Although not visible to the human eye; ourselves, our belongings and our environment all vibrate with an invisible energy. Bad moods, bad vibes and bad juju can hang around long after the, “screaming into your pillow,” moment has passed.  

Ready for a completely fresh start? Smudge! Smudging is a popular practice of clearing negative energy from our environment and ourselves. It can purify our body’s aura as well as a living space. Spiritual instruments such as feathers and crystals can also be smudged to clean their energy. 

This ceremonial burning of plants such as sage, cedar, sweet grass and/or rosemary connects us to the spirits of the plants, and draws on their energy to help us restore the balance and clarity we seek.  Different plants carry different spirit energies so it is important to do some research before selecting your plants. Smudging can be done alone or with a group of people in a smudge circle. One of the key aspects to a successful smudge is your attitude and openness to the experience.   

Watching how the smoke behaves in your environment or against your aura can give you valuable insight. A thin line of smoke means that the area is fairly clean. Thick rolling clouds indicate and abundance of negative energy. The smoke will naturally gravitate to where the most amount of negative energy is. 

To do a smudge you will need: smudge supplies (can be loose or made as a bundle of herbs, resins and natural plant materials) a fireproof bowl and a lighter or matches. A shell can also be used as a bowl. The shell, a symbol of water, brings balance to the other elements in your smudge. Earth (the plants), air, fire and water (the shell). 

When burning a bundle you begin by lighting the smudge by the tips. Do not light the whole plant on fire, you don’t want your fire alarm to go off. Place the plant in the fireproof bowl or shell. You want to slowly let the flame diminish; after the flame stage has passed, the smudge will smolder and release smoke.  

Once the plant is smoking, the spirit energy can be given a direction by waving the smoke with your hand or a feather. In Native American tribes, feathers are used most often because they have spirit qualities that are revered because birds are seen as being able to connect to both mother earth and grandfather creator.  

When smudging your space, close all doors and windows and turn off fans. Start from where the smoke indicates the most amount of negative energy and then move around the room. To cleanse your own aura, smudge from head to toe. Paying careful attention to your third eye and heart.  

You can use smudge pre-meditatively to bring the best energy to a spiritual or metaphysical practice. 

Do you wash your hands before you eat? Then clean your space by smudging before your practice!  Take your yoga and mindfulness to the next level.  

Negative people, places or things….when in doubt smudge it out.  

   ©  Pepper Root 

 **The information provided is for reference and educational purposes only. It is not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any illness or disease, nor is it to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.