Purifying with Smoke
This week I have been working on some new feather smudge wands and thinking about how powerful their use really is, or rather how powerful the effect of purifying with smoke really is.
Although the term “Smudging” is a commonly known First Nations term, the burning of herbs for emotional, psychic, and spiritual purification has been a common practice among many religious, healing, and spiritual traditions the world over. Hindu’s, Buddhists, Balinese, Chinese, Aboriginals, Catholics, Islamic people, the Huichol’s from Mexico, the Christians, Jews, and of course shamans and pagan’s all use incense and smoke as a ritual way of cleansing negative energies and influences.
Purifying with smoke can be powerful in changing the energy when you’re feeling depressed or angry, after you have had an argument with someone or to get rid of unwanted energy that is affecting you.
In many traditions smoke is used to purify the space and all participants before a ritual or ceremony. Smoke rituals can also be used to cleanse your home or work space that serves as a “spiritual housecleaning”. Smoke is also good to cleanse crystals or other objects of any negative or lingering energy you wish to be rid of.
Fanning the swirls of smoke around your body, or offering the smoke to another person is an honor and whether you are offering or receiving the smoke it is important to hold space, or to take the offering as sacred. If you are receiving sacred smoke you may want to bring it towards you with your hands and focus on areas where you feel there are blockages or where there has been or is physical, emotional, or spiritual pain allowing the smoke to cleanse it and those sensations to drift away into the air with the smoke.
Types of smoke/Incense: There are as many ways to create a purifying smoke as there are types of incense. Traditionally the First Nations people here in Canada where I live use Sage, Sweetgrass, Cedar and Tobacco dried bundled and burned, and this was the way I was taught in my teen years by my teacher Pookinak, an Ojibway woman who called me her adopted granddaughter and was very close to my heart. She would give me these bundles to take home along with instructions on what to do for whatever I was going through at the time.
This smoke helped me through a very rough patch in those days and for this I am eternally grateful.
Later when I started to find my own way and began looking into my own ancestry discovered a lot of crossover between the Celts/ and Romanian’s and the first nations peoples where I grew up, and also discovered that that lavender was also burned and so I often add this to my smoke mixture as a way of bringing in my own ancestry.
Later I discovered the use of resins and using charcoal tablets to to create an intense smelling thick smoke that was used in the middle east and across Europe, since then my collection of resins and handmade pressed incense has grown and I use it often in my spiritual work.
Using feathers in a smoke ceremony: It is said that feathers represent air because they once spent their time flying with the bird they once belonged to and as a result carry an essence of the wind and elements. Feathers move the air like nothing else can, so using them to pass smoke over the person or object you want to cleanse is powerful.
This is where my work in creating feather smudge wands comes in. I love gathering feathers as I wander in the forests or locak parks. Often I am given feathers from friends who find them and offer them to me for my work.I also work wiht a few trusted supplier who gather special and beautiful ones for my smudge wands.
This week I made 2 wands both very different and both quite beautiful if I do say so myself!
The first is a White Peacock and Aqua Aura crystal smudge wand all in white and brings to my mind purity and white light. It feels gentle and very healing. I can see this wand being good for use in healing or energy work, where the smoke would be used as a powerful cleanser. To read more about the sacredness of the white peacock and it’s feathers Click Here.
The second is a Wild Cinnamon Turkey feather wand with a stunning red rooster tail feather on top.
All in all it was a beautiful week, the wands are now up at the Red Moon Store and happily waiting for their new owners….