What is smudge?

Carrie JordanShamanism

Smudge is a traditional shamanic cleansing and clearing technique that is necessary and essential for all shamanic practitioners and magical people.

I’ve often seen people at festivals and gatherings haphazardly burning white sage, wasting this precious plant material, treating it like a fragrance. I prefer to treat sage and smudging herbs as sacred materials, especially because white sage is over-harvested and it is a sacred plant.

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Smudging is an essential cleansing and clearing technique for all shamanic practitioners. Click To Tweet

It bothers me to see this and so I created a video to show how to smudge in a sacred manner.

When we know the tradition and the reasons behind the traditions for smudging, we can more easily root down into our cosmology and to our practices as it helps us to understand the workings of the spiritual world.

Supplies for a sacred smudge ritual

Your oldest ancestors, which are the four elements, will accompany you in your smudging ritual. I don’t recommend going out and buying these materials, but rather asking your guides for them to enter your field. For example, you can ask for a feather on a walk, or ask for a shell next time you visit the beach. The medicine that you need and pray for will always find you.

You will need a feather for air, fire or matches for fire, a shell for water, and the herb or plant ally that you’re working with, whether it’s sage, sweetgrass, cedar, palo santo, juniper, or something else, as the earth element.

The elements are our oldest ancestors; they were here before we were and we came from air, fire, earth, and water. Click To Tweet

The elements were here before we were and we came from air, fire, earth, and water. As you smudge, you’re communing with the ancestors and the elements which are so important in our shamanic cosmology. This is why it’s wonderful to create this ritual in your life each day as a prayer. It is also a gesture to connect with the spirit realms. 

Cleansing and clearing helps us care fore our boundaries, our auras, our energy bodies. The smoke can also help carry our prayers to Great Spirit, Mother Earth to our ancestors and the four directions.

How to smudge

Episode 5: The Red Road with Sweet Medicine Nation

    1. The plant ally that you work with for your smudging ritual is a personal decision. It depends upon which plant ally calls to you.
    1. It’s not necessary to burn a huge bundle of sage. Often I use a little tiny piece of a leaf and it produces plenty of smoke.
    1. Work with the smoke to cleanse you eyes, ears, mouth, head, hands, and your body.
    1. Work with the feather to feather doctor and wipe the slate clean.
  1. When you’re complete with cleansing yourself, cleanse the feather in the smoke. Then knock off the energetics that stuck to the feather into your imaginary fire pit. This way the energy can be composted by the Earth.