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All about smudging

With so much doom and gloom around, the idea of cleansing our spaces, objects, and ourselves of negative energy sounds quite enticing. Hence the rise in popularity of  smudging.

Smudging is an ancient tradition common across the world to Indigenous people. Today, typically, people use an abalone shell to hold something like sage which is set alight with a flame and then use a feather to fan and spread the smoke around the space once the sage is burning.

Sage belongs to the Salvia plant family and its name is derived from the Latin word salvere, which means “be well/in good health. In traditional Native American culture, burning sage is also believed to cleanse people of negativity and promote healing, wisdom, and longevity. Alternatives to sage are other dried plants such as juniper, rosemary, and cedar.

A number of medical studies have shown that medicinal smokes such as sage have powerful antimicrobial, antibacterial qualities that can improve mood and cognition. It can serve as an insect repellent and can even help with sleep quality by easing insomnia.

Smudging has helped cleanse people of negativity and promote healing, wisdom, and longevity. It has also been shown to benefit a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

How to smudge your house to clear negative energy

Gather all the items you need. Ensure that you have opened a door or window before lighting up to allow all that negativity (and smoke) to have a way out.

Set your intention and say a mantra. Intentions are central to the practice of smudging, so decide on a mantra or prayer to repeat while saging.

Once you are ready, hold the sage at a 45-degree angle. light it with a match, candle, lighter etc. Now let it burn for about 20 seconds before gently blowing out the flames. You should see orange embers on one end and the smoke start to rise.

Slowly walk around your spaces and allow the smoke to waft around. Guide the smoke with the feather and hence the negative energy, towards open windows or doors, so it can escape.

To ensure cleansing is as effective as possible, concentrate on areas near mirrors, in corners hallways, and doorways.

You are playing with fire, so be very careful. Never leave any smudge stick unattended. If embers fall on the ground, make sure they are extinguished. Do not breathe in too much smoke!

Once you have finished your cleansing and ready to extinguish a sage smudge stick, press the burning tip firmly into your fireproof vessel until the smoke stops. Never place in water as may be more difficult to use the next time. Which would be when you next you feel down or lack energy.