I've dabbled with a smudge stick, I say dabbled... I've had one in my drawer for about 3 years, I burned it once and wasn't sure what I was doing, so it's been left there ever since. So when we introduced these lovely hand made smudge and incense stick holders to the site by talented London designer Daniela Rubino, I started reading up on what they are all about and found it so intriguing I thought I'd share my newly found knowledge with you lovely lot!
I am now a convert and can be seen buzzing around the house/ office / shop armed with a smudge stick dispelling negative energy, vibes, bacteria and viruses (research has proven that burning sage removes a whopping 94% of bacteria in the air!).
What the Smudge?
A smudge stick is a bundle of dried herbs (sage among the most common) that are tied together and burned for the purposes of purification. Smudging has been practiced for centuries by Native American tribes and is one of the most common but powerful aids and ways to cleanse the mind, body, spirit.
It is a practice used in ceremonies and rituals that involves the burning of plants/ herbs to create a cleansing smoke bath, which is then used to purify anything from people to ritual and ceremonial space, to tools and objects.
There are many different ceremonies and rituals that include smudging. Each culture has it's own way of bringing about physical, spiritual, and emotional balance, of cleansing negative energy and differing cultures, and people have their own methods and herbal mixtures for smudging performed for varied specific purposes. Native Americans, for example, tended to favour sage that was lit from the central or cooking fire. Part of their beauty is that there are no restrictions or set rules. However, guidelines should be established and followed for safety and to ensure success.
Why we Smudge:
Even the happiest homes accumulate negative vibes over time, so feng shui practitioners find it helpful to smudge at home at least several times a year. Some people smudge as much as once a week, smudging can be an effective way to clear negative energy and create good feng shui. My journey with smudging is still very new, but am finding if I feel overwhelmed or anxious, a bit of a smudge session really helps!
Go Smudge yourself:
- Open a window.
- Set your intention! Smudging is an ancient and sacred ceremony, so it is best to perform it with full awareness, set a meaningful intention, always going into it with a positive state of mind - stay connected to your breathing throughout.
- Light the end of a sage bundle with a match. Blow out quickly if it catches on fire (we don't want any 999 calls!).
- The tips of the leaves should smoulder slowly, releasing thick smoke. Direct this smoke around your body and space with one hand while holding the bundle in the other (and be careful of any oversensitive smoke alarms).
- Allow the incense to linger on the areas of your body or surroundings you’d like to focus on.
- Allow the ash to collect in a ceramic bowl.
- When you have smudged all areas of your house, return to the starting point and gently extinguish your smudge stick. Dip it into a bowl with sand or soil while applying a bit of pressure. Wait a bit, then pack away your smudge and container until your next smudging session. Depending on how long you smudge in your session, you should be able to reuse your smudge stick many many times (hence why these smudge stick holders are so useful!)
Go forth and smudge!
(Below images are of Daniela Rubino's fab incense and smudge stick holders to the site, click on the pic to shop)