Just what is Smudging?

By Natasha Botkin

snudge stick

Maybe you have seen a smudge stick and thought what is that?  Or maybe you have heard others speak of it.  What is it really?

I have to add a comical tidbit of fun; the dearie who asked me “Are you a witch” said that I may.  I am not a witch, a wiccan or cast spells.  What you will find from me is elemental essences of love, light from the divinity of truth.  I am one with nature and use many aspects that may seem as if, and I am not.  Now this does not mean to those who are wiccan, this is a downplay, because it surely is not.  This is me saying, woooo hold up, quite different and I am proud to be an elemental sacred heart high priestess (that in itself is another blog-more to come).

Sorry, I am off my tangent and back to what is smudging?  Smudging can be defined as  a traditional Native American method of burning sacred herbs to produce a smoke cloud which is used in various cleansing or prayer ceremonies and purification or healing rituals. During the Smudging ceremonies and rituals the smoke may be fanned over the person by the Shaman,  Medicine man or healer either using the hand, feathers or a fan. Smudging is the ritual cleansing of the mind, body and spirit.

It does not just cease with an individual, many use this as a form to cleanse and bless a new space, home, office etc.  I had a friend request for me to bless the dog park she adores so much after many unkind individuals began to misuse it.  

For example, one of my son’s was going through a tough time; critical crisis is what this truly was.  This was brought into the home, and every one of us, animals included were affected.  Did he mean ill harm, no, it is what it is.  No worries, no judgement, love, light and cleansing.  

I go back and forth with creating my own and purchasing a smudge stick.  There are many different kinds; the most well-known is sage.

Sage:  Sage is used to ‘wash off’ the outside world when one enters ceremony or other sacred space. Objects are likewise washed off with sage medicine smoke to rid them of unwanted influences, feel healthy and heal. The healing components of sage is antioxidants,  brain function, anti-hypertensive, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial; plus it helps cleanse your blood and may even prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Sweet grass: Seneca grass, holy grass and vanilla grass. This very special herb’s sweet vanilla-like scent is the breath of the Earth mother, bringing the blessing of Mother Earth’s love. Sweetgrass  is burned to remind us of essence of the feminine and that the earth provides us with everything we need.

Cedar: is a medicine of protection. Cedar trees are very old, wise and powerful spirits.  Cedar is often used to cleanse a home or apartment when first moving in, inviting unwanted spirits to leave and protecting a person, place or object from unwanted influences.  Cedar smoke brings in a friendly, healing energy, and is a good alternative for those who have an aversion to sage.

Lavender:  Is often used for protection and cleansing. The name may be derived from the Latin lavare (to wash) or livendula (meaning bluish). The healing components to lavender oil has a chemically complex structure with over 150 active constituents, which explains its effectiveness at helping with everything from insect bites to rheumatism. The botanical name, Lavandula, comes from Latin, lavare, which means “to wash,” probably for its history of use cleansing wounds, as well as washing linens and in personal bathing. It is a known anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, analgesic, calmative, detoxifier, hypotensive, and sedative.

Some will walk though with a smudge stick, others may wish to have a smudging bowl (please make sure that it is fire safe as sparks and embers will occur) and a feather (my feather was gifted to me via Three Wise Geese)  I am known to do what the home and/or client is in need of once I tap into the heart and soul.

My other suggestion is if you are completing this on your own; select a smudge stick that is not uber tightly bound.  The tighter the stick; the faster this will burn.  You also want to make sure that the ingredients are dry, so they will burn.

Meditate and find a time where you can complete this without interruptions; whatever you are feeling, is what will be left as energy residue.  What do you wish to feel?

With a mental health crisis, this does not mean that it is perfect by any means.   One moment, one step… Due to what was occurring in the home, I first smudged with a sage stick; going through all of the rooms, doors, windows, the most tiny of cracks, openings.  I, then incorporated Reiki into the next smudging.  The woes of my son lessening; me sensing that if I went to quick, the reverse would happen.  Slowly and steady. Next, I went through with Reiki preparing the home full of love and light energy to receive the clearing, cleansing and blessing.  This time I incorporated sage, lavender and white rose petals.  All very powerful, all incredible healing energies.  I finished this off with a home purifying, cleansing higher vibrational energy spray (that I am creating for each client’s needs) and voila.  The home is happier, the laughter returning.

This is a service provided through the MagicalBlessingsHealingCenter   —- Go to services and it is under Blessing, Clearing One’s Home; there is even a Teaching one how to complete this, option.

Much Love, Much Light and Magical Blessings, 



7 comments on “Just what is Smudging?

  1. Love this post, Natasha! And the timing is perfect. I am going to visit my daughter in her new apartment. I see smudging in our future! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love using my smudge stick to clear away energy that is not mine<3 I also use it to clear energies from places like you described. An essential tool for empaths. I love you explanation of the different types. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This reminds me of ritual cleansing with blessed salt. Same ends slightly different means. This was taught by Christian women.


  4. Hi Natasha, Thanks for sharing your comprehensive knowledge of smudging. I have done it and certainly now have a better understanding of additional herbs and tools to use. Thanks also for the reminder re the full moon and cleansing.


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