Our homes are our sanctuaries. Just as we keep our physical body clean and work to maintain positive thoughts and emotions, it is necessary periodically to cleanse and rejuvenate the physical environment where we live, work, and play. The ancient technique of smudging provides a soothing and effective way to rebalance environmental energies and infuse positive vibrations.
When and why to smudge?
For atmospheric cleaning
For calming, relaxing, stress and anxiety
For prayer, meditation
At seasonal festivals
For the weekend
For love and sensuality
For death rites
For millennia, smudging has been an important part of human life. Large fortunes were spent and world trade routes built to transport incense and herbs over large distances. And throughout history, burning of incense was a ceremony as commonplace and vital as daily toothbrushing. It was not until the 20th century that knowledge of smudging waned in the Western world. In fact, smudging is an important part of everyday life in most cultures, especially those of Central and East Asia, as well as native cultures everywhere. There, burning of incense is an essential everyday ceremony for millions of people.
Through my shamanic training and work, I have come to know and love the values and benefits of incense. Palo Santo, Sage, Lavender and Sweet Grass are among the most popular and well-known incense herbs in the western world. Because each sacred plant has its own unique properties, these herbs and plants can be used for a variety of needs.
At first I was deeply affected by the striking scent of white sage, which is mainly used by the indigenous cultures in North America. Sage is commonly used for cleansing and healing, and to clear negative energy fields. This is due to its antibacterial property and spiritual ability to cleanse a person, object or place of impurities. You can also use dried garden sage.
Later I got to know and love the sweet scent of Palo Santo. I like to use this at the end of a treatment. Palo Santo, meaning “sacred wood” in Spanish, has been used by shamans in South America for countless generations. Its trees are described as having "strong spirits", and have long been treated with reverence and respect. Shamans in Peru work ceremonially with Palo Santo to ward off negative energy, fear, and evil spirits. While many sacred plants can effectively clear negative energy, Palo Santo is unique in its ability to also balance the void that negative energy leaves behind.
Lately I've been feeling increasingly inspired to resume regular smudging with local plants and ingredients. That's why I like to use fir branches, juniper berries, dry quince fruits or fresh lavender. Also, it doesn't always have to be just smudging to get negativity out. On some days, such as Friday evening, it can be something sweet. This to invite love, gentleness and tender touches. I'm happy to give you the recipe upon request.