“Smudging is the traditional spiritual practice of clearing away negative thoughtforms (the manifestation of mental energy) and other negative vibrations with the smoke of burning herbs, typically dried sage. The sage used for smudging is usually either high desert sage or white wide-leaf sage and is often bound into a bundle called a smudge stick.
When and Why to Smudge Yourself or Your Space
Because old thoughtforms and other negative vibes tend to accumulate no matter how clear you try to keep yourself or a space, it is a good idea to smudge every so often to continue to attract positive vibrations into your life. Smudge any time you feel that negative thoughtforms, including your own, have gotten stuck in your energy field.
You know you need to smudge or clear your space when chaos is present, arguments abound, anger presents itself, or general feelings of agitation and frustration exist. If an argument just occurred, clear your space. If you encountered an unpleasant situation, clear yourself. If your children are unruly and your spouse is cranky, clear your space.
How to Smudge
You can use either a ready-made smudge stick, make your own smudge stick, or use loose herbs. Smokeless alternatives are also available and will be discussed a little later. To use loose herbs for smudging, you will need herb-burning charcoal discs as well as a dish to hold the burning herbs. Abalone shells are often used for this purpose, since they are sturdy and represent the element air. When a shell is used, the vibration of all four elements—earth, fire, air, and water—is present. (The dried herbs represent earth, the burning embers represent fire, and the smoke represents air.) When all four elements are working together, the cleansing effects are magnified.”