The Smudging Ceremony Explained

The Smudging Ceremony Explained

What is a "smudging" ceremony? Learn about this purifying ancient ritual and why setting clear intentions is vital.

Anyone with a keen interest in the paranormal, or the spiritual for that matter, will have encountered the word “smudging”. While most people are already familiar with the smudging ritual, here is a detailed overview of smudging and its meaning for those of you who are not.

What Is Smudging?

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Sage In The Abalone Shell Ready For Smudging

The word “smudging” refers to a specific ceremony. Its origins lay in Native America, where the ritual was used to purify or bless people. Nowadays, the ritual has spread to other cultures as well, since smudging is commonly used to bless or cleanse homes.

Why Is Smudging Done in the Modern World?

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Why Smudging

Smudging is believed to eliminate so-called low vibrations and stuck energies, so it is often used to cleanse rooms and sometimes entire homes. It is also a popular practice for people in Wiccan culture, since the smudging ritual is also used in various Wiccan rituals.

Which Plants Are Used for Smudging?

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White Sage Plant

Sage is the best-known and most widely used plant for smudging. That said, the ritualistic nature of smudging indicates that other plants can be used as well. Various cultures around the world use a specific kind of “sacred” plant, which they prefer for the smudging ritual. However, if you are a beginner, basic sage or the white sage bundles may be the best way to start.

Different plants come with their own set of benefits during the smudging process. For example, sage is used for cleansing negative energies in spaces and people. Another example is cinnamon, which is believed to aid the healing process. Want to attract good spirits and luck? Then catnip might be the plant you are looking for.

How Is Smudging Done?

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Sage Bundle

Beginners should start with a basic sage bundle which is easily obtained from a specialist store or online. Once you have your sage bundle, light one end of the “smudge”. Allow the bundle to catch on fire and let the end burn for several seconds until the flame extinguishes itself. Then, pick up the bundle and gently blow the embers off the end.

When working with a sage bundle, please take fire safety into consideration. Do not blow embers from the sage bundle in an area that could easily catch fire. Safety comes first, so take special care when smudging for the first time. Once you have blown the embers off, place your bundle in a fireproof dish; this will catch the ashes from the bundle as it burns.

However, some people prefer to keep hold of the bundle as they cleanse several rooms in the home. Once again, pay close attention to fire safety if you intend on doing this. During the smudging process, it is important to think about your intention as the smoke leaves the bundle. For example, is your intent the purification of bad energy? Or do you simply want to consecrate a new home?

Please note that the right plant is also important during the smudging process. For example, if your intention is cleansing negative energy from a room, then you must use sage while you release your intentions into the world. However, if you want protection, then you must use rosemary instead. There are plenty of books and online information on the use of certain plants for smudging. So, even if you are not that familiar with the smudging process, or the different plants and their uses, you are bound to learn quickly with all the info that is widely available today.

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