Between grey rainy days there have been some days of complete delight lately – with clear blue skies, snowdrops in the hedge, catkins dancing in the breeze, the trees just beginning that gorgeous pre-growth shimmer and the first daffodils.
With this energy, last Wednesday I felt spurred to action and started thinning my books! The sitting room got a complete clean. All the crystals got a nice bath. Then it was time to smudge.
I’ve written about smudging before, but since following spring cleaning is such a perfect time to smudge your home, I thought I’d share once more.
Many cultures consider certain plants to be sacred, and to have special properties that can help us. For centuries, various plants such a sage, cedar, lavender, frankincense have been burned to create a fragrant cleansing smoke or smudge. Cleansing with sacred herbs is both a practical and sacred ritual.
There are many plants to choose from and you can choose a herb, or a mix of herbs, that you like and that feels good and appropriate to you. I like to grow and dry my own herbs to make special smudging mixtures.
The photograph below shows Sweet Woodruff - an absolutely beautiful plant with leaves in little star whorls. It loves my garden and grows prolifically. When dried it has the most beautiful sweet scent, but is an absolute labour of love to burn.
While I do use my own mixes for special ceremonies and events, the smoke that I find has the most effective general cleansing properties, and which I use most often, is White Sage (Salvia Apiana). This is imported from USA - as loose leaves, clusters of leaves, or wound into smudge bundles. I really wish I could grow it. I’ve tried, but this damp valley in Cornwall is not a good environment for the plant.
A longtime ago I made shamanic journeys to the Spirits of lots of plants used in smudging and asked if I could be shown how each works.
Apart from my preference for the smell of White Sage over lots of other plants, and the fact that it feels energetically lighter, what I was shown taught me that it is really, really good at clearing, cleansing and lightening the energy of people and spaces.
When I smudge myself, I often use my hand to direct the smoke. When smudging a person or a place, I often use a feather.
One thing you definitely need is a fireproof container. One of the true rules of smudging is that however hard it is to light the herbs in the beginning, when it is time to go out they will probably be burning well! The container can be anything that prevents fire from spreading and doesn’t burn your hand, so metal is out unless it is on a cord!
A strong ceramic bowl is good, and I have often used bowls with a little soil or sand in the bottom. Often a shell isused.
Smudging with shell and feather is particularly lovely since it brings in the 4 Daughters of Beauty or the 4 Elements. The plant represents the Earth element and the shell represents Water. They are burned and transformed by Fire into cleansing smoke. The smoke itself, and the feather, represent the element Air.
There are many ways of smudging - many traditions and rituals. You may well find that people are attached to ‘the right way’ of smudging. I’ve certainly been told off more than once for ‘doing it wrong’, yet I’ve watched several Grandmothers in ceremony, and they each have their own way. I have my own way to smudge my home, so I’ll share it with you.
I begin with cleaning on the physical level – a good tidy, dust, sweep, ‘spit and polish’, and a good crystal cleanse. I like to do this with windows and door open, whenever possible, and it is good to keep them open while you smudge if you can. I set a clear, strong intent to clear any energies that do not belong in my home.
I start upstairs, in the corner of the bathroom. I move around the room, using the feather to wave the smoke into nooks and crannies, paying particular attention to corners, all the time focusing on clearing and cleansing. I then move to my bedroom and repeat, to the other bedrooms and then down the stairs. I move through the rooms downstairs, ending at the door.
Having completed the smudging, I sometimes go round again with sweetgrass. This herb smells divine and brings blessings into your home. It does not burn like sage, and you need to be patient and persevere. I will need lighting several times, but it really is worth it.
You can light a stick of your favourite incense or diffuse an essential oil or a combination of oils. Put your cleansed and sparkling crystals back in place and add some vases of flowers.
There are some situations where it doesn’t work to create smoke, and indeed some people just don’t like it, so you could use my special Cleanse Aura Spray. This is made from my personal tried and tested recipe which includes a blend of 5 essential oils, my own Quartz Crystal essence, pure focussed intent and lots of love. It is so hard to find the perfect White Sage oil and it is pretty expensive. I’ve had many expensive disappointments along the way. Every bottle is made as part of a small batch at special times, such a Full Moon or Equinox, and each batch has its own energy. This Aura Spray is also very useful when you need a quick ‘clear and lift’ of energy – yourself or in a room.
You can buy Cleanse Aura Spray, White Sage - loose or in bundles, Abalone Shells in various sizes, Sweetgrass Braids and Feathers in my Facebook group sale tomorrow evening.
Sue’s Crystal Barn Online
Tuesday 12th February at 7pm.
I also have 2 lovely Home Blessing Kits available and can create ‘Mini Kits’ from a selection of items.
For those of you who are wondering about the Horse Drum, he is pretty quiet at the moment. He has found a spot to rest for now and seems quite happy there.
Happy Spring Cleaning! May your hearth be clear and bright, and filled with many blessings.
Smudging Supplies - Crystal Barn Online tomorrow at 7pm
Home Blessing Kit: £19
Loose White Sage 25g: £3
Loose White Sage 50g: £5
Sweetgrass Braids: £5
Small White Sage Bundles: £3
Abalone Shells 4 to 5 inch: £5
Cleanse Aura Spray: £10