Smudging is the common name given to the Sacred Bowl Blessing . It is a term used to describe the use of smoke for practical and ritual activities. The practice of using smoke to cleanse, purify and bless is found in many cultures around the world. Smoke was said to take our prayers, concerns and requests to god. It was used to cleanse the sick rooms and the patients. It keeps bugs away (unless it’s the Manitoba Mosquito). The act of smudging can be as basic or elaborate an activity as you wish. It is the intent with which you smudge that is most important.
There are several plants that can be used for smudging. Here are a few that are commonly used.
- Sagebrush – used to transform energy and create change
- Common Sage – to bring wisdom and healing
- Sweetgrass – attracts positive energy
- Cedar – deeply purifying; a great healer; clears negative emotions
- Juniper – purify and create a safe and sacred space
- Yerba Santa – purifies; set and protect boundaries
- Rosemary – powerful healer that brings clarity
- Lavender – restores balance; creates a peaceful atmosphere; attracts loving energy and spirits
Some people find the smoke too strong or irritating. You could always use the plant’s essential oil to make a smokeless smudge either by placing the oil on smelling sticks, in a diffuser or making a spray with it. There is a wonderful Sweetgrass hydrosol spray from Alberta that can be used, too. Or you could use the fresh plant material from your garden.
The New Year is a great time to think about clearing out the old and bringing in the new to create a healthy, healing environment. Smudging is a great way to accomplish this task.