I admit I love it! I love gathering herbs in my little balcony that I turned into a mini-garden. And above all I love using herbs creating bath salts, massage oils, aromatic oils, poutpourri and smudge. So today I will explain to you how to make a smudge because it is very easy, because in any case healthier and cheaper, more fun and relaxing than buying one, because by doing so you will amalgamate your energy with that of plants.
Using smudges and creating them is a tradition of Native Indians living in America but traces of this practice are found even among shamans in Africa and Latin America. They used to burn the smudge for protection and purification in magical and religious celebrations or in shamanic rituals. They followed the right belief that every plant possesses the qualities and properties that burned are left free and through smoke they rise into the spirit world and into the universe. Smoke was considered the channel of communication: one who united earth and sky. Shamans also use to interpret smoke to see if there were any negativities and what they were.
The word smudging means burning herbs or incense. Smoke is sprinkled on the person or in places with hands or traditionally with bird feathers that you will find in nature. Of course, on the market you can find sticks with feathers and stones. In ancient times the smudge was lit and then placed on large concave pebbles or shells and they were very large and long.
Smudge is often confused and even marketed as incense. Nothing could be more wrong as the smudges are prepared with herbs and plants and flowers while the incenses are resins that are secreted by particular trees and collected are crystallized and sold in powder or grains or transformed into essential oils. Sage is traditionally used, especially the white one, but smudges can really be prepared with more herbs and, if we prefer, we can also include flowers. First of all, you decide how big your smudge is: some people prefer to create more mini smudges while other people prefer a bigger and longer smudge. Another choice to make is whether to create a smudge to burn on a plate or incense burner or to hold it in your hand: in this case you must free the stem of the plants from the leaves by at least 4 centimeters.
Second choice is the purpose for which you prepare your smudge: do you want to purify or protect? Do you just want to do a little ethereal and astral cleansing? Or do you just want a little relaxing help in meditation? Do you want to unload negative energies? You can also purify your magic tools or crystals or like shamans use smoke to fall into deep relaxation and trance. In this case you must have a deep knowledge of the properties of the plants you will be using. When you have decided on the purpose of smudge, choose the plants that you will use.
Put the plants on top of each other as if they were forming a stick or weaving them and using a cotton thread or a thin string, tie them to the base and wrap the plants like a spiral and then at the top go back and rewind the thread to the base. Tie it well and always remember to wrap the thread tightly and then hang it upside down to dry one or two weeks in a cool, dry place or if you want to expose it to sunlight.
Now you are ready to use it: light the tips of the bundle of branches with a match or a candle. When the tip burns, turn off the heat and let it smoke slowly smudge it into a bowl or any other non-flammable concave object. You must never turn off the smudge or even wet it: let it switch off by itself.
Sprinkle the smoke using a feather or your hands starting from the bottom upwards, clockwise and breathing deeply when you pass it in front of your face and then finally reach the top of your head and return to the bottom. In places you start from the corners and then near the windows and doors and always end up outside the front door. Always start from the bottom leaving the smoke to rise up towards the walls. Always remember to ventilate the house after fumigating and a smudge burned.