Lately, smudge sticks are one of my most popular items in the aromatherapy shop. Join me as we explore smudge sticks: what are they and why do you need them?
What Are Smudge Sticks?
Smudge sticks are bundles of fragrant dried herbs that have been wrapped with thin twine to keep it all together. You light the tip of the stick, gently blow out the flame and allow the smoke to float around your space.
The term “smudging” refers to a ceremonial or ritual practice of burning herbs to purify and cleanse a space, yourself or other people. The practice has been around for thousands of years.
I find that after a stressful day, smudging my personal space (and myself) helps me to release the stress and feel more grounded and peaceful.
Smudging is one way to energetically cleanse a space to invite positive energy.
And who doesn’t want positive energy in their space?
What Kinds of Smudge Sticks Are There?
You can make a smudge stick out of any fragrant dried herb. But there are some herbs that are preferred for their cleansing and spiritual properties. Here’s an explanation of three kinds of smudge sticks that I carry in the Scented Balance Aromatherapy shop – both online and in the physical shop:
White Sage Smudge Stick
This is by far the most popular smudging herb with good reason. White sage cleanses and purifies the air in your space. Belonging to the mint family, it has a sweet somewhat heavy scent that smells like marijuana. Rest assured, it is NOT.
Used by many Native Americans in their tribal spiritual rituals and ceremonies, white sage is thought to drive away negative energy; it’s anti-microbial and is excellent for repelling bugs.
If someone in your home has been ill, smudge each room (see below for directions) carefully and leave a window cracked or a door slightly ajar to allow the smoke to escape.
From a spiritual perspective, white sage is very helpful for calming and preparing for meditation.
Cedarwood Smudge Stick
Each time I open the jar that holds the cedar smudge sticks, the scent lifts my spirits. As a conifer, cedarwood has a soft and woodsy scent reminiscent of a cool quiet forest.
Cedarwood is used to enhance positive emotions, clear the air of negative energy and help your spirit return to balance. The beautiful scent may remind you of pencil shavings – remember them from elementary school?
As it burns slowly, it’s ideal to smudge with cedarwood when you want to usher in peace and feelings of security.
Palo Santo Smudge Stick
The name Palo Santo translates into “Holy Wood”. It’s a tree primarily found in South America and for a number of years, has been over-harvested. Now, Palo Santo is restricted to naturally downed limbs to protect the trees.
Palo Santo is perfect for meditation or for soothing the spirit through stressful days. It has a sweet, warm and woody scent and traditionally has been used to purify sacred spaces.
It’s excellent for soothing headaches, emotional trauma and stress.
How To Use Smudge Sticks
Smudging is simple and easy and, like housecleaning, it’s a good idea to do it weekly.
Are you moving into a new home or apartment? Smudge the entire space before you move in to clear out any negative energy especially when you have no idea who lived there before.
To begin, set your intention to clear your space of any negative energy and make sure you have a window open just a little bit in each room. You’ll need a heat-proof container such as an ashtray to catch any ashes.
Light one end of your smudge stick so that it flames up and then gently blow out the flame to create smoke. Beginning at the front door to your space, go around the room in a clockwise direction letting the smoke get into every corner – including closets and the basement area.
You may need to relight the smudge stick, so keep your lighter handy.
Do this in every room of your space and return to the front door when you’re finished to put out the smudge stick. It can be used several times until it gets to a point where you can’t safely hold it.
There’s really no wrong way to smudge your space – I love smudging my personal space and my aromatherapy shop. Setting my intention to release negative energy and invite positive energy in always soothes my soul.
Smudging Is Good For The Soul
Many times over the last few weeks, I’ve felt scattered and anxious – yes, I believe we all have. We can’t always change the situation we find ourselves in.
Smudging is a way to center yourself, to ground your skittish energy and to soothe your weary soul.
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