On our journey to create a peaceful place for body and mind where we can practice daily rituals, it is now time to talk about some ancient wisdom! Wisdom that comes from dried plants and flowers used as tribute/protective sticks that symbolize a new cycle of a positive clear path.
I am fascinated by the use of old rituals and natural incenses. And smudging or saging, combines both.
Herbal incenses have been used for centuries by Indigenous American populations, because of their inner properties and power. Dried white sage was considered a sacred, cleansing, purifying, and protective plant, that shamans used on fires as rituals of calling upon ancestral spirits.
Nowadays there are many beautiful varieties from traditional Palo Santo to herbal infused sticks that modern mysticism uses in its practice.
Either you are open to their spiritual meanings or not, plant or wood smudges are powerful and fascinating tools that can be used during yoga studio sessions and fully embraced in the privacy of your sacred space, to clean, protect and bring in good vibes.
You can use them everywhere, including crystals and all over your own body. They say smudging gives energy and reduces stress. Dried white sage’s smoke can even change the ionic composition of the air.
From my experience, my suggestion is to be open minded and, given the distinctly unique scent, test your selected magic stick first.
Palo Santo has an amazing scent (the well known Rahua shampoo lists Palo Santo oil in its ingredients). Really holy in its metaphysical properties, it brings energy and positive vibes to the space. And also works as natural insect repellent.
Sweetgrass, a fragrant perennial herb that smells like sweet vanilla. Burned by Native Americans to purify spaces, it is usually braided and dried.
Cedar (sometimes used with roses and lavender), helps clearing negative emotions, and symbolizes wisdom and strength.
White sage is my favorite one at the moment, very popular for its historical use (as stated above), ideal to get rid of negative energy, the best herbal stick to create a relaxing and purifying atmosphere.
How to use a smudge stick?
Lit the tip, blow out the flame and you can either place it in a heat resistant container filled with sand or salt, or hold it and wave the stick in the air (or use your hand for fanning), to bring positive spirits in, and drive negative energy out. Start with any space that feels negative to you. Connect with your intuition and work with what resonates with you. It can be a room, a corner, a door.
To extinguish the smoke, tap the smoldering end of the incense into the container.
You don’t need to burn the whole stick. Burn as much or little as you need and feel (like when the negative energy has left the space).
It’s best done before and after people come and go from your home, because people’s energy can linger in a space, smudging neutralizes the energy.
You can start as simple as that. But with time you can progress and have the right tools along with the stick. Incorporate if you can the 4 elements of earth (sage), matches (fire), water (abalone shell), and air (a feather).
You can also set your intentions silently or verbally while you do this ceremony to clear out the space and allow in the light. But we’ll talk more about intentions in the following weeks.
I imagine it as a great way to create your sacred space where you start your daily evening rituals and end your day. A happy place where you will not be disturbed, where you come home to yourself to ground and recenter, where you dress in a kimono to undress your soul and relax under a blanket, where you hold a crystal in your hand in a moment of stillness and oneness.
Come along, The Beddha has all the tools you need to create your sacred space, from kimonos to blankets to white sage smudge stick bundles to beautiful pink and blue shells, all sourced mindfully and gathered with care for dynamic combinations.
Sending love to all beings
✒ BY MARGHERITA ANTINORI