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.

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.

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 in-laws. You need the extra room, but you want to eliminate their essence. 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 more traditional than others. These three are most closely related to the Element of Air:

Sage–There are several different kinds of sage, and 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 spritual spring cleansing. 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.