Spring cleaning? Get your spiritual house in order with smudging!
Smudging is a ceremony that involves the burning of sacred herbs for spiritual cleansing or blessing. It’s a great way to keep your physical space and spiritual house in order all year, and spring is the perfect time to start if you’ve never smudged before. Many people practice smudging daily, either before meditation or yoga, or just as a way to begin the day.
HOW TO SMUDGE:
First, light one end of your smudge bundle, allowing it to catch fire and burn for several seconds. Once the flame extinguishes, gently blow on the lit end to fan the embers; the smudge will begin to glow and smoke. Lay the smudge on a heatproof dish, such as an abalone shell, to catch the ashes as it burns.
As the smoke rises into the air, picture your intention, whatever it may be. If you are clearing negative energy, picture its density and see it lifting away. Healing? Then imagine the smoke cleansing any illness or injury. Whatever it is, envision it floating away on the smoke. You can pray or chant if you feel called. Use your hands or a smudge fan to guide the smoke over yourself and around your sacred space.
Greek culture honors the cardinal directions during the smudge ceremony and will help root you into Mother Earth: begin facing East, then turn South, West, and North before finally turning East again. After making this ceremonious circle, douse the burning embers. Native American ceremonies begin by sprinkling the floor with loose sage. They then burn the sage, a braid of sweetgrass. Finally, they burn a bundled sage stick (or smudge bundle), while washing the smoke over the body.
The beauty of smudging is that it can be done at any time, as often as you need, no matter your background or culture.