Smudging is a traditional ritual that indigenous cultures around the world have performed for centuries. Smudging is the process of intentionally cleansing and purifying a person or space with smoke from sacred herbs to clear disharmonious or harmful energies as well as microbes from the environment.
Indigenous Australians were known to use gum leaves or paper bark for cleansing and rituals, and Native Americans are known to have used White Sage, Desert Sage, Sweetgrass and Palo Santo (amongst other herbs). Another spiritually protective and energetically cleansing resin is Frankincense, used by many different cultures for its spiritually cleansing and protective properties.
White Sage is the most well known herb that is used in a smudging ritual, but Palo Santo, Frankincense, Rosemary and Lavender are other herbs and resins that may also be used for their cleansing and protective properties.
Traditionally, a smudging ritual also includes the use of a feather to move the smoke as well as an abalone shell to catch the ash. These tools are also symbolic of Air (feather), Water (shell), Earth (herb), Fire (burning/smoke) and Spirit is also called in to bless and guide the ritual.
5 Benefits to Smudging
- Create harmonious energy in your environment. Smudging clears away any accumulated energetic debris you may have accumulated during the day, and is akin to taking an "energetic shower"! Burning herbs such as White Sage, Palo Santo or using Smudge Wands made up of various herbs, can help to purify your personal energy and environment. Smudging raises the vibration by detaching and dissolving heavy or dense energy and emotions, leaving you and your space feeling peaceful, harmonious and uplifted!
- Purify the air of microbes. Sage, Palo Santo and other medicinal herbs have bactericidal and antimicrobial properties which means they can fight off viruses, bacteria and funghi that may be hanging around in the air, keeping infectious diseases at bay! Research suggests that over 90% of airborne microbes were eliminated when medicinal herbs were burned for around an hour. It also releases negative ions, countering the effects of positive ions that may create allergies such as pet dander, pollution, dust and mould. This may assist those who suffer from hayfever or asthma however caution must be taken as not everyone responds well to smoke. People with lung disorders or asthma should choose other options such as essential oil sprays instead of smudging with smoke.
- Enhance spiritual work. Each herb has its own spiritual properties, so depending on what your intention is, different herbs can support spiritual work in various ways. For example, burning White Sage is helpful for general energy clearing and protection, Palo Santo can also help with clearing, protection, and can also support clarity, concentration, attract good fortune and raise the energy of a space.
- Cleanse your crystals and other ritual or healing tools. Smoke from sage and other herbs can be used to safely purify your healing tools energetically. Not all crystals like to be cleansed in water, so using the smoke of purifying herbs is a great alternative! (Read more about how to cleanse your crystals)
- Energetic Protection. Historically, sage and other plants with protective spiritual properties were called upon as allies to assist in creating harmony and ease within an individual or environment. To invite in the protective properties of the plant, connect with the plant spirit using your intention, giving thanks and asking for its blessing of protection before you work with it.
Where can I get Smudging tools and herbs?
Nature’s Magick offers sustainably sourced wildcrafted Californian White Sage smudge sticks, as well as sustainably sourced Palo Santo in our store... and occasionally we offer our own handmade smudge wands too! We also sell sustainably sourced Abalone shells, Feathers and will soon be offering a range of smudge sprays too! Go to our collection of smudging tools here!