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Smudge Sticks & Herbs
Long used around the world by many groups of Indigenous peoples for generations, smudging is a well-known practice. Smudging is a very sacred word and practice and we encourage non-natives to name their practices something that resonates with them, maybe smoke cleansing instead. It involves the ritualistic burning of herbs, often bundled together, and using the smoke to cleanse negative energy. Once your space is cleansed, your yoga or meditation session or your shamanic ritual will be elevated and energized.
A smoke bundle can contain any number of different herbs, such as California white sage, lavender, salvia apiana, rosemary, cedar, and even Palo Santo. Smoke wands used by different traditions usually contain different herbs. Smudging, a word that is sacred to Native Americans, often makes use of local plants such as sage, while Southern American Indigenous people are more likely to use Palo Santo, which grows almost exclusively in Ecuador and Peru, in their cleansing rituals.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a smudge stick used for?
A smudge stick is used much in the same way an incense stick would be used. You light the tip of the stick, allow it to burn for a few moments, and then blow out the flame while still allowing the end to smolder and smoke. You can then either place the stick in a fire-safe bowl such as an abalone shell to allow it to smoke freely or you can hold it in your hand, which is common when using a sage smudge. Much like lighting incenses or using essential oils, one of the purposes behind smudging is to create a space with the right energy prior to meditating, practicing yoga, or any other type of ritual work.
What kind of smudge stick should I use?
The best choice for you depends greatly on a number of things. These include the ritual tradition you’re following, the scent you respond best to both physically and spiritually, what is commonly found in your physical location, and the spiritual properties associated with certain plants. You want to choose a stick that will fill the air with calming and relaxing smoke if you’re meditating or practicing yoga, for example, and one that fills the air with energy if you’re getting ready to perform a specific ritual.
Do you burn the whole smudge stick?
Smudges differ from incense, for example, in that there’s no need to burn the entire smudge stick. Many practitioners fill their bowl partway with sand so they can extinguish their stick once they feel they have sufficiently purified and energized their space, allowing the stick to be reused at a later date, such as for another meditation, yoga session, or ritual practice in the future. We encourage you to conserve your smoke wand and to NOT burn it all at once. Plants are sacred and should be used with deep respect.
How do you make smudging sticks?
The process to create smudge sticks can be made more complex by the number of different herbs in each bundle, which can be created to support different goals and practices, such as clearing or energizing a space. Many of our sticks and other smudging products are hand-made using traditional practices handed down from generation to generation and feature locally-grown herbs, grown and harvested using sustainable practices. You won’t find bundles of imported flowers grown and imported in our products!