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Article: Learning And Practicing The Tradition Of Smudging

Black women

Learning And Practicing The Tradition Of Smudging

By: Trinity Slade

There are several aspects of health that attribute to our overall health. We often aim for diligence in tending to our physical and mental health, but our spiritual health may often go by the wayside. Spiritual health is the component of our well-being that is responsible for who we essentially are and how we project ourselves. This element can affect our social life, behavior, perception, and overall demeanor. With this, it is critical that we dedicate just as much time to our spiritual needs as we do to our physical and mental needs.

Every day, we have dozens to hundreds of in-person interactions with others. Online, we can easily have up to thousands of reciprocations through social media, texting, and other platforms. These bombardments affect our spirit and can at times be detrimental to our spiritual health. We hold on to these negative emotions until we consciously decide and choose to release them. Forgetting these transgressions does not heal us, but rather stores the incidents into our psyche, sometimes causing them to manifest later in other forms. How can we solve this? First, we must come to terms with the issue at hand - we are holding on to emotional baggage that no longer serves us. It’s time to get rid of that which is no longer for us!

Smudging is an ancient sacred practice that has been performed for thousands of years throughout several cultures. Indigenous peoples began the practice of smudging which involves gathering, bundling, and burning certain sacred herbs for the purposes of spiritual and even physical healing. Herbs that are typically used for smudging include sage, rosemary, cedar, sweetgrass, and frankincense to name a few. All of these herbs have been known to have different spiritually cleansing and healing properties for the practitioner.

Photo via BLK + GRN

Sage is among the most common smudging tools as it is a powerful spiritual cleanser. Sage, officially classified as salvia officinalis, is a subshrub often used to cleanse beings and spaces of negative energy. This tradition is practiced by gathering and bundling the sage leaves, then burning them. Let the smoke burning leaves cleanse your desired space. Use the wand until the flame naturally extinguishes and move the wand throughout every corner and surface of the space you are trying to rid of negative energy.

For example, when burning the White Sage Smudging Wand, move the bundle throughout your room and across yourself. Be sure to let the smoke reach your bed (the area where our subconscious thoughts come alive through our sleep) and every corner of the room including the areas we use most and least often. When saging to cleanse ourselves of negativity, be sure to let the smoke reach all parts of the body including the head, torso, legs, under the arms, and under the feet where stagnant energy may be stored.

Ready to try something different? Here at BLK+GRN, we also carry the Palo Santo Smudge Sticks for your spiritual needs. These sticks are powerful, fragrant, and healing. Used in the same way as sage, these smudge sticks remove negative energy from the space in which it is being used. Ethically wildcrafted, this product refrains from contributing to the overharvesting and cutting of the Palo Santo tree. This particular style of wand is native to the Inca era and has been practiced by Amazonian shamans to clear misfortune, negative thoughts and to chase away evil spirits.

Photo via BLK + GRN

It is important to keep an intentional mind throughout these practices as this healing does take personal introspective work. If you are looking to reach peak and new spiritual heights, be sure to envision yourself in that status. Who you want to be is already within you. Try chanting mantras such as, “I am whole,” “I am healing,” “I am full,” or any other phrases that hold personal meaning and value. Treat your journey with reverence and thank yourself along the way for the work you have done and continue to do for yourself.

If you are happy with your process, continue working in your best interest. If you begin to feel stagnation or regression, take the steps you feel you need that will help you achieve your spiritual goals. Some of these changes may be increasing the frequency of your routine, changing your mantras, changing your environment - for example, spending time outside, being barefoot, adding a mindful gratitude to your life. When you find yourself veering off track, come back to your personal center and start anew. Thank yourself. Trust yourself. Value your process.

What have been some of the most transformative steps of your spiritual journey? Let us know in the comments!