On a recent hike to an ancient Puebloan site, our group stopped before we reached the peak to perform a smudging ceremony. Yes, #smudging. Native Americans have smudged, or burned sacred plants in a bowl or on a stick, for thousands of years as a blessing, as part of a ritual, to drive away negative energy and restore balance and energy in both people and places.
The destination of our hike was Tsiping – a pueblo occupied between 1200 AD and 1325 AD, during the Classic Period, with over 335 rooms, sixteen kivas and a central plaza. Before we entered the sacred Tsping site, our hiking group stopped and lit a smudge stick to perform our own version of the smudging ceremony. Before lighting the sage stick, determine what you want to purify or release from your body, aura or space.
Once the smudge stick is lit, quickly blow out the flame to let the sage leaves smolder produce a thick smoke. We passed the stick from person to person in our hiking group, and each waved the smoke in the direction of their intention – towards the ruins to bless the place, towards our heads to purify our thoughts, towards our lips to purify our words, towards our hearts to purify our intentions, towards our hands to purify our efforts. Intentions are central to the smudging ritual, so repeating a mantra to reinforce your intention while smudging is important. As the smoke rises, it carries our intentions, thoughts and wishes into the universe, connecting our human energy with heaven and earth.
Additionally, research shows that sage has healing properties and provides physical, mental and emotional benefits. Sage, which belongs to the Saliva plant, comes from the word salvere…which means “to heal”.
To encourage guests staying at The Grand Hacienda Bed and Breakfast to develop intentions and try smudging, you can purchase sage sticks from us for this purpose if you don’t have any.