Friday, August 20, 2010
Smudgless Magick, Can it be done?
Sacred Space. It is the space where we reside. It is a place where we sit and meditate and our personal corner in the magickal world. It is a place where we invite deity. It is the place where we find comfort and where we shut out the mundane. It is where we come home to at the end of the day or at the end of a journey and find peace.
When I say, "We are going to clear our sacred space", I bet you all reach for the smudge stick.
There are people, like my daughter, who do not take too kindly to smoke. For those who have allergies and asthma, or are ex-smokers, or wish to avoid second hand smoke, the whole smudging ritual is awkward and can be dangerous.
While this is an accepted practice, what about those who are allergic to sage? Ever notice the person who immediately starts to cough when the smudge stick is lit? The kids who walk into a room after it's been smudged and start coughing? This could be from the smoke and it could also be from the sage. Then why do we continue to use smudge sticks and incense?
For many, it's the smell, it's the accepted practice, and it's how they were taught. Smoke purifies.
While it does purify, it can also send someone home sick or to the hospital. And with people constantly worrying about the effects of smoke on themselves and their children, perhaps we should start looking at alternatives. I agree that scented smoke smells wonderful and magickal. Whether it is sage, frankincense, or your favorite incense blend, the smell of scented smoke is wonderfully calming and can put you into a magickal state of mind quite quickly.
But smoke is not the only way to spread scent around. Ever here of Aromatherapy? Yes, I am sure you have :)
Aromatherapy does not rely on smoke to spread the scent around. It relies on oils delivered in a number of ways to fill the air, and yourself, with calming, relaxing scents. The same can be done with ritual scents that place us in a magickal frame of mind.
The most popular way is scented candles. You can either make your own or purchase them.
Another popular method and my personal favorite is an oil diffuser. These are small candle heated or electric warmers that heat water and I find them to be much more powerful then even the best made candle. To use one you simply add your chosen oil blend to the water and the diffuser gently heats the oil and diffuses it into the air. An oil diffuser should only be used if you are going to be around to blow the candle out once the oil has evaporated. If not you may end up with a ruined diffuser as well as a serious fire hazard.
I know that essential oils can be quite expensive. They usually start at around $6.00 and can go up to $80.00-$100.00 for a small bottle. However, you will only be using a very small amount in a diffuser, anywhere from 5-10 drops.
But when you think about it how much use do you get out of a $5.00 smudge stick?
Now lets talk about the cleansing issue. Smoke clears the space, it also cleanses the individual coming into the circle.
One traditional practice is to anoint members with scented oils. Look at a variety of old myths and legends, and you will read about washing with scented water, placing oils on a person's forehead, or sprinkling someone with scented water to cleanse and bless them. Many of these practices are still used today.
There are many ways to produce scented water, from allowing water to sit with flower petals in it overnight to adding some oil for scent. You can put water in a bowl with flowers and petals and dip your fingers into the water and anoint yourself and members of your circle. In some circles the priestess will take a small handmade broom and flick the water on the members as they enter the circle. In some the high priest will draw a pentacle on the foreheads of the members with a finger that has been dipped in the scented water.
Finally, there is the actual cleansing and grounding of sacred space. From clearing a circle to a house cleansing, the sage smudge can be dropped from the list in favor of a favorite mixture that is applied dry and then swept away in 24 hours.
A basic mixture to use is equal parts sea salt, pine needles, rosemary, and sage. Crush or grind the sage leaves, rosemary, and pine needles into a powder form or as close to that as you can get. This is a cleansing and purifying blend that can take the place of your smudge stick. Then add your salt and sprinkle it around your sacred space or for a full house cleaning, around your home. After 24 hours simply vacuum or sweep it up.
You can change this recipe to suit any magickal intent, for example if you want to add some romance to your boudoir, use rose petals, jasmine, and sea salt!
The point is that anything can be cleansed without the use of smoke.
Because of my extensive collection of essential oils I can create any blend to use in my oil burner. If you would like me to create a custom blend for you to use at home or in your magickal space I would be happy to do so. I enjoy custom orders and would love to create the perfect magickal scent for you.
You can reach my through my online shop here:
On the left you will see a "contact" button as well as a "request custom order" button. Your choice, either way you can contact me to talk about a custom order for you.