Smudge Negative Energy From Your Home

The practice of smudging dates back thousands of years. Although smudging is largely associated with Native Americans, First Peoples and recently with Wicca, you might be surprised to learn the smudging, or the use of smoke from burning herbs in spiritual rituals, has an esteemed sister, incense. The use of burning incense in spiritual rituals has an even longer history.

From the burning of incense in Buddhist and Hindu temples (and homes in the Far East) to the use of incense in both the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, the principles of smudging/burning incense are very much the same: To disperse negative energies (or evil or malevolent spirits) and/or to carry positive messages to the Creator, to help establish balance/peace of mind. It is all about creating a positive, refreshed environment where one’s mind, body and spirit can be whole and at peace.

smudging Smudging items may be familiar to you if you have done any research on cleansing herbs and practices. Smudging, or the use of ‘spiritual smoke’, can be done on people, animals, objects, buildings, outdoor locations and even individual rooms. As with any spiritual practice, the more ceremony, focus and details you incorporate into your smudge, the more effective it can be. This is because you apply your own energy by incorporating your mind and spirit. The ceremony itself cements your belief and increases the applied energy. As you learn to smudge, don’t be afraid to modify the practice to fit your needs and beliefs.

Smudge Materials
The most basic smudge kit includes sage, matches, and a fireproof container. The most common methods involve using a large sea shell as the fireproof container, wooden matches, charcoal, sand, and a ‘wand’ made up of white sage, though you may add other herbs and elements as you choose. The key is to involve natural elements, so try to avoid man-made containers.

Smudging can also be done with incense. Again, many ‘smudgers’ feel the higher quality the incense with natural oils and materials, the better. Though some argue only ‘traditional’ smudging materials are required, a strong argument has been made by others that the use of incense for smudging also has a long history in numerous cultures.

Smudge Steps
Clean your home before you smudge. A clean home increases the energy flow. The absence of objects also allows the smoke from the sage to penetrate all areas easily. Make sure all of your doors are open, including the closet doors.

Place the sand and charcoal in your seashell. A charcoal briquette will work, but can also burn longer than you like, so consider investing in the small charcoal briquettes made especially for smudging. Use a wooden match or a candle to light the charcoal. In turn, light the sage wand from the charcoal. You aren’t cooking over an open flame here, so make sure your sage is smoking, not flaming, before you get started. The same applies to the use of incense: Light the tip of the incense and allow an ember to develop, then blow out the flame.

Starting at your front door, hold the sage wand in front of you. Using your free hand, wave the smoke so that it penetrates all areas of the home, walking through the house in a clockwise direction. You can gently ask spirits to leave your home as you do this, being kind, but firm with your words. You might even explain why you want them to leave and wish them well as you go through the house. You might also recite your favorite prayer or chant as you smudge your house.

To the Native Americans (and many in the Wicca community) the ‘spiritual smoke’ of a burning smudge will bond with the negative energies. As the smoke disappears the negative energies are also carried away. Less than helpful spirits tend to avoid where smudging smoke has cleansed (and negative energies have trouble entering or clinging to places where smudging has or will take place). You might find focusing on this helps strengthen your confidence and enhance you smudging ritual.

As you walk from room to room, pay special attention to corners and closets. Negative energy tends to cling to these areas because they are so often overlooked. The sage, combined with your own beliefs and energy, makes for a powerful cleansing combination, but it cannot cleanse where it does not reach. Be sure to be thorough in your efforts.

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Hints for a Better Smudge
Personalize your experience. Tie your wand with a thread from a ritualistic item of clothing. Light it with candles that represent positive energy. Add your favorite cleansing herbs, like lavender.

A smudge works best when it marks an end or new beginning. For this reason, a new moon makes the perfect time to smudge, as does the end of a relationship or a move into a new home.

When practicing smudging make sure you keep a few windows and/or doors open for healthy ventilation. Keep in mind you are dealing with fire so maintain focus and keep burning smudge sticks, incense and burning bowls away from anything flammable like curtains, woodwork and so forth. Fire and smoke are wild elements that will do what their nature demands and will not always behave the way we want them to.

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