Not so long ago, the term “smudging” was unknown to most of the world and a “smudge stick” was no more a consumer product than bottled water. Now both can be easily found for sale in the U.S. But for thousands of years, culture after culture has used smudging as a part of ceremony or ritual, whether it be religious, spiritual, or social. From keeping out the bad or attracting the good, to fighting off infections in slow-healing wounds, the act of burning aromatic plant material has been a major part of the life of indigenous cultures for generations.
Throughout history, plants (usually aromatic) have been viewed as sacred and able to repel evil spirits and bad energies. Today many of these same plants have been found to have one or more constituents with antimicrobial, anti-fungal, antioxidant, and/or antiviral actions. Take Rosemary for example; this aromatic herb has been burned along with Sage, Cedar, or Juniper for many years to cleanse space, bless objects and people, or repel bad energies from entering a room or coming into one’s dreams. Today, it is commonly used in cooking as a primary flavor in countless dishes, and as a natural preservative for meats and various foods. Now we know of Rosemary’s powerful ability to decrease oxidation in oils and in the meals we make with it. Isn’t it strange how as a species we can be so intuitive?
Come join us for a relaxed class and workshop where we’ll discuss the known history and the many uses of smudging that have been employed throughout generations. We’ll talk about some plants used in one culture that may be taboo in another, or that are used for completely different reasons. You’ll each get a chance to craft and tie your own smudge-bundle for personal use. In addition, we’ll discuss the variety of plants available, wherever you live, to forage and craft a smudge stick with.
Creating Smudge Sticks
Presentation by Jake Engle, Certified Herbalist