Thursday, November 6, 2014

11/7/14—Clearing Energies

My smudging materials. There's a sage bundle at 12:00, a feather for
distributing the smoke, a sweetgrass braid and the bowls in the middle
are the incenses I prepared. To the left is the sage and palo santo. To the
right is sweetgrass and some other herbs. And the white at the bottom
is a charcoal tablet on top of salt. You sprinkle the incense on the
charcoal to burn it. You can just use the actual sage bundle and
not go through all this effort, but this is how I wanted it today. 
Today was a smudgy kind of day for me. If you don't know what smudging is, it's basically cleansing and purifying something with sacred smoke. I wrote a whole post about my process here. (I'll put a link in the comments for people reading on Facebook.)

I was waiting for the full moon at 5:22 to smudge. But seeing as how it was a rainy day here, I thought I'd save "the exact moment of moon fullness" to smudge the inside of my house and just pick any old dry time to smudge my property. All my efforts for a dry experience were thwarted though. 

First, though, I don't usually smudge my property. I usually just smudge inside the house. But for some reason, I kept feeling a need to do the entire property, including my cars, so I did it. The front yard went pretty well. But by the time I worked my around to the back yard, the rain had started. Then the sky opened up and dumped bucketsful of water on me. Which isn't good when you're trying to keep sage lit and burning.

I wasn't sure whether this was a good thing or a bad thing. The violence and suddenness with which the skies opened up made me feel as if something wanted me not to smudge the yard. Then again, I could think that the rain was helping to purify. Believing in signs and all sorts of mystical things can be confusing sometimes...haha. So I did go out and make another pass at the back yard when the rain stopped and that time the sun peeked out from behind a cloud, lighting up the reds and oranges of the neighborhood trees with godlike rays. That sign was not confusing at all. 

The break in the clouds that enabled me to smudge the back yard a second
time. It was really more dramatic than this, but I was smudging
and didn't take the pic until afterward.
But it got me thinking. It took the equivalent of two small sage bundles to smudge the back yard. Some energy out there was just eating it up. Sometimes you'll see the smoke do interesting drawn to a certain corner. Or, like when I smudged inside the house, it might get very smoky in areas where it's most needed. My back yard is what I consider to be my sacred space. I would have never suspected it of needing extra care, but it did. It devoured the second smudge bundle and there was just enough to cover the whole area. So I'm glad I decided to clear the property, too. 

If you said to me right now, "it's magical thinking to think a burning herb can clear negativity or bring positivity into your life," I wouldn't be able to disagree with you. There are many things I do and believe that I'm not 100% on and cannot explain. All I know is that they work. For me. Catholics use incense in ritual, Native Americans use it, Buddhists use it...they could probably all tell you what they feel the burning does. But you won't find proof of any of it. Yet. Right now, it's all just mysticism and belief...just like everything we believe without scientific proof. 

That said, the air is completely different inside my home now than it was this morning. And whether that's measurable or not doesn't matter. It's true for me. And because it's true for me, it actually HAS shifted the mood. And that's all that ritual is about...going through motions that make us feel more empowered, protected or whatever. You don't even need spirituality to have rituals. Your morning routine is a ritual. The nightly "checking of the door locks" is a ritual. They make us feel safe, grounded. And when they're done mindfully and with intent, they can have an even greater impact on our psyche. 

BTW, I didn't have to do this in conjunction with the moon, so if any of you are thinking you missed an opportunity, you didn't. Besides, the full moon energy, if you believe in such a thing, exists the day or two before and after the actual full moon. So you still have time. What are your spiritual rituals? When do you do them and why? And do you have any herbs that are sacred to your beliefs?


  1. I'm surprised you didn't get a load of us jumping in here to 'share' our favourite rituals and herbs. That sort of request usually draws quite a crowd, LOL. That said, I'm pretty casual when it comes to rituals. I don't follow the moon or the seasons per se. I'll do a ritual when I suddenly get the feeling I should do one and what I do varies depending on what prompted me in the first place. I don't smudge; I'm more of a Florida Water gal. ;) But I do burn incense for cleansing, focusing, sometimes just for the smell. No herbs are sacred to my beliefs yet I believe all herbs are sacred. I use herbs for spells, cleansing, protection... Favourites, as in the ones that I tend to use the most, are lavender, rosemary and sage. I also use a fair bit of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg in prosperity spells. Allspice is a good "power booster" in any spell. :)

  2. PS I meant to say I agree with your comments about rituals and "magickal thinking". It works because I intend for it to work and I expect it to work. As you said, "It's true for me." There are lots of magickal things other people do that just don't resonate with me. But I know they work for them, so it's all good.

  3. Thanks for your insights. I recently got a "prosperity candle" as a gift and it had cinnamon in it. I burned it and the next day I had two work opportunities come out of the blue! So I fully support the use of cinnamon. :D