I haven’t been traveling this summer so I decided to gift myself with a shamanic painting class being given by the incomparable Pixie Campbell. I am both excited and anxious ( just a tad!) because I have not painted in eons and it feels like stepping into a place of beginners mind. Not so bad, I guess..but this seemed like a perfect time to share this with you, as she has talking this week about making sacred space for your creativity, and smudging this week….
This little corner of my sister garden is what I like to call the spirit corner. Some of these plants are not supposed to grow well here, but I am fortunate to have super green thumbs! This year I planted : rosemary (Queen Victoria variety) for clarity,catnip (Lemon variety) for happiness,artemisia (Yomogi) purifies negative energies,lavender ( Blue River) for healing and wisdom, and sage ( White variety), which is considered the most powerful type for energetic clearing….its used to wash away the outside world and help with making space for spirit. There are other plants suitable for smudging…some folks use cedars,sweetgrass, juniper and may even include different resins,such as frankincense and myrrh. I recommend you do your research before including some of these, as not all plant life is so healthy to inhale and you also want to be sure that what you are using supports your energetic ‘goals’. I am not an expert on this, I tend to use what I have been taught. Let me also say that I have grown ALL of these inside in pots at different points in my life, when I have not had access to the great outdoors, and I have known folks to use other sage types (say the ‘kitchen types’) to positive result too!…So truly, don’t let your geography hold you back from the joy of creating your own personal smudge blends!
Before cutting whatever sprigs I plan to use, I say a little prayer of gratitude. Do whatever feels right to you….I just find its important to acknowledge the gift….
Choose 2 colours of embroidery floss…I will often change mine up after peeking at a colour symbolism site or two, to try to be intentional around my smudge…cut your floss about 6-7 times longer than the length of your fronds when you lay them out…
Gather the herbs tightly, (I generally place rosemary, or something with a strong stem in the center and any other herbs there, with sage at the outermost, but if its all sage, no worries!) . Start at the bottom and wrap the floss 3-4 times round the stems and tie a knot, making sure you leave a 3-4″ tail
Wrap your way up the bundle, tightening, pulling and adjusting till you reach the top
Now reverse direction and work your way down…when you get back to the bottom, wrap 3-4 more times and knot the end to the tail you left when you began…
Some folks trim off any little bits that are poking out…I prefer to leave them…really, your choice. Place your smudge sticks in a brown paper bag and let sit in a sunny dry place for about a month…I like to put them ( actually I do this to dry ALL of my herbs) in the back of my car and let the sun do its work while I drive around….big plus, my car smells incredible! When they are ready, be sure you have a flame proof bowl or shell to rest your stick in after use….a simple and beautiful ritual to connect you to the energy of the universe….xo K