Smudge Sticks | Herb Incense

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Over the years I've really enjoyed making these Smudge Sticks and we use them quite frequently around our home and outdoor spaces. It gives me the same feeling as lighting a beeswax candle in the morning or for dinner and helps set the energy and tone for the environment and space. Cleansing the air, providing intention, and quite literally changing the way the space feels and smells. Warding off and simmering out smells such as pets, burnt toast, or the like. Lighting this, to me, is like a fresh start. Either to the day or midway through when I just need to reset or the girls need to subtly change their flow into something calmer or more relaxed. One can't help but perk up and chime into the sensation. We often use them outdoors too, to help ward odd mosquitos! Especially inside the greenhouse, they make a perfect clouded cleanse. 

They are sold at many co-ops in our area and always feel like the most special item to put in my cart and making them is just as rewarding. Even if you don't feel like the crafty type, I promise you can make these! There are many ways to do it and the best herbs and items to use are white or blue sage, cedar, mugwort, sweetgrass and lavender. We planted some eucalyptus plants this year in our garden which surprisingly did really well, so I trimmed and dried some of it to incorporate into these along with some of our anise hyssop plant out front, mixed with the blue sage we have. I made one for our family and one for my friend and loved how they both turned out!

"The ritual burning of herbs and herbal resins is common to many cultures in the world. From the rich frankincense of the Church and the Middle Eastern bazaar, to the heady incenses of Asia, to the raw energy of brush burning in many native cultures—the purification of space through this modality is a global phenomenon and one you can benefit from highly.

Burning sage is one of the oldest and purest methods of cleansing a person, group of people or space. While Native American sage burning is the most commonly recognized form of it today, it has nevertheless been a shared practice in other cultures too.

From the ancient Celtic druids who used sage as a sacred herb alongside Oak Moss for burning as well as medicinal purposes, to the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon whose Palo Santo (sacred wood) sage burning ceremonies are still practiced to this day." -Moving Towards Peace

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A recipe for Smudge Sticks:

Simple, thin string

1 bouquet of White or Blue Sage

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Add ins I enjoy using:

+Home Grown Eucalyptus

+Rose Petals or any flower petals

+Pine

+Anise Hyssop

+Lavender

+Lemongrass

I like making the Snudge Stick oversized and enjoy hanging it on the wall like a wall piece until I'm ready to use it, but these also work really well bundled up quite small. Dry each of the blooms in the hot sun for at least five to ten days before using. Begin the set up the stick layer by layer, alternating the directions so that it makes an even shape and not one that's thicker on the top or thicker on the bottom. Think of an evenly shaped straight tube! Begin to tuck in any add ones you are drawn to, here and there almost weaving the branches and blooms together. Cut more than enough string. Measure by quadruplig the length of the blooms and the extra can be used to hang on the wall for storing. You can always trim the sting, but it's more difficult to add string if you run out.  Begin to tie the very top into a knot, holding the stems and leaves together and then wrap around and around and around to make a tight line of string. Then begin the crawl the strong down, continuing the round and round motion like the photo below. You want the happy medium...not too tight so oxygen can still get in there to create a burn, but not too loose where the blooms will fall apart. Once you reach the bottom, wrap a few more times in a tighter line then bring your string zig zagged all the way back up to meet the top where you'll secure with a knot. Trim the top and bottom in a straight edge if you'd like, although I am so drawn to leaving the ends a little more wild and free.

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To burn, light the end for about 15-30 seconds (depending on the size you made) to get a good burn going, then gently blow out the flame so it's merely smoking. Walk through a space or let it fill the room naturally. I like using a plate that it rests on while it burns down. If your smoke goes out right away, a few things to consider is that you tied it too tight and not enough oxygen is getting in there, you didn't start the first lit flame for long enough or your blooms are still holding moisture.

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I hope you enjoy these! They make such a beautiful gift to give to others and bring in such intention to the home and our spaces and energies. I look so forward to rainy Fall mornings with the windows open and a slight chilled breeze coming in that blows just enough air onto the Smudge Stick that it keeps burning all morning. Like a candle, they can calm us, reset us, and center us and our families.

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I stored mine here in my "Mamas Nature Center" as Luella and Minoux's have been getting quite full and it feels like such a sacred space for my own weird little collection of goods and finds. That crayon is special to me because this year Crayola stopped making the color "Dandelion" yellow, and I just can't get over how sad that makes me. I want to keep it forever. Those small round wooden boxes that say, "Este Locke" I believe translates in French as "First Curl" or First lock of hair, and holds a small portion of each of the girls first growths of blonde hairs as toddlers. If they still have them in stock, you can buy them here! Happy Smudging to you! 

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