Keep what is worth keeping and with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away
Coming on the heels of major energy shifts at the end of summer, the autumn equinox is a good time for clearing and transforming and transforming old energies, and smudging is a traditional tool.
There are three major sage variations for smudging: White is masculine grandfather energy. Blue is feminine, grandmother energy. Black -mugwort~ is good for cleansing spirits and attachments that are not in your Ancestral lineage, and ideal plant to burn before moving your belongings into a new home. Mugwort is a third eye opening antibicrobial, muscle soother, and awesome for footbaths.
Sage comes in loose form and wand bundles. Although wands are easy to burn, it’s best to crumble sage in a mortar and pestle, and directly light a bit. Fire-proof clay or shells are popular offering dishes to burn sage- something that inhibits demand for shells is best.
Burning a whole wand over a period of days/weeks/months is not recommended. Reburning the wand you’ve waved around to exorcise all the icky stuff is kinda counteraproductive! It reintroduces frequencies of what you have removed. The hand heart connection is powerful, so if you're holding onto the wand over days, you are likely reconnecting desire with debris.
Energy moves Eastward
Beginning in the east corner, move clockwise, or start to the left of the door, moving left. Smudge corners, closets, doors, even inside cupboards and appliannces. Speak out intention, and summon any adverse energy leaves.
You can buy a smudge feather or set the smoldering bundle near wind to get a good smoke. If sage is loose and in a dish, just let it smoke in its dish until it’s finished. Thank the plant for its blessing, and open the windows and doors.
If sage isn’t your thing, or smells kinda funny,here are some alternatives:
Copal means incense. Copal is the earlier life years of amber. A hundred thousand years younger, it becomes amber once it reaches its prime. You may have seen those huge baseball-sized bits of resin, and wondered, “What do I do with this?” When you have the chance to smell copal, though, all you can think about is finding a campfire just so that you can throw it in and astral travel from the scene. Copal is so aromatic and cleansing, and it’s not shy in its ability to manifest a thorough, thick smoke, so be prepared! It’s from the medicinal Mexican Buresa tree, and one that has held its own as a ritual and ceremonial smudge.
Cedar is one of the four sacred medicines, and has the same clearing properties as sage. It also acts as a restorative, and establishes a vibration of protection. Cedar can be used many ways- the bark can be bought and burned by itself, or its leaves can be found in wands, like sage. There is something very satisfying about the scent of cedar leaves.
Also known as Holy Wood, and cousin to Frankincense, Palo Santo has become very popular over the last decade. Among its many forms are sticks, chips, cones and angel carvings! Once the aroma is experienced, it becomes a staple in the smudge stash.
It’s good practice to bring sweet vibrations into a space after smudging are floral and fruits essences. Vanilla is another favorite and amazing for the root and heart chakras!
Originally published in Austin All Natural Magazine: September 2017