Introduction to Smudging 101 for Moms
What do you think of when you hear smudging?
When we first heard the term, we thought it sounded like a mix of sludge and mud...If you think something similar, then read on as we have quite the post for you.
Introduction to Smudging
If smudging is new to you, you likely heard about it from a celebrity as it has become quite popular recently. However, smudging is an ancient practice and has been around for 1,000s of years.
In short, smudging is using smoke to cleanse an area of evil or stagnate energy and introduce positive energy.
It is similar to burning incense, but smudge sticks tend to be plant materials tied in a bundle whereas incense is typically an aromatic material in a resin.
What is Smudging?
Smudging is an ancient ritual that cleanses a home or space from all negative and inactive energies. When you clear negative and inactive energies you clear space for and welcome in positive energies.
When you smudge, you burn materials and the smoke circulating will push out negative energy and evil spirits. Typically, sage, herbs, and/or resins are used in the smudge stick. Different mixtures of material will serve different purposes.
Depending on your goal, you can try lavender, basil, clove, and many other herbs to invite a particular positive vibe in.
When Should You Smudge?
Smudging uses the cleansing energy of smoke from specific plants to clear an area of negative and inactive energy. In general, you could smudge anytime you feel like the energy in your space is not good.
Some common times people will smudge are:
- After moving into a new living area
- When staying overnight in a rental locations (although be mindful hotels have sensitive smoke detectors so we wouldn't want to be the ones setting off the alarm)
- Spring Cleaning & Fall Storage time
- After a bad even happens or if someone brings bad energy into your space (you know the people we are talking about)
We smudge every Spring and Fall, in any vacation rental, and whenever the energy feels stagnate. You know you can just feel the flow of the house being off sometimes. A nice smudge is like an energy reset of your living space.
In the Spring, nothing is better than throwing open the windows and getting
fresh air into your home while cleaning up your space (both mentally and physically). Then we perform a smudging ritual to really refresh our living area.
Similarly in the Fall, when we are packing up and storing items to make space for all holiday decorations and bringing out stuff for the kids school, we like to perform another smudge ritual.
Additionally, you can use cleansing smoke from a smudge stick to purify your crystals to prepare them for you intentions. It is always good practice to do this with new crystals to remove any of the energies they have picked up before they made it to you.
How Do You Use a Smudge Stick?
Smudge stick rituals are fairly straight forward to perform and only need a few materials and require a few steps.
Materials Needed for Smudging
Before you get started you want to gather your materials:
- Your smudge stick
- Matches / lighter
- A fire-proof bowl (we use our traditional Abalone Bowl, mostly because it is gorgeous and we can leave it out as a decoration too)
Steps to Smudge Your Home
Once you have all the materials, you are ready to perform the ritual. Ideally, you want a calm day with nice weather so you can open your windows. You want the purifying smoke to circulate in your house as much as possible to gather up the negative energy and carry it outside.
Step 1: Open Windows & Interior doors
This is one of the most common questions that come up the first time someone smudges. The smoke from your smudge stick is cleansing and will collect the negative energies and carry it outside of your living space. You want to have your windows open so there is a way for negative energy to escape.
If you are concerned about negative energy entering your space with all the windows open, just know that the smudging process you are about to follow will take care of it. Otherwise, you can set up a crystal home protection grid that will act as a barrier to any negative energy.
Lastly, the open windows will allow air to circulate in your house. This will help the smoke from the smudging ritual to move around all the nooks and crannies to maximize the impact of the process.
This is one of the reasons doing it in the Spring and Fall are good times. The air outside is cool and fresh, and having the windows open is nice during these seasons anyway.
Step 2: Set your Intentions
Setting an intention is very important. You want to be mindful while performing the ritual. Since this is an introductory post, you can start with something very simple like "I ask this cleansing smoke to purge the negative energy from my home and purify it of any stagnant energies". This is a powerful, but simple intention to set.
"I ask this cleansing smoke to purge the negative energy from my home and purify it of any stagnant energies"
-A powerful but simple smudging intention
You want to take a moment to sit and meditate on your intention while holding your smudging materials. You are trying to connect your positive energy with the ritual.
We really love to include crystals as part of this process. At a minimum, a piece of Clear Quartz will help amplify your intentions. We would hold the Clear Quartz on top of the smudge stick in our hands while saying the smudge prayer out loud.
Step 3: Light Your Smudge Stick
With your fireproof container beneath it, hold out your smudge stick and light it.
You want to get the tip of the stick on fire, then blow it out so it is still smoking but not an active flame. (Keep your matches / lighter with you as you may need to relight the smudge stick a few times).
Now that the flame is extinguished and you have a nice level of smoke coming off your stick (similar to incense), you begin walking around your house holding the smudge stick over your fire-proof tray.
You want to open closets, cabinets, and drawers and lightly blow the smoke into these areas. Anywhere that is a small enclosed space is a perfect candidate for collecting stagnate energies.
We like to start at our main entrance and work clockwise through the house.
As you enter each room, walk around the edges and work the cleansing smoke into corners and crevices.
Some people will use a feather or small paper fan to help guide the smoke, but we like to do gentle blows or fan with our hand personally. You don't need to make a room into a smoker where you can't breath. You can move purposeful through the rooms.
When you are walking around your house, you should be focusing on your intentions and make it an almost active meditative experience. If your intention is to remove negative energy, visualize the smoke pushing away the energy in the space.
If you are smudging to purify a crystal, picture the smoke pulling all the past experiences and residual energy out of the crystal, leaving it clean and pure.
Step 4: Finishing up the Smudge Ritual
When you have completed your ritual, you may still have some of your smudge stick left. Personally, we love the smell and will place it in our abalone shell and let it burn out naturally while we sit and meditate more on our intentions.
Some people prefer to have actually put the stick out in some water.
Just be aware that even if the stick isn't smoking, the embers can be hot enough to start a fire if you just throw it into the trash.
Wrap-Up: Go Cleanse Your Space
This introductory post to smudging has given you all the tools you need to initiate your first ritual. However, you can venture out so much more into the process.
Each plant has its own elements and sacred properties. Sage, Lavender, & Sweet Grass are some common smudge materials, but you could add nearly any combination of plants and herbs into your smudge stick.
Also, the common plants used in smudge sticks have been shown to help kill bacteria in the air through smoke. Just another example of the physical science reinforcing the spiritual beliefs.
As you become more comfortable with the process and continue to grow in your spiritual journey, you may find yourself drawn to a particular plant or herb. Mama's intuition knows best and there is likely a reason for it.
[O.G. Samantha Note: This summer I kept having the urge to purchase basil plants when I saw them. We ended up with numerous plants and more basil than we could possibly eat (we dried a bunch and gave some out as Christmas gifts from the kids which was a huge hit if you need a last minute idea).
When I was doing my Fall storage smudge it dawned on me that Basil in a smudge stick helps steady the mind and concentrate. I had been feeling a general sense of Mom-worry and the desire for Basil all summer really made sense.]
Good luck on your Smudging journey ahead Mama!!!