spiritual ritual takes place.
Whether you are looking to uplift your mood, decrease stress, clean the energy of an object, or to empower your prayers, there are a number of convincing reasons to believe that smudging is a positive practice that can enhance mental, emotional, and physical health, as well as be used as a spiritual practice.
Try for yourself and see how it feels.
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