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Magical Self Care: Everyday Ritual to Uplift

The burning of herbs for psychic and spiritual cleansing is found in many religions. Generally, you smudge by burning herbs and waving the smoke through the aura to cleanse the energy field of a person, object, or room.

The theory behind this type of cleansing is that the smoke attaches itself to the negative energy and as it clears, it takes the negative energy with it. It is a good idea to perform this ritual on yourself on a regular basis as well as your home and workspace. Make it part of your weekly housework. After you’ve dusted and vacuumed, smudge your home and yourself with an incense of your choice.

Many use sage, sweetgrass, mugwort or cedar to make a smudge bundle, but you can use whatever you have on hand. (Please don’t import dried herbs from across the globe. Use an herb or plant that grows locally to you. A local herb will have more personal energy and will also be more eco-friendly.) I use whatever I have in the garden, which is often sage, lavender, and rosemary. You can make your own bundle by cutting stems of the plants, tying them together with wool or twine, and leaving them to dry. Once dried, it is ready to use.

Light one end of the bundle and then blow out the flame so it is just smouldering. It is wise to hold the bundle over a bowl to catch any bits that may fall off—this may just save you from burning holes in the carpet. You can guide the smoke over yourself by using a feather or your hands (whichever you prefer). Bring the smoke up over your head, down your shoulders and your arms, around your torso and your back, down your legs, and end with your feet. Don’t forget to do the soles of your feet to ensure that you walk on the right path. Visualise the smoke lifting away all the negative energies, thoughts, and emotions that have attached themselves to you.

When you are smudging your house, make sure the smoke gets in all the corners and around the windows and doors. If you want to be really thorough, you can waft smoke in all the cupboards and drawers too.

When you have finished, put out your herb bundle using a bowl of sand or earth. Make sure the herb stick is completely extinguished before leaving it unattended.

If you are like me, you will find the herb bundle a bit awkward to use sometimes. That’s when you can use loose herbs on a charcoal block or, for even more convenience, a shop-bought incense stick. Both of these options will do the job just as well. It is your intention and the smoke that is important.

If you can’t stand the smoke, try smudging with an oil burner or scented candles. You can also pop loose incense on an oil burner, allowing the burner to just warm the mix without the smoke. If you can’t work with smoke or scent, perform the same ritual but use salt or saltwater.


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