Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Smudging and Why We Do It

The first time I heard about smudging was when I worked at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. I was the manager of the Changing Exhibit Hall at the time and we were featuring the Lewis and Clark: Across the Divide traveling exhibit in our exhibit hall. This exhibit told the story from the point of the Native tribes that Lewis and Clark met and, many times, depended on when they were commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson to go on this tour of discovery.
Out of all the exhibits that I took part in as manager of the exhibit, The Lewis and Clark Exhibit was my favorite.  While I was working in this special exhibit many representatives from the Plains Tribes visited and I learned so very much from them.
Smudging is a powerful cleansing technique of the Native American people, but the burning of herbs for emotional and spiritual cleansing was also practiced among many religions. It’s funny that it took me so long to connect that the Catholic priests using burning incense to cleanse the church during special holidays, was no different than what we do with smudging. While the church uses Frankincense and myrrh to chase away demons, the most common herbs used for smudging are Sage and sweetgrass.
Everything has an energy field around it, including us. When we pick up negative energy that can cause us to become ill in spirit, mind and body, smudging helps to displace this unwanted negativity and restore our aura to a pristine boundary around us. Smudging can be used to cleanse people, places, and objects.
Set your intentions before you begin to smudge. Smudging is an ancient sacred ceremony which should be done with the proper mindset and protection. Smudging is using the power of the sacred plants to restore balance. You must believe in the ceremony and its results. Sage drives away negative energies while sweetgrass attracts positive energy.
Using a clay pot, shell or flat rock, light the dry herbs with a match and allow it to burn for a few moments. Using a large feather (I use a hawk’s feather and a large seashell) fan the flames out. It is the smoke that we will use.

You might want to open windows to allow the negativity to depart. While you smudge, you walk around each room in a clockwise fashion, fanning the smoke into all the corners While do the smudging of the room, you should be praying for our Creator to keep you safe as you send the negativity towards the heavens where they will be consumed and turned into positive energy.
When smudging a person, you want to follow the course of the Chakra. We are attempting to draw universal light into the body. Locate the point of origin of a person’s aura field. Each person is different. You need to feel their energy field. Fan the burning herbs towards each chakra, back and front of the body and from head to toe.
When we remember that all life is connected throughout the Universe, when we remember that we are part of nature; not above it, when we realize that there are negative entities; human and demonic, when we remember to hold tightly to the LIGHT, then and only then will we become enlightened and cleansed. I’ve included a site that sells Native American Smudging Supplies:

and the site for the Lewis and Clark Exploration: Across the Divide:


  1. No kidding, Marie, this is fascinating stuff, although I'd probably burn the house down or asphyxiate everyone...including my aura. You are truly amazing, my dear. Thanks for sharing this with your readers.

    1. Ha ha, Victoria, I laughed when I saw your comment. I have to tell you about the time I almost burned down my grandsons' play teepee

  2. Replies
    1. It really is, Dawn and it's something that doesn't always have to do with ghosts.