I’ve been using smoke to cleanse my space for decades, but it’s not a new practice. The ceremony of smudging or smoke cleaning has been around for centuries. Smoke cleansing is a ritual recognized by ancient communities such as Native Americans, ancient Egyptians, Hindus – you name it – almost every culture has utilized the power of air and smoke to clear out bad juju and negative energy. That’s why I wanted to talk to you today about the best types of smudge sticks for your energy-clearing needs.
What is Smudging and Smoke Cleansing About?
Smudging and smoke cleansing is a mindful, spiritual practice of clearing energy from any space, object, or person. Smudging is typically used to clear out a physical space like a room or a new home, but it can also be used for cleansing bad energies from people who are empaths or even objects like crystals.
I’ve done many house-blessings, and used special smudge sticks that have been blessed by my elders. These are the best smudge sticks because they are soulfully made, organic, render the purest smoke – and, of course, they are blessed by people who have some serious mojo.
Cleansing is done with smudge sticks, which are bundles of herbs that are lit, with the smoke used to heal and clean the space. You can also improvise by smudging or smoke cleansing with incense sticks. The choice is yours, but I prefer smudge sticks, and here are my top, favorite, best types of smudge sticks you can use for cleansing.
The most common types of smudge sticks utilize sage. Some of these sticks are made 100% of sage, while others offer a blend of different aromatics. There is more than one type of sage, and the one you choose is really your preference. White sage, desert sage, cedar, sweetgrass, palo santo, and lavender-infused sage are all variations of this smudge stick. Which one is best for your purpose? It’s up to you, but my old standby is hand-picked organic white sage (love it!). It’s the ultimate all-purpose smudge stick and will suffice for most cleansing ceremonies.
When to Use Sage
Sage is a go-to for cleansing a person, place, or object. It is an ally when cleansing energies from new healing crystals or if you move into a new home (it’s what I use for clients wanting a home blessing and cleansing). If you have toxic energy in your office or home space, you can use sage to remove it.
For getting help with negative energy in your home or cleansing sacred items, use white sage. This is a very common variety of smudge sticks and is easy to find.
When performing a spiritual ritual, try using blue sage, also known as desert sage. This can help purify yourself and the space you live in.
There is also floral sage, often infused with lavender, which can also help to cleanse your space and improve your mindset by boosting your positive energy.
Aromatic Profile for Sage Smudge Sticks
Known as Salvia Officinalis, standard sage emits a bitey, pungent aroma (which I personally love). It has a lemon-like lingering aroma, and if you have the right kind of (pure) sage, it should leave yourself or your environment feeling bright, clean and uplifted.
The herbaceous scent is elevating while grounding at the same time. You get this earthy essence with sage and that’s precisely why our ancient ancestors have used these types of smudge sticks for centuries – because it connects you to the heavens while grounding you to the earth at the same time.
If you’ve tried sage and it isn’t your bag, baby – then give lavender a shot. These types of smudge sticks are an excellent choice for cleaning your area. In fact, lavender was utilized since ancient times for healing, cleansing, and rejuvenation. Furthermore, you can use the scent for restorative purposes on its own, because this floral herb contains properties to help with stress and anxiety.
When to Use Lavender
If you are struggling with anxious thoughts or a lot of stress and worry in your life, you can smudge around your space and around your body to release some of that negative energy. Lavender is also an excellent choice to implement at bedtime to help you sleep and protect your mind from bad dreams.
Aromatic Profile for Lavender Smudge Sticks
Gee, it’s hard to describe – but the funny thing about these types of smudge sticks is that once you smell a lavender-infused bundle – you absolutely can’t forget it. It’s 100% recognizable for its heavenly, sweet aroma. It’s a floral scent with hints of what I can only identify as camphoric (which is a woodsy, cedary, evergreen element used to thwart inflammation).
From the genus “Lavandula,” other members of the lavender clan include mint, thyme, basil, and rosemary – so that gives you a pretty good idea about the core scent-tones of lavender. But what sets this smudge stick apart from its family members mentioned is that it has a distinctly light floral tone that is simply to-die-for!
Once upon a time, I spent 3 weeks in Scottsdale, AZ at a Native American gathering. My elders used juniper (instead of traditional sage sticks I was accustomed to) in their ceremonies. The Native elders even introduced juniper branches in the sweat lodges. So for me, to this day, juniper has a special place in my heart when it comes to memory-recall, cleansing, and establishing spiritual power. It’s also fabulous for moments when you want to connect with your ancestors or linking to the Native mind.
When to Use Juniper
At any rate, a juniper smudge stick is a great option if you need to get rid of negative, poopy energy from your home, office, or object. It also offers outstanding protective energy. In fact, a lot of people opt for juniper over sage or lavender because it boosts positive, protective powers within the home and within your aura.
Juniper converts a zero energy space into a hero environment. Why? Because it’s a juggernaut in terms of jazzy vibes, transformation, positivity, and healing. Juniper gives off such a happy vibration and these types of smudge sticks can be super-useful in ceremonies intended for attracting abundance or positive manifestations.
Aromatic Profile for Juniper Smudge Sticks
Think piney, spicy, pungent, punchy aromas when you think of juniper. Juniper berries can flavor beverages and foods for ages to give a piquant punch to edibles. Juniper can be very intense. So, be aware that it can leave a bittersweet remnant within your home, but the results can be completely invigorating. That said, juniper can be strong. But it’s a great aromatic essence to use in deeply dark and depressing environments because it pretty much crushes that gloom in its tracks.
There are about 70 variations in the juniper family, and they all originate from Cyprus and evergreen trees. This should give you a hint of what you’re in for. Juniper brings in a fresh, clean, crisp scent into your environment. A friend of mine once called juniper the “Pine-Sol cleaner of the soul.” While that industrial cleaner has a chemical scent to it – natural juniper does not – so my buddy pretty much nailed it as being a lovely, cleansing smudge stick for the spirit, mind, soul, body, and home.
The Last Word on Types of Smudge Sticks
Have I done my job to pique your interest in these 3 varieties of smudge sticks? I hope so. At the end of the day, all of these types of smudge sticks will certainly fit the bill for whatever you are trying to cleanse, repair, restore or heal. However, hopefully, these details will help you make the right choice for your needs. As always, thanks for reading. Happy smudging!
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