Beyond White Sage: Smudging 101

Beyond White Sage: Smudging 101

Posted by Cidney Bachert on September 24th 2020

When you hear the word “smudging,” the first thing that may come to mind for many is white sage. White sage is a sacred plant for indigenous cultures, and is often over-harvested without care for its traditional purpose. The white sage that we carry is organically grown and sustainably harvested from a farm in California. We also offer a variety of other burning bundles for those who choose to save white sage for others. While white sage is a sacred and beautiful smudging tool that can be used in rituals and ceremonies, there are many other tools that you can use to practice smudging. Discover the other ways that you can cleanse you space and invite blessings to come your way.

Alternatives to White Sage 

Incense 

Incense isn’t only a great way to fill a space with the sweet aromas of Patchouli or Nag Champa, but it can also cleanse your home. In 595 AD, agarwood washed ashore on Awaji island in Japan. The people who found it noticed when they placed the wood near a fire, it filled the area with an unbelievable aroma. Kōdō was created, the ancient Japanese art of appreciating incense, or 香道, "Way of Fragrance." Since then, incense has been used in cultures across the globe. Incense can also be used to cleanse crystals, spell jars, and other metaphysical tools that you may use in your practice. We offer a selection of incense conessticks, and Tibetan rope incense for you to choose from.

Smudge Sticks 

Smudge sticks are bundles of herbs and other botanicals that, when combined, create a unique blend that can clear sacred space and invite blessings such as love, prosperity, and serenity. The bundles that we can are hand-rolled and locally harvested by two artisans in the Asheville area. Grace Anderson of Blushing Lakes creates a wide variety of bundles that include locally harvested botanicals such as lavender, juniper, cedar, rose, and mugwort. Brit Jose of Torches Ceremonials creates burning bouquets with a unique variety of wild flowers and herbs from Western North Carolina. 

Resins

Burning resin is another way to cleanse the space and clear energy. Resin is incense in its natural form, and many may be familiar with myrrh or frankincense resin. To burn resin, it is best to use charcoal. Begin by taking a flame to the charcoal and heating it up until it is bright red, making sure to use tongs to handle the charcoal. Then carefully place the charcoal on a fire-safe dish or burner and sprinkle a few pieces of your resin on top. The heat from the charcoal will release the oils of the resin, because direct flames will not work. We carry a variety of resins as well as coconut charcoal, an eco-friendly alternative to traditional charcoal, made 100% from coconut shells.

Wood Sticks 

There are many woods that have a sacred history in rituals and ceremonies, or that have essential oils that can lift the spirits and provide benefits by way of aromatherapy. Palo Santo, for example, means “holy wood” in Spanish and has been traditionally used by Amazonian shamans in sacred rituals dating back to the Inca civilization. Smudging a space with Palo Santo helps to cleanse away any negative or stagnant energies, and can create a space for positive energy and blessings. The Palo Santo we carry is sustainably harvested in Peru, from a 50 hectare tract of land in the Machalilla National Park, dedicated to the conservation of the Palo Santo tree. Only the dead branches of fallen trees are used to create the sticks, and new trees are consistently planted. Local woods in your area can also offer smudging benefits and aromatherapy. We carry a Woodcense Kit, created by local artisan Nick Friedman in Brevard, NC. The Woodcense Kit can be paired with the Woodcense sticks, which are Apple, Cedar, Hickory, Juniper, Mesquite, Pecan, and Pinion. This kit allows you to burn the sticks without smoke, with the heat allowing the wood to release the natural oils. The aromas of the woods fills a room within minutes using this method. 

Additional Smudging Tools 

There are several tools that can assist the smudging process. An abalone shell is often used when burning sage or other smudge sticks, because it allows you to carry the bundle and catch any ashes that may fall during the burning process. Feathers have also been traditionally used during smudging ceremonies and rituals, to carry the smoke up and out, so energy can move throughout the space. Incense burners are also helpful when using incense, and come in a variety of shapes, materials, and colors. We offer several brass and wood incense holders to match your individual taste. 

Cleanse & Refresh Your Space 

By routinely smudging your space and aura before rituals, ceremonies, or when you are feeling energetically depleted, you can help cleanse any negative energy and create room for positivity.

Photo Sources: ThumbnailPhoto 1Photo 2