I was introduced to Native American practices 16 years ago, during my first Earth Blessing ritual here in Southwest Colorado. I've lived on a reservation for 8 years and have participated in some Native American practices like drumming circles, earth rites and sweat lodges. That's when I found myself on my eclectic spiritual path. Since then, I've enjoyed learning about different nature based and earth centered spiritual practices, paths and beliefs. Through my learning I have created a very eclectic practice, as I take what speaks to me and leave what doesn't, it may be diverse but it is sacred to me.
One of the things I learned from my Native American teachings, was smudging. What is smudging, it's a spiritual practice that is performed in various ways in many religions around the world, much like the Catholic churches use of Frankincense in the censers. As a child I remember our Monsieur walking down the isle with a smoking censor hanging from a long chain in his hand. This practice is considered as a powerful spiritual cleansing technique for both oneself, our surroundings or the cleansing of objects. It's purpose is to cleanse, purify, remove negative energies and protect. Sacred herbs like Sage, Cedar and Sweet Grass are the most commonly used.
I was taught that traditionally the practice uses an earthenware of sorts to burn the herbs in. An object such as a clay bowl, a rock with a concave center or an abalone shell, my favorite. Just put a small amount of the herbs on to the carring object and light it. Once it catches on fire just blow out the flame and it will begin to smolder. I like to use a smudge bundle, which I either make myself or have purchased.
Smudge feathers are used as a spiritual tool during this practice to guide the smoke in the directions you want around the room, a person or oneself. Do this while saying a prayer or your intent for the smoke.
I practice this type of spiritual cleansing when I move into a new home, there's been some strong emotions in our home or when the energy in it feels heavy or stale. I also do it after we've been through a sickness, during my spring cleaning or whenever I feel I need to do it and of course I do it whenever I want to create sacred space like I talked about last week. There are other ways to do spiritual cleansings like through sound or scent as in clearing spray, which I like to do too since I LOVE aromatherapy! Which by the way, soon I'll be sharing some aromatherapy aura cleansings I do too ;)
What methods do you use when doing a spiritual cleansing practice?