Sharing silence is soothing. I recently spent time traveling across several states by car with my daughter to usher her into a new phase of her life and career. We talked about many things, but we also sat in soothing silence—together. What a gift it is to be calmed by the quiet energy of another.

Here at the shop, we tie together many bundles of sage and cedar, mugwort and pine, among others. To some are added protective crystals, stones, or talismans. Others are bound with dried herbs or flowers. All are fashioned with intent—to uphold ritual in your daily life. In this week’s blog I am providing steps for the sacred practice of smudging. May you too be soothed by the gift of resting in silence with another.

All my love, always.

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The smudging ceremony is a Native American ritual. Though for centuries, many cultures have used smudging as a pathway into the subtleties of the spirit. Our bodies and environments are not simply physical, they vibrate with invisible, silent energy. Smudging is performed to unseat obstructive energies, making it possible to live with an ease of the heart and a clarity of the mind. Hence, it is an ideal way to prepare for ritual work.

• A smudge bundle
• Matches
• A candle
• A fireproof container
• Sand or dry soil

View a selection of our bundles at the TOOLS page of our website.

To smudge indoors, open a few windows to allow an avenue for negative energy to exit with the smudge smoke. Light your candle. A steady, constant flame makes it easier to adequately set your smudge bundle blazing. Place the sand or dry soil in your fireproof container so as to have a place to safely extinguish your bundle.

To begin—dip your smudge bundle into the flame of your candle. Allow it to burn for a moment, then blow out the flame of the bundle to set it smoldering. There should be no flame now, only smoke.

You are now ready to smudge.

Slowly wave the smoldering bundle in front and back of your beloved human, moving it side to side, feet to head. Moving up the body allows space above for energies to disperse. If your human doesn’t dizzy easily, they can also rotate their body as you move the bundle feet to head to encircle them with smoke. Take care in not getting too close to the skin or hair.

If you are alone and wish to smudge yourself, you may set your sage bundle upright in your sand and fireproof container and place it on the floor. Then you can simply stand over or move through the smoke.

Walk through a room with your smoldering bundle, moving it up and down the walls, into corners, around doorways and at the openings of windows to encourage movement of energy in all areas. Spend extra time in areas which feel stagnant or dim.

The process of smudging tools or pets is similar, except for the fact that your tools probably won’t get up and scamper away from you in the middle of smudging. So, set up your ritual tools at your altar or other open location where you can freely pass your smoldering sage bundle among them. Or, you may wish to set your bundle upright in your sand and fireproof container so you can move your tools through its smoke one at a time.

For pets, take great care in keeping the smoldering bundle away from their fur. Sit with them and calmly move the bundle around their body with one hand as you keep the free hand upon their body. In this way, they will sense your calm heart and remain at your side for the smudging.

Offer up your gratitude when it is time to extinguish your bundle. Place the tip of the smoldering sage into your sand or dry soil, tamping it until the smoke ceases. Tap away excess sand or soil and store the bundle in a dry area to use again next time.

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