Smudging ceremony is used for cleansing, purifying, and blessing the area around your altar and sacred space, or for your ritual tools. If you wish, you can also smudge people, animals, or your entire home and vehicle.
With a smudging ceremony, we can bless just about anything.
A smudge stick contains herbs, spices, or incense, tied up in a small bundle. The smoke is brushed over and around any areas that need a purification when is lit.
Traditional herbs for smudging are rosemary, sage, sweet grass, lavender, mugwort, and wormwood. Smudges have benefits for the modern Wiccan, as natural herbs didn’t cause difficulties for people who are sensitive to fragrances.
How to Make A Smudge Stick
You can buy pre-made sticks, with a variety of plants in them. Most common are sage, and combinations of things like lavender, sage, and cedar.
Make your smudge stick. Tie your herbs in a small bundle with cotton thread, so that it resembles a large, fat cigar. Light one end and allow the sweet-smelling smoke to rise.
Move the smudge stick around to allow the smoke to spread.
You should not blow, as this is believed to create an opportunity for negative energies to enter the smoke.
You can also burn the herbs loosely, but this will create an incredibly hot mixture. Take special care and use a fireproof container for your herbs. Prepare a ceramic bowl containing sand to deposit the smudge stick. Remember that herbs continue to smoke for a long time after the fire has been put out. Smudging your altar before use is an excellent way to focus your mind on the task you are about to do.
How to perform a smudging ceremony?
Once a Smudge Stick is lit, use your breath, or hand to blow the flame out.
Then wave with feather or group of feathers the smoke around whatever it is you’d like to purify.
As the smoke moves around and upward to the air, imagine clearing whatever is not in your best interests. Let it go on the smoke. The pure smoke will take these energies back to the Universe and transform them into positive energy.
You can sing or pray for the cleansing that you desire.
You will want to keep a bowl of sand or earth nearby. When you are done smudging, bury the hot end entirely and make sure it is out.
Smudging ceremony and fire safety concerns
Anything to do with fire has the potential to be dangerous. Since you are burning things, be sure to use a fire-safe cauldron or another device and add sand to the bottom. Remove any flammable items nearby. Altar cloth underneath, or in a dangling sleeve, can ignite from the heat.
Be aware that sparks do fall off, and can burn clothing, altar cloths, floors, etc. So use with caution. If smudging indoors, excessive smoke will set off a smoke detector.
Having something under your candle holders for protection is essential. A metal tray may not look glamorous on an altar, but it is a necessary piece of equipment. A small fire extinguisher is also a good idea.