Sage and Smudging
Smudging is an ancient ceremony, started by Native American tribes in ancient America, in which you burn sacred plants, like sage, to rid the air of negative energies. The smoke clears and blesses the air. These sacred plants include: sage, tobacco, cedar, sweet grass, juniper, pine needles, deers-tongue, cypress, pinion, desert sage, and sweet grass. Burning sage is widely known for dispelling unwanted spirits and negative energy.
How to smudge a space:
Clear the space of clutter. Open windows and curtains to allow for fresh air to enter the space. Light your sage with a lighter (this represents the element of fire) and wave out the flame to an ember. Wave smoke around with a feather (this represents the element of air). The sage bundle can also be set down while it burns in an abalone shell (representing the element of water). The ceremony is a "four direction" ceremony, where you face all four directions to bless the space. A small chant or prayer accompanies each direction:
- We start in the East where the sun rises and brings us the opportunity to begin again with each new day. Breath.
- We go to the South and honor our creativity, our children, the child in us, our playfulness, joy, and hope. Earth.
- We go to the West where the sun goes down, and the blackness of introspection begins when the day is done. Water.
- We go to the North where our rest awaits us. Knowledge, stamina, compassion, silence. Fire.
Clearing your body:
Smudging is not only for spaces; it’s also for clearing your body, mind, and spirit of any negativity, stagnation, or energetic disturbances within or surrounding you. Make sure to invite the sacred smoke around your body from head to toe and front to back before smudging your space. Here is a prayer to go along with it:
May your hands be cleansed, that they create beautiful things.
May your feet be cleansed, that they might take you where you most need to be.
May your heart be cleansed, that you might hear its 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 same smoke carry our prayers, spiraling, to the heavens.
*For those who are non-spiritual, burning sage and other plants actually has been scientifically proven to kill harmful bacteria in the air*