Smudging is a cleansing ritual to clear energies, the air and your surrounding environment. It is similar to washing down your environment energetically as the smoke releases negative ions that help to clear negative energy.
The best times to smudge are before or after spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation and activities relating to self-love. It is also good to smudge to cleanse your energy at the end of a hard day, when you are feeling down, when you have interacted with other people with negative energy or to refresh the spaces around your home.
Simple smudging instructions:
Step 1: Set an intention – Visualise what you would like to cleanse and the outcome of the cleansing ritual. Make it a personal ritual that suits you. (e.g. I smudge my body and environment to cleanse and clear the energy to support my highest purpose)
Step 2: Light it up – Light the tip of the smudging stick until you see it glowing and slowly wave it through the air (or fan it with another item) so it starts to smoke. Do not blow on the smudging stick.
For Palo Santo, light it in a safe place clear from flammable material and with a heat proof bowl. Hold a piece slightly upside down at a 45 degree angle and light the tip until there is a small flame on the end of the stick. It should be burned until black smoke comes out, approximately 10 to 20 seconds. Gently wave it through the air to put out the flame and so only white smoke is produced. You may need to relight the tip several times depending on how long you use it for.
Step 3: Self-cleansing – Start by cleansing your own energy first by gently waving the smoke all around you from your head to your feet. As the smoke passes parts of your body, you can set an intention. E.g. I smudge my eyes to see good things, I smudge my ears to hear good things, I smudge my mouth so I speak good things, I smudge my heart to feel good things, etc
Step 4: The environment – Start in the corner of the room and make your way around all areas including the storage spaces, furniture, doors and windows. Visualise the smoke cleansing all energies leaving the air clean and protected. Where possible, open a window to let the smoke out.
Step 5: The crystals – You can cleanse your crystals by holding a crystal over the smoke until you feel it has been cleansed (e.g. 10 to 20 seconds). There also other ways to cleanse your crystals too such as with moonlight, sunlight or visualisation (eg. Holding your crystal, imagine a pure white light bathing and cleansing it)
Step 6: Finishing: Gently press the smoking tip of the smudging stick on a fire proof surface such as ceramic, sand or earth. Once it has stopped smoking, store it in an area close to your crystals.