As we shed the layers of this last year and let go of unwanted thoughts and behaviors, we can greatly benefit from a ceremonial cleanse to help open our minds and hearts to the possibilities ahead. Herbal smudges are a cathartic way to breathe new life into our spiritual beings, and rid ourselves of old patterns that no longer serve us. Putting together a personalized herbal smudge can be a meaningful way to start the new year, and can serve as a practical alternative to resolutions. Your choice of herbs may signify the things that you would like to change, and the location of your smudge may represent the atmosphere that you would like to invoke into your new year. Here are a few suggestions for smudge ingredients:
Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentia)
Dispels negative energy and cleanses the spirit. Promotes spiritual growth and discovery. Encourages truthful communication.
White Sage (Salvia apiana)
Purifies the spiritual and material realms. Encourages longevity and strength. Enhances prayer and communication with the spirit world.
Lavender (Lavendula officinalis)
Promotes healing and peacefulness, soothes heartache and emotional pain, attracts love and partnerships, and fosters protection and security.
Juniper (Juniperus communis)
Aids clairvoyance and communication with other worlds. Drives away evil spirits and disease, and welcomes positive energy and health.
Cedar (Thuja occidentalis)
Eradicates unwanted spirits and energy, breaks old patterns and habits, and clears negative emotions. Creates room for growth and new life.
Sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata)
Purifies and balances the mind, body, and spirit. Keeps one grounded, centered, and in touch with reality.
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
Repels evil spirits and negative energy. Increases stamina and endurance, and enhances psychic powers and dreams. Fosters clear and coherent communication.
Mullein (Verbascum spp.)
Disperses negative energy, encourages patience and endurance, and relieves pain. Invokes a passionate love life and vibrant nature.
Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis)
Fosters inner peace and clarity. Increases sensitivity and brings order to the emotional body.
Tobacco (Nicotiana spp.)
Encourages dreams and visions, facilitates communication with the spirit world, establishes peace, and confers protection from ailments and adversity.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Attracts love and courtship, promotes peace and harmony between loved ones, and encourages prosperity and passion. Awakens the senses and instills a sense of abundance.
Mix powdered or crushed herbs together in small container, or tie strands of herbs together with thin thread or twine. Light the herbs and allow to flame for up to a minute. Extinguish the flame so that herbs are smoldering and smoking. Using a feather or hand, brush smoke towards yourself, and encircle your body with the smoke. Breathe, and visualize the changes that you wish to create in your new year.