Smudging for beginners...
In these busy, digital, fast moving times, many of us are turning to mindful and ancient practices to work into our day to day. So smudging your space can seem like a pretty inviting ritual for many of us.
I first want to touch on that it's important to do this practice mindfully and to respect where the sacred practice has come from. We stock our smudge sticks from an intuitive healer based in the North Coast of New South Wales, who uses native and foraged materials and we encourage you to always practice with intention and gratitude to those who have done it before you.
Why do people burn sage?
Smudging is an age old ritual, in Native American Culture, sage is burnt as it is thought it cleanses the spirit and home of negative and stagnant energy to promote healing, wisdom and longevity. The benefits aren't just spiritual, in Ancient Roman and Egyptian times, sage was used to treat memory loss, digestive issues, and sore throats. It's also considered a great air purifier as it can clear away many toxins because sage is thought to have antimicrobial properties that help kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
How to burn your smudge stick respectfully
You will need:
• A match or candle to light
• A fireproof bowl, traditionally a abalone shell is used
• A fanning tool (traditionally a feather is used) this isn't essential but helpful if covering a large space.
1. Open doors - This is so the negative energy, and smoke have a way to leave.
2. Set your intention or mantra - This is important for your practice, you may know exactly what your intention is, so the words will come easily to you. Or you can find inspiration online if you're uncertain or need ideas on what resonates most with you. This is something you'll repeat throughout your smudging either internally or aloud.
3. Light sage - remove any dried flowers or crystals that may be on the stick first. Hold your smudge stick on an angle and allow it to burn for 10-20 seconds before lightly blowing out the flame. The stick should be letting out a constant stream of smoke similar to incense.
4. Slowly walk around your space clockwise - Allow the smoke to waft around the area and pay attention to small spaces associated with negative energy, such as small corners, mirrors, windows and behind doors. Or, if you're looking to cleanse yourself, it's a similar practice but you'll focus on yourself. First put your hair up, and move the stick over your body starting from your feet with your wand at about arm's length away.
5. Extinguish the sage - To finish the ritual you'll press the wand into your fireproof dish until extinguished.
Always remember to be safe and present during the practice, you're using fire.
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