Posted | by Lena Li
Smudging is a purifying, cleansing, exorcising, and blessing act which has been practiced by tribal communities around the world for thousands of years. The burning of carefully selected and respectfully harvested plant materials for energy cleansing, ceremonies, blessings, healings, celebrations and rites of passage is a grounding tradition which reconnects us with our tribal roots, the divine, our profound partnership with nature, and all the fellow humans that have walked before us, and continue to walk beside us, for millions of years.
Most smudges are carried out for similar purposes, regardless of which plants are used and which culture we look to: smudges are said to banish negative energy/spirits, assist healing, expand consciousness, and elevate the spirit for meditation.
Many types of smudges are used around the world--ranging from wild plants, such as sage and sweetgrass, to trees, such as cedar and palo santo, to resins such as frankincense and myrrh.
To keep the air pure and vibrant with energy, we like to occasionally burn small amounts of sage and palo santo.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Four Directions teachings of the medicine wheel feature prominently in smudging ceremonies. In some cultures, four elements are represented in parts of the ceremony: fire in the burning of the sacred herbs, earth in the herbs themselves, air in the feather used to fan the smoke or the smoke itself, and water in the vessel to carry the herbs. Additionally, medicine gifts belong to the Four Directions, including sweetgrass, cedar, sage and tobacco.