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Bad vibes be gone! How to energetically purify your home and body through smudging

Throughout the ages, smoke has been an important component of purification rituals in many religions and cultures around the world.

In the Catholic, Buddhist and Hindu traditions this is achieved through the use of incense; native Americans have long used the practice of smudging with herbs (mainly White Sage); while in South America the Palo Santo wood is revered for this purpose.

Smudging is a traditional Native American practice of using smoke to purify a space or cleanse a person’s energetic body.


This is what a typical smudging kit consists of

White Sage 

Earth element unlit, fire element when lit, air element when smoke produced

Native to southern California and parts of Mexico, the smoke from White Sage acts as the purification agent within a smudging ritual. This is backed up by science as White Sage is an antimicrobial, meaning it is shown to reduce bacteria and mould.

Palo Santo

Earth element unlit, fire element when lit, air element when smoke produced

This beautifully aromatic and sacred wood (the literal translation from Spanish) hails from South America. Burning Palo Santo releases a pleasing woody scent peppered with citrus and minty notes. Clinical studies on the benefits of Palo Santo are limited, however traditionally it is used for energy purification as well as to soothe cold and flu symptoms and help heal emotional pain. 


Air Element

A feather represents the spirit of air. In Native American tradition many types of feathers are considered sacred. When using a feather for smudging it is used to fan the smoke to desired areas.

Abalone Shell

Water element

The abalone shell serves as a ritual-worthy smudging bowl. It is used to hold the sage or Palo Santo stick, catch the embers and ash and can be used to stub out the burning stick at the end of the ritual. Placing a layer of sand inside the bowl will help maintain the mother-of-pearl finish and keep it free from scorch marks. 

How to perform a smudging ritual

The ritual here only serves as a suggestion to help you create your own ritual. I am not Native American so I incorporate my own personal differences into my ritual which makes it more authentic to me. Feel free to do the same for your own ritual.
Before commencing the ritual:
- Open the doors and windows of the space you are about the smudge
- Wash your hands and try to clear your mind from any thoughts not related to the work you are about to perform
- Be clear on what your intention is with this smudging ritual
- Gather your smudging tools together
Starting the ritual:
- Light your White Sage or Palo Santo stick (tip: let it burn for around 30 seconds before blowing it out)
- Say a prayer for the work you are about to do and ask for the cleansing and purification of this space.
- Pass the smudging stick around your aura to clear your own energetic body
- Start at the eastern most corner of the room and go clockwise
- Move around the space with your lit smudging stick making sure the smoke reaches every nook and cranny and corner of your space. Use a feather to help fan the smoke to where you want it to go
- As you move around the space keep the prayer you had spoken in the midst of your mind.
    Ending the ritual
    Once you have covered the room, stub the smudging stick out on the abalone shell and give a prayer of thanks that purification of this space has been achieved
      When to Smudge:
      About to meditate? SMUDGE
      Recovering from an illness? SMUDGE
      Had an argument with someone in your home? SMUDGE
      Held a party that got loose? SMUDGE
      Something feels off in a room? SMUDGE
      Working in your sacred space? SMUDGE
      Just moved in to a new place? SMUDGE
      In essence, if there’s bad vibes or a bad memory attached to a space SMUDGE, or if you want to clear existing energy so you can bring in your higher energy SMUDGE. 
      Word of Caution
      As always when dealing with fire be careful! Keep water handy just in case. Watch for falling embers and make sure that your smudging stick is completely out before you leave it out of sight.


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