Smudging is a simple, easy, yet powerful way to help maintain your health during these trying times.
What is smudging? Essentially, it is clearing heavy energy from your body and environment. The word smudging comes from Native American traditions, who would ceremonially burn sage, sweetgrass, or other sacred herbs to purify their energy and the energy of their surrounding environment.
There are many benefits to smudging. Studies have shown that burning sage actually kills airborne bacteria, which is particularly useful during this pandemic. So it's a more pleasant way to purify the air around you, as well as yourself and other surfaces that you may smudge. It also helps to clear "heavy" energy from your energy body. We are energetic beings, even our heartbeats are determined by an electrical signal. This heavy energy accumulates when there is stress, fear, or discord within us. These are very stressful times for many of us, this accumulates a lot of heavy energy. The mindfulness of it also helps to center, ground, and calm you. It is meant to be a ceremony, where you give your heavy energy to the Earth with gratitude, the Earth will compost it into a form beneficial for the plants and animals. In this way, smudging is good for your physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.
There are many methods you can use to smudge. The most common is to burn sage in a shell, bowl, or tied in a bundle. If you buy a bundle, I suggest removing a couple of strands and burning them separately, this not only helps the bundle last longer, but also helps prevent your smoke alarm from going off! Sweetgrass and Palo Santo are other options to smudge with, and Copal is a resin, like incense, that is used for energy clearing. All are excellent options. If smoke is not a good option for you, you can make an herbal infusion, like a tea, and spritz it around yourself and your home. This is my favorite method since I have birds and I'm sensitive to smoke myself!
If you use sage or sweetgrass to smudge, light the herb, then blow it so that it is smoldering. If you use Palo Santo or copal, you will want a charcoal used for burning incense. Light your charcoal, and then place your herb on it. Once you have smoke going, you can use a feather or your hand to waft the smoke over your head and then your whole body. Intend to release the heavy energy and bring in fresh new energy, with gratitude. After you've smudged yourself, you may want to smudge your whole house. You will notice a different feel after you're done, the air will feel lighter!
If you want to use the infusion method, first you will choose the herb or herbs you will use. I use herbs from my yard, one of which I grow for this specific purpose - Vervain. It has a long history of use for purification. You can use any herbs which signify protection, purification, or beauty to bring in those qualities. I like to use Rosemary, Mint, Rose etc. Try different combinations to find what you like! Take a sprig of each. Boil a pot of water, once it's boiling take it off the heat and add the herbs. Let it cool, then remove the herbs. You can then use the infusion, either in a bowl or a spritz bottle. If you use it in a bowl, you can use your fingers or a sprig of herbs to "splash" the infusion onto yourself and your home, using the infusion the same way I described using the smoke above.
I highly recommend smudging yourself daily, especially during this pandemic. I also recommend smudging your home often, at least once a week. Smudging before bed is especially helpful, and I recommend adding your bed to the smudging routine so that you can sleep better. Remember, when we sleep we process our day, and we release a lot of heavy energy, so it's good to clear it daily.
If you have any other tips to add, I would love to hear them!
Stay well, and Rock'n'Reiki on!