With the holidays just around the corner, you’ll be welcoming more guests into your home now more than any other time of the year. Maybe seasons past haven’t gone exactly as planned, or perhaps you need a clean slate before the in-laws arrive. If so, an autumn smudge stick is just the thing.
Essentially, smudging is burning sacred herbs to correct the energy in a home. Born from the Native American tradition, this ritual is used for the purpose of cleansing and purification but depends primarily on which plants are used. Many believe the smoke from the herbs binds with negative energies and carries them away as the smoke disperses… plus these beauties have the most amazing scent! Just the thing to make a house feel (and smell) fresh and new.
Lavender, Purple Sage & Sweetgrass
This smudge stick creates an atmosphere of tranquility and attracts positive energy. Purple sage is used for purifying and clears out negative energy. Aromatic lavender works in conjunction with the sage to create harmony and positivity. Sweetgrass is used to bring in positive energy after the negativity is released and adds a wonderful vanilla-like scent.
Rosemary, Cinnamon & Sage
There’s no herb like rosemary to bless and protect a house. This combination of herbs thoroughly removes negative energy from your home and raises the protective vibrations. Rosemary combined with the intensely purifying essence of sage, emits powerful cleansing vibes and rids a space of animosity as it smolders. Add in the protective properties of cinnamon and this smudge will make a happy home that smells like the holiday’s have arrived.
Thyme & Cinnamon Stick
This duo provides a gentle cleansing, all about out with the old and in with the new. Smudging your home with thyme dispels melancholy, hopelessness and other mellow but negative vibrations. Pair it with cinnamon sticks and it raises the spiritual and protective levels while stimulating personal psychic and physical energy.
I love this project because you just need a few things from around the house plus your herbs. Lavender and rosemary are growing everywhere right now, and nearing at the end of their bloom cycle. So instead of buying them at the store, try offering to prune your neighbor’s garden back a bit. Smudge sticks also make great gifts, so keep these in mind as the holidays near.
- herbs of choice
- cotton twine
Start by trimming your woody herbs to length, make sure you save the stems as those can be used in the smudge stick as well. Take your sage and pluck off the leaves you want to use in your bundle and set aside. For the sweetgrass braid, just cut a section the length you’d like to make your smudge stick. Next, layer the herbs in a small bundle and trim any excess.
Take a small piece of string and firmly tie it around the bottom of the bundle, this makes it easier to work with as you wrap. Next, begin wrapping the herbs firmly from the base to the top. Remember that as they dry the herbs will shrink, so wrap them a little tighter than you think you should.
Repeat going in the opposite direction down the stick and back up again until everything seems firmly held in place. Secure the string at the top with a smaller piece and trim the excess. Set in a cool, dry place and let dry for at least 2 weeks.
Now the fun part! You’ve waited for those amazing smelling smudge sticks to dry and your patience is about to be rewarded. Use a candle to light your smudge stick as it may take a little time to get it smoking.
Once the stick is flaming, blow it out so it’s smoldering, but be careful not to blow ash everywhere. Start in the center of the space and move in a counter-clockwise motion, leaving a door or window open so the negative energy (and smoke) can escape. As with an action undertaken with intention, smudging can be a potent ritual and should be done with care, reverence and an attitude of love.
Project and styling by Gwen McKenzie for Jojotastic.
Photography by Meghan Klein.
pssst… more DIY projects right this way!
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