How to smudge yourself and your space: To become centered, stabilized and cleared.
Smudge sticks (Palo Santo or Sage), used by peoples in the West for millennia as a ceremonial and routine way to help them feel centered, healed, whole as well connected to the Universe. It has properties to help inspire creativity, deepen the connection to ‘divine’, grounding, and aid in physical as well as emotional healing. Some people have hesitation using smudge because it seems too esoteric, heretical, or just weird. I have chosen to present it as a way to become clear on an intention you set for yourself or your home. This way we can use more of the senses to get some concept going in our lives… This procedure we use sight, scent, movement, and sound to anchor our minds in the intention we set. It is a symbolic way to use this very effective and powerful tool for emotional healing, spiritual development and intent to make the world a little better.
To smudge follow these steps, you can modify them as you please, but this was the traditional way I was taught by ‘senior healers’ I have chosen over my life.
You will need: a candle, a lighter, a fire or heat proof dish or holder for the lit smudge, Sage or Palo Santo (many herbs can be used. Consider also using sweet-grass etc…) Optionally, use a feather to waft the smoke. I use my hand, as I find it not as mindful, useful or respectful of other life to use parts of another being… This is also why I do not advocate nor use an abalone shell… etc.
Light the candle and set it where you choose to begin. Take a moment to be still. Always use the breath, concentrate on the whole cycle of breathing with a special notice of the stillness of the top of the breath.
Light the end of the stick/bundle with a candle, leave the candle in the starting place. let the smudge stick burn out to a smolder or waft it with the opposite hand you are holding it with, be mindful not to hit it, do not blow on it as it may spread embers. Allow the smoke to rise. It is best to have a fire proof tray or dish to hold it in or set it in. You can hold it in your hand though. Give a moment to silently watch the smoke rise. Do this with an open contemplative mind. Next, set your intention for why you are ‘smudging’. Cleansing, clearing, centering, protecting, healing, etc…
Start anywhere in your house, go to each corner and waft the smoke in three clock-wise circles, then, move to the next corner (clockwise)… You can go to each room this way, ending in the same room you started in. It helps to keep the intention when wafting the smoke, repeat it quietly or to yourself. When you are done with the space smudging, grasp (with a cupped hand) the smoke and ‘wash’ your entire body, starting and ending with the area around your heart. Continue repeating your intention, BE with that intention in your heart or mind. Once done you can let the Sage or Palo Santo burn a little longer or tamp it out with sand…do not use water.
Keep the smudge stick dry, mindfully dispose of any ash left on the ground outside. (Returning the intention to source). This is best done at the New Moon or Full Moon times of the month.
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