The ancient art of smudging

By Angela

 

   The definition of incense is The perfume or odors exhaled from spices and gums when burned in celebrating religious rites or as an offering to some deity. The burning of incense dates back thousands of years. it is traced back to the ancient Egyptians where they burned materials in religious ceremonies, to drive away demons and gratify the presence of gods. The Babylonians also used incense while offering prayers. Also, Greece, Rome, and India also burned incense in their rituals. Incense is used mostly in Oriental religions and in ceremonies of the Angelica, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox churches, which all throughout history the burning of incense and herbs has bee used for cleansing, healing, and spiritual purpose.

 

"Smudging" is the name given to the "Sacred smoke bowl blessing", a cleansing technique from Native Americans. This is a ritual way to cleanse a person, place or an object of negative energies. The theory of burning the incense or herbs, is the smoke attaches itself to negative energy, as it clears, it takes the negative energy with it, which is then released into another space to be regenerated. This is also good to smudge yourself, space and all the people before a ritual or ceremoney. Anything can be smudged, your own auric field, your home, car or work space. To begin open a window or door, place herbs in an abalone shell and light, then blow out to release the smoke. Take the smoke and wash your body in it, as well as walk through the space you wish to cleanse making sure you get into corners on the floor and ceiling. A common item used is a feather to move the smoke around the room. It is also helpful to recite a smudging prayer. Once complete you can leave the herbs in a room and let the smoke fill the room. The most common herb used is a white sage (Salvia apiana), that is bound into a smudge stick. Supposedly proved by science is when burned sage and other herbs they release negative ions, which linked to a more positive mood.

 

Smudging prayer:

Negativity that invades my sacred place 
I banish you away with the light of my grace. 
You have no hold or power here. For I stand 
and face you with no fear. Be gone forever, for this,

I will say. This is my sacred place and you will obey.

The Brooksville Pit