da’ fuck is a smudge?

I commonly field questions about the practice of “smudging”.

How to do it?

When to do it?

What it does?

How could burning anything make things clean?

Smudging is the umbrella term given to a powerful spiritual cleansing technique that most know from the traditions of Indigenous Americans; however, the burning of herbs for spiritual, emotional and psychic purification is a common practice among many religious, healing and spiritual traditions. This is a ritualistic practice for burning and cleansing that dates back to the genesis of mankind and culture. It is a documented and practiced ritual used by many native tribes worldwide. Smudging is a ceremonial way to cleanse people, places and objects of negative influences and energies.

Smudging yourself or your space can be helpful whenever you find yourself feeling depressed, angry, resentful or sick and especially after you’ve had an argument with someone. It is common for practitioners to smudge themselves, the space and the guests or participants before a ceremony, ritual or celebration. Smudging can also be a helpful tool as a part of general spiritual house cleaning in your home or work space, and you can cleanse crystals or other objects with any lingering negative energy with the smudging ritual.

Spiritual cleansing is going to prove of utmost importance in the era of the Trump Administration. The energy in these man-made spaces gets heavy, stagnant and gross if we don’t take care to clear out the many energies that pass through our spaces. It is not enough to physically cleanse these spaces — Spiritual residue is very real and can alter the overall feel and ambiance we try to create for ourselves, ultimately undermining our attempts. Once you cleanse a space, the difference is felt almost immediately. Sage is good for clearing all energy out of a space, both positive and negative while Palo Santo wood sticks have an essence that clears out negative energy while releasing positive ions into the space. If you really would like to test the beneficial results of this practice, try smudging an area where something negative and/or tragic has happened, a space that has a heavy feeling lingering in it, or even a space that is inhabited by adolescents. Take note of how you feel both before, during and after smudging.