Thursday, July 7, 2011

smudge stick

I like to burn all kinds of incense and sometimes I use a smudge stick. Smudging is a way to change how a space feels or to purify a person's aura. It's also thought to be a way for hope and prayers to rise. Using herbal plant material from my own garden and making it myself adds another element to its meaning.


This morning, I collected a big bouquet of lavender and garden sage because that's what grows here. I tried growing the traditional white sage, Salvia apiana, but it didn't work out, so it's back to regular S. officinalis from the garden. A single stem of mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris, was added for visions and dreams, and sweetgrass, Hierochloe odorata, to carry hopes and prayers in its smoke.


After inverting half the lavender, the mugwort and sweetgrass were placed in its center. I'm only using the one stem of mugwort because too much can actually cause disturbing dreams. I once had some mugwort bundled and drying near my bed and this was learned from personal experience. The truth.


Next I inverted half the sage and placed the stalks all around the lavender bundle. It was bound with a cotton string looped at one end for hanging and bow-tied at the other end for tightening. It's a dry climate here so it could be wound pretty tightly. In high humidity with mold potential, I would leave it much looser and tighten as it dries.

To make a loose incense to burn on a charcoal disc, dry the herbs thoroughly, break them up a little and mix together. I do like the feel of a smudge stick in my hand though!

10 comments:

Jo said...

Oh this makes me homesick for my garden in Denver! I wonder what I can grow here on the Beach that could be used? I planted some lavender seeds, but it is looking poorly, too much heat or neglect from my travels? I'm sure there is something native to this area, just need to find out.

Marie said...

I enjoy smudge sticks/bundles too
I think it is lovely that yours are grown by you and bundled with the "magic string". :)
Did you make that "magic" string?
<3

lynda Howells said...

I love using a smudge stick but have to admit l normally have them made for me these days, as l no longer have my own garden. Like you l love the feel of them in my hand. i make my own "magic" string too..very relaxing.xx thanks for sharing your method with us, l can smell it all the way over here in England!xx lynda

woman with wings said...

Jo, I wonder if you could grow sweetgrass. I bet you can! Just keep it contained in a big pot. It spreads...

woman with wings said...

Marie, thanks -- I wish I had made it but no, I bought it a while ago at Sundance Catalog and they don't carry it anymore. It's too heavy to sew with but great for bundling!

woman with wings said...

Lynda, OK now I'm wondering! Do you make it by twisting the two colors together and letting go -- like you make a cord? I'd love to try that with thread, have only done it with heavy cording in the past for a purse handle. Oh, that'd be fun to do today -- thanks to you and Marie for mentioning it!

Marie said...

Peggy, my daughters make bracelets with my embroidery thread and I know they have tricks for making the thread "combine"...I am going to get them to teach me and I will share it with you. : )

woman with wings said...

Marie, good deal! They can do amazing things with embroidery floss, can't they? I still have bookmarks that my girls made with it but no bracelets have survived.

liniecat said...

Im sure I saw on a blog somewhere the way to make your own..butchers string I think she called it?
Will google it to see if I can unearth it but yes if I recall right, it was that twisting together method Peggy, then doubling it up.
Havent heard of smudge sticks, what a great idea!

woman with wings said...

Lyn, that'll be great!