New year, new energy! Whether you want to usher out the old or welcome in the new, read on for tips on cleansing your space with smudging. If you’re interested in giving it a try, you can get many of the smudging supplies mentioned below at Curio, Craft & Conjure.
Why does smudging work?
Energy is constantly being exchanged between people and spaces. Whatever you are doing or experiencing, you’re experiencing it in a place and the energy of that exchange will remain there. As with people, energy can build up in spaces and begin to affect things. For example, negative energy can build up in a room where you frequently have arguments. That energy can be cleansed away using different herbs and smoke. The ions in the smoke adhere to the ions of the energy and are able to transport them out of that space, which is why smudging tends to be more effective than using sprays. This is also why it’s important to open your doors and windows when you’re smudging. Doing so gives the smoke a place to go so that you are not just moving the energy into your walls and condensing it.
What should I smudge with?
There are a lot of different herbs that can be used to smudge your home. Each of them has different properties, so you want to make sure the herb you choose is in alignment with what you would like for your home.
- White sage: This cleanses both negative and positive energy. Certain Native American nations would smudge themselves before war to remove compassion. It is important to always follow sage with something else. For example, you could burn roses to bring in love after using white sage. White sage is sacred to certain Native American nations, so be mindful of where you source it.
- Blue sage: This sage cleanses negative energies as well, and you would want to also follow it with another herb. For example, you could burn sweetgrass to bring in joy after using the blue sage.
- Palo Santo: This cleanses negative energies while keeping the positive energies going. It’s perfect for a quick cleansing after guests or just to freshen up the energy in the space.
- Juniper: This is good for hex breaking. Many people think that hexes and curses are only done towards you by others, but sometimes our own self-sabotaging habits curse our path and provide obstacles. Burning juniper can help in removing that energy from a space.
- Rosemary: This herb calls in your ancestors. When you call in your ancestors, other energies tend to leave because they are no longer welcome. It’s good to burn if you need the feeling of family around you.
- Sweetgrass: Sweetgrass is used to bring in joy. I recommend burning it after sage, juniper, or Palo Santo.
- Rose: Roses can be used to bring in love. I personally enjoy burning rose with sweetgrass to bring love and joy into a space.
- Cedar: Cedar can be used for purification. Some Native Americans burn cedar to purify themselves before ceremony. Cedar can also be used to bring in protection.
How do I smudge?
1. Decide what herbs you would like to burn. What energies would you like to remove? What energies would you like to bring in?
2. Open windows and doors.
3. Burn the herb that removes energies (Palo Santo, sage, juniper) first. Light this herb and walk counterclockwise around your space.
4. Once the smoke dies down, place the herb in an ashtray and close windows and doors.
5. Next, burn the herb that brings in energies (sweetgrass, rose, cedar, rosemary). Light this herb (if it’s sweetgrass, put on your favorite music) and walk clockwise around your space.
6. When the smoke dies down, place the herb in an ashtray.
7. Now that you have cleansed your space, it is also important to stay in the feeling you want in your space.
You want joy in your space? Have a joyful day and live in joy to keep it in your space.
You want love in your space? Do things for yourself that make you feel loved! Have an at-home spa day or treat yourself to a 12-pack and burgers. The point is to do the things that make you feel loved so that the energy of love stays in your space.
You want protection in your space? Don’t be dumb! Jokes aside, your space can’t be protected if you are inviting anybody and everybody into it or if you are doing unsafe things in the first place.
Gianna Spriggs-Macdonald is co-owner of Curio, Craft & Conjure alongside her mother Gina Spriggs, as well as the founder and owner of Curio Curandera LLC. Gianna is a practicing curandera (healer) and offers energy clearings in her healing space at the back of Curio, Craft & Conjure. You can also find her teaching classes and offering guided meditations and private mentorships.