Through day to day experiences and the beautiful process of life, stagnant energy can invade your physical space and your spiritual space. If you’re feeling cynical, stuck, sluggish, or even sad, it may be due to some stagnant energy in your field.
Your field is your emotional, energetic, mental, spiritual or physical body, as well as your physical environment. Having your field constantly filled with negative energy leads an attack on your joy, happiness, peace, and your body in the form of pain and dis-ease.
Smudging is an ancient ceremony of burning sacred plants like sage, sweet grass, or tobacco. When burned, the smoke clears the space of negative ions and then blesses the space to begin fresh and new again. In essence, it’s like resetting and reenergizing the field. Scientifically, it has also been proven that burning sage removes bacteria from the air.
“Grandmother Wapajea,” a healer with lineage from Choctaw, Creek, and Cherokee tribes says, “The goal of smudging is to make a place clear of lingering energy that is different from what you may be intending for that space. You want to prepare the space for ceremony, the way you would clean your house, cook, and decorate when your family comes for a holiday. We are welcoming Great Spirit, angels, and ancestors to come and share clean space with us as well.”
I was first introduced to smudging during my sacred journey of becoming a Spiritual Life Coach. First I was smudged as a blessing during a sacred sweat lodge experience, then after every Sunday Morning Worship service. This is now a practice I use after every coaching session to clear the emotions that may have come up, to clear the space at every workshop I facilitate and even my home each week. This resets the space by clearing everything that doesn’t serve my highest good. For me, it’s an honor to then offer the blessed space as a gift to others.
Here is how you can integrate this ancient spiritual practice into your life.
Sage or other sacred plants
Sage represents the earth element and when burned, the smoke from it represents the air.
Abalone shell. This is meant to hold and burn the plants. The shell represents the water element. (Sometimes I use this, other times I hold the smudge stick between my fingers)
Matches or a lighter. These represent the fire element.
Feather. This represents the air element. (When a feather is not available, I have waved the smudge stick to represent this element)
Drum(s) or sacred drumming music, which represent the beat of the heart. (If drum sounds are not available, set an intention and imagine it to be so. Trust your Spirit to create the sound for you)
For indigenous people, Great Spirit is in all of nature and creation. All elements are sacred and to be honored as an aspect of Divine Creator.
The Smudging Process
Oftentimes, smudging involves a four-direction ceremony, North, South, East, West.
First set an intention for your experience and clear your space of any clutter. Open windows and doors to allow the negative energy a way out. Light the sage (or sacred plant of your choosing) and fan it directionally throughout the room, around your body, and anyone else participating in the ceremony with you. As you are smudging repeat positive affirmations and prayers. When smudging my home, I smudge each corners of the front and back doors, affirming that my space is protected and no negative or evil spirits are welcomed.
“We start in the East where the sun rises, and brings us the opportunity to begin again with each new day. Breath.
We go to the South and honor our creativity, our children, the child in us, our playfulness, joy, and hope. Earth.
We go to the West where the sun goes down, and the blackness of introspection begins when the day is done. Water.
We go to the North where our rest awaits us. Knowledge, stamina, compassion, silence. Fire. We use a feather to fan the sacred smoke in each direction, one drums, one sings, one dances, one prays, until we have circled back to the east.”
Keep in mind that the Smudging Practice is a sacred act of Love and should be respected. It is a process that honors Great Spirit (God or any name you choose to reverence), our Ancestors, and all of Divine Creation.
The sacred act also honors and sees the Divine Mother in everything as Women are Birthers. Creation comes through Women and we are all from the same Sacred Womb. Everything is related to everything; nothing is random.
As you embark upon this sacred ritual, remember that you are Holy and your whole beingness is a Prayer. Remember your Holiness.
Below is a smudging prayer by Bess O’Conner, Holistic Health Practitioner.
I offer that as you grow in this practice, create a prayers to strengthen and deeper your spiritual connection.
A Smudging Prayer
May your hands be cleansed, that they create beautiful things.
May your feet be cleansed, that they might take you where you most need to be.
May your heart be cleansed, that you might hear its messages clearly.
May your throat be cleansed, that you might speak rightly when words are needed.
May your eyes be cleansed, that you might see the signs and wonders of the world.
May this person and space be washed clean by the smoke of these fragrant plants.
And may that same smoke carry our prayers, spiraling, to the heavens.