Clearing your sacred space before ritual, ceremony, or meditation is very important for magical work, and perhaps the most time-tested method is to burn sacred herbs and resins. Since the earliest times in recorded history – and I’m sure even before that – our ancestors have burned herbs, resins, and other materials. This was partly an homage to our sense of smell (think of how differently, and how beautifully, rosemary smells when burned as opposed to pine or parsley) and partly a recognition that via our sense of smell, we could be transported – our energies shifted, our vibrations raised. Our history also evidences a deep transcultural belief that passing items through smoke cleanses or purifies them (including our own bodies). The origin of modern day perfume can be traced back to incense; in fact the Latin root of the word perfume, per fumem, means “through smoke.” Our Egyptian and Roman ancestors “perfumed” the air with incense they burned. In pre-Christian times, Frankincense was the most valued type of incense – it was rare, expensive, and prized. No wonder it was one of the three gifts brought by the Wise Men to Christ’s manger; it was a gift fit for a king.
Today, we still burn Frankincense, as well as myrrh and many other herbs and resins that are literally as old as time. Burning these herbs and resins connects us energetically with our ancient ancestors. Their spirits are drawn to the smell and to our ceremonies where those scents perfume the air. TO SMUDGE: All you need to do is burn one or more of these ingredients on a heat-proof surface. You can direct the smoke around your space or body using your hand or a feather. In native traditions, we begin smudging by facing the direction of east, then turn south, west, north, and back to east to put the ashes out. As you smudge, visualize any negative or low-vibration energies leaving your space or your body. Most of us feel instantly better after we smudge! And you can smudge any time of day or night, as often as you like.
Below are my Top 10 smudging herbs, woods, and resins and their magical or healing properties. These brief descriptions will be elaborated on in an upcoming video on smudging basics.
Sage Goddess Top 10 Smudging Herbs, Woods & Resins for Magical Work
1. White sage or salvia apiana
White sage is used to clear negative energies from a place, space, or person.
2. Coastal sage or artemisia californica
Coastal sage also clears negative energies and it heals holes or tears in the aura.
Lavender brings peace and restful sleep.
4. Frankincense resin
Frankincense reduces stress, eases tension, and connects you with Source energy.
5. Myrrh resin
Myrrh resin is physically healing and grounding.
6. Pinon pine resin
Pinion pine is protective, healing, and nurturing.
7. Palo santo
Palo santo is deeply healing to the physical body. Can be used to clear a home of energies associated with illness.
8. Mugwort or artemisia vulgaris
Mugwort brings clarity and develops/deepens psychic abilities.
Thyme is excellent for releasing ceremonies. It allows us to recall the past without pain.
Cedar banishes fear and enhances courage in difficult times.
Bright smudging blessings!