The Importance of Smudging
I have worked with Tera Mai Reiki/Seichem a form of hands on healing for some 14 years now and if I’ve learned one thing it’s that it is very important to always cleans the area you are going to work in. For one it creates a spiritually calm and protective space and it also helps to cleanse the auric field of negative energy.
It is also useful for cleansing objects, especially if they are second-hand or have passed through many hands before your took possession of them.
I always smudge with herbs before I do Reiki, if I choose to meditate or simply if I want to clear the air of negative energy. For whatever reason it is a very powerful tool to adopt on your spiritual path.
We all have bad days, days when we just feel out of sorts or days when we encounter someone who offloads all their problems onto us or those who even go so far as to upset you. Well quite simply there is something you can do about that. You can collect your smudging gear and with a little positive intent, you can rebalance yourself and the space you live in. It’s that simple. And the more you smudge the clearer and more sacred your space becomes.
Every day, whether I used my Reiki room or not I went inside and I smudge the area. I also smudged the room after I had given a Reiki. By doing this my therapy room always had an air of sacredness about it. It was something that my Reiki clients always commented on.
My therapy room used to be part of mine and my sisters Gift Shop. We used to stock all the sacred herbs because it was important to us to teach people how to use these herbs as an everyday tool so they could live more peaceful lives. We taught them that although they are not always in control of what other people do to us, we are in control of how to address the imbalance that such encounters create.
My sister and I always supplied flyers for our customers so they could go home and apply what we had taught them. So below is the information that we used to share in our shop. Feel free to use or adapt it however you wish.
Sadly my sister passed away from cancer in 2012 so I no longer have the shop. Luckily the information we loved to share verbally will now become available on my website. I will add links of where you can buy some of these herbs in my blog posts if you are interested.
There are many different ways to use sacred herbs, this is just one of them. Enjoy.
How To Smudge
Smudging is a form of purification among the Native Americans. They typically use White Sage, but often other herbs such as Cedar, Sweetgrass, Juniper, Bearberry are mixed with Sage. For convenience you can buy commercial smudge sticks that come in a combination of herbs that are tied together.
You can either use a small fireproof clay smudge pot or an abalone shell to burn loose herbs in or you can light a smudge stick. After lighting the herbs then blowing out the flames, you use the smoke to cover the body, room or objects that needed cleansing or purifying.
You can use your hand to gather the smoke and then smooth it over and around the aura. I prefer to use a feather because it helps to spread the smoke over entire body, room or object.
Think of Smudging as a form of prayer from you to the source or great spirit. Through the prayer you are asking for blessing and protection.
You can use the following smudging ceremony or you can create a ceremony that is right for you. It is your intent that is important.
Place the abalone shell or pot in front of you and thank it for the life that created it and for helping you in this ceremony.
Place the herbs in the shell or pot, thanking each one as you hold it. Remember that these herbs have died so that you can use them for this ceremony so we should always show gratitude for their sacrifice. Next you can light the smudge mix. Thank the Father Sun and the Spirit of Fire for coming to help you with this ceremony.
Fan the fire gently with your feather or hand until the herbs are burning enough to create sufficient smoke. Then use the feather to put the fire out. If the embers look like dying out then use your hand or the feather to fan the embers until they smoke again. If it does go out, simply relight it.
Now, use the feather or your hand to bring the smoke over your head, down your chest, down each arm and over the hands. Now direct the smoke down your body, then each leg in turn, not forgetting to smudge under your feet. If smudging someone else, ask them to turn around and do the same down the back.
When done, direct smoke above you saying, “As above so below” then direct the smoke at the ground saying, “So below as above.”
This process cleanses our hearts, minds and bodies and helps us to be grounded. While doing this, it is good to see the smoke carry away any cares or physical injuries.
You can now smudge any objects that you might want to by passing them through the smoke from the four directions, starting with the East.
Ask that the object be cleansed for your use. If you are smudging with other people, smudge yourself first and then hold the shell by its edges for the others to smudge. You can also smudge a house or room that needs cleansing. Go around the room with the burning smudge and using your feather, push any negative energies out through an open door or window. When you are done, let the ashes cool and give them back to the Earth.
The herbs are now joining the soil from which new life arises, again thanking the herbs and the fire.
For those of you who like a prayer to say before you smudge I always use this one before I do any healing work.
With Clean Hands
Oh, Great Spirit,
Whose voice I hear in the winds & whose breath gives life to all the world.
I come before you, one of your many children.
I am weak and small
I need your strength & wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty & make my eyes ever behold the red & purple sunset;
My ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise, so I may learn the things you have taught my people,
The lessons you have hidden under every rock and leaf.
I seek strength, not to be superior to my brother,
But to be able to fight my greatest enemy – Myself.
Make me ever ready to come to you with clean hands & straight eyes,
So whenever life fades, like the fading Sunset,
My Spirit may come to you without Shame.
Native American Prayer. Composed by: Chief Yellow Lark, a Blackfoot Indian.
Herbs and their Powers
SAGE – Has the power to drive away negative energies. California (broad leaves) and desert (smaller leaves) sage are used interchangeably, or sometimes even together, but usually people prefer one or the other. Sage is used to prepare people for ceremonies and teachings. Because it is more medicinal and stronger than sweetgrass, it tends to be used more often in ceremonies. Sage is used for releasing what is troubling the mind and for removing negative energy. It is also used for cleansing homes and sacred items.
CEDAR – Like sage and sweetgrass, cedar is used to purify the home. It also has many restorative medicinal uses. Cedar baths are healing. When cedar is put in the fire with tobacco, (Kinnick Kinnick) it crackles. When it does this, it is calling the attention of the spirits to the offering that is being made.
Cedar, Juniper and Pinion pine – all provide balance and harmony when used in a smudge.
SWEETGRASS – Sweetgrass is the sacred hair of Mother Earth. Its sweet aroma reminds people of the gentleness, love and kindness she has for the people. When sweetgrass is used in a healing circle it has a calming effect. Like sage and cedar, sweetgrass is used for smudging and purification. Sweetgrass has the power to call in positive energies. Its sweet smell helps make us and our objects sweet to spirit. It is sometimes called the hair of the Earth Mother and is braided in the field, with love, before it is harvested.
LAVENDER – Has a calming and relaxing influence. The distinctive flowers can be burned, put into sachets or left uncovered in an open bowl to release the scent. Lavender is renowned for its calming energy, helping to rebalance tired and distorted emotions. It’s particularly good for easing headaches, anxiety, depression and dispelling insomnia, but it’s also said to be helpful for restoring the connection to the sacred realm.
FRANKINCENSE – Is particularly good for people who are working on their spiritual progress and want to clearly open up to higher spiritual elements, as it can help communication on a higher plane. Additionally, it has warming and relaxing properties and is a good choice for dealing with stress.
MYRRH – When burnt it produces an earthy, almost pine-like scent. It’s well known for its grounding and calming properties.
BEARBERRY – Cleansing, purifying
OSHA ROOT– Luck, purification, it is thought to protect against negative influences and negative thoughts. Osha is associated with dreaming and helps you to realise that there is magic in everything, including yourself. It helps to lift a veil between the conscious and unconscious worlds. Osha is a powerful, spicy-smelling root that may be sprinkled onto the rocks in a sweat lodge
ROSEMARY LEAF – Protection, Love, Mental Powers, Exorcism.
Please note, that some herbs and essential oils are not appropriate for pregnant women, always check before using.