Sage, as per our modern-day interpretation "sage sticks," are an ordained cleanser of bad vibes. Burning sage remains an effective healing ritual for both spiritual ceremonies and the departure of bad people alike. The smoke is known to contain antibacterial properties which can keep infectious bacteria and viruses at bay, plus have a direct effect on reducing stress response.
Burning dried plants to produce smoke as means to purify the air and conjure healing benefits is an ancient tradition used to clear away negative or stagnant energy in a space, leave old relationships behind and move on to new ones. Celebrate different times of the year, to wake up feeling full of confidence, energy, and hope. It allows you to ease into the world of deep sweet dreams and invigorating sleep, to bathe away stress and feel more centred and protected from the world.
Many cultures and religious structures believe the smoke of burning plants carry prayers to the heavens. Our western culture most often pulls from the Native American Indian practice of smudge sticks and their use of dried herbs such as sage, sweetgrass, cedar, and lavender as healing plants.
What Will You Include?
Sage — considered one of the most prized and sacred herbs, sage instills peace + tranquility
Sagebrush — to treat wounds + headaches + colds
Eucalyptus — relaxing spa feel
Pine needles — cleansing + purification
Frankincense — to send prayers intentions to gods
Balsam fir — cleansing + purification
Sweetgrass — healing + purification + brings positive energy
Mugwort — lucid dreaming + purification + calming
Juniper — cleansing + purification
Holy basil (tulsi) — purification + calming
Rosemary — mental acuity + purification
Lavender — calming
Mullein — cleansing sickrooms + heals/improves respiratory function
Rose petals — luck + grief + attracts love + healing
Desert chaparral — negative energy clearing + protection + calm
Peppermint — healing + protection
Yarrow — eliminates toxins from the body
Lemon balm — spiritual cleansing + calm
Palo Santo Sticks — healing + good fortune
When making these you must exude positive thoughts and energy. You don’t need to say a prayer or speak out loud to harness the effects of smudging, but it is important to have an intention in mind. As you walk around your space, visualise the old, stagnant energy dissolving and fresh energy taking its place. You can also speak your intention out loud if you prefer, using a feather to disperse the smoke.
In order to make your sage bundles you will need to gather your dried/ fresh herbs or leaves and incense of your choice, along with twine or cotton thread.
Your first step would be to layer your ingredients, positioning the chubbiest bases of the largest leaves at the same level as each other. This makes the binding process a little easier.
Cut a piece of twine that is approximately 4 times the length of your bundle or longer. Make a loose knot on one end of the string, tighten it around the stems, binding the bundle. This should leave one side of the string a minimum of 3 times the length of your bundle.
With the long end of the string, begin to twist the bundle tightly, spiraling up towards the top of the bundle. Fold in any stowaways, tucking them under the string as you go.
Once you reach the top of the bundle, continue wrapping, crisscrossing the string as you head back down toward the base until the length runs out, eventually knot the loose end to the original knot at the root of the bundle very tightly, cutting the ends of the twine. Bear in mind that the leaves will dry and loose volume.
For best results let the bundle dry by hanging it upside down in a well ventilated sunny spot. Allow between 3 days - 3 weeks drying time.
To light your smudge stick your can place it in a fire-safe shell or bowl away from anything flammable, while keeping a close eye on it. Allow it to slowly burn itself out, this should take a few minutes depending on how you made it, or simply place the lit end under running water for a few seconds to put it out, subsequently laying it somewhere the herbs can breathe and dry out thoroughly, reusing it in the future until you can no longer hold it comfortably.
If you would like to incorporate small things like rosebuds and smaller herbs, first create your smudge stick, then go back and tuck them into the bundle where they feel secure.
Smduge sticks are a unique gift to make for friends and family, plus once you realise how easy and fun it is, you’ll be wrapping up all different kinds of herbs, leaves, incense and even crystals!