Go Smudge Yourself - Cleansing Methods For You and Your Home
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With the recent uptick in spirituality and the Sephora “Witch Kit”, I figured it be a good idea to touch on how to properly cleanse a space. Like all magic, there are multiple ways to do similar things, but some work better than others for certain people. That's why there are multiple methods! It all comes down to personal preference for your practice and your path.
First things first, lets talk about Sage. This is what most people think of when they hear the word “Smudging” or cleansing work. Truth be told, white sage is typically only used for ceremonial purposes and extreme cases. It gets rid of EVERYTHING, both good and bad, which is why Native Americans only use it for special occasions. Native Americans also have other herbs they use on a more day to day basis and it varies depending on tribe and traditions. From my home state of North Carolina, the most common used herbs were Native Cedar, Pine, and Sweetgrass. Not only are these more readily available, but they invite more positive energy into the space.
Now, I do use sage in my work, but it is grown from my own garden and also not the species known as white sage. If you are going to use sage, make sure you know the source it's coming from and if it's ethically sourced. That way you can cleanse your space with a clear conscious. The best way to use sage is to light it either in a fireproof pot or in a bundle and waft it around your home or sacred space. Make sure to get it in all the corners and cervices and start from the front of the house and work your way back. At Wild Rituals, all of our smudge bundles are made with ethically sourced California grown White Sage and a portion of the proceeds go to The Native American Rights Foundation.
Our next method is Frankincense. This comes in the form of a resin and is very popular among Monotheistic religions and witches alike. It is from the Middle East and mentioned several times within the Bible (remember the three gifts to baby Jesus from the wisemen?) and once was even used as currency due to it's worth. Due to its popularity, and the Silk Road trade, it traveled to Europe, Africa, and Asia and used by several traditions.
The best way to use it is to light a charcoal puck in a fireproof bowl and then add the resin on top. Let it waft around the space as you breath deeply to center yourself. This is one of my favorite methods and is great to use for any resin incense you may have on hand.
Next on the list is Florida water. Florida water is probably most popular here in New Orleans, used by Catholics and local witches alike. I put this stuff in everything from baths, floor washes, my perfume, to cleanse my ritual tools, and many more. Plus, it's very inexpensive and great for those who have an issue with burning things. Now the history of Florida water is simple. Its humble beginnings were that of a cologne in the 1800’s. Agua de Florida basically means flower water in Spanish, so it has no relation to the State of Florida if you are wondering. Because of the flowers, spices, and herbs used in the recipe it became a tool for many when it came to cleansing oneself and your surroundings.
When I am not adding it to things, I take a bottle of Florida water and put it in a spray bottle. Spray on yourself, your tools, and around your home to invite positive energy in. Plus it smells amazing and a great alternative for those who have an issue with smoke.
Lastly, we will talk about incense. Yes, we are talking about that hippie stuff you find everywhere from the mall to the local smoke shop. Now, some people do just light it because they like the smell, but strawberry kiwi from the Hookah bar isn’t going to cleanse your space. Incense comes in a few forms; sticks, cones, powder, and ropes. The stick form is simple to use. You just light it up, blow out the flame and let it do its thing in your incense holder. The cones and powder are best used over a lit charcoal puck. The rope incense is similar to the stick form, but takes a special burner which looks like a hook. This last form is most popular in Tibet and other Asian countries.
So, what is the best kind to use for cleansing? Well the cool thing about incense is it comes in many different blends! Palo Santo, sandalwood, nag champa, frankincense and myrrh, juniper, cedar, pine, sweetgrass, and temple blend are some great ones to start with. Once you familiarize yourself with the types, you can change out certain ones for certain works.
Now that we know the types of products used for cleansing yourself and your space, I hope you are able to bring positivity into your home. These methods have been around for centuries an have stood the test of time. So go out and find what works best for you.