Smudging is the ceremonial burning of specific plants for healing and prayer. Native American tradition honours the energies of many plant relations.
Unlike the majority of Smudging Herbs imported into the UK, all our botanicals are from Native American sources.
If you are buying smudging herbs, you will be seeking the sacred powers and protection that is
their gift to us. As part of the creative jigsaw we are all responsible for everything that forms our world, both living things and those that appear inanimate.
California White Sage is now under serious threat and we are pleased to support Native Americans
in their work to save the sage for future generations. Sage has always had to withstand fires in its dry desert habitat as part of the natural cycle. Those bushes which survived were cleansed and
grew back with even greater vigour.
However, two more dangerous threats now exist. There is a catastrophic loss of habitat as real
estate development takes over vast swathes of land for luxury housing where the sage once grew undisturbed. Most of the remaining bushes are harvested by Western owned companies using
cheap labour – the way the sage is picked is careless and brutal and has no regard for the way the bushes regenerate themselves. The bushes are stressed and many die as a result.
We support a Native American initiative to secure Tribal Lands for the sage on Reservations in Northern California. Bushes are now being transplanted to ensure the vital protection of these revered and precious plants. This sage is picked, as it always was, with gratitude and respect for
the part it plays in our prayers and ceremonies.
The respect and intent behind your ceremony is more important than the actual way you smudge
so we suggest one way but you may know other ways.
Smudging is used to carry our prayers to the Great Mystery, Wakan Tanka, the Creator, God - whatever name you are comfortable with. We smudge to cleanse and remove negativity, for healing and to introduce positivity, we smudge to dedicate ourselves faithfully to whatever we are about to do, which is why it precedes any important event or ceremony.
Four elements are present in smudging - earth which grew the herbs, water represented by the seashell which, ideally, you will use as your container, fire to light your smudge and the air which carries the sacred smoke upwards.
Place your loose herbs in your shell and light, once they are smouldering, gently blow out the
flame. If smudging yourself, you are also cleansing your aura. You could start at the heart chakra or may prefer to start at your feet and work upwards. Use a feather, fan or your hand to waft the
smoke around yourself and ultimately over your head. You may wish to pray or dedicate yourself at this
time. Some pray and smudge to the seven directions - the four cardinals - West, North, East and South, then down to Grandmother Earth, up to Tunkashila, the Grandfather, and finally higher still
to Wakan Tanka. At the end, thank the Powers, herbs and everything you have used for their help.
I personally like to smudge with White Sage plus any other herbs needed for my given purpose,
then burn Osha Root and finish with Sweetgrass to bring in positive energies. Having smudged yourself, you can now purify your crystals, healing artifacts, tools and anything else you wish to include, simply by washing them in the sacred smoke.
To smudge a room, house or workspace, I was taught to start at an open window or door and work sun-wise (clockwise) around the room carefully wafting the smoke into the corners of the floor and ceiling until reaching the starting point. Then move on to the next space and continue all rooms until finished. You can do this to dedicate a new space or after some negative event or visit. In
some traditions, all doors and windows are sealed but this does not allow negativity to leave.
Extinguishing the smudge - if loose herbs are used, they will soon stop burning once you stop fanning. If using a smudge wand, extinguish carefully, checking that no tiny thread of smoke remains before storing it for next time. I like to tamp it out in the earth or damp grass, applying water is said to disrespect the fire spirits. Give the ashes back to the earth.