Smudging is an ancient ritual act of burning sacred plants and resins to clear old and negative energies. Some of the most common plants for smudging include sage, palo santo, cedar, juniper, sweetgrass, lavender, mugwort, yerba santa and copal.
Sage – is the most well-known smudging plant. It’s great for clearing a space to create a neutral energy.
Palo Santo – one of our favorites with great clearing abilities as well as helping to ground, protect and hold.
Yerba Santa – this one we use in our ritual box! It has a sweet smell and feel to it and is perfect for casting a comforting and heart-affirming ritual space.
Mugwort – is a really good choice when clearing unwanted energies from your field and space. It’s good for those tricky energies that like to attach. As an empath, this one feels very suited for the sensitivities that those of us who feel everything tend to become overpowered by!
Cedar – is primarily used as a protective plant, inviting unwanted energies to leave while drawing in positive energies.
Juniper – is said to have a masculine energy to it. It works to protect and activate new ventures. (perfect for new moon rituals!)
Sweetgrass – can be used to bless yourself and your space with the essence of feminine earth energy. It’s best used after clearing the space with a different smudge.
Lavender – is generally used to infuse positive energy and has a calming effect.
Copal – is an amazing purifier. When your space needs a blast of freshness, copal clears the air of bacteria, viruses, staleness and stagnation.
To smudge yourself, light one end of your smudge stick and blow out the flame to produce smoke. Waft the smoke around your body, giving attention to areas that feel blocked. The smoke is known to purify and heal whatever it touches. It even has antibacterial properties!
You can smudge the spaces you inhabit as a way of decluttering an area of built up energies. Direct the smoke into the corners of the room, under and around furniture, and throughout the space between. It’s usually helpful to open a window to let the air move. You can also snap your fingers into the corners of a room with the intention of transmuting your space back to neutral. It is also good to do during and after an illness or even an argument had, in order to cleanse the home of the dense energy around these issues. Or as a simple de-stressing ritual, smudge yourself at the end of a long day to remove any excess energy you may have collected.
You can smudge any items you use regularly or items you’ve placed on an altar – especially those that tend to carry emotional energy such as journals, jewelry, photographs, crystals, etc. To do so, simply pass the items through the stream of smoke coming off your smudge stick. Smudging these items allows you to work from a clean slate.
Smudging is an excellent practice to do regularly before you do Reiki or other energy work on yourself as a daily routine, and especially before working on others. You can use it at the opening of a session to aid the initial stage of clearing your client’s field before beginning Reiki/other energy work.