Hello! We had requests from some of you on how to use the various smudges and resins that we have in the shop. Here is some information that will help you smudge your space! If you click on the title “Smoke Cleansing Ritual” you can download a PDF of this information.
Smoke Cleansing Background
Even the happiest spaces accumulate negative energy over time, so it makes sense to cleanse with smoke a few times a year; some even do this weekly! Remember to also cleanse your workspace periodically (preferably not during busy office hours) and use smoke cleansing to clear your own bodily energy or the energy of other people.
The practice of using smudge sticks originated with Indigenous (First Nations) peoples of the Americas; it bears some resemblance to other ceremonies and rituals involving smoke (e.g., Australian smoking ceremony, Celtic fire saining) from other world cultures, the purposes and particulars of the ceremonies, and the substances used, varies among tribes, bands, and nations.
Smoke cleansing is a ceremony where different herbs (e.g. white sage), flowers, woods (e.g. palo santo), and / or resins (e.g. copal) are burned for spiritual purposes. While there are various smoke cleansing rituals around the world, the form of smoke cleansing that most people are familiar with today is “smudging”. Many cultures have historical and spiritual practices connected to smoke cleansing. Frankincense and myrrh were burned in ancient Egypt for prayer; rosemary was historically burned in hospitals in France to clear the air of infection; African spiritual leaders burned herbs on charcoal and “bathed” petitioners in the smoke for medicinal or spiritual purposes.
Horsefeathers varies the sages and smudges we sell from time to time. From a metaphysical / ceremony perspective, all smudges are used for cleansing and purification. Adding other substances to the smudge bundle adds other aspects to the ceremony, such as Better Sleep & Dreams; Blessing; Bring Good Luck; Calming; Cleansing; Emotional Healing; Healing; Joy/Happiness; Love; Meditation; Power; Prosperity/Wealth; Protection; Purification; Remove Negative Energy; Renewal / Refresh; Repel Negative energy; Strength; Wisdom. Our smudge chart also defines a “Crystal Amplifier”; if used in conjunction with the smudge ceremony, this crystal increases and amplifies the desired outcome.
The practice of using a smudge stick should not be done without thought. “A smudge stick represents the deep pain, sacrifice, resistance … of Native peoples.“ says Adrienne Keene EhD.(citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Assistant Professor of American Studies at Brown University). Smudging refers to a specific cultural and spiritual practice; smoke cleansing offers an alternative to smudging for folks who aren’t Indigenous. The varied history of smoke cleansing in cultures from around the globe and throughout time makes this ancient practice incredibly inclusive and accessible without needing to infringe on sacred customs of others. There are many ways to find a ritual that resonates best with you. Research your family’s history and culture; perhaps you are on a spiritual path that has agricultural traditions; maybe you have a longstanding relationship with an herbal ally that has served you well time and again.
Smudging is an ageless and sacred ritual; it should be performed with full awareness and in a slow, mindful manner. Smudging can be an effective way to clear negative energy and create good vibes. There is no right nor wrong way to smudge; use this information to develop an approach that makes you happy.
Smoke Cleansing Ritual
Start by putting a quartz where you can see it when you start; it creates a focus point to help clear your mind. Pour corn or beans onto your table or altar; during your ceremony it will be an offering to Mother Earth / The Positive Energy / The Good Vibes / The Universe / Nature.
Place one end of the smudge over a continuous flame like a candle or gas stove. It will take a while for the smudge to light completely; hold it over the flame until the tip is burning like the end of a cigar. Then extinguish the flame; your smudge should smolder gently.
You may say some positive words, a prayer or blessing … any words that express your intention for the ritual. Then begin walking around your space. It is best to smudge your entire space, otherwise you might just move the negativity from one room to another instead of away!
Guide the smoke by gently waving the smoldering smudge or by using a feather fan or even a piece of cardboard. Fan the smoldering tip to keep it lit. Direct the smoke around yourself, another person, or around the space where you wish to purify the energy.
Please keep in mind you are waving a burning object about your space; be aware of falling ash or embers. We recommend you use a heat-proof vessel like an abalone shell with some sand in it to catch them. If you don’t do this, embers will fall and might set something on fire. (Not the kind of purification ritual anyone wants!)
The smoke should touch every part of your space – all openings, all corners, all dark spots. Direct the smoke with your breath or feather fan to reach hidden areas. Be thorough and take your time.
When you have smudged your entire space, go back to where you started. Re-affirm your blessing or intentions. If you have not used the entire smudge, put it out in a heat-proof vessel (ashtray, abalone shell, ceramic saucer). Grind the smoldering tip against the vessel gently but firmly until all embers are gone and keep it for future use. This may take time; make sure your smudge is completely extinguished before storing it. When it is 100% out, thank it for the work it has done for you, remembering that it was once a living thing. Either leave the corn offering on your altar or bury it in dirt (a plant is fine, outdoors works as well). To end the ritual, take some salt and sprinkle some around the openings to your space (doors, windows). Just a little works; you are ceremonially keeping out negative energy, not salting French Fries.
You should feel a difference in your living space: a sense of calm, positivity, and positiveness. Remember, there is a difference between cleansing and blessing. Cleansing banishes negative energy; blessing brings in positive or good energy.
We are obligated to state that we make no promises as to the outcome of any of these products. We sell the tools; YOU make the magic!