That moment when everything that came before it is much different from all that comes after it. You know, all those insignificant puny moments strung together that make up a life. Every day we wake up a different person. A different frame of mind, different energy, and biologically our body has changed, that’s why I believe every transition has its “time.”
Smudging is a wonderful ritual that moves stagnant energy from our home, spirit, mind and body as the smoke attaches itself to negative energy, moving it to another space.
Seasonal smudging rituals are my way of respecting and celebrating transitions in my life.
I am no expert on smudging, I really know nothing in the grand picture of knowledge. All I know I learned from time spent over several years working closely with Native Elders. This practice has been part of my life for the past 10 years. Smudging is a ritual about respect, treating it with reverence is my priority. I store my sage and abalone shell in an honored place in my home. Store sage above waist height, never on the ground level in your home.
Any of the following are great for smudging the home, and body.
White sage and desert sage drive off negative vibrations and bad spirits.
Sweet grass draws positive energy and is a sacred herb for smudging.
Juniper purifies and helps make a safe and sacred environment.
Lavender helps to bring a peaceful environment. It also creates balance and loving vibrations.
Cedar enhances good energy and acts as a purifier.
Using a combination of white sage, cedar and lavender is my favorite because I love the smell, and the cleansing properties they hold. In the summer I use rose, lavender, sage and cedar.
The schedule for smudging my home is four times per year, spring equinox, summer solstice, fall equinox and instead of winter solstice, I smudge on the last day of the year, unless I feel the need to do it more often. You will begin to feel the shift in energy in your home.
There really is no right or wrong way to smudge. Create a ritual that resonates with you.
Smudging yourself on a daily basis can be helpful in keeping balance. I tend to smudge when I’ve been around people who are ill, depressed, or at times of negativity and chaos. Especially after my hospital appointments and chemo.
Before beginning to cleanse the energy in your home please make sure you have de-cluttered your home. Remove everything from the floor such as books, papers.
I open the windows in my house and turn on any fans or ceiling fans. This helps the negative energy drift out of the window allowing the positive energy to fill the room in its place. It also helps keep smoke detectors from alarming.
I light my smudge stick and once it begins to burn, blow out the flame and allow the embers to start to smolder and smoke (similar to lighting incense). I leave my smudge stick in the bowl and use my smudging fan made from turkey and peacock feathers given to me by an Elder.
I smudge myself first. I take a little smoke in my hands like a washing motion wash some over my eyes, ears, heart, and head. I use a brushing motion in the direction away from my body. I breathe a little bit in, and waft a little bit over my body.
I say an affirmation or a prayer while cleansing my body and a different one for my home.
As I walk from room to room I say:
“Bless this home and all who enter, please cleanse this home of all stagnant and negative energy, and fill this home with light, love and health with positive energy of the highest vibration.”
Again, pick something that resonates with you.
Enter and walk around each room always start on the left side of the doorway staying to the left all the way through your home or apartment, waving the sage stick so the smoke drifts into corners, along walls, around windows, and along ceiling lines. Also imagine the smoke absorbing negativity. Bless each room in your home with sage, including basement and attic space, repeating your blessing or prayer the whole time. Asking for the good energy to stay and the negative energy to leave. Offer smoke to the four directions starting with the East. Then, turning clockwise, offer to the South, again turning, to the West and then again to the North. This is my ritual, but really, do whatever feels right for you and whatever your intuition tells you to. Once I get to the front entrance of my home I shoot the smoke out the front door and then wait a few minutes, then go outside and put some ashes of the sage on the doorstep to protect the entrance.
Extinguish the smudge stick in the cup of water or in an ashtray. I have an abalone shell I use during the ritual. A proper way to dispose of the ashes is to take them outdoors and sprinkle them on the earth. We are not supposed to keep the left over ashes, my teachers believe that our spiritual beliefs are what we cleanse off, that it goes somewhere, and it’s contained in those ashes and it should be taken out.
I have to say that I find genuine meaning in this ritual; it gives me the opportunity to express gratefulness for my space and this place–right here, right now.
Wishing you renewal and blessings for 2016.