Smudging is the (ceremonial) process of cleansing and purification. A collection of herbs are put together to make a smudge stick. These are lit up and the smoke is used to clean negative energy. These ceremony has been done throughout our societies for Centuries with records back to Egypt in 1530 B.C.E and Israel in the 5th Century B.C.E. Interestingly there have been some scientific studies thereafter which have proven the science behind Smudging.
The researchers conducted smudging within a closed room and observed the effect of smudging to the surrounding air within a one hour period. They observed a remarkable 94% reduction in airborne bacteria. According to the journal “the ability of the smoke to purify and disinfect the air and to make the environment cleaner was maintained up to 24h in the closed room.”
“We have demonstrated that using medicinal smoke it is possible to completely eliminate diverse plant and human pathogenic bacteria of the air within confined space.”
How to do Smudging:
What do you need?
- Sage or other sacred plants listed above. 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.
- Matches or a lighter. These represent the fire element.
- Feather. This represents the air element.
- Drum(s) or sacred drumming music, which represent the beat of the heart.
- “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.”
The process for Smudging your body…
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.