The Art of Smudging

Smudging is an ancient art practiced by different cultures for centuries that utilizes the smoke of burning sacred plants to cleanse and bless a space. Smudging is most commonly associated with Native American culture & ritual. 

Smudging combines the power of plant energy with our own.  This combination is incredibly powerful and can accomplish amazing things. It is the smoke that is essential to smudging. The smoke acts as an energetic “bath”, removing the accumulated “dirt” or negative energy from daily interactions, thoughts, etc. The smoke acts as our soap and our focused mind acts as the water.  Together they have the power to cleanse us of negativity, bad juju, etc into a neutral state.

The smoke from certain plants releases large amounts of negative ions into the air we breathe and are surrounded by. Negative ions are the good vibe ions that are responsible for that feeling of bliss when we step onto a beach or are close to a waterfall. They can be found in very large concentrations in nature- one more reason to get outside more!

High concentrations of negative ions clear the air of mold, pollen, pet dander, and hazardous airborne particles. They attach to positively charged particles in the air and make them heavy, pulling them out of the air.  Smudging truly cleanses the air.  Studies have proven this cleansing effect. In 2006, the Journal of Ethnopharmacology published a study on Medicinal Smokes which found that the air cleansing that occurs during smudging stays free from harmful bacteria even 30 days following treatment!

The smudging process clears negative energy by changing the molecular structure of the air and energy, which has more benefits than just cleansing the air. Smudging is a natural antidepressant as the positive ions in our environments have been linked to depression, sadness, and low levels of serotonin. Negative ions produced get into our bloodstream from inhalation.  This lowers blood pressure, relieves stress, normalizes breathing (perfect addition to meditation or night yoga), and leads to improved sleep. 

The plant we choose is important, but equally so is our contribution. We cannot rely on the plant to do it all.  We need to come to the smudging session with our game ON. Set your goal or intention for what you would like to achieve with this ritual. During the ritual, it can be helpful  to repeat a mantra or prayer to keep your focus on the task at hand. Our minds are powerful. Do not focus on the bad vibes that you want to release, but instead focus on the result. A peaceful and neutral living space.  

There are countless plants that can be used for burning purposes, each with different properties.  Just because you read someone is good doesn’t mean it the right energy for what you’re working with. If a particular plant catches your eye, trust it. 

If you would like to learn more about Smudging & Healing Arts, do not hesitate to contact me.