WHAT IS SMUDGING? - CHOOSING THE RIGHT HERBS - A GUIDE
So, what is smudging?
In our day-to-day lives, regardless of whether we subscribe to a spiritual path, and no matter our disposition, we are bound to experience or attract negativity in some shape or form. A build-up of those bad vibes in your surroundings, whether this be at home or in the workplace, can adversely affect many aspects of your being – your thoughts, emotions and even your physical wellbeing. Keep your physical and energetic space clutter-free and intact with cleansing rituals such as smudging.
Smudging is most commonly a traditional Native American practice (yet similar rites can be found in many other cultures) of burning herbs to offer blessings and purify people, places and objects, as well as to dispel negative energies. As we have become more tolerant and open to spiritual traditions and ritual, this practice has seen an emergence in Western contemporary culture. Anyone can use smudging herbs for an array of practical purposes.
Need to eradicate some nasty juju attached to your person or place? Give smudging a try.
Choosing the right herbs
Reasons to Smudge
Moving house or a change in living dynamics
Beginning a new job or starting a new business
Before and after guests in your home
Before and after a yoga or healing session
After an argument, break-up or illness
Feelings of depression, or of being ‘stuck in a rut’
On returning from crowded or clutter environments
Dealing with loss or grief
An alternative to incense
At COSMIC, we currently offer four smudging herbs that have a wide array of properties that cater to most aspects of everyday life.
COSMIC’S Juniper is grown, hand-picked and bundled in California, North America.
Widely used by Native Americans for its healing properties, often being made into decoctions and poultices. Juniper has also been noted for its effective healing properties.
PROPERTIES & USES
To treat colds and other respiratory ailments
Burnt before and during childbirth to promote peaceful delivery
Creates a safe and positive healing space
Clears away negative energies, replaces with positive
Induces a masculine protective energy over people, places and objects
Brings about good luck
Cleansing and promotes prosperity
COSMIC’s Mugwort is grown, hand-picked and bundled in California and Oregon, North America.
Our Mugwort is a variety that is native to the Western United States and is also known as Wormwood, Dream Weed and Sagewort. Mugwort was used by Native Americans in a medicinal and ceremonial capacity. The Chumash, Karok, Miwok and Yurok are said to have used it to treat rheumatism, sometimes applying the leaves as a poultice, and other times creating a decoction to be taken orally. Among the Miwok, mugwort was rubbed on the body as protection from ghosts and dreams of the dead. This is where the moniker ‘Dream Weed’ is derived from – mugwort’s intensive abilities to induce and stimulate one’s dreams.
PROPERTIES & USES
Used medicinally and ceremonially
Offers protection from negative dreams & auras
Induces and stimulates dreaming
Used to treat depression
Known for its sweet, subtle scent
COSMIC’s White Leaf Sage is grown, hand-picked and bundled in the coastal mountains of California, North America.
Sage is the most widely-used smudging herb, and is noted for its masculine aromatic properties, white the White Leaf Sage being the strongest scent of all sage. Sage burning is the oldest and purest method of cleansing a person, group of people, a space or an object. While Native American sage burning is the most commonly recognised use of it today, it has nevertheless been a shared practice in other cultures too. From the ancient Celtic druids who used sage as a sacred herb for medicinal purposes, to the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon whose Palo Santo (sacred wood) sage burning ceremonies are still practiced to this day.
PROPERTIES & USES
Most popular and well-known of all smudging herbs
Broad leaf sage, with a strong scent
Used for protection and blessings
Increases wisdom and spiritual awareness
Expels negative energies, substitutes with positive
COSMIC’s Sweetgrass is grown, hand-picked and braided by the First Nations families (Canada’s indigenous peoples).
Sweetgrass is also known as Holy Grass or Hair of Mother Earth. It is a hardy perennial herb with a sweet and vanilla-like fragrance. Sweetgrass braids have a long-standing tradition among the Native Americans as a smudging herb in sacred rituals, with some tribes believing it to be the first plant to cover the earth. The most common use among the Native Americans was for purification, driving out negativity and as an offering to spirits and ancestors. Also, in Northern Europe, sweetgrass was scattered on the ground in front of churches on saints’ days so that its sweet aroma would be released when people entered.
PROPERTIES & USES
Considered sacred, making it ideal for ceremonies and special occasions
Emits a sweet and hypnotic vanilla aroma once burned
Drives out evil and ill intentions
Allows benevolent spirits to approach
Invokes love, kindness and honesty
How do I smudge?
COSMIC's step-by-step guide to smudging
Light one end of your smudge, allowing it to catch fire and burn for several seconds. Once the flame extinguishes, gently blow on the lit end to fan the embers; the smudge wll begin to glow and smoke.
Lay the smudge on a heat-proof dish to catch the ashes as it burns.
Fan the smoke over and around the desired area – a person, a place or an object
Use your hands, a feather or a fan to guide the smoke over yourself and around your space.
Picture your intention as the smoke rises. If you are dispersing negative energy, picture if evaporating. Compensate by visualising placing that negativity with positive feelings. Seeking healing attributes? Imagine the smoke cleansing any ailments. Whatever your desire, envision it floating away with the smudging smoke, or imagine the smoke as a conduit between a peaceful aura and your body/surroundings.
Once complete, extinguish your smudge in sand, or let it burn down on its own.
Check out our online store or pop into the shops for a chat with our helpful and knowledgeable staff.
Enjoy your new-found good vibes!