Spring is upon us here in the PNW, we are slowly cleaning the house trying to take on one major chore at a time. My favorite being rearranging and organizing our goods according to necessity for the season. The woolen basket is now filled with gauzy scarfs, sun hats and small containers to take on nature walks. The mantel now has fresh flowers and has been cleared of all the treasures we gathered during winter. Our nature table has its book turned to April and is surrounded by moss, colorful fairies and flowers. Things are starting to feel lighter and brighter around here. The windows are opened first thing in the morning and if the sun is out so are we- for school, lunch, dinner and evening play. A drastic change to that of our winter, something that we give thanks for and gladly welcome.
Every Spring and Fall I make of point of smudging our home. It is a Native ritual for clearing the energy in a space, an object or a person. Some believe that the smoke signifies the Holy Spirit bringing in purification and blessings as well as removing any negative energies or influences. And in a day and age where things are tried on, thrifted and passed down there are thoughts that objects can hold energy too, so it is good idea to cleanse goods as needed. I also do a clearing when someone has been sick or after any situation in our home that doesn’t hold our intention or values.
To smudge a space, hold an intention or prayer clearly in your mind and heart. Light your sage or herb; blow out the flames so that your herbs smolder rather than burn; walk around your space being mindful of places behind doors and corners (places were energy can be stagnant). Smudging should be done in reverence and in love. Offer thanks and gratitude. Open windows and doors to let the smoke dissipate and to allow the cleanse to happen.
Here are some suggested herbs you can use and their significance although sage and sweetgrass are the most common. I like to always have a bit of palo santo on hand too and keep some in our car.
Sage: drives out bad spriits, influences or feelings
Cedar: good for prayer
Sweetgrass: one of the most sacred of plants, brings in good energy and influences
Palo Santo: a holy wood, energetically cleansing + healing; good for meditation or prayer
Sandalwood: clears stress form the nervous system, awakens intelligence + lifts depression
Lavender: symbol for magic, love and protection
Mugwort: good for clearing the mind, great for purification and sanctification