Posts Tagged With: Smudge stick

The Air Witch & Smudging Ceremonies

The Air Witch & Smudging Ceremonies

 

Smudging involves burning herbs and using the herbal smoke to cleanse and bless areas or people. It is a common and sacred practice.

Native Americans make use of three primary herbs for smudging: white sage, cedar, and sweet grass. The sage removes negative influences, the cedar cleanses the area, and the sweet grass calls in positive influences. The prayers said during the ceremony are lifted to the gods upon the smoke.

To smudge, place sand or salt in the bottom of a fireproof dish. If you are using a smudging wand, you can carry this dish beneath it to catch any hot ashes. If you are using a dried, crumbled herbal mixture, light a charcoal tablet and place it in the center of the bed of sand. Sprinkle the herbs over the charcoal as you move clockwise from area to area.

As you moved around the space wafting the smoke, say aloud, “Only love and light may dwell here. All other vibrations must leave this house {person, etc.}.” You may direct the smoke into corners and crevices with a feather, a fan, your breath, or your hand. When you have smudged the whole area, sweep the negative vibrations out the door and call in the positive vibrations that you want. Try something along the lines of, “Be gone, worry, pain, misery, and strife! Welcome, healing comfort, love and light!”

 

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Psychic Protection for the Witch in Everyone!

Psychic Protection for the Witch in Everyone!

Find out more about psychic protection here…

Psychic Protection for the Witch in Everyone!
As part of the launch of my new book, The Witch’s Shield: Psychic Protection and Psychic Self Defense, I wanted to share the techniques that helped me maintain psychic boundaries and a healthy sense of safety. Though few of us learn them when we should, I really think they are basics of psychic hygiene. If you learn to take care of yourself on a daily basis, you can avoid problems in the future. I learned these techniques studying the art and science of witchcraft, hence the book title – The Witch’s Shield. I’ve shared them in classes for both witches and non-witches alike with great success.
Sometimes the word “witch” scares people off. I can understand that. I thought it was silly at first. When my first teacher, a good family friend, revealed she was a witch, I didn’t understand. But I soon found out the spiritual traditions of witchcraft stretch across the globe and throughout time. Witches were the priestesses and priests of the ancient world. They kept the mysteries of magick and psychic ability. A witch is someone who does magick, not only for her- or himself, but for the good of the community. Sometimes the first step in helping our communities, in helping the world, is helping ourselves by finding health, balance, and clarity. Only then can be devote energy to help others.
So, with that in mind, the wisdom of the witch broadens for us. We might not all identify spiritually as witches, but these techniques of psychic protection and magick are universal, and can apply to anyone as long as the person is open to magick, change, and personal responsibility. You will find similar wisdom in the traditions of shamanism, energy healers, ceremonial magicians, and other New Age seekers.

Here are seven psychic protection techniques from which anyone can benefit:

1 – Smudging – Smudging refers to passing yourself or an object through sacred smoke as a means of purification. When burned, certain herbs release a high vibrational energy that is used to purify unwanted, harmful forces – what most people call negative energy. Herbs like sage, cedar, sweet grass, pine, and lavender can be burned, as well as incenses such as frankincense, myrrh, and copal. Simply wave the smoking substance around you and make sure you pass through the smoke. Don’t do too much. It’s an energetic process, not a physical one, so you don’t have to feel like you are asphyxiating.

2- Sea Salt Bath – Similar to smudging, taking a sea salt bath can cleanse the physical body as well as the energy. Put two tablespoons of sea salt or kosher salt in your bath water and soak. Imagine all the stress and harmful energy you have accumulated or taken on from others flowing into the water. Sit in the bathtub as its drains and imagine it flowing down the drain, neutralized by the salt and water. I have a friend who puts a spray bottle of sea salt and water and gives herself a little spritz and sponge bath. The salt neutralizes any harmful energies, and then she just wipes it off. It’s a great way to clear yourself if you’re on the run and a bath is too time consuming.

3 – Amulet – Symbols and charms have long been lauded for their protective powers. In almost every culture, there is a tradition of wearing or carrying a particular amulet, often blessed by a priest/tess, to confer the powers of divine protection upon the wearer. Take a symbol you find sacred and divine. Find it in a jewelry or pendant form. If you cannot, try drawing the symbol on a piece of paper or wood, and carrying it with you. If you are Christian, use a cross. If you are Wiccan, use a pentacle. Hindu, try the Ohm symbol. There are a variety of symbols, from the Star of David to the Hammer of Thor. Find the one that speaks protection to you. Smudge the amulet and hold it in both hands. Think about protection and infuse your thoughts into the amulet, activating its power to protect in the name of your divinities. Carry the charm with you to receive its protection.

4 – Protection Stone – Like a symbolic amulet, you can carry a stone known for its protective and grounding qualities with you. Most dark colored stones have magical associations with protection. Some of my favorite choices are hematite, smoky quartz, onyx, obsidian, jet, and aragonite. Other stores that are protective include red jasper, amber, citrine, and clear quartz. Like an amulet, cleanse your stone and infuse your intention into it.

5 – Meditation – Meditation is one of the greatest keys to psychic defense. Regular meditation practice leaves you clear, centered, and in a mental place where you can respond to potential threats, rather than unconsciously react to them. It doesn’t matter the style or tradition of meditation. Regular practice is the key. You will not get the long term psychic protection benefits of meditation by doing it only once every few weeks. It must be like exercise, done regularly. I suggest at least three times a week. If you can do it daily, so much the better.

6- Healthy Emotional Boundaries – Emotional boundaries are not the most esoteric form of psychic defense, but one that quite a few people leave out. Sometimes psychic defense – particularly from people who are harmful to us, intentionally or unintentionally – is the ability to say “no” and stick to it. If someone asks you to do something or go somewhere, and you only say yes because you are afraid of being “mean” or “letting them down” but you know its not a good situation for you, you must learn to say no. As an adult, only you define what is acceptable and unacceptable in your life. Draw those boundary lines and stick to them.

7 – Living Your True Will – The best form of psychic self-defense is to live out your true will. What is your divine purpose? Find it! Then actually live it. If you are doing what you are meant to be doing, the universe will support you and very little anyone else does or says will be able to stop you. You true will, or what some call your magical will, is not your destiny. It doesn’t happen regardless. This your partnership with the divine. You must choose to fulfill it. But once you choose to be a full, conscious partner with the divine, you will have a divine protection that will help you in all of life’s difficult areas.

For more information and an expanded view on these techniques, and a whole philosophy on psychic protection, look to my full length work, The Witch’s Shield: Psychic Protection and Psychic Self Defense. May the divine guide, bless, and protect each of your steps.

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Smudging as an Air Ritual

Smudging as an Air Ritual

Smudging is an easy Air ritual designed to purify, provide balance, cleanse, or sanctify a sacred space. You can smudge a room, a piece of furniture, or even yourself.

Let’s say that you “inherit” a bookcase from your new boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend. You need the extra room, but you want to eliminate her essence(but not do her any harm!). A smudging ritual can purify the bookcase and bring some harmony back to your living space.

There are any number of smudging herbs, but some are most traditional than others. These three are most closely related to the Element of Air.

*Sage–There are several different kinds of sage, all types work for smudging, but perhaps the king of sage is white broadleaf sage. It is the most aromatic and is excellent not only for smudging to cleanse and purify, but also for meditation.

*Sweetgrass–As its name suggests, sweetgrass produces a sweet, light fragrance when burned. Believed to attract only positive spirits, it is excellent for cleansing a sacred space.

*Lavender–Most useful for attracting peace, happiness and restful sleep, lavender imparts a lovely aromatic, refreshing scent when burned.

Smudging can be accomplished by using a smudge stick or by burning loose herbs in a smudge pot or a firebowl. First dry the herbs by hanging them upside down in a still room, a pantry, or some other dry room where they won’t be disturbed. They will need to dry for several weeks.

If you want to use a smudge stick, cut your dried herbs into 5- or 6- inch lengths, bundle them together, and bind them tightly with red thread, which represents the Fire Element. Use a candle to light the bundle because you will want to hold it in the flame long enough to get the stick really smoking. The combination of Fire and Air purifies the space or object and disperses negative energy. Use a feather or your hand to fan the smoke into the corners of the room you’re purifying. Smudging is the equivalent of spiritual spring cleaning. You might find that the house feels cleaner and brighter even though you haven’t dusted or vacuumed.

Sweetgrass is often braided into a small rope to be used in smudging. Tie off the ends with red thread. Although you can find sweetgrass growing wild in some prairie places, it’s rare; you might have to grow your own.

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Smudging Yourself

Smudging Yourself

Smudging yourself is an especially good idea if you’ve been around someone who is ill, depressed, fearful, angry or generally emotionally unbalanced. Smudging helps you achieve a calm state to prepare you to meditate or just face your day. If you are experiencing an unusual amount of stress, daily smudging can be beneficial.

Smudging yourself is easy. If you’re using a smudge stick, light the stick in a candle flame. Using a feather or your hand, gently fan the smoke onto your body, starting at the top of the body and moving downward. (Although a feather isn’t required for smudging, using a feather that one of your bird friends has offered up to you can also encourage the Air Element to assist you in your cleansing ritual. Or, if you have a pretty fan, that can work, too.) Get the back of your body as best you can (it is often easier to use a smudge pot and loose herbs for this). When you’re finished with your outer skin, inhale a little of the smoke (just a little!) to purify your insides.

If you’re using a smudge pot and loose herbs, light the herbs (using self-lighting charcoal) until they are smoking well. This is best done outdoors in an open space. Put the smudge pot on the ground and stand over it with your legs spread and feet on either side. Weave back and forth in the smoke until you have been thoroughtly cleansed. Clothing is optional for this approach and smudging in the nude(skyclad) is recommended for a more thorough cleansing. Again, when you’re done, inhale a little of the smoke to purify your insides. People often feel more relaxed lighter and brighter after smudging.

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Basic Sage Cleansing

Basic Sage Cleansing

Items You Will Need:

  • Sage,
  • Feather (Optional),
  • Charcoal Disc.

The Spell:

Before you start, close all of your windows and doors.

Start by lighting up your charcoal disc.   Wait until it turns white (that’s when you know it’s ready to start smudging!   Drop some slightly crushed Sage on it and wait for it to start smoking.   When it starts smoking, go to each room and fill the room with the smoke.   While you are filling the rooms, you can inhale a small amount of the smoke to cleanse yourself.

As you step into each room and with a commanding voice chant the following:

I cleanse this room of all negativity!   Only love and light may enter!

Pay attention to the smoke, because when it turns black it means that in that room, there is that certain negativity that you wish to dispose of.   When you went through all the rooms, return to the room where the smoke turned black and re-do this, until the smoke has turned back to grey!

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Magickal Thinking For Everyday Living – Finding Your Personal Goddess

Find Your Personal Goddess

For The Solitary Witch

If you walk your path alone, here is a ritual you can use to try and find the name of your personal Goddess. Of course, it can also be used by Witches who usually practice in a group; just pick a night when you will be by yourself instead of with your coven or circle.  Since you are in search of the Goddess, the best night to do this ritual is on a Full Moon – outside, if you can manage it. But inside works too, if you can’t be out under the moonlight.

You will need:  a quiet, dimly lit space (if you are outside, a bonfire is nice, but completely optional);  rhythmic music (preferably without words)  or a drum; a large white or silver candle to represent the Goddess ( a candle in a woman’s shape is nice, but any good-sized candle will do); a large bowl filled with pure water; a slip of blank paper or parchment; a pen; and a sage smudge stick or any purifying incense.

Prepare you space by setting the bowl on a level surface (the ground, an altar, or a low table).  Place the candle behind the bowl and inscribe it with your name if you wish; if you have a magickal name, use that. If you are using prerecorded music, start it now. Place the slip of paper in front of the bowl along with the pen.

Light the sage or incense and waft it around the space and around yourself to clear and cleanse your energy. Then sit or stand in front of the bowl and light the candle. Breathe slowly and deeply, feeling the light of the Moon coming down from the sky and into your body. If you will be drumming, start now. As you drum or listen to the beat of the music, think about the thythm of your heart. Feel that rhythm expand to fill the area around you, just as it did whe you were in your mother’s womb. Then, you could feel her heartbeat, too. As you listen to the drum beats, hear the beating of the Great Mother’s heart surrounding you.

You may enter into a light trance state, or you may just be relaxed and tuned in to the energy around you; either one is fine. Go with the beat as long as you want, and send out your desire to learn the identity of your personal Goddess. Close your eyes and send that yearning out with all your heart, opening yourself to an answer.

When you are ready, open your eyes and look into the bowl. Can you see her? Do you see the form of a maiden, a mother, or a crone?  Do you see birds or animals or symbols? You may even see her face or hear her name echoing in the music. If you need quiet now, turn off the music. Pick up the pen and paper and write down her name without thinking about it. You might be surprised what will come to you.

If you don’t get a clear answer right away, try putting the blank piece of paper under your pillow that night, with the intention of dreaming of her. In the morning, pull out the paper and write down whichever name pops into your mind first, while you are still half asleep. (Be sure to leave the pen by your bed.)

Don’t be discourage if the ritual doesn’t work. Perhaps the time isn’t right for you to know, or you are torn between two paths and the Goddess is waiting for you to make the choice that will lead to her.

Excerpt from

Llewellyn’s 2012 Magical Almanac,

Practical Magic for Everyday Living

Find Your Personal Goddess

For The Solitary Witch

By Deborah Blake

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Spring Cleaning Party (Hare Moon)

Spring Cleaning Party

(Hare Moon)

Cast this spell to rid your space of negativity.

You will need a drum, a bell, and a sage and cedar smudge stick.

During the waning moon, gather your family and friends together for a Spring Cleaning Party. At dusk, smudge the area with the smoke of the sage and cedar smudge stick. Thoroughly extinguish the smudge stick. Draw a magick circle around the area you want to cleanse. Invite in any divine energies that you want to help in your cleaning process.

Beginning at the north point, walk clockwise around the parameter of the area (north, east, south and west) while beating on the drum and have everyone chant together:

All unwanted and negative energy

Be gone from this place,

In our Lady’s name, so be it!

Repeat the exercise by again circling the area, only this time while ringing the bell and chanting together:

All unwanted and negative energy

Be gone from this place

In our Lady’s name, so be it!

Now set the tone of each room of your home by standing in the center of each moon and repeating this affirmation together:

May the bright and loving, divine power of the Goddess and God fill this space, now and forevermore. So Be It!

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Drying Herbs

Drying Herbs

Any fresh Herbs can be dried. They should be picked and tied in small bunches. Hang them in the kitchen or a well-ventilated shed to dry. As soon as they are dried out, they should be crumbled into jars and stored in a dark place–they might look decorative hanging up, but will soon become dusty and begin to deteriorate.

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