The WiccanWay.com Blog
Posted by WiccanWay.com Administrator on 3/23/2012 to Herbs
Smudge sticks are a beautiful way to fragrance and purify your home, and if you're a crafty person, you might want to try to make them on your own. If that's the case, here's some information on how to do it.
First you need to gather your materials. All you will need are dried whole sprigs of herbs that will burn and smoke slowly (rather than flare up in your hands!) and some sewing cotton.
Native American smudge sticks are made with white sage, or one of its many varieties. This herb grows tall sprigs that are ideal for drying and bundling together as smudge sticks. But you can use other suitable herbs such as lavender, cedar, pine, marjoram, thyme and rosemary. All will give long sprigs suitable for drying and making smudge sticks.
If you obtain fresh herb sprigs from your garden, they should be about six-12 inches long and thoroughly dried before use. Bundle the sprigs together in bunches and hand them upside down in a warm dry place until they are ready to use.
Now you can combine the herbs to make smudge sticks. Try different combinations to create different aromas and moods. Lavender, marjoram and sage are very calming, while pine and cedar are refreshing. Choose sprigs that are all the same length, or place the longest sprigs in the center of your smudge bundle with shorter ones outside – this will give a pointed `wand’ effect.
Make each bundle about the thickness of three fingers bunched together – you want a bundle you can get a firm grip on, not too thick so it is hard to hold, or too thin, so it will bend and may cause hot pieces of herb to drop onto your skin or clothes.
Using the cotton thread, bind the sprigs together. You can simply make several bindings in rings down the length of the smudge stick or cross and weave the thread so the whole stick is enclosed. But make sure your smudge stick has enough plant material in it to pack tightly so it will burn slowly, and is firmly bound together so pieces don’t fall off.
The only other thing you will need now is a feather to help spread the smudging smoke, and something to light it with. A candle flame is usually the best way to light a smudge stick.
The stick should smolder gently, producing spirals of smoke without flame. If the stick catches alight, blow it out immediately so that it smokes. As the smoke rises, use your feather to direct it to all corners of the room. The best time to smudge is when you are moving into a new house, to clear it of old stale energy. Direct the smoke into corners and cupboards and areas like under the stairs.
Other times to smudge are when there has been illness or negativity in the house, or during spring cleaning. You can also use smudge sticks to cleanse items such as tarot cards, crystals, clothes and anything else that you may feel needs purifying and clearing of old negative energies.
When you are not using your smudge sticks, treat them with care. Always make sure they have stopped burning before you put them away. The best way to put out a smudge stick is to push the burning end into sand. Keep the sand in a decorative bowl and it can hold the smudge stick until you want to use it again. Capping it in a large jar is another way to ensure it stops smoldering, as it will soon use us the available air and be extinguished. The used smudge stick can be left in the jar, which can be decorated, between uses, but take the lid off or it may become damp. Keep your unused smudge sticks in a nice box or drawer, wrapping each one in tissue paper.
Do remember that smoke can irritate young children and babies and those with respiratory problems, so do not smudge when they are in the house.
Treat your smudge sticks with care and they can last a long time, bringing you fragrance and cleansing whenever you need it.
Photo credit: devhoney-stock