Why Smudging is More than some Hippie B.S.

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Candles and a bowl of sage have become staples in my home office, and I am so grateful for these “tools.”

I refer to incense, crystals, sage, pendulums, and other typical “hippy” accessories as tools, because that is the way I access them.

We are here on earth as humans to get stuff done. To do this, we need to clear old energy, pain, trauma, soul patterns, and karma that no longer serve us.

The tricky thing is that in our systems, we have both old karma that needs clearing and freshly attained energies that aren’t particularly healthy for us.

All of this needs to be cleared.

That is why the affirmation: “I am free, I am free, I am free,” is so powerful. Perhaps, the only thing we need to do as humans is to become free of all the negative stuff attached to us that we no longer need.

When we think of our journey in this way, what we need to do in life becomes quite simplified.

That is why I love smudging. Clearing negative energy, energy that isn’t ours, and old energy that has attached to us from the past can take effort. It takes intention, focus, concentration, and willingness.

Smudging can be helpful. We can light the sage and set the intention that the smoke created is gathering up everything we don’t need and lifting it up to the sky like a helium balloon drifting away from us.

In this way, we let the smudge do the heavy lifting for us.

Being human is difficult. There are currents of energy and intentions circling around us that we will never fully understand. That is why we need the earth to help us with our journey.

Accessing tools from the earth to aid us on our path is not being gullible or naive—it is being smart.

Smudge and incense can lift the heaviness from our hearts and auras and help it travel away from us. Recently, I had an energy clearing from an indigenous-made rattle which broke up energies I no longer need with sound and helped them dissolve away. It felt amazing. My energy felt so free!

Still, I always say that we don’t want to turn meditation or healing into just another shopping trip. However, if there are tools that are going to aid us on our human transformational journey, then let’s use them.

Using smudging in ceremony, ritual, or just as a daily self-care energy clearing tool is a gift we can give ourselves.

In my opinion, it is fine to be playful and experimental with these earth tools. Just use your awareness to help you learn what works. Notice how you feel before you smudge your body or a room—and then, notice how you feel after.

Your own awareness is your greatest teacher, and there are tools such as sage that we can use to help open our awareness and bring greater healing into our lives.

Happy smudging to you all!

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Relephant:

Scientific Facts that Make me want to start Smudging right Now.

A Beginner’s Guide to Herbs & Smudging.

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**Relephant warning: Uh-oh, keep in mind that burning sage can be as much of a carcinogen as burning incense or smoking! But, these tips could be helpful.

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Mindful Bonus:

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Author: Ruth Lera
Image: Instagram @katarrrrina
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis

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Ruth Lera

Ruth Lera is a mindfulness meditation teacher, energy healer, natural intuitive, writer, boreal forest loiterer, and author of the book Walking the Soul Path; An Energetic Guide to Being Human.

She is also the creator of the Self Healing Community an online portal for tapping into your innate healing abilities.

Besides being a regular contributor for Elephant Journal, Ruth shares her thoughts on energy healing and the universe on her blog, Facebook page, and Twitter.

Sonya Ebers Nov 18, 2018 9:21am

Love your writing Ruth🍁🙏🏼🍁

Meleeya Elena Jasmine Nov 20, 2017 10:46pm

Ruth Lera No worries. Great article overall

Ruth Lera Nov 20, 2017 10:35pm

Yes, Meleeya. This has been pointed out to me by many readers and this was my mistake. Anything I write in the future that discusses smudging will definitely reference its important First Nations orgination. My apologies. And thank you for pointing this out.

Meleeya Elena Jasmine Nov 20, 2017 3:28am

How about incorporating where smudging originated from as well ... definitely not from "hippies"

Ruth Lera Nov 18, 2017 8:23pm

Belinda Banks Gresham Oh, so glad I could help.

Belinda Banks Gresham Nov 18, 2017 5:19pm

Ruth Lera wow, i know for a fact that several have died in my house, its a civil war era bungalow...and omg yes, the sage smelled horrible and i know the true small of sage is lovely so i wondered why it smelled so horrid when burning, thanks for your answer!

Ruth Lera Nov 18, 2017 4:43pm

I have been informed by someone I trust that the word Smudging refers to a sacred traditional ceremony in many Native American tribes, the process of which would only be opened to other members of the tribe. It seems a more accurate term for the energy clearing process I have described in this article would be 'smoke clearing'. I am grateful for having this pointed out to me because firstly I don't want to use terms inaccurately, and it turns out I have been, and secondly 'smoke clearing' properly describes the way I use sage in my healing practice- using smoke to clear the energy. In the future I am planning to refer to the process of using sage or other herbs to clear energy as smoke clearing and not Smudging in order to respect the Sacred Indigenous tradition of Smudging, and also to be accurate in terms of describing the actual healing process I am using. I am grateful for this education and new understanding!

Ruth Lera Nov 18, 2017 4:37pm

That is a good question. I am not an expert on the topic but I have had experiences where negative energy is clearing and the sage I am using gets a very bad smell. When this has happened to me I have thrown that sage out and continued clearing with new sage. That is just my experience.

Belinda Banks Gresham Nov 18, 2017 4:05pm

I smudged my home once and it smelled so bad i could never do it again, is it normal to be so stinky? or did i get a bad sage wrap?

Rose Lisboa Nov 18, 2017 3:10pm

Good article! I love smudging. It's been a part of my Native history.