A smudging ceremony is the ritual of burning plant resins and herbs in a shell or a bowl while prayers and mantras are called forth. For centuries, Native American and Indigenous cultures have practiced smudging rituals to clear away negative energy, to invite in peace and harmony for individuals or environments. This practice even dates back to ancient Egyptian Times where it was used for healing & cleansing. The smoke from the herbs and the plant resins are fanned using a feather or a hand and directed like a spiritual cleansing bath surrounding the person or the space.
Smudging is most often performed before or as part of a ceremony to clear the environment and the people from certain thoughts or feelings that will not serve the highest good in themselves. For this reason, it is important to set a clear intention while smudging.
As the smudging ceremony is practiced, the smoke rises and so do the prayers to mother earth, father sky, to the sun and the moon, to the plants, the animals and the water. The burning of the sacred plants- sage, cedar, sweetgrass and palo santo- to name a few, support the connection to the sacred realms between the earth and spirit. Through this connect to spirit the smoke bath lifts negative feelings and energy and creates an opening for prayers and intentions to be heard, therefore bringing positive intention into practice.