Introduction to Smoke Ceremonies & Smudging Rituals
Energy is real, & it vibrates. Everything on this earth is made up of energy, including us. There are low, slow moving & heavy vibrations, & there are high, free flowing, light vibrations.
The high vibrations uplift our energy & we tend to feel healthier both physically & emotionally when surrounded by them. Lower vibrations can make us feel lacking in energy, stressed, anxious, negative & unmotivated.
Smoke Ceremonies or Smudging Rituals are the traditional practice of purifying the energy of a room, space, person or living creature by using the smoke of sacred herbs, wood & resins to release negative energy & low vibrations. This includes past traumas, bad experiences, or negative energies from others.
This ritual involves surrounding yourself in a cleansing smoke bath or filling a room with sacred smoke to heal, purify, protect, release, honor or invoke particular energy/ies.
An energy clearing ritual like this may help you establish a positive environment for work, home, a balanced state of mind, mediation, yoga & other sacred intentional rituals.
You may also smudge specific objects. This can be useful with new purchases, gifts, secondhand items, jewellery, crystals, etc. However, any item that you feel may need an energetic cleansing may be smudged, as the ritual act itself is a conscious intention set by the ceremony practitioner to release negative energy.
The Science Behind Smoke Ceremonies/Smudging Rituals:
The smoke that's emitted from the dried herbs within the Smudging Bouquets & Palo Santo are understood to release negative ions, which has been linked in studies to positively elevating one's mood as well as many other benefits. Negative ions are also created by the effects of sunlight & water – you’ve probably noticed a wonderful sense of calm when in nature - while doing activities such as visiting a beach, waterfall or enjoying a walk amongst trees.
In high enough concentrations, negative ions can clear the air of mold spores, pollen, pet dander, odors, cigarette smoke, bacteria, viruses, dust & other hazardous airborne particles.
Negative Ions do this by attaching to positively charged particles in large numbers which cause the germs, mold, pollen & other allergens to become too heavy to stay airborne. They fall to the floor, or attach to a nearby surface, removing them from the air you breathe while preventing them from causing health problems, such as respiratory issues.
The Benefits of performing Energy Clearing Rituals:
Increases your sense of well-being & may improve mental focus. Smudging removes the debilitating effects of excess positive ions in the air in a way that has been described as a natural antidepressant.
Clearing negative energy. The smoke helps to change the molecular structure of both the air & energy, which produces a cleansing effect. As the sense of smell is strongly linked to memory & instinct, smudging may be very effective for combating feelings of anger, fear, anxiety, grief & depression.
Clearing the air. In addition to killing bacteria, smudging can help clear the air of pollen, pet dander, dust, mold spores & other potential allergens to improve allergy symptoms.
Cleansing objects. Not only can smudging cleanse a room, but it can cleanse objects. Whenever you bring a new object into your home, especially something that’s likely to have been exposed to a variety of unknown energies over the years (such as antiques), you can perform a Smudging Ritual, allowing the smoke to pass over the item to help clear it so that it doesn’t affect you or your environment. This may also be done on jewellery, clothing or objects that have been worn by others or with you in times of high stress or traumatic situations.
Relaxing effects. Smudging can offer calming, relaxing effects that are known to help lower blood pressure, relieve stress & tension & normalize breathing rates, as the negative ions produced are absorbed into your bloodstream – they may even help to fight off damaging free radicals that can lead to premature aging & disease.
Increased energy. The negative ions produced by smudging smoke may also help to normalize serotonin (that well known 'Feel Good' hormone), in the brain, which can help boost one’s mood, improve focus & create a more positive outlook on life.
Improved sleep. Studies have shown that negative ions can help improve sleep patterns - another positive effect from regulating serotonin production.
Pretty amazing, right?! Now we know how beneficial Smudging can be, let's get into it!!
Opening of a Smoke Ceremony or Smudging Ritual
It is important to acknowledge that smoke ceremonies have been conducted throughout history by many indigenous cultures from Australian Aboriginals to Native Americans to Celtics & many more.
In Australia, Smoking Ceremonies are traditionally known to be conducted by Indigenous people with specialised cultural knowledge. The ceremony aims to cleanse the space in which the ceremony takes place.
While Smoke Cleansing & Smudging has now become a ritual that is performed by many people from all backgrounds & walks of life, it is important that we acknowledge & consciously pay respect to the lineage from which these sacred ceremonies & rituals have come.
If conducting a ceremony in a group or public setting, please be sure to treat the process with reverence & seek information on the culture that resonates with you.
In Australia we respectfully open ceremonies & events by reciting an Acknowledgment of Country. This is a way that people (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders who are not from the local area or non-indigenous) can show respect for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander heritage & the ongoing relationship of traditional owners with the land.
An example of Acknowledgement of Country:
“I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which I live & work, & recognise their continuing connection to land, water & community. I pay respect to Elders past, present & emerging & thank them for instilling this land with sacred history & wealth & for their continued wisdom passed down.”
At Sentient Creations (for our ceremonies & circles) we then like to continue on by setting our intentions & paying respect to nature’s sacred tools that have been gifted to us by Mother Nature:
“Using the alchemy of sacred herbs, resins & palo santo smoke, we smudge with the highest of intentions to keep our home, energy body & space balanced & full of abundance. We connect with the spirit of wild botanicals & the earth from which they came. Let us bring wellness, love & gratitude to all who practice sacred rituals with us.”
How to Use Your Smudging Bouquet or Palo Santo:
☽ Using matches or a lit candle, hold the base of your Smudging Bouquet/ Palo Santo & place the top end over the flame at a 45 degree angle.
☽ Allow your Smudging Bouquet/Palo Santo to burn for 30 seconds to 1 minute. When amply lit, softly blow out the flame, being mindful of burning embers that may detach.
☽ To cleanse the energy of a room, an object, your own personal being or someone that you may be working with; move the Smudging Bouquet/Palo Santo in a circular motion. Allow the smoke to permeate around each corner of the room from floor to ceiling or circling the smoke around the whole body, from feet up to head. Swirl the smoke around the object until you feel the cleansing is complete.
☽ If using a Feather Wand in your ritual, you may use the wand as a fan to disperse the smoke around the desired area, person or object.
☽ As you move the Smudging Bouquet/Palo Santo, you may say aloud one of the included mantras - or, a mantra that is personal & applicable to you, for the space or person you are working with. Continually repeat your mantra as you clear the space.
☽ A rich & purifying aroma will fill the air bringing a sense of peace, balance & clarity to the moment.
☽ Listen to your intuition, once you feel you have cleansed your space, object or being, place your Smudging Bouquet/Wand in a fireproof bowl & allow the embers to burn out.
☽ Please remember to always exercise care & caution when working with fire & energies.
Ceremony & Ritual Tips:
- Always acknowledge the sacredness of ceremonial rituals & respect energy & the land on which it is practiced in all forms.
- Always practice safety & caution when working with fire & energies.
- Remember that the smoke is a manifestation of your intentions.
- Research Before Experimenting:
At Sentient Creations we advocate self-education. Research a traditional Smoke/Smudging Ceremony method that aligns & resonates with your belief systems &/or your ancestral bloodlines.
Educate yourself by studying the sacred rituals & herbal medicines that you intend to use. Communicate with plants, seek out herbalists, plant a garden, learn all you can, & use plant remedies & rituals with wisdom & the highest of intentions.
Note* Using the term Smudging when performing an energy clearing ceremony using the smoke of sacred herbs has been a hot topic of debate in some communities, as it is believed by some to be considered cultural appropriation. At Sentient Creations, we respect & honor all cultures & backgrounds. We acknowledge the rich history or elders past & present & encourage self education for you to research these topics to gain a deeper insight into the background & terminology used around Smudging & Smoke Ceremonies.
**All of our sacred herbs are locally sourced & grown in Australian according to strict sustainability practices. Our Palo Santo is ethically harvested & sent to us by practitioners who honor & live by the land.
✧ Happy Clearing ✧
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Remember, clearing your energy body & space around you is an essential wellness ritual, just like all of your other health & wellness routines.
Sentient Creations, bringing sacred ritual into your everyday life..