Through the years, humans have burned herbs since the discovery of fire to do many different things with through all cultures and reglions, for example catholics, they use incense and it is likened to one’s prayer being kindled by fire in the heart, spoken by the lips resulting in the odor of Christ on the breath.
Smudging is often done with dried herbs tied in bundles which are named smudge sticks which is then set alight. The aromatic smoke is then ‘washed over’ a person or a object either with a feather or a person’s hand.
The smudging process is normally done from several directions for the smoke to ‘wash’ over the person.
Different herbs and uses
Sage – The use of sage is for healing. The smoke is used to bless, cleanse and heal the person or object being smudged. Sage is used to ‘wash off’ the outside World. This herb is often used when someone may feel they have a attachment, their home or object as an attachment or when one enters ceremony or other sacred space.
Cedar- Cedar is a medicine of protection. It is often used to cleanse a home or apartment when first moving in, inviting unwanted spirits to leave and protecting a person, place or object from unwanted influences.
Sweet Grass – Often used to bless a person or a objects and it’s use is thought to give us a reminder that we will be provided with everything we need from mother earth.
Lavender – Sometimes used for a invitation of the spirits. The name may be derived from the Latin lavare (to wash) or livendula (meaning bluish). In ancient times lavender was an important herb used in mummification. There is a legend that the clothing of baby Jesus was laid upon a lavender bush and acquired the fragrance. Some Christians still regard the scent of lavender as a safeguard against evil.