My first experience with smudging was with Bukhoor from Arabia, mostly used by Muslims during dua (prayer). As a kid, I asked my dad about the significance of burning the strongly scented bricks. He gave me one, told me to pray to Allah for anything I wanted then place the brick in the burner. He said the scent would attract the good angels, who would take my message direct to Allah (those angels must have rolled their eyes when they heard me praying for blue eyed blonde barbies…good times).
When I was old enough to google stuff, I found my dad’s story to have truth to it. Bukhoor is used for its psychoactive effects that bring about calmness in the nervous system. It also has the ability to cultivate focus and alertness while boosting positive energy. The tradition of using Bukhoor has never left me to date, only now I burn Bukhoor and another thing, Sage.
I’m not sure if I’ve shared this, but I’m constantly checking in with my spiritual energy and my mental state of mind, making sure that my thoughts are in sync with my life goals. I believe whatever energy you put into the universe will shape your life, so I like to surround myself with thriving, positive energy.
The use of Sage is very popular with Native Americans who use it to connect to the spiritual world and in cleansing rituals of the body and spaces. They believe it can cleanse a space by absorbing heavy or dense energy. Interestingly, a scientific study using Sage as a medicinal smoke showed that it was able to absorb up to 94 percent of airborne bacteria. According to the study, Sage’s medicinal powers were able to do this within an hour and maintained the disinfected air up to 24 hours in a closed room.
I’ve been looking for a reason to use Sage and the perfect opportunity came when I recently moved to my new space. Burning of herbs to fill a space with their fragrance is popularly called smudging. In the United States, you can get White Sage from World Market. If you have no easy access, Sage is an herb that can easily grow in your backyard, although you’ll have to go through the process of drying it.
Along with the sage, I got some Indian Champaka incense cones which channel good energy after the cleansing is complete (am I creeping you guys out yet? Lol).
The rooms were empty, and all doors and windows opened to let air circulate freely. I lit the Sage, let it produce a small amount of smoke and said a little Islamic prayer before reciting the following lines (which I totally googled and edited to suit me).
“I cleanse this home of any impurities, negativity or anything that does not suit or support the people that live here. I purge this home of all darkness. I dedicate this home to life, and to love, and to light, and to all that is good. May good fortune follow those who pass through this door, safe journeys for those who go forth, and safe heart for those who enter. May these walls soak in the rich sounds of laughter and loving, hung with art and memories. May this home be a place for safety and joy, a place to rest and create, a place that is blessed, a place that is for me.”
Room by room, I smudged all the corners of the house with Sage, followed by the Indian incense. I didn’t use Bukhoor this time since I use it more often and I wanted to let this “Sage moment” thrive.
You’re probably wondering if I felt different. The scent of the Sage made the space feel lighter, more energetic and dare I say, cleaner. When I do things like cleanse my living space, all this is to remind me of what I spiritually seek within me—peace, calamity and clarity. These little rituals allow me to create time to focus on my well-being. I think about where I am mentally when I leave the protection of my home and how to recharge when I return. I take these practices as checkpoints to keep me on track with who I want to be and how I want to live my life.
If you think I’m crazy with my smudging, wait till I tell y’all about how I organize my space according to the Feng Shui method.
Do you guys practice smudging?