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  • Writer's pictureMarcey James

Making Your Own Smudging Sticks

People have been using the smoke of plants to cleanse their energy and that of their dwellings for centuries. It was believed that the smoke of burning plants carried prayers or intentions to the heavens while purifying the space. Today, smudging has been recognized as a way to clear away negative or stagnant energy in a space as well as several other metaphysical things such as help

  • leave old relationships behind and move on to new ones

  • celebrate different times of the year

  • wake up and greet the day full of confidence, energy, and hope

  • ease into the world of sweet dreams and deep, invigorating sleep

  • bathe away stress

  • look for love

What plants can be used to make smudge sticks?

  • sage (many varieties such as white sage and garden sage) — negative energy clearing

  • sagebrush — to treat wounds + headaches + colds

  • cedar leaf — cleansing + purification

  • pine needles — cleansing + purification

  • balsam fir — cleansing + purification

  • sweetgrass — healing + purification + brings positive energy {perfect to burn after smudging with a more potent energy cleanser}

  • mugwort — lucid dreaming + purification + calming

  • juniper — cleansing + purification

  • holy basil (tulsi) — purification + calming

  • rosemary — protection

  • lavender — calming

  • mullein — cleansing sickrooms + heals/improves respiratory function

  • rose petals — meditation + calming + attracts love

  • desert chaparral — negative energy clearing + protection + calm

  • peppermint — healing + protection

  • yarrow — eliminates toxins from the body

  • lemon balm — spiritual cleansing + calm

Try to find which plants grow near you and are easily harvested.

To make smudge sticks:

  • Cut the branches of the plant material you are using into 7-10-inch lengths. Allow branches to wilt for a day or two before beginning the next step.

  • Measure a piece of thin cord, hemp, or cotton, 4 times the length of the cut branches.

  • Bundle the branches together (to your desired thickness).

  • With the tips of the branches pointing down, begin wrapping the cord tightly around the base of your bundle.

  • Continue wrapping the cord tightly around the bundle working your way to the tip of the branches.

  • When you reach the tip, begin working your way back down toward the base.

  • Tie the two ends of the cord together at the base.

  • Trim the edges.

  • Set the smudge stick to dry in a basket or on a drying screen for at least 7-10 days.

How to use smudge sticks.

Light the tip of the smudge stick with a wooden match or candle. Once the smudge stick has a steady flame, blow it out so it is smoldering and smoking. Hold a fire=safe acceptable under your smudge stick to catch the ashes. I prefer using an abalone shell. Fan the smoke over the body and/or throughout your space, using your hand or a feather.

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