Smudging is a traditional Ceremony used to cleanse and clear energy in a space. It has been recognized and adopted by modern society for it's unmatched mystical value. Smudging is the burning of plants and herbs in ceremonies designed to accomplish varied purposes such as cleansing or blessing. The typical items used to Smudge include plants or herbs to burn, a smudge bowl, and a smudge fan. All four elements are represented during rituals.
Smudge bowls are customarily either abalone shell or ceramic bowls used to catch burning embers, to hold burning herbs, and to store used smudge sticks. Smudge bowls are filled with sand or similar substances to protect the bowl from heated or burning herbs and smudge sticks. In ceremonial rituals, the shell bowl is representative of the element of water.
Smudge sticks are bound herbs which are lit to create smoke. The smoke is then used to accomplish the purpose of the ritual. Typically used herbs include varieties of sage, lavender, cedar, palo santo, sweet grass, and pine needles to name just a few. The type of smudge stick correlates to the purpose of the ceremony. Before a herb or smudge stick is lit, it represents the element of earth. After ignition, the herb or smudge stick represents the element of fire.
Smudge fans are traditionally fans made from natural feathers. These can include one or more feathers and can be enhanced with decorative embellishments. The underside of the fan (the underside of the feathers or the side which would be pointing towards the earth when a bird is flying) is used to fan the smoke to the desired areas. The smudge fan is representative of the element of air.
An example of a smudging ceremony would be a cleansing of yourself, your aura, or another person to clear negative or stagnate energies. After the smudge stick is lit, use the stick and underside of the smudge fan to bathe the body in the cleansing smoke. You might say a smudging prayer such as this one:
"May your hands be cleansed that they create beautiful things."
"May your feet be cleansed that they take you where you most need to be."
"May your heart be cleansed that you might hear it's messages clearly."
"May your throat be cleansed that you might speak rightly when words are needed."
"May your eyes be cleansed that you might see the signs and wonders of the world."
"May this person and space be washed clean by the smoke of these fragrant plants."
"And may that smoke carry our prayers spiraling to the heavens."
*Kindred Being offers suggestions for energy and chakra work. Our advice is not to be substituted for immediate or regular medical attention.