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What Is Smudging And How To Do It Effectively

For centuries, smudging has been used to raise vibrations, dispel of negativity, and assist with spiritual work. In North America, it is a practice common to Native American's that slowly but surely became a widespread ritual used by many for healing purposes. Today, I will dive into the benefits of smudging and the types of herbs that can be used for smudging.


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By definition, smudging is the process of burning sacred herbs to cleanse a space or person.

We have the traditions of many Native American peoples to thank for this calming and cleansing ritual. This includes the Lakota, Chumash, Cahuilla, among others.

Smudging is something I have found so relaxing, inspiring, and enlightening. I personally try to smudge at least once a day. I always like to smudge in the morning while I'm getting ready, as I feel it brings good vibes for the entire day.

Read on to learn about the benefits of smudging and how smudging can heal your soul.

10 Benefits of Smudging:

  1. It's purifying for the soul

  2. Reduces airborne bacteria

  3. Dispels negative energy

  4. Can cleanse and empower a specific object or person

  5. Improves your mood

  6. Soothes stress

  7. Improves quality of sleep

  8. Boost your cognition

  9. Boost your energy level

  10. Can create an uplifting fragrance

One of the most interesting parts when learning about smudging (for me) was the fact that it reduces airborne bacteria. Research has shown that burning medicinal smoke can purify the air and eliminate up to 94% of harmful bacteria for up to 24 hours.

This is especially important to note during a pandemic. Smudging is a great way to cleanse your home from airborne bacteria to keep you and your loved ones safe.

It doesn't take much to smudge, just a few tools are required that include your sacred herb of choice, a shell/bowl to rest the herb in while burning, and a lighter or matches.

How To Smudge:

Find a relaxing or quiet place to smudge where you can be alone with no distractions. Lay out your smudge tools, along with healing crystals if you wish. Light one end of your smudge stick and let it catch fire and burn for a few seconds. Once the flame extinguishes, blow lightly on the smudge stick to help produce a cloud of smoke.

As the smoke begins to fill the room, concentrate on your intention of healing or clearing negative energies. Imagine the smoke carrying away the toxic energy and a weight being lifted from your shoulders.

Sometimes when I smudge at night, I like to dance slowly in my room. (It's like my own version of tai chi) I like to do slow movements in my room to really concentrate on my body while the smoke lingers around me. This really helps lift my spirits and be really present.

Other rituals you can try while smudging include praying, chanting, or even meditating. You can even smudge for healing your chakras. The beauty of smudging is that you can do it as often as you'd like and use a variety of rituals to experiment with. There is no one way to smudge, which is why this ritual is unique to each individual.

A lot of people don't realize that you can smudge with a variety of sacred herbs, you are not just limited to sage. I personally love switching between white sage and palo santo. Read on to see the list of sacred herbs you can choose from thanks to The Sage Goddess!

Sacred Herbs For Smudging:

Alfalfa– associated with psychic abilities, and attracting animal spirits.

Allspice – for uplifting and increasing energy, and determination.

Amaranth – for healing, protection, vulnerability, especially healing of broken hearts.

Aspen – for ascension, protection, and overcoming fears.

Basil – for attracting love, happiness, peace, and money; steadies the mind.

Bay Leaves – for psychic power, divination, success, and money; invoking wish magic.

Blue Spruce – the symbol of pure intentions, generosity, and giving.

Calendula – for love and constancy.

Catnip – attracts good spirits and great luck. For love, beauty, and happiness.

Cedar – banishes fear and enhances psychic powers.

Chamomile – for protection and purification.

Cinnamon – when burned raises high spiritual vibrations and aids healing.

Cloves – for protection and exorcism; attracting opposite sex.

Coastal Sage or Artemisia Californica – for clearing negative energies and healing holes or tears in the aura.

Dandelion – for divination, spirit calling, and wish magic.

Dill – for protection, luck, money, and lust.

Eucalyptus – for healing and protection.

Frankincense resin – reduces stress, eases tension, and connects you with Source energy.

Ginger – adds power to any magical activity, speeds things up; brings passion.

Lavender – brings peace, relaxation, and restful sleep; purity and love.

Lemongrass – for cleansing and purifying, removing obstacles, and opening doors.

Lilac – for protection and exorcism.

Mugwort or Artemisia Vulgaris – brings clarity and develops/deepens psychic abilities.

Myrrh resin – for physical healing and grounding.

Palo Santo – for deep healing to the physical body; can be used to clear a home of energies associated with illness.

Peppermint – for purity, protection, release, and renewal.

Pinon Pine resin – protective, healing, and nurturing.

Rosemary – for removing negative energies associated with sickness, and clearing.

Sage Flowers – for cleansing and releasing negative energies; brings wisdom and purity.

Thyme – excellent for releasing ceremonies; allows us to recall the past without pain.

White Sage or Salvia Apiana – used to clear negative energies from objects, space, or people.

Smudge Kits For Beginners:

"I cleanse away all my negative energy and thoughts. I fill myself with love and positive energy."


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