Burning herbs— also known as smudging — is an ancient spiritual practice. It is a way to energetically cleanse a space, yourself, or an object to invite positive energy.
Some common plants used are sage, cedar, sweet grass, and lavender. My personal favorite is palo santo, a tree bark from South America.
Smoke offerings are found in Buddhism, Indigenous practices in the U.S., and many other spiritual religions. As the smoke rises, our wishes and intentions ascend into the universe.
Smudging has long been used to connect to the spiritual realm or enhance intuition. It may also serve to rid yourself — or your space — of negativity such as past traumas, bad experiences, or negative energies from others. This may help you set a positive environment for meditation or another ritual.
It can be useful to smudge an item like new purchases, gifts, or secondhand items.
How to prepare for a smudge
Before burning your chosen herb, set an intension if smudging for spiritual, energetic, and negativity clearing reasons. Open up all the windows to allow smoke to escape.
- Light the end of your herb with a match. But do not allow it to catch fire for too long. The idea is that the leaves should smolder slowly, releasing smoke.
- With a feather or fan, direct this smoke around your body and space with one hand while holding the herb bundle in the other.
- Allow the ash to collect in a ceramic bowl or shell.
- Once finished, put out the embers by dabbing the end on the bowl/shell.
- When it’s completely put out, store it in a safe, dry place out of the sun.
Start at the front door of the home Then, move around the home while speaking words of life such as “I’m blessed and a blessing, my home is full of love and peace, my life is abundant, etc.” Move mindfully and with care allowing the smoke to drift into hidden spaces, like inside closets, basements and dark corners. After you’ve smudged the entire space, end the ceremony where you began at the front door.