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Place the shell in front of you and thank it, aloud or silently, for the life that created it and for it helping you in this ceremony. Place the smudging material that you will be using in the shell, thanking each plant for providing the ingredient. They have sacrificed so that you could make this sacred smoke. You should express “gratitude” not “guilt” in your prayer for their sacrifice. One day you will give up your body for the other beings of the world.

Next, light the smudge mix. As the flame grows, thank Father Sun, from where all fires originate. Thank the spirit of fire for helping you with this ceremony. Make sure each plant in the shell has caught fire. This way, the resulting smoke will contain all the energies you have chosen to work with. Fan the fire gently with your feather until all the material is burning enough to create sufficient smoke. Then use the feather to put out the flames, with one or two quick passes. If the smudge looks like it is going to go out, fan it vigorously until it is smoking again. If it does go out, it is alright to relight it. This is where you may choose to clear your Smudge Feather, if you are using one. You can pass the feather to the east, then to the west top and bottom, then to the north and to the south, once again top and bottom of the feather.

Now, using both your hands as a cup, catch some smoke and bring it up to your heart. Catch more smoke and pass it over your head and down your neck. Then using each hand, one at a time, pass the smoke along your opposite arm and hand. Then using both hands, bring more smoke into your navel and down your legs to the ground. This process cleanses our hearts, minds and bodies and helps us to remain grounded. While doing this, we see the smoke carry away our cares and mental & physical injuries. I personally love to also do the bottoms of my feet, as we do much release work from this area, so it’s a great idea to pass the smudge under each foot.

You can now smudge any objects you want, by passing them through the smoke from the four directions, starting with the east. Ask that the object be cleaned for either your use or for a giveaway. If you are smudging with other people, smudge yourself first and as you are “pure” you can then hold the shell by the edges for others to smudge. You can also smudge a house or room that needs cleansing. Go around the room with the burning smudge, and using the feather, you can push any negative energy out through an open door or window.

When you are done, let the ashes cool and return them with respect to the soil. This is the element of “Earth”. New life arises out of the soil, enriched by the nutrients provided by the ashes. As you empty the ashes thank the plants and the fire for their assistance in this ceremony.

As the smoke rises into the air, picture your intention, whatever it may be. If you are clearing negative energy, picture its density and see it lifting away. Healing? Then imagine the smoke cleansing any illness or injury. Whatever it is – envision it floating away on the smoke. You can pray or chant if you feel so called. Use your hands or a smudge fan to guide the smoke over yourself and around your sacred space.  We begin facing east, then turn south, west, and north before finally turning east again. After making this ceremonious circle, we douse the burning embers. I love honoring the cardinal directions in my smudge ceremony; it roots me to the Earth.

Many people smudge before any other ceremony, to start the day. For us, this is a very important and real ceremony. Afterwards, we feel better, our energy feels stronger, and the day goes better for us. It is good to smudge our houses on occasion to clear out any negative energy. 

The beauty of smudging is that it can be done at any time, as often as you f need, no matter your background or culture.

NEVER dump your sage bundle or container into the garbage or a toilet bowl!   If you’re unable to bury/release your ashes back to the Earth, place them into a container for spring or summer.  Best practise is to place your ashes to the east until you can return back to earth then place into a garden or flowerbed, or under a tree. 

Cynthia Sebry Essential Energy Healing Cynthia is the Soul Owner of Essential Energy Healing and is a Certified Reiki Master Teacher, Goddess Empowerment Facilitator, a Moon Momma, Wellness Warrior and offers Reiki Classes & Sessions, Goddess Workshops, Space Clearings, Meditations in the Red Deer area

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