Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Power of Smudging

The Power of Smudging
Jane Alexander

How can something be so powerful? The answer lies in the subatomic world of subtle or spiritual energy. Homes and bodies are not just made of purely physical matter; they also vibrate with quiet, invisible energy. Cleansing a space or our bodies with techniques such as smudging clears away all the emotional and phychic "garbage" that may have gathered over years or even hundreds of years. It's like spiritual spring cleaning.

The effects of smudging can be surprisingly swife and dramatic. Smudging can help you banish stress and attract love, soothe you, or give you energy. They can bring your family closer together and let you adjust to the healing seasonal rythms of the year. Above all, they can turn any space, however humble, into a soothing sanctuary - a place of renewal and happiness.

The History of Smudging
Jane Alexander

Smudging may seem a very modern practice: We read about city highgliers using it to sell their apartments or imporove their business luck, but smudging has been used for thousands of years. When you light a smudge stick you are connecting with a spiritual tradition that originated from the depths of time.

A Tradition From the Mists of Time

It is impossible to say for certain when smudging began. Perhaps early civilization came to realize, through sheer trial and error, that the smoke generated by setting alight particular herbs had beneficial effects for humanity. Certainly many cultures have an old tradition of driving animals through the smoke to kill off pests and diseases. Nowadays modern science has proven that certain herbs do indeed have cleansing powers, actina as stron pesticides. Aside from this beneficial and practical aspect of burning herbs, humans have become aware that smoke ascends to the heavens - to the world of spirits - almost as if it were acting as a spiritual messanger.

The idea of purification through smoke is certainly not the sole preserve of the Native North Americans. Most rituals have some element of cleansing, and incense or herbal smoke mixtures are burned around the world - from China, India, and Southeast Asia to Europe and the Western world.

The Native American Way

Originally mixtures of sacred herbs and resins were burned in a special bowl. Smoke was then wafted around the person or place needing purification and cleanisng. However, smudge sticks (bundles of dried herbs tied together with colored thread or a strip of hide) offer an easier way of smudging that is just as effective.

The herbs most often used in smudge sticks are sage and sweetgrass. Sage drives out any negative thoughts, energies, spirits, and influences. Sweetgrass is used to attract positive energy after all the negative energies have been banished by sage. Native North Americans see smudging as a way of shifting between various levels of reality - connecting us here in the material, physical world to the subtle realm of spirits.



Blogger peppylady said...

I've been thinking that I need to do a banishing or a smudging ritual.
But I'm not sure were ones go for "disappointment or if one life isn't on the right track they feel or they think it should be on"

I'll look around for a smudging ritual.

Coffee is on.

November 22, 2008 at 7:00 PM  

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