This year the summer solstice and full moon almost occur at the same time. This powerful alignment is an opportune time to have a smudging ceremony. The ancient ritual of smudging purifies and prepares us for the new beginnings marked by both the solstice and new moon.
The burning of various plants to make a smudge is used by the majority of Native peoples as a ritual cleansing. As the smoke rises, our prayers rise to the Universe. Negative energy, feelings, and emotions are lifted away. It is also used for healing the mind, body and spirit, as well as balancing energies.
In most Native rituals sage and sweetgrass are used. Sage is the female herb that releases anger, and ill-will. It also offers strength, wisdom, and clarity of purpose. Sweetgrass is the balancing male herb that calls forth kindness, peace, and love.
You can smudge yourself and space:
- When you move into a new living space
- When you begin a new job or start your own business
- Before and after a guest enters your home
- Before and after a yoga or healing session
- Before meditation
- After an argument or any illness
Smudging is a simple process. Let’s take an example of moving into a new space. The steps you can follow are:
- Turn off the smoke alarms.
- Place sage and sweetgrass in a fireproof container you can carry without getting burnt.
- Light the dried plants until they catch flame.
- Use your hand or feather to blow out the flame to produce smoke
- Envelope yourself in the smoke using your hand or feather, asking for a cleansing
- Roam from room to room spreading the smoke throughout the house. Start from the basement and ascend each floor. Ask for cleansing of the house.
- Cleanse the perimeter of your property outside asking for protection.
- With the final ashes burning, ask for a positive future.
Performing a smudging during a solstice or full moon is particular opportune. You are combining a cleansing and asking for a positive future during a time of symbolic new beginnings.
There are more elaborate rituals available. The basic intention of cleansing from the past and moving forward with positive energy remain in each. It really is up to you on how you see this ritual unfolding. Any way you perform this ancient rite, you will clearing negative influences and preparing yourself to move forward.