The explanation of process of smudging is well described in the previous article (Part I). There are many forms for following smudging technique. At times, the herbs are tied in a bundle (called Smudge Stick) and dried. These herbs can be used for different purposes and there are various ways of treatment. In general, candles are used to lighten the herbal sticks. Lighters and matches are rarely used for this purpose. In different cultures, herbs are used indifferent ways. In some cultures, coal is heated and herbs are sprinkled on it to get an effect. It is ‘New Age’ Smudging technique.
The material used to hold the lit charcoal (receptacle) needs to be made up of fire-proof material to avoid any harm to your hands. There are specialized equipments designed for smudging process. Chalice can be used for the same and bottom of container is filled with insulating materials, such as salt, sand or soil. If you want to lighten the bundle, it is essential to hold the candle flame, till the smudge glows red in color. There will be a shell placed to catch hot ashes.
When burning a braid of smudge, you have to be careful about tamping it. If you are burning herbs, it is possible to tamp it out by a spoon or stick kind of material. The use of water to hurriedly exhaust the charcoal should not be done as it is regarded as disrespect for Fire Spirits.
Idea behind Smudging Process
The concept behind burning herbs is to release positive energy and aroma. Excess smudge smoke can lead to problems in respiratory system of sensitive people. It is not necessary to fill your lungs with smoke and if you feel uncomfortable, it is rather recommended not to inhale too much of smoke. You should keep the room ventilated to maintain air circulation. When you are burning smudge, ask people in your surroundings, if they have any sort of allergic reactions with it. Pregnant females, asthma patients or people having respiratory ailments should avoid getting involved in smudging process.
There are many herbs serving as healing tools for smudging. The smoke can bring towards your heart and you can inhale it though the head and other parts of the body. Herbs are burnt during prayers and healing process. It helps to connect to Spirit Assisters. During healing process, the smoke is directed over sick person or unhealthy atmosphere to get specialized attributes and bringing positive energy into atmosphere or person.
Herbs used for Smudging & their Effects
|Sweet Grass||Protection and Sanctification|
|Cedar, Juniper, Cypress||Connecting with Spiritual Guides|
|California Bay (umbelluaria californica)||Protection against flu and colds|
|Mint||Uplifting and Cleansing|
|Resins (Gum Birch, Frankincense, Myrrh, Pine)||Connectivity to all creation|
|Desert Sage (Artemisia tridentate)||Clarification of negative and foreign energy|
|Mullein (verbascum thapsus)||Protection of new endeavors, relationships or ventures|
|Pine, Fur, Spruce||Cleansing and Purification effects|
|Wild Tobacco (nicotiana)||Need of Sacred Energy|
|Fennel (foeniculum vulgare)||Medication to repel evil energy sources|