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.