Smudging is a way to use aromatics to put yourself into a different frame of mind to start your day. Smudging is a method of burning dried herbs to produce a smoke to bathe a person in preparation for a ceremony that is usually related to blessing, cleansing or healing. But that’s not how we’re using it today.
If you think about it, we already use aromatics as signifiers every day. It is no different from having a cup of coffee or tea first thing every morning, or lighting a candle as soon as you get home at night. Both of these mundane things are rituals that you perform every day without thinking that get you into a distinct mentality. How often have you felt like you couldn’t start your day without coffee? The coffee signals to your brain that its time to start the day. Lighting a candle at night when you get home signals to your brain that the day is over and its time to relax.
By developing the practice of using aromatics to set your thoughts for the day you are creating a trigger for your body to automatically respond to, a type of routine or automation to your thinking/day. This will also feel like you are cleaning or purifying your space, due to the particular scent of sage or specific herb you use. The ritualistic act of lighting the sage and smelling the aroma is similar to lighting a candle to make your space cozy. You are lighting the sage to cleanse your space, and to give yourself a sense of mental purification. Smudging with sage is a really great stress reliever.
In my own personal experience I have found that the scent of sage calms me. It doesn’t matter if I’m cooking with it or burning a smudge stick or loose herbs. As soon as I catch the scent of sage a wave of calm washes over me and takes away any anxiety that I may have been feeling. I have also used a sage room spray in the past with a small spray bottle with some drops of sage essential oil in water. You can also use a bundle that is sage only or you can spice it up with other dried herbs to cleanse and purify your space, or as an aromatic, much like a candle or potpourri, to put you into a different frame of mind to get your day going.
We also really, and I mean REALLY, love love LOVE! frankincense and myrrh in our household. For my husband, it transforms any room into a sacred space because of his associations growing up with frankincense and myrrh in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Another really easy way to use scent to transform your space is with incense sticks. This is one of our favorite past times, going to smell and pick out new incense sticks from one of our local shops. Sometimes there are days where I want to change it up or the smoke is bothering him, so I use a room spray instead from Zum Mist in the frankincense and myrrh scent. The next smudging tool I want to try is palo santo, let me know in the comments if you’ve tried palo santo and if you like its scent. I also would love to bring back a classic, sandalwood incense.
Things To Remember:
1. You might not like the scent of sage.
2. Choose a scent that speaks to you.
3. Snuff out the candle or sage bundle when you’re done!
4. Never leave a lit candle, incense, or herb bundle unattended.
You may find that you don’t like the scent of sage, or the smoke of burning dried herbs, and that’s okay. Sage brings me a calming peacefulness because I have chosen to associate the scent of sage with those qualities. There might be a different scent that releases a trigger in you to feel calm and at peace, use that scent to smudge yourself. Bathe yourself in that scent at the beginning of every day to bring your mindset to a place of focus on calm.
Have you used sage or any other herbs to smudge yourself or to get yourself into a certain mindset?