“Nature understands fire and smoke better than words.” -Alfred Savinelli, Plants of Power
Smudging or smoke cleansing is the burning of certain herbs and flowers to create a cleansing smoke bath which is used to purify negative energies on yourself, in your home, or objects.
But which herbs/flowers can you use and what are their purifying properties? Well here is a list that I have put together for all us baby witches!
Sage: The use of sage is for healing. The smoke is used to bless, cleanse and heal the person or object being smudged.
Cedar is for protection. Cedar is commonly used to cleanse a home or place when first moving in, inviting unwanted spirits to leave and protecting a person, place or object from unwanted influences.
Juniper is said to have a masculine, protective energy, and is used for cleansing and prosperity.
Juniper is best used for blessing a new venture or dwelling, and inviting in abundance.
Sweetgrass: It is said that this plant is the breath of the Earth Mother, bringing the blessing of the Earth mother’s love because of its sweet vanilla scent. Sweetgrass is used for healing, purification, and for bring positive energy into ones home.
Lavender: Lavender is used to invite spirits. Some people regard lavender as a safeguard to ward against evil. Lavender is often used to bring in an air of calm.
Basil: Basil is seen as as a symbol of fertility and is considered to be the protector of family, so burning Basil will help relieve negativity from your home.
Rosemary: Rosemaryclears negativity, inspires confidence, and invigorates the mind and body.
Rosemary isa symbol of remembrance and is an aid to strengthen and fortify the memory. Rosemary is also good for preventing nightmares.
Pine: Pine is used for cleansing, healing and strengthening. It also acts as a natural insect repellent, too!
Thyme: Burning Thyme cleanses your space while also inviting in positivity and courage. Smudging your home with thyme dispels melancholy, hopelessness and other mellow but negative energy.
Fennel: This seems to be an odd one for many people, but the Fennel sprigs are actually really good for smudging because of its association
with longevity, courage and strength. It wards off negative energies by its purifying properties and provides protection to the human energy field while fortifying healthy boundaries.
Mugwort: Mugwort is burned to encourage dreams and visions.
When burned before bedtime, it aids in restful sleep and pleasant dreams. It is also used in purification and to bring calm energies into your home.
Frankincense is considered to cleanse and protect the soul.
Frankincense is said to ease depression and promote clairvoyance.
Roses: The roses help
with attracting love and enhancing a romantic environment. It is also used for meditation and encouraging peace. Also excellent for meditation, divination, increasing psychic abilities, contacting powers and beings in other dimensions and psychic communication.
in divination and psychic communication. Excellent for rejuvenating the senses and restoring one’s life force.
Yerba Santa Leaves: Used for enhancing psychic abilities, magical protection, healing and spiritual strength. Excellent for meditation and divination.
Dandelion: Dandelion is used to enhance psychic ability. Burn dandelion before you read tarot cards, cast runes, etc.. to enhance your abilities.
Palo santo (literally meaning “holy wood”) comes from a tree native to South America. Like white sage, this is commonly used for cleansing and purification purposes. You simply light the end of it and waft the smoke around the area, person, or object you wish to cleanse.
People use palo santo rather than sage in smoke cleansing for a variety of reasons. One such reason is that white sage is an endangered plant; some prefer not to use white sage bought from a store because of this (although you can always grow your own). Some people find the aroma of palo santo to be more appealing than the smell of white sage; palo santo has a sweet odor with hints of mint, citrus, and pine. An added side benefit is that the smoke has the tendency to repel mosquitoes and other bugs.
Palo santo keeps energy grounded and opens us up for a deeper connection to the earth. In addition, it is said to enhance creativity and bring good fortune. It has healing benefits as well; it can relieve the symptoms of a common cold, inflammation, asthma, stress, anxiety, depression, emotional pain, and more. It can be simmered and made into a tea, and an essential oil is also available.
An energy healer in my area that I have been to a number of times uses palo santo for smoke cleansing at the end of each session. She wafts the smoke around her patient to cleanse and ground their energy and form a protective bubble around them to prevent taking on further negativity from their surroundings. I have found the aroma and feeling it imparts to be quite soothing. She also uses it in combination with white sage for cleansing an area – be it a shop, a home, or a room – in much the same way.
If you’ve never tried palo santo before and can find it, I absolutely recommend giving it a try!
It’s no secret that that modern day Witch loves sage. Cleansing is a part of the everyday craft and there really is no working around it. But what if you don’t have access to sage, Or you don’t want to drop $10 or more each time, What could you use, You ask?
Here is a list of my top 4 sage alternatives! (Which are pretty easy to come by)
1. Juniper: This bush makes an incredible smudge for deep, heavy cleanings. This would be perfect to use to completely cleanse a area of all energy’s. Good and bad. And because of its thorns, It creates a protective barrier when burned.
2. Cedar: Cedar is used to clear a space of all energy’s, But focuses more on Evil, And negative spirits, And all aspects of protection. You would use this if you where, Lets say moving into a new apartment, And wanted to completely eliminate all traces of the previous renter.
3. Rosemary: You would use this herb to cleanse a congested space, and bless a home. The rosemary smoke also doubles as a love promoting energy so its great for troublesome couples, and friendships.
4. Lavender: This herb would be used to cleanse a a space, and leave a clean slate which promotes peace, tranquility, and a stress free zone. Ideal for stressful homes, or just a bad day.
To make them, Harvest your herbs the way you normally would (fresh) and bundle them up together neatly. Tie them together nice and tight, and hang them to dry for at least 2 weeks in a cool, dry place. Once they’re nice and crisp they are good to go!
Quick Disclaimer, Because I always get hate mail on the topic of Smudging. I am not per say a Native American. I am Aztec Indian. I belong to no tribe, Or reservation. I am just a Witch. I have spoken to Native Americans here on Tumblr, and have the good ol seal of approval to talk about, share, and use these practices.