Where did Smudging originate? The use of incense and sacred herb smoke, to cleanse and purify during ceremonies or rituals, has been a part of many cultures throughout the world for centuries.
Smudging, or burning Sage, is a more well-known ritual descending from Indigenous cultures. The Shamans would use dried Sage on their fires as a part of a ritual to connect with the Spirit World. The smoke from the Sage purifies and releases any negative energy or illness from the energy field of a person or space.
Salvia apiana, or White Sage, is derived from the Latin word "salvare" which means "to heal" or to "feel well and be healthy". Smudging your sacred space, your home and especially your body, is like taking an energetic shower. The smoke changes the ionic composition of the air and has an major effect on reducing stress and releasing what no longer serves our well being.
How-to smudge yourself or others
In your sacred space, set an intention and light a candle.
Use the candle to light your sage. When lighting the sage, face the direction of the East, which signifies new beginnings or birth.
Wash your hands in the smoke before bringing some to your eyes, ears and mouth.
Then waft the smoke over your head and body. Start by bringing the smoke up your left arm ( to bring strength in), and down your right arm (to give part of yourself).
Then bring the smoke up to your heart and down your legs. (I also like to do the bottoms of my feet, to clear the energy for grounding purposes).
When your finished, extinguish the sage. Say a personal prayer of your own and express your gratitude for your blessings in life.
How-to's of Smudging
Walk through the home to remove excess clutter. Open all doors and closets and ring a bell to awaken any energy present.
Head to your altar, a favorite place, or the center of your home, and place the sage in your fireproof bowl, or shell so that it catches the ashes when it burns.
Burn a candle, set an intention, and then light the sage using the candle. Face East to light the sage, which is the direction of beginnings or birth.
Blow out the burning sage so that the embers are glowing and a smoke rises.
With both hands bring the smoke into your heart, over your head and down the front and back of your body to cleanse yourself before your sage your space.
Start in the lowest level of your space, move from room to room using a smudging feather wand. Waft the smoke into all four corners of the room, and be sure to cleanse the shadow spaces like the closets and cabinets. Cleanse where the walls meet the ceiling. Then direct the smoke out through the windows and doorways.
As your smudging your space, say out loud or hold the intention, of the cleansing prayer.
Once you finish, extinguish your sage by rubbing it in dirt, sand, or stamping it out in your fireproof bowl. DO NOT USE WATER TO PUT THE SAGE OUT.
Return your shell and sage to your altar space and give gratitude for its healing.
"Smudging unites our mind, body and soul and centers us into one being." -Spirit & Sage