For the past several years, I have made it my mission to educate myself on many different alternative methods for healing my body, healing my heart, and mending the breaks that often happen in the universe we live in that allows negative energy to make its way between the cracks and into our lives. As part of ridding my home and many other aspects of my life from negativity, I smudge. While this practice may be new to some of you, I am here to explain it a bit and educate you on how I use different herbs to maintain as much of a homeostasis within my home and life as possible. Before I tell you the how when and wheres of how I smudge, I'd like to give you a bit of information as to how smudging began. Smudging has only come into general Western thinking in the last few decades, but smudging goes back much further than that. When performing a smudging ritual, you are literally tapping into a strong spiritual tradition that goes back thousands of years, connecting your prayers to the smoke and delivering it to the heavens. It is also used by many to drive out negative energy that you acquire over time that attaches itself to your soul. Smudging is a very powerful cleansing ritual that has been used by many native traditions around the world. It provides emotional and spiritual purification and blessings to those in need. Have you ever been around a group of people, or even in a public place doing a little shopping, and by the time you return home, you feel like you have been pissed off by so many different elements of the trip, that you are pissed off for the rest of the day. If so, I feel you on a spiritual level. Maybe you go to a hair salon and you literally get so tired of the bullshit jargon and gossip, that you feel heavy on your way home. This is life's negativity attaching itself to your being. Perhaps this is my reason for dreads. Sure, some people are able to wash away their negative encounters with a good hot shower or go for a run and let it pass, but for me, while I may be able to let it go on the surface, underneath it is there lurking around and waiting to cause a negative encounter later in another space and time. I'm not saying that every time I have a shit show of a day, I grab my Sage and dance around naked under the moon repeating some life-affirming mantra. I only do that on the full moon, and I actually wear clothing. In all seriousness, sometimes I will smudge once a week, or once a month. It really depends on what I am trying to accomplish. Last week, I was feeling as though my garden wasn't as happy as they should be and because of that, their ability to provide for us was being blocked. For me, it was entirely possible that the worry that I had over its growth had attached itself to the roots and was, in essence, I was stunting its growth. I grabbed the sage and I walked around my garden with my smudge stick saying silent prayers for the growth of my garden and for the negativity to disappear with the smoke. Because it has been thought to have very effective purifying energies, sage is considered sacred by many Native American Indians. Sage is a fantastic natural antioxidant and also possesses very powerful antiseptic properties, making it great for a sore throat as well. If that is an eye opening benefit in itself and you decide to grow your own, be sure not to harvest it all for smudging so that when cold and flu season rolls around, you can drop some leaves in your warm tea. I know for parents that have children in the public school system, strep throat is a very common problem. Try adding some honey to sweeten the tea for the littles and then let the sage work it's antiseptic magic. If you have a child that isn't at all picky, like my tiniest root, have them just chew on it for a while to relieve the soreness. Ok Ok..back to smudging. Some people use smudge sticks for nothing more than just the amazing aroma they provide. Think Lavender meets incense. Remember when it was cool to burn incense. Ahhh yes, the days when I would lock myself in my room with the very first Pearl Jam album (Thanks, Andy Perry), burning incense, writing down all of my deep dark thoughts in the form of melancholy poetry that was so intense that I'm certain I missed my calling as a female Jack Kerouac. . I was so fucking cool. LOL. I always loved the earthy smokey smell of incense, but the perfumed smell of the generated Lavender or Patchouli literally made me nauseated, so being able to experience a true Sage or Lavender smell along with the smoke is a magical experience. I encourage everyone to start their own herb garden and to not be overwhelmed with the thoughts of "how do I use it". Who the hell cares? If you don't want to make smudge sticks, then by all means, throw it in your tea, if you don't drink tea, add it to your recipes, and if you don't cook, then just enjoy its beauty and smell everytime you walk by. For those of you interested in purchasing smudge sticks from me, you may do so by visiting the contact section of my website and letting me know how I can help you. Soon I will be ready to accept orders directly from my website, where you will find organically grown and dried herbs as well as smudge sticks. Happy Smudging!