Charging a Smudge Stick or Herbs

Whether you make your own smudge stick, use a prepared one or are planning to burn herbs in a bowl, you can endow them with power.

If you are using a smudge stick, hold it between your hands. If you are using a bowl, place your herbs in the bowl and hold this during the ritual.

In this ritual, we will use the six directions recognized by the Native North Americans:  the four main compass points, then downwards and finally upwards. Begin in the East, important to Native North Americans as the direction of dawn. Indeed a number of western practitioners start traditional magickal rituals by facing the East and opening the watchtowers here. Start with the North for security. If indoors, ventilate the room well.

  • Stand so that there is space round you.
  • Light a circle of red or natural beeswax candles in deep holders, one at each main direction and one in the center to ignite the smudge. If this is part of a ritual outdoors, you can visualize a ring of fire and omit the candles except for the one used to light the smudge. If you do light directional candles, light the central candle and then the candle of the East, South and so on. During the ritual you can move and stand by each, facing outwards in the appropriate direction of you wish.
  • Light the smudge from the central candle. Standing in the center of your fire wheel, face first the East, the direction of Dawn and Spring. Raise your stick or bowl and say:

“I greet the freshness of Dawn and brightness of the new morning. Fill, I ask, tee my sacred herbs with new life and swiftness of purpose.”

  • Turn next to the South, direction of Moon and Summer. Lite your smudge stick or bowl upwards and say:

“I greet the brilliance of noon and its radiant fire. Fill, I ask, these my sacred herbs with inspiration, integrity and courage.”

  • Face the West, direction of Dusk and Autumn and once more raise your smudge tools, saying:

“I greet the deepening skies and the first star of evening. Fill, I ask, thee my sacred herbs with love and healing.”

  • Face the North, direction of Midnight and Winter. Life your stick or bowl, saying:

“I welcome the darkness and the time of quiet repose.. Fill these sacred herbs with acceptance of what cannot be changed and with the wisdom of the ancestors.”

  • Standing still in the center of your actual or visualized fire circle, next to the central candle, lower the smudge towards the Earth and say:

“Kind Mother Earth, bless your own sacred herbs and absorb all that is not worthy of beauty in this wand of herbs and in my intentions.”

  • Finally, lift your stick or bowl high in the air, saying:

“Father Sky, bless these sacred herbs that my wishes and prayers may rise and be transformed into whatever is right and of worth.”

  • Some practitioners end with Mother Earth, or you can vary it according to the nature of the ritual.
  • As well as charging your herbs with power, you can create a complete ritual by facing and invoking the six directions with your smudge and then smudging yourself as a means of empowerment or protection. Alternatively, you can empower a symbol by carrying it to each of the four directions in turn and smudging it while declaring the purpose of the ritual.
  • You can end by lowering it to the Earth and smudging it there, and finally raising it upwards and releasing the energies in the smudge skywards.