There’s nothing quite like clearing the air. It’s something that has been done for many thousands of years by many cultures. Herbal concoctions of preference mixed together and then set on fire and and allowed to smolder.. releasing the herbal incense into the air.
This practice is most commonly known as smudging. Any herb can be added to the mix, some use specific herbs for their healing properties and others are chosen by the scent that they release. The purpose is to cleanse. Cleanse the air, cleanse objects and tools and to cleanse the soul.
I remember when I first began smudging, thinking back…. I was doing what I had been told by the elders … just following the rules that had been taught to me. I understood the reasons for the smudge but did I feel its effects? Hmmmmmmmmmmm. I’m not quite sure I fully felt it at that time. It was more of a “well this has got to be done first .. so I’m doing it”. I had faith that it was doing what it was suppose to do and thought no further about the process.
Taking a moment to step back into my memories of previous smudge events .. I do recall feeling lifted, more at peace and more capable, if that is the right word, to carry on what I was smudging for to begin with. I also recall attempting particular purpose without smudging first and I would always stop.. grab some smudge and then carry on with my purpose. It just felt wrong to me if I did not smudge first.
I was smudging just a few minutes ago, which is what brought this blog post into light to begin with. The entire act, from gathering my herbs to lighting them on fire, watching them smolder and taking in that ever so familiar smell, made me feel lighter inside and out. It’s something that is quite hard to explain really. It’s a feeling, like I said that comes from the inside and continues to fully envelope your entire being. A balance or grounding effect takes place and… well…. you just feel more centered.
I have no idea who or where this practice truly began, but what I do know is that it will always be something I do. The feeling it brings is something I am honored to experience.