We have lost a great deal of our sacred rituals passed down from our ancestors, wisdom holders and indigenous peoples, and we need to reunite with this part of our inherent nature. Before you begin clearing a space using the smudge technique, clear your mind and focus your energy on what you intend to accomplish by smudging. Gather everything you will need before you begin to smudge; your smudge stick or loose herbs, matches or a lighter, a candle (to hold your intentional prayer), and a fireproof container, along with sand to extinguish the smudge if using a smudge stick. Otherwise a fireproof dish, a caldron, or a large shell for holding your herbs will be good.
Don’t rush when going through this process, rather, give yourself time to contemplate your intentions, focus on what needs to be cleared, and some time to do the clearing. While you are smudging, you are holding sacred space and this means all your attention should be on what you are doing. So, don’t answer a text or call, don’t answer the door or talk with others around you, and don’t use unconscious speech while holding sacred space. This, in essence, is now ceremony.
Also, since you are now part of the sacred space, you need to smudge yourself before anyone or anything else. This procedure will be the same for anyone you intend to smudge as well as yourself. Once you have a nicely lit smudge stick or dish of herbs, start at the top of your head, the crown, and slowly move your lit herbs from left to right as you move down the body. I will usually smudge the front of myself before smudging the back. And make sure you clear your hands and under your feet. These both do a lot of work throughout the day. As you smudge, breathe deeply and allow yourself to relax and stay focused. You may also hold your hands over your smudge dish, gather the smoke into your hands, and bring it into your body. With each swiping of your hands from the dish to your body, hold the intention of each body part or chakra you are moving towards and clearing. In this way you can acknowledge each part of yourself as sacred, cleared and renewed.
If you are smudging a house or room, make sure your lit herbs are being safely contained and fireproofed. You can either gently move the smudge stick back and forth as you walk in a counter clockwise direction in a room, or if you are using a feather, or even your hand held flat over the herbs, using swift, clean sweeping motions, gently waft the smoke outwards before you as you walk the space. Remember to stay connected to your intention as you smudge.
I prefer moving in a counter-clockwise direction around a room as a reminder that my intention is to release and unwind any negativity or stagnation in the area. I move from room to room from either the front of the home to the back, or visa versa, but always ending at an exit doorway to complete the releasing or clearing intention. Make sure to include the corners of each room and behind furniture to ensure your haven’t missed anything that might be lingering.
You can finish by reinstating the good vibes in a space by lighting sweetgrass, lavender or dried rose petals to bring in the good spirits. Use your cedar to instill guardian spirits and protection.
When you are finished with your smudging, make sure your herbs are entirely unlit in your container, or your smudge stick is smothered in the container of sand. You can leave your candle lit as a reminder of the sacred space you have created, showing the light is strong.