As featured in Martha Stewart
Since ancient times we have been drawn to the elements of fire and smoke and its mesmerizing nature. Historically, we have created numerous traditions to honor our human connection to the natural world and the mystical nature of “smoke.” The same practices continue in the present day. In the Western world, rituals incorporating handcrafted incense made from sacred woods and spices for meditation, healing and purification remain. In the East, the tradition of the hearth as the center for home and family exists in outdoor fire pits and cozy living room fireplaces. Just as smoke rises, we are seeing an elevation of wisdom and understanding in the powerful nature of healing that the plants offer humanity. The understanding and spiritual connection to these “sacred spirit medicines” is finding a path of ascension in the world as we hunger for a deeper bond to nature and to one another.
I was introduced to sage (Salvia Apiana) and “smudging” for the first time in Northern California in a sacred ceremony with a Native American “Medicine-Man.” As a New Yorker at the youthful age of 18, I was naive to this culture, and yet this experience opened my eyes, and my spirit, in new ways. I was drawn into the world of plants and indigenous culture with great reverence and a desire to understand life more deeply.
When introducing the art of “smudging” into your personal environment, intention is paramount. Begin with an intention of gratitude for the plants and the cultural connections that brought forth its wisdom and medicine forward for us all to benefit from a unified perspective. Next, consider your desired benefit. The sacred plants are incredibly versatile and at the same time, have key aspects to their nature and the alchemy that they offer.
The ritual use of burning sacred plants is embedded deep within our DNA. Whether we intend to purify our space of unwanted energies or bless ourselves and our environment for healing, abundance, meditation or devotional practices, the plants anchor our intentions within our personal space and environment at large and mind-body connection.
Smudging can be done with herbs that are bundled together with twine or that are in…