Smudging: Clear Away the Negative and Replace with Love and Well-Being

Everything is energy. All thoughts, feelings, words, and actions are energy. Some of this energy is beneficial and others . . . well, not so much. It is human nature to worry or think about things we really don't want to have or occur in our lives. It takes diligence, great clarity, and good self-observation to shift thoughts, feelings, words and even actions to be aligned with what we do want vs. what we don't want.

The Hamster Wheel Effect
All that incessant chatter that is rolling around in your consciousness creates your reality. As you become aware of the incessant chatter in your mind and your energy field, change can begin. Change your thoughts by clearing away negativity, and you change your reality by opening yourself up to positive vibrations.

Thoughts that limit you, like “I’m never going to get anywhere in life,” are deterrents in creating the life you want. Even if you don’t dwell on them consciously, thoughts like that get stuck in your energy field. Then, on top of those self-defeating thoughts are the negative thoughtforms that bombard you from the outside. These are the vibrations and thoughtforms that other people impose upon you. Their judgments, jealousies, opinions, and so on float around in the air and get stuck in your energy field and in your personal space. Add to all of that the negative vibrations the media sends out and feeds to you via the Internet, radio, television, and newspapers. The negative vibrations from these forces need to be controlled and reckoned with, which is a great reason to clear yourself frequently. Smudging is a great tool to transform that energy and clear it away.

The origin of the word “smudge” can be traced back to the fifteenth century. According to various dictionaries, “to smudge” means to dirty, soil, or smear something. This is not the manner in which we use the word today. Rather, the alternative meaning of “smudge”--a smoky fire, especially one made to drive away mosquitoes or to safeguard fruit trees from frost—is more closely aligned with our present use. Today, in the world of metaphysics and spirituality, it is common to use smudge, or smoke, to drive away pests manifesting in the form of negative thoughts or bothersome energy and to make room for positive energy. In this case, the smoke safeguards one from negativity, rather than frost.

Smudging is the traditional spiritual practice of clearing away negative thoughtforms (the manifestation of mental energy) and other negative vibrations with the smoke of burning herbs, typically dried sage. The sage used for smudging is usually either high desert sage or white wide-leaf sage and is often bound into a bundle called a smudge stick. Other dried herbs, such as cedar, are sometimes added to the bundle as well. Loose dried herbs and resins (like incense sticks) can also be used for smudging.

Prayer, Blessings and Love
Smudging is a perfect accompaniment to prayer and for sending out blessings, as well as inviting and invoking your angels, or spirit guides, to help you. Focus your intention and imagine that your prayers and intent are traveling within the smoke as it rises and swirls around you and your space.

Burning herbs and/or incense and resins activates the innate qualities stored within the plant’s consciousness that are intended to clear out negativity or to usher in sweetness. Combined with intention, smudging is an effective solution for removing stale thoughts, bad vibes from arguments and/or strong disagreements, or energy remaining in the atmosphere after a depression or illness. Be sure to replace bad vibes with good vibes right away.

You can walk into a place – a home, a retail establishment, a restaurant, or anywhere – and pick up the vibes immediately. The same is true when you first meet a person. You either get a good feeling or one that isn’t so good. These vibes are stored in the aura or energy field of a person, place or thing. You have control over your own environment, so you may as well clear your home, car, office and so forth regularly to bring your attention, intention and focused awareness back to what you DO want - peace, love, and happiness.

Not only does smudging clear away negativity, has it also brought forth positive vibrations and energy. For example, the resins frankincense and myrrh were a blend used by various religious societies to call forth high-level spiritual energy. It is still commonly used today in nondenominational spiritual circles. Other blends of herbs, resins and flowers are used by different cultures.

How to Smudge . . . Let me count the ways!
To clear a room of negativity or unwanted energy, carry the burning herbs in the abalone shell to the corners of the room, and using the smoke and your intention, clear the thought-forms out of all the nooks and crannies. Use feathers or smudge fan made of feathers to fan the smudging blend into the space to move the energy. Just like dust, energy and thought-forms accumulate in the corners of a room more so than in the center. Be sure send the smoldering smoke toward clear the windowsills and under tables. Open cabinet doors and closets and smudge away the accumulated energy. Fan the smoke with your intention to clear under shelves and behind furniture. Also imagine the space you are clearing is refilling immediately with love and blessings.

This particular ritual of lighting and burning herbs holds the vibration of all four elements: Fire (the burning), Earth (the herbs), Water (the shell) and Air (as observed in the rising smoke). All four elements work together to clear and cleanse. The elements are the foundation of all life on this planet. These elements are the essential parts of all nature and fundamental constituents of anything that exists. By invoking the energy of the four elements in a ritual provides the core components of clearing and then creating the desired result. This ritual is the foundation of the classical elements in many indigenous cultures, like those used by Native Americans, Mayans, Incans, and Tibetan Buddhists.

The use of herbs as a tool for clearing and blessing space is founded on the core devic energies inherent in all plant life. Devic forces are elemental energies or spirits of the plant which are responsible for holding the blueprint for the plant. The blueprint holds the design for which the plant will be used. It records the color of the leaves, the height, the chemical components, the flowering, if any, and the innate knowledge of whether the main part of the plant is above ground or below the ground and much more.

Every plant has a purpose. The chemical components are activated when steeped, burned, or extracted. Using an herb like sage for example to clear away negativity can be likened to scrubbing bubbles clearing away the grime on the bathtub. Similarly, resins, which are aromatic dried tree or plant sap, are used for clearing and blessings alike.

Smokeless Alternatives to Smudging
Lighting up a sage stick or an abalone shell filled with copal, frankincense, and the like isn't always appropriate or available. And sometimes you just don't want the smoky after effect of the smoky herbs hanging in the air of your home or office. Smudging is helpful in hotel rooms, on airplanes, in hospital rooms, in police stations and so on.

Over 10 years ago I had the revelation to create my own version of liquid smudge. At that time my respiratory system couldn't handle breathing in the smoke during ceremonies I facilitated. As they say, "Necessity is the mother of invention" and my aromatherapy angelic muses downloaded a formula into my consciousness and Smudge in Spray™ was born. My blend has Holy Waters from around the world and Sacred Site essences that I've personally collected over the past 30 years as well as a proprietary blend of medical grade essential oils.

You, too, can create your own special blend of essential oils and have your own aromatic version that you can use everywhere and anywhere. Gather your ingredients, combine them with prayerful intention, add the blend to water in a spray bottle and you are set to go.

Chanting is effective for shifting the energy of a space. You can even clear a room with sound when it’s not occupied. Leaving music playing with purposeful intention in an unoccupied room is sort of like putting a cake in the oven to bake. While the music plays, the energy has time to “bake.” By the time the room is occupied again, the energy is ready, clear and vibrating at a harmonic rate.

Drums and rattles are excellent tools for clearing energy and shifting one’s personal energy. The use of these instruments provides an avenue to release excess or stagnant energy. The banging of the drum and the shaking of a rattle literally shakes up the energy. It can be compared to shaking out or beating a rug to get the dirt out.

Crystal singing bowls, Tibetan bells and bowls create vibrational frequencies that resonate with the note associated with each chakra. Tibetan bells and bowls, made of various metals, are used ceremonially and for meditation by Buddhists. The sound calms the nervous systems and enhances brain function. In Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of placement, practitioners use Tibetan bells and bowls to clear the space of unwanted energy.

Your True Nature
The real purpose of smudging originates from the part of you that remembers your true nature, which is calm, peaceful, and happy. Smudging isn’t simply the removal of negativity, but more important, it is the remembrance of love, kindness, compassion, and true happiness. Remember your magnificence! Connect with the wisdom of your ultimate nature. Find inner strength, cultivate self-confidence, and serve others with your love and joy. Know that your existence is truly meaningful!

Margaret Ann Lembo is the author of Chakra Awakening (now in five languages), The Essential Guide to Crystals, Minerals and Stones; the Angel Gemstone Oracle Cards and Color Your Life with Crystals, All About Smudging - an eBook, and seven spoken audio CDs. She is the creator of a line of award winning Aroma-Energetic Sprays including Smudge in Spray™ and the seven Chakra Sprays. She is a spiritual entrepreneur and practitioner, aromatherapist, and the owner of The Crystal Garden — a book store, gift store, and spiritual center in southeast Florida. | 

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Comment by Margaret Ann Lembo on May 26, 2014 at 8:21am

Thanks, Trevor!

Comment by Trevor Taylor on May 26, 2014 at 6:09am

Thank you Margaret. Recommended to the publishers for inclusion in one of the forthcoming multi media editions of OM Times

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