Make Your Own Smudge Stick

September 14, 2017

Smudge sticks are something that really peaked my interest lately. By definition, a smudge stick is a tightly bound bundle of dried herbs that is slowly burned to cleanse and purify the air. As far as I know, this smoke-purification ritual known as smudging was done by Native Americans. In their tradition it is seen as a bridge to the higher realms, a way to bring in good spirits and dispel the negative or stagnant ones. If you think about it, similar rituals are founded in different religions, for example Catholics burn Frankincense and Myrrh. At one time both were considered to be more valuable than gold. Aromatic smoke produced by burning dried plants began with the discovery of fire and people would burn wood, herbs and resins over a fire to release fragrance. Working in a museum, I was actually once asked by a very curious seven year old something about perfume and how people discovered it (can't remember the actual question) but yeah, the first "perfumes" were like these, created by burning herbs over a fire. The aromatic substance was actually called "per fumus", meaning by or through smoke. I read somewhere about this transformation of the herbs and barks - from their physical form (of this world), they are changed by the element of fire into smoke (spirit world form). Smudging is a way of connecting the material plane to the realm of the spirits. So as you can see this thing, this practice or ritual may sound very new-agey but is in fact an ancient practice.

So why would you do this? All living beings and everything in this world has its own energy. You know when you just feel a person and don't vibe with him/her and you're not feeling their energy? Well that is something that you don't want that in your live and smudging can help clear that out of your life. It allows to wash away negativity or stagnant energy from your body and life. Either if you believe it or not, even if it is a placebo effect, at the end of the day this makes me feel better, lifts my energy instantly and calms me at the same time. It brings peace. I don't have everything figured out in my life but I'm not complaining either. Clear your space, your mind, body and soul, clear your aura, your crystals, invite peace into your life. It's a lovely ritual and one that I really enjoy doing.

I will say I'm pretty much (still) a noob when it comes to smudging and my ritual isn't as it "should" be and I'm fine with that. I saw that lots of people use an Abalone Shell to place the smudge stick in but I just use a small ceramic bowl which works perfectly well too. I've been using a pre-made smudge stick or a bundle that I got in my Goddess Provision Box and just recently I made my own using herbs from the garden (scroll down bellow to see the herbs I used). I just want to quickly share what I do with my smudging bundle. Before I light it up I like to calm my mind first. Ideally I do this after a meditation, which I've been trying to do regularly, but I still haven't managed to make it a part of my daily routine. Usually you should fan out the smoke (using your hand or a feather, not your breath) but honestly, I haven't been doing that. Well only a little bit with my hand because I don't like that there's a whole lot of smoke. I think it's just the fact that I'm not used to it. I first got into this for cleansing my crystals and clearing them of their energy. I've shared this video on my Instagram. I love how the smoke embraces my clear quartz, makes me so happy! Supposedly the smoke moves differently as it touches certain things. So I tend to start by cleansing myself with the smoke first (from top to bottom) and then move on to the room or crystals. When doing this it is said that you should do a prayer of sort, aloud is best. I feel funny doing that so I keep my thoughts in my mind and I try to only focus on smudging, being grateful and usually I'm also thinking something like "I'm releasing negative energy". So yeah, that's my personal ritual. Clear my mind, light my smudge stick, cleanse myself first (my aura) and then move on other things, and always trying to be present and grateful. When doing this hold the "handle" of the smudge stick over a smaller bowl. When you're finished you can just wait for it to stop or crush the smouldering end until it goes out. Don't use water because it can ruin the smudge stick. I think my routine will change in the future when I will learn more, but having all information at once can be too overwhelming and possibly also "too out there" to handle haha.

Before I move onto my DIY smudge stick I just wanted to say that there are some studies that a longer period of smudging (especially sage) can actually treat bacteria growth in a room. It brings me much satisfaction when I purify air in a room this way, there is just something about it that brings me joy. And like I said it also helps when feeling angry and negative. The combination of groundning myself and smudging just washes away those feeling away. Ok before I go on and on (I swear I meant to do this post short!) let's focus on the herbs used in my homemade smudging bundle. You can use a variety of herbs, you can use just one or combine a few together. Sage is the most widely used and no wonder since it's nature's antibiotics. It works amazingly well if you have problems with throat, mouth infection, angina. Definitely a herb to have in your garden. So I used Sage, Lavender (used in mummification as well), Thyme and Rosemary. I found these four in the garden, but there are a few more that can be used, like Sweet grass, Frankincense, Cedar, Juniper, Mugwort, and more. There's not a lot to say about the whole process of creating your own smudge stick. Pick your herbs, combine them and then simply tie them together with a string. I used a thread but I would suggest something stronger. Wrap your herbs quite tightly because they shrink in size when they dry up. When you're finished, you can trim the edges and then hang it to dry. It needs good air circulation so hanging it somewhere is best, preferably somewhere where it's dark and dry. The herbs will dry in a week or so but before using the bundle make sure it's completely dry.

All that's left for me to say is happy smudging! :)

Much love,

Jana xx
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