Spiritual Practice 3: Burning Sage
First thing to know, the sage most people use to smudge is NOT the sage herb you use in cooking. I tried it first; it's hard to burn. I now smudge with white sage, the same plant that makes up tumbleweed out west. I like the smell and the burn of this plant best, but any combination of herbs and plants can be used. (See http://www.sacred-texts.com/bos/bos054.htm for more info.)
Smudging is the act of burning herbs to cleanse an area. Sometimes bad psychic energy, aka "bad vibes or bad blood", can be left over by people in your space. We all leave residual energy wherever we go.
Who should smudge?
Short answer: everyone.
So arguments, or tension, or crowds of people are enough to "pollute" an area. You might need to smudge if things feel "off" or "bad". If you clear the air with smudging, it should change how you and others feel when you're in the cleaned area.
I particularly like smudging after I've had handymen/handywomen in the house, a party, a family conflict or need a "breath of fresh air".
And if you deal with spiritual matters, spirits, healing or any kind of psychic, light or healing work, smudging is a way to leave cleanse any negative feelings left behind intentionally (as in an attack) or unintentionally.
As an asthmatic, I believe that smudging is one of the most important things I do for my household's harmony. Even my family, who used to complain about the smell ("Have you been smoking?") have experienced the benefits enough that they'll ask me to "do the smoke-y thing" if things are not going well.
And no, even on my prolonged cleanings, I've never set off my fire alarms with the smoke.
How to smudge?
No need to write my own version when this writer explains it well here.
How about you? When do you use smudging?
If you've never tried it, I invite you to try smudging. You can buy sage many places. I use this vendor on amazon because the quality is excellent, and after a year, I still haven't burned through one stick yet.
I'd love to hear what you think. Please comment on your experiences.