I don't know what's been going on with me lately, but I have been a mental wreck over the past few months. At first I thought that it was just my hormones being unbalanced (I'm not ruling that out either) and then I went through a "dry season" where nothing I seem to be doing was working for me professionally or personally. I spent a month, crying over every little thing...some people thought that my extreme emotional outbursts meant that I was possibly pregnant. I love kids, I really do and I have three of my own but let me be real clear, FELICIA IS NOT HAVING ANYMORE CHILDREN, PERIODT!
To me, I'm a pretty simple person. I stay to myself, I'm a "home-body" as we call it and I don't easily get in my feelings or angry about anything. Honestly, I can't really identify the exact moment when I thought about saging (to my understanding it's called smudging), to cleanse the negative energy and thoughts away. As a Christian, we're taught to just pray everything away and oddly, now that I think about it, we do all of these other spiritual rituals (ex., holy communion, Feasts of This or That lol, The Sabbath, not eating pork or any other "unclean animals" and so forth) but smudging is not talked about in the church houses.
If I'm being honest again, living in New Orleans, I equated smudging to witchcraft or voodoo rituals. To my knowledge, from the research I've done, it is a part of the aforementioned but more and more women are using it now to simply purify and cleanse all negativity energy from their homes and within themselves. I follow tons of women on Facebook who talk about this often or sell products that includes sage as apart of their self-care and healing journeys. I reached out to my cousin Erica V. Walton who is the queen of helping you get your mind, body and soul right. She gave me a crash course on Smudging 101 in my inbox.
I also went to Wikipedia and found the following historical information:
"Smudging, or other rites involving the burning of sacred herbs or resins, is a ceremony practiced by some Indigenous peoples of the Americas. In some cases the ceremony is for spiritual cleansing or blessing, but the purposes and particulars of the ceremonies, and the substances used, can vary widely between tribes, bands and nations. While several well-known cultures may use forms of sage and cedar that is local to their region, the use of sage is neither universal, nor as widespread as was once commonly believed."
After reading my cousin's message, I went to New Orleans Healing Center and picked up everything I needed (all under $20): sage bundle, incense and Palo Santo. I already had a round ceramic bowl for the ashes and for whenever I want to let the sage burn in one location. Palo Santo is, "An aromatic wood used for thousands of years as a healing incense by Shamans and the ancient Incas......Harvesting occurs only after the tree has died and laid untouched in its natural habitat for several years. This process permits the sacred, medicinal and mystical properties of the wood to manifest. Palo Santo is gaining global awareness for its healing qualities. Palo Santo has a citrus aroma with underlying hints of frankincense."
At first, I really didn't know what to expect for my first time smudging. I just knew that I needed to get rid of all of my negative thoughts and just allow myself to be open to the new experience. The weather was rainy and gloomy and it was the perfect time to me, to smudge. I waited until my boyfriend left for work, he already thinks I'm weird lol and it was an experience I just wanted to enjoy, alone. If you have a house full, I would highly suggest you smudge when everyone is out of the home or while they are sleep. You can create a space or room to smudge if you don't want to draw attention to your sacred ritual.
I cleaned up my home first because I was going out of town the next day and I wanted the "good energy" to be welcomed into a clean house lol. As the sage burned, the thick cloud of smoke did have a strong odor but it was very calming and I knew that it was cleansing the air in my home if nothing else. I smudged my workspace and definitely said positive affirmations and prayed over it because that is my creative space in my home.
I left my front door open (this is to provide an exit for the negative energy) and started from the back of my home and while smudging, I said a mixture of prayers and affirmations as I continued with the ritual. I took my time and just allowed myself again, to be present in the moment and really partake in this tool that I believe will eliminate negative energy in my space and it will also set the tone for my days to start off better, moving forward. After smudging, I followed up with burning incense as directed to give the house a nice smell afterwards and for me, it was a continuation of the good vibes that I was feeling after smudging.
I believe that smudging is your own individual experience. Do what makes you comfortable and what works for your intentions of smudging. The great thing about it is, just as with anything else, if you don't like it, you don't have to try it again, or if you like it and it's working for you, do more of it! On Facebook, some of my friends said they smudge their homes daily before commuting to work. Others said that they only do it during difficult times or when they are really emotional about something. I'll say it again, do what works for you if you decide to try it. I really enjoyed the incense part of it so I may add that with my daily prayer and meditation and smudge as needed (cause I'll get bored with something quick!).
If you've never tried smudging and interested in learning more about it, I found a cool Youtube video that I wanted to share with my readers below:
Lastly, to my understanding, all of the products I purchased are sold at any store that sells natural or healing products mainly. You can follow and engage with people on social media to help you learn more about their experiences and the overall spiritual tool. There are tons of benefits to smudging, that you can check out here. My experience will be different than yours but I'd still love to hear about it, so let me know if/when you smudge your home or self for the first time. Or if you're a pro at this, feel free to drop some gems in the comments for all of us to learn from your experiences.