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Lets Smudge a Little

For our own health, and to clear the air too

· smudge,palo santo,sage,smudging

Smudging. Yep I love smudging. I love burning Sage, Palo Santo and Lavender too. My house always feels better after a good smudge. There's less of the negative feelings and just an overall cleanliness of the air.

You know that feeling of bad energy, negative vibes and darkness, that you get when you've been around negativity. That negative person that comes into your home or your office, thats always down and always with a dark cloud, harshing your mellow, bringing you down mentally and spiritually. The bad energy that makes you feel bad too. That vibe that makes you feel like we are all doomed. Like we must all feel the dark spirit. We all know people like this, situations like this, and bad feelings we get. The ones with dark auras, bad energy and a never-ending feeling of negativity. And when these people, or feelings, leave our homes or our offices or even our car, it's like a breath of fresh air. Its relief that they've left, and taken their bad vibes with them. But sometimes, when we are around people like this, or in negative situations like this, for too long of a time period, we absorb some of their bad energy. We feel what they feel. We have let that negativity rub off on us, and it has penetrated our soul too. After an encounter like this, I normally feel like I need to cleanse my air, purify my home and likely my soul, and I just need to breathe in the positive and breathe out the negative. So along with using my mood uplifting, and purifying, doTERRA essential oils, I also often turn to smudging.

One of the best ways to cleanse energy is with smudging. Smudging is a traditional Native American practice of burning herbs and resins, which many healers use to offer blessings and purify people, places and objects. Although my beloved Palo Santo, lavender and even sweet grass are often used during smudging ceremonies, for their ability to uplift, purify, and bring positivity back into a space, the most common herb used to smudge, is sage.

The burning of herbs and plant resins for medicinal and spiritual purposes – so-called ‘smudging’ – is an ancient practice among indigenous people around the world; one increasingly adopted by us westerners.

Smudging is basically believed to be able to unlock the ‘spirits’ of various plant allies to restore balance and ease to an individual or a group. Some compare it to taking a ‘spiritual shower,’ enabling you to wash away emotional and spiritual negativity that accumulates in your body and the spaces you live. So when that negative friend has visited, and filled your home with their bad vibes, and you feel you've absorbed some of their negativity, its time to wash away those unhealthy emotional or spiritual vibes.

First and foremost, you must learn how important it is to set your intention before you even start to burn the sage, or palo santo or lavender. For me, I have a different intention each time I smudge. Whether it be to cleanse my home, or to cleanse my own spirit, I always have an affirmation in mind when I'm smudging. It wouldn't make sense to say the same affirmations in different situations of cleansing, so I take some time to think about that before I start. Once I light my smudge stick, I start in my living room and then work into each additional room, making sure to cover all four corners of the room while thinking about my intentions, and sometimes saying them out loud. I breathe in the sage or palo santo, pulling in the positivity, speaking my affirmations, manifesting my spiritual cleanse, all while breathing out the negative. On a psychological level, it just feels really nice to take a moment to breathe in and out, to feel your breath, to hear your breath and to think about life, goals and positive vibes. It's a nice way to set the tone of positivity.I feel more positive and relaxed afterwards. Burning sage actually releases negative ions into the air, that can have a direct effect on your stress levels. This is good news for people that smudge, because lowering stress levels most always will increase your positivity, your happiness and your ability to feel good about things. Now, do I know that I feel more relaxed solely because of my sage burning? No, I don't know. But I do think the combination of slowing down, taking a moment for myself, listening to my inner soul, feeling my breathing, and feeling the negative ions in the air, will relax me, raise my vibrations and will enhance my spiritual connection.You can use sage regularly as an essential spiritual tool to compliment meditation practice and protect your energy fields. If you’re interested in cleansing your body, mind, aura or just your physical space, try these tips from Spiruality and Healing guru Bianca from Concious Living, for honoring the sacred tradition of smudging

Select Your Sage. You can find bundled sage at just about any health food store for about $10, depending on the size. Although white sage is the most purifying, some bundles include a mix of sage, lavender or cedar, which can be uplifting and relaxing. You can also grow your own from seed to save money and create a deeper connection with the energy of the plant. You typically harvest sage from your garden in the summer and fall and after letting it dry completely (takes about one week), you can bundle it for burning in one piece or burn loose leaves in a fire-safe bowl.

Procure A Smudge Bowl. Smudging is be best done in fire-safe vessels, like clay pots which you can find at just about any crystal/new age shop. Many have small holes built-in, allowing more oxygen to reach the flames and sustain the burning process.

Be Intentional. Before lighting the sage, be clear about what you’re looking to release or bring into your life or space. What you're looking to cleanse. Clear your mind and allow yourself to enter a meditative type state. Say a brief prayer of thanks, or say your positive affirmations to the Universe or Spirit to guide your use of the sage and remove any unseen energies that no longer serve your highest and greatest good.

Open a Window. Although many love the smell of sage, according to Native American tradition, life-sucking energies and people carrying unseen negative entities in their aura are repelled by it. Give bad vibes a space to flee by cracking open a window or door before you begin and a few minutes after to help clear the space.

Light the Sage. Sage is slow to light, so it’s best to use a lighter or long wooden matches to allow time for dried leaves to ignite. Once the leaves catch fire, blow softly and slowly on the flame until it goes out. This will cause a soft gray smoke to billow from the sage, which you want to keep going by gently fanning the flames as needed, or moving the smudge stick around, as if you’re painting the air with it.

Smudge Spaces/Objects. It is recommended to regularly sage your space and treasured or frequently used items (e.g., your computer, cell phone, etc.) to keep their energy positive and vibrations high. To do so, slowly wave the burning smudge throughout your space, drawing attention to corners where energy often gets stuck or any areas that feel heavy or dark. For objects, pass them through or above the sage smoke to clear them of any lingering negativity. Since most people can’t "see" negative energy, you’ll have to trust your instincts on when to stop, which comes with practice. Often, the sage will glow, crackle or even extinguish itself when you reach heavy areas, so continue to smudge until the energy feels light and clear.

Smudging People. Sage can be passed through a person’s energy field, or aura, to clear negative energy. This is especially helpful after an argument, a night out on the town or to lighten a depressed mood. To smudge, have them stand in front of you with legs apart, arms open in a “T” position. Wave the smudge in soft, elliptical motions from the bottom of their feet to the top of their head, including legs, along each arm, under each armpit and entire torso. Have them stand on their tip toes or lift each foot so you can pass the smudge underneath for clearing. With the sage still lit, go around their back and smudge the head, neck, torso and arms using the same format. Unlike cigarette smoke which damages the lungs, sage smoke is not harmful to your health. You can also sage yourself in the same way. Allow the power of the plant to guide you. Trust the medicine.

Safely Extinguish Flames. To extinguish the sage, cover it with a flame snuffer or take it outside and cover it with soil. You can also run water over the burning embers, but remember you won’t be able to use it again until the leaves have dried completely. Once smudging is complete and the ashes cool, safely discard the remnants and clear all particles from the pot and your space with intention. This ensures you don't invite old energy into your next cleansing ceremony. You may also bury the ashes.

Store Your Sage. Sage should be stored in clean, dry space. Some Native Americans believe storing sage in a drawer above waist height honors the sacred energy of the plant, helping it maintain a purified, elevated vibration which makes its cleansing properties more powerful.


Smudging, of course, as a ‘spiritual’ ritual, is not aimed at ‘killing germs,’ but because modern biomedicine only acknowledges what is empirically verifiable – which does not include ‘the soul’ or ‘negative vibes’ – the practice of smudging will only attain its credibility from the perspective of the dominant, scientism-contaminated worldview, if it can be demonstrated that it actually performs a useful function, such as destroying disease-causing germs.

Thanks to a remarkable 2007 study that I found, titled, “Medicinal smoke reduces airborne bacteria,” published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, we now know that medicinal smoke has the potential to disinfect air of bacteria by 94% in 60 minutes. This bacteria includes staphylococcus lentus, Corynebacterium urealyticum, Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens, Enterobacter aerogenes (Klebsiella mobilis), Kocuria rosea, and more.

Also, considering that conventional methods of air and surface sterilization and odor neutralization use chemical cocktails (e.g. Lysol) that are much less effective than advertised (one study found them up to 10 times less effective than believed), smudging or the use of natural incense products including diffusing essential oils, will constitute a far safer and more effective approach to cleansing and purifying the air.

So in other words friends, let's smudge a little.....

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