Align your mind with Soul Shine
Smudging is the term for purification by the smoldering of plants or resins which possess cleansing/clearing properties. It has been used for centuries by many cultures to cleanse and purify the atmosphere of an area, people and objects.
Used primarily for religious and ceremonial purposes, it is also used for house cleansing, healing, protection and meditation.
Incense use is based on the same premise as smudging. Different cultures have used various herbs, woods, resins and oils to apply their purifying properties.
Indigenous people of the Americas have and do use a variety of plants for cleansing purposes based on their sacred ceremonial traditions. Their gift to us is the sharing of some of this sacred knowledge and practice.
The most commonly used plants for purification is sage and cedar. The most common for invocation is sweetgrass and copal. Some people use special blends with different herbs for different smudging purposes. Do not use any plant that you have not researched first.
Desert sage has become the American go-to cleansing herb for smudging. It is widely available, plentiful and is sold and promoted throughout the country. And it WORKS! It has been proven to repel positive ions which carry undesirable and negative energy.
I will be referring to sage when mentioning smudging. That is what I like to use. I also burn a little cedar wood when I'm having a fire session outdoors.
Some would say that it is superstition to adhere to this primitive practice. But these are the ones who do not understand energy work.
Modern man has a lot to learn about "primitive knowledge." Today they are finding out that the ancients were much more advanced and knowledgeable than previously thought. Those working in spiritual fields have this awareness.
The Medicine people say, "Sage chases away evil spirits, they don't like it, it makes them sick. Sweetgrass attracts all spirits. That's why you use sage first to get rid of bad spirits, then you use sweetgrass to call in the good spirits."
This may sound like superstition to some, but what are evil spirits if not negative energies? Positive ions cause negative thoughts and feelings. Sage "chases away" (repels) positive ions and promotes negative ions that produce positive thought and emotion, thus opening the door for the good spirits/energies.
Protocol for collecting
Any plants that are to be used for healing, cleansing and ceremony, should be gathered in a sacred way. Collect in a respectful manner by getting permissions from the plants (they have spirits too) and the land owners.
Always harvest gently and with consideration. Make clean cuts. Leave most of the plant for continued growth. Don't take the mother plant if she is identifiable, nor the youngest. Never take an entire patch.
Avoid plants that have been contaminated with chemicals or that are along heavily trafficked roadsides.
Above ground plant parts have the most potency at the full moon and during the waxing phase. Wait for the dew to dry before gathering.
Cleanse yourself both mentally and energetically before you set out. Ask the plant spirit of who's substance you wish to utilize, to sing to you so you will know which to collect. Explain your intention. Listen, feel, follow your intuition.
Make sure you dry them out before using them. Hang them upside down to preserve as much of their potency as possible.
If you plan to purchase your plants, make sure you get them from a reputable source. You can call the company where they originate and ask how their plants are gathered. If they think you are lulu, it's probably not the best place to get them.