Day 6 is here so we are back for another cleansing tip.
If you missed yesterday’s blog about journaling to cleanse the mind, check it out here.
Today’s cleansing tip is smudging. Smudging is the practice of utilizing herbs and fire in order to clear out negative energy.
Our world and everything in it is made up of energy. Sometimes the energy is positive but sometimes that energy can be negative. We may not see it but we feel it and our bodies and minds often react. It is the reason you walk into a room and immediately feel heavy or scared. It is the reason for the icky feeling you get in your stomach but can’t explain when you look at someone who rubs you the wrong way.
Negative energy can also come from our own thoughts and feelings. When we experience negativity, regardless of where the energy comes from, we can continue to spread it if we aren’t careful. Just as it is important to cleanse our bodies of toxins, it is important to cleanse the negative energy from our environments to prevent this energy from spreading and creating illness in our bodies, minds, or souls.
Many indigenous traditions utilize smudging in order to clear out negative energy. Smudging is the act of burning herbs or other natural materials to allow the medicinal properties of the smoke to purify the energy of the space, people or other objects. It is also common in many religious places of worship. To this day the smell of frankincense still reminds me of church.
Here’s how it is done:
- Choose an item to smudge with (sage, palo santo, lavender, sweet grass, your favorite incense or resin, frankincense, etc. or mix a few for additional benefits)
- Light it and blow out the flames in order to create smoke or if using resins you can place it on a hot plate or hot coals
- Guide the smoke around the area, item or person that needs cleansing
- Say a prayer or mantra to set your intention for cleansing
- Leave it on a fire resistant plate and allow the smoke to stop on its on
For those who can’t do smoke, utilizing smudging sprays or resin on top of hot charcoal can be a better alternative. You can make your own smudge spray with herbs and water or simply buy a pre-made spray.
Each herb has its own set of medicinal qualities. Sage is often used for protection, clarity and drawing in money. Palo Santo, which is one of my personal favorites, brings in unconditional love and devotion. Lavender is great for healing, balancing and relaxation. Sweetgrass invites positive energy for support. These are only a few of the many natural materials that can be used for smudging. Experiment with different materials to find what works best for you.
How do you know what works for you? Pay attention to how you feel. Notice what is happening in your body before and after smudging. Notice how others in the space may change as well.
How often should you smudge? This is up to you. Many people burn incense and herbs in their space regularly throughout each day. Some people do it in the mornings to start the day. Others only do it as needed. As with everything, it is all about what works for you. Try it before meditating, praying, journaling or in conjunction with any of your other cleansing rituals. If you do nothing else, be sure to smudge when you or your space feel stagnant, heavy or just plain icky.
Tell me about your personal experiences with smudging in the Actualize Your Healing Facebook group.