What on earth is a smudging ritual? If you’re hearing this for the first time, your reaction is quite normal. But the truth is, this ritual has been around for many years in different countries, cultures, and religions.
Smudging Ritual for Home
So what exactly is smudging? More specifically, a smudging ritual for home? We’ll break that down for you in a bit, and by the time you finish reading, you’ll have a better understanding of the following:
- What is smudging ritual?
- The Right way of smudging a house
- Does smudging work?
- Learn to perform a smudging ritual the correct way
- Simple smudging ritual for beginners
Definition of Smudging Ritual
As mentioned previously, the practice of a smudging ritual may vary depending on where you are. The Indigenous Peoples in North America for example. They may have different beliefs compared to the Indigenous cultures in Canada pertaining to smoke. As well as different protocols and ceremonies when conducting smudging.
Traditionally however, a smudging ritual is for cleansing or purifying the soul of all negativity. Everything from a person’s thoughts, or to a certain place. Four elements involved are:
- The first element is a container. This is usually a shell that represents water.
- The second element is the four sacred plants (tobacco, sage, cedar, sweetgrass).
- Your third element is the fire you produce from lighting these sacred plants.
- Finally, your last element is the smoke from the fire. This represents the air.
When To Smudge
There are several reasons why people smudge. Here are some of the reasons why you probably should:
- Before going to sleep after a long day with a lot of people
- Moving into a new house
- Getting a new job
- Starting a new business
- Prior to and after a healing session
- Prior to meditation
- After any ailment
- After conflicts/arguments
The Right Frequency for Smudging
There are no textbook rules as to the correct frequency of your smudging. Either yourself or your personal space. The only person who can identify the negative energy within and around you is you. So trust your gut. Your intuition will never lie to you. If you feel weary and stressed out the entire week, a good cleansing may be of great help to you.
On Buying Sage
Smudging is becoming increasingly popular. Unfortunately, overharvesting sage is becoming quite common as well. Therefore, it’s crucial that you buy from providers who value collecting sustainably.
Research how your sage is being prepared and handled. Especially if your smudge stick is for a purification ritual. It has to be with utmost care and thoughtfulness.
Try purchasing from small shops of Native Americans. It’s good to know that these merchants selling sage have high spiritual standards, and their sage are ethically harvested.
White sage is probably the most common variety of a smudge stick. Since it’s white and associated with purity. However, there are other dried plants available you can use. These are rosemary, cedar, and juniper.
Benefits of Smudging Ritual
People do smudging for various reasons. But some of the most common are the following:
The most commonly used types of sage contain antimicrobial properties. It keeps viruses, bacteria, and fungi at bay. Some of them like the white sage and prairie sage also have insect repellent properties.
RELIEVES SYMPTOMS OF CERTAIN AILMENTS
It has not been scientifically proven yet. But burning sage is believed to release negative ions which helps in neutralizing positive ions. Some of the most common positive ions are the allergens such as dust, mold, pollution, and pet dander.
That being the case, this is positive news for people with bronchitis. As well as those having asthma, allergies, and other respiratory conditions. However, inhaling the smoke while performing smudging can further aggravate their respiratory condition. Thus, wait until the smoke clears completely before entering the room.
CONNECTING TO THE SPIRITUAL REALM
For many years smudging is being used to intensify the power of intuition, and even connect to the spiritual realm. In traditional cultures, burning sage is necessary in order to get to a healing state, and even solve spiritual dilemmas.
Now, this part is even backed up by science. You see, some types of sage such as the salvia sages and white prairie sage contain thujone. Evidence shows that thujone is slightly psychoactive. It can be found in many plants used in various spiritual rituals to enhance participant’s intuition.
A smudging ritual also helps to rid your body or your personal space of negativity. Everything from past traumas, to horrid experiences. And even negative energies from the people around you may be rid of by doing this.
This helps you start on a clean slate, making your meditation for another ritual a more positive experience. Letting go of all your negative thoughts and feelings, and dedicating yourself to be the best version of yourself is the next best thing.
EMPOWERS SPECIFIC OBJECTS
Now, this is one great benefit of a smudging ritual! This works great for new purchases, secondhand items, and even gifts. You can smudge practically any item you like.
So if you feel there may be some negative energy or history that is attached to a new and unfamiliar item you have, then yes. Smudging may help give you some peace of mind once and for all.
Not only can burning sage lift your mood, but it can also relieve you from a ton of stress. The University of Mississippi conducted research in 2016. It established the potency of white sage or Salvia apiana. That it contains compounds that activate certain brain receptors. These brain receptors are responsible for alleviating a person’s mood levels. They can also relieve pain, and reduce stress.
ENHANCES QUALITY OF SLEEP
For those suffering from insomnia but aren’t fans of taking prescription pills just to be able to doze off, this is great news for you! Smudging may guard against any negativity that could ruin your sleeping pattern.
Research suggests that sage has compounds that could relieve insomnia. You can also burn classic garden sage like the white sage. Not only can it improve your sleeping habits, but it could also reduce your anxiety levels.
But wait, there’s more! So there are a lot of other things it can do. Aside from dissipating negative energy, strengthening your intuition, and improving your mood. A smudging ritual using sage could also improve your focus and memory!
According to a 2016 review of studies, there’s evidence for Salvia’s cognitive-enhancing benefits. And they are promising. Which could someday be used, perhaps, to treat Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. However, doing more research is of utmost importance.
BOOSTS ENERGY LEVELS
Today’s world can be challenging. Do you ever wake up in the morning and you already feel tired? From the things you did yesterday, to the things you’re about to do today- you feel tired just thinking about them!
But a smudging ritual can help by getting rid of your body’s, the items you have, and your surroundings’ negative energy. This leaves you with a fresher, cleaner, more positive vibe. Its energizing effect can greatly help in reducing the overwhelming fatigue that you feel.
How to Conduct a Smudging Ritual for Home
Before you start smudging, make sure your surrounding area is well-ventilated. You can do this by opening all doors and windows. Don’t do this near babies or young children, pregnant women, or people with asthma. Furthermore, never leave a burning smudge unattended. Once you’re ready, do the following:
- Light your smudge stick. Sage bundles when lit produce fragrant clouds of smoke that can pass around you, another person, or a place. Those needing spiritual cleansing or purification. Lift your arms, then go into corners and doorways. Move from left to right.
- Say your intention. Release all negative energies from this person or place, and wish it to be filled with light, love, and energy from the universe.
- If you need to smudge yourself, fan smoke using your hand around your body starting from head to toe. Do your best to visualize that smoking lifting all your negative emotions away. Imagine all these thoughts and bad vibes leaving you for good.
- If you wish to smudge on someone else, create your own fitting prayer for that particular person.
- Smoke in four directions. Start with east, south, west, then end with the north.
On Saging Respectfully
Before going on exploring the benefits of smudging, there are a couple of important points to remember. First, the burning of sage is inherently sacred in countless communities. Thus, they deserve nothing but respect. This practice of burning sage for cleansing and purification stems from the Native American tradition.
Shamans used to burn sage over a fire in order to cleanse their people of all the negativity within and surrounding them. It’s also used to promote healing, longevity, and wisdom. Therefore, smudging is not just a ‘thing’ or a trend. Always do it with reverence, intention, respect, and gratitude to those people who did it before you.