Smudging is a Native American spiritual cleansing technique. It involves the burning of specific herbs for spiritual and emotional purification of a person, place or object. While smudging, the area fills with smoke which attaches itself to negative energy and carries it away as the smoke clears. Small smudge bundles, also known as smudge sticks or smudge wands, can be found at local health food stores in the Los Angeles area like Whole Foods Market in El Segundo, Redondo Beach, West Los Angeles or Venice, and Sprouts Farmers Market in Culver City and Redondo Beach. New age shops carry larger bundles of dried herbs for smudging.
In Reiki, smudging may be used as a ritual to cleanse and raise vibrations in the treatment area, or as part of a client’s treatment plan. Some popular smudging herbs are cedar, sage, lavender, sweetgrass and mugwort. Each herb elicits a unique result as the smoke fills the space and eventually clears, carrying away any unwanted energy and influences.
- Cedar is used for space clearing and protection. It is a guardian spirit that invites unwelcome spirits to leave. Cedar smudging is good when moving into a new home or workplace.
- Sage smudging is good for clarifying the mind and getting rid of negative energy, especially when entering a sacred place from the outside world.
- Lavender smudging adds love to any environment and acts as a safeguard against negativity and evil.
- Sweetgrass is also referred to as the sacred hair of Mother Earth. It does not generate much smoke, but it is an excellent post-smudge herb. It is burned in honor of the Divine feminine and as a reminder that the earth provides us with everything we need. It is usually sold braided in three parts representing love, kindness and honesty; its sweet smell is a reminder of these attributes of the earth.
- Mugwort is used to stimulate psychic awareness and to cleanse negative energy. Its light, sweet aroma also stimulates dreams.
A smudging ritual can be performed any time, especially when moving to a new home, after entertaining guests in your home, during and after illness, before and between healing therapies are administered in a healing space, before using healing and psychic aids like pendulums, tarot cards and crystals.
For more information about smudging rituals and benefits:
- The Smudging and Blessings Book by Jane Alexander – ISBN 978-1-4027-6681-7
- Magical Housekeeping by Tess Whitehurst – ISBN 978-0-7387-1985-6