Smudging is an ancient traditional cleansing ritual practiced by Indigenous people around the world. In the Indigenous cultures of North America, smudging ceremonies are traditionally performed using one or a combination of the four sacred medicines: Cedar, Sage, Sweetgrass, and Tobacco. The smoke produced in the smudging ritual cleanses negative energies and thoughts, and is commonly performed both in everyday life and for ritualistic purposes.
One traditional application of the smudging ritual still commonly practiced today is for removing negative energy from the home. Indigenous people smudge with the sacred medicines to banish negative energy from previous owners, to cleanse the space and themselves after a traumatic or tragic event, or simply to restore balance and calm to the home.
While smudging, some people like to recite a smudging prayer to help focus their intentions and produce a positive outcome. If you are new to smudging, aren’t sure what to say, or are wondering how to craft the perfect smudging prayer for your unique situation, you have found the right place! Here, we’re going to give you five easy tips to help you create the perfect smudge prayer to say while you are smudging your house.
1.Prepare your smudging with a bundle
The ingredients for smudging can be called your smudge kit, your medicine bag, or whatever you’d like to call it
A smudging bundle typically includes:
- An abalone shell - or you can substitute this with a clay, copper, metal bowl of some sort
- Matches-to light your sacred medicines
- Tobacco + your choice of smudging medicine(this could be sage, cedar, or sweetgrass
- Eagle feather - to waft the smoke from the burning medicine (if you don’t have an eagle feather, another feather is ok, or you can use your hand
2. Light and Waft the medicine
Once you’ve lit your match, set flame to your sage and placing it in the bowl
The bowl is used to:
- Contain the burning sacred medicines
- To make sure your don’t damage anything or burn yourself
- To keep the heat enclosed so your burning medicine doesn’t go out
Allow your sage to burn naturally, don’t blow on the flame to make it burn, instead use the eagle feather to spread the flame around the medicine to ensure there is lots of smoke rising up and around the space
Before you move on to smudging, smudge the feather to cleanse it - so it's ready for the rest of this process and once the medicine has created enough smoke to spread using the feather or your hand
3. Fan the smoke toward you to allow its medicine to cleanse and purify everything it touches
When you are fanning the smoke, you follow a process in itself starting with your head, you begin with smudging your head so that you have only good thoughts. Followed by your eyes to help create clear vision, and you only look for the good in everything. Then smudge your mouth to say only positive things. Address your heart next to create positive emotions, love & kindness. Finally smudge the rest of your body for health and wisdom.
4. Focus on your Desired Feelings
If you recently moved to your home, your end goal could be to make yourself feel at home and to make it feel welcoming as you settle in.
Choosing and focusing on a goal is also a good way to help yourself to think of what to say while you smudge. During the ceremony, you can include your intentions and goals in your verbal or mental smudging prayer, for example: “I welcome in positivity to move forward, and banish the negative thoughts and feelings I was experiencing. I thank the Creator and Mother Earth for these medicines and the cleansing powers they possess. I release my anger, and accept understanding.”
5. Simple Prayer Examples
Not quite ready to try creating your own personal smudging prayer? No worries - we have plenty of examples to help get you started! First, try this example of a simple smudging prayer our founder Mallory often says as she begins her smudge:
“Chi-miigwech to the Creator for giving us this beautiful life. Thank you for these sacred medicines to help protect us, heal us, to feel good, and to live a good life.”
Mantra for banishing negativity by Sarah Regan from MindBody Green:
“I command any negativity, any low vibrational energy, and nonbenevolent beings within this space to leave and go to the light. You are not welcome here. I command you to leave and go to the light.”
Simple poem to release bad thoughts and feelings by Gabrielle from Shamans Market:
“Into this smoke I release
All energies that do not serve;
All negativity that surrounds;
And all fears that limit.”
Smudging prayer for your home by Exemplore:
“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.”
Learn more about smudging, sacred medicines, and traditional Indigenous culture when you visit Tribal Trade Co. online. Follow the blog and pick up your smudging supplies from our store!