Geez-Louise what a week. I have had personal things go wrong. I have had personal things go real right. I have had professional things go wrong. Then right. Then wrong. All in a week – up and down, down and up.
You spin me right round, baby
Right round like a record, baby
Right round round round
~ Dead or Alive
I have been having a difficult time not blaming this roller coaster on Mercury in Retrograde – Ryan (my super cute husband) teases me about this – but between you and me, I am pretty sure that this week’s turbulence is its fault.
What to do? What to do?
First, I practice (yoga, chanting, Reiki, breathwork, meditation – every damn day) and then I smudge a lot, often multiple times a day. I started the practice as a way to clear my living space, than it moved into my office. I have even been known to do it outside under the watchful gaze of the sun and the moon. I believe that by bringing the smoke of sacred herbs, resins and woods around me I am able to clear my energy field. And so I do. It is a simple ritual that anyone can employ.
Many cultures have used the burning of sacred herbs or wood in some form for millennia. Anthropologists believe that the practice of using sacred smoke for medicinal and spiritual practices dates back to prehistoric times. The Native Peoples are known for their use of white sage in medicinal and spiritual practices. At Catholic Church the priest enter the sacristy with Pontifical Incense (a blend of: frankincense, myrrh, benzoin and storax) because the church believes it creates a tranquil and meditative environment. In South America, Palo Santo (which literally translates to Holy Wood) is burned. In India incense is offered up to the divine.
Things like this don’t permeate multiple cultures over a myriad of times without reason. Energetically when a room is cleared through smudging to me it feels better as though all the energy has downshifted, I find it immediately and noticeably calmer.
Since my inner nerd constantly needs to be fed I recently looked into whether or not smuding has been scientifically studied and low and behold it had.
As usually happens, ancient wisdom holds true – what we now know is that burning sacred matter impacts germs. It actually kills them off. Not the fire, the smoke.
Wild, right?!?!?!? Smuding literally cleans a space and if you think about how long this ritual has been used the fact that it not only clears but also cleans makes a lot of sense. I mean, church in the middle ages because no one bathed and most labored was not a clean place. So the priests cleaned it with smoke. How beautiful. How Simple.
To learn more:
Here are a list of herbs, saps and wood that have often been used (always burn these offerings in an appropriate holder):
Frankincense (tree sap)
Myrrh (tree sap)
Palo Santo (wood)