|Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
|7th February 2009, 01:33 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Herbal psychic smudging: Beginnings?
I have recently noticed that many natural intuitive herbal boutiques --- otherwise known as psychic mumbo jumbo shops --- are selling various "smudging" compounds in insanely high volumes and at incredibly high profits. I'm interested to know if anyone can tell me when they first noticed these were being sold to use inside modern homes. Psychic smudging compounds within modern homes seem to be tied to mystical cleansing herbs which went beyond incense in the 1960's and include the burning of various trees and plants including sweetgrass, sage, copal, cypress, and even mugwort. I've found more than a hundred mixtures and dozens of raw components. All natural I'm sure.
I've also found more than a dozen "psychic detectives" who promote the use of smudging in haunted homes, at murder and suicide sites, places of stress and damaged love affairs, etc.
It seems that today the primary support behind smudging comes from those promoting, selling, and showcasing the use of these high profit herbal mixtures inside homes and offices. I've seen a cup of some dried compounds one could find at a local nursery retailing at more than $200. Many are packaged from $20 to $70 in sizes near a 16 oz. bag.
Several psychics claim smudging is a means to ward off negative spirits of the dead or as a means to banish lost souls clinging to former residences and offices. Anyone recall when they first saw packet mixtures being sold for this purpose? Anyone ever recall a culture or group who first promoted the use of such mixtures inside homes or offices? If not, when did the New Age crowd leap from burning incense mixtures to conducting smudging in homes and offices to ward off ghosts or encourage whatever else each specific mixture claims?
My preliminary estimate is that at least $300 million of various smudging mixtures are being sold per year. Pretty amazing.
|7th February 2009, 02:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Sage smudging is supposed to originally be Native American I've heard, maybe it came as a package deal with dream catchers, every man and his dog seems to have one of those too now.
|7th February 2009, 04:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: N/W England
Ojibway and Cree ceremonies often use smudges of sage, sweet grass, and/or juniper to cleanse with, and to give prayers to the Creator, or Gitche Manitou. Smudges with hot coals underneath can provide a lot of smoke for many hours or days to repel mosquitos and other insects
I hadnt heard of smudging. I have used it in a sense though..there's something you burn in garden torches that keeps the insects at bay.
I havnt been in that kind of shop for years, so havnt seen the latest money spinners!
|8th February 2009, 12:21 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
To "smudge" is to wave some burning sage in the air while chanting something about cleansing the air.
Honestly, that's ALL you need to do to be a ghostbuster. Go in, wave the sage around, say something about cleansing this space and this air, and you're done. Ka-ching.
Costs about $6 for a stick, looks like this:
It's smells pretty nice tbh.
I should probably write something witty and clever here, huh?
|9th February 2009, 04:16 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Now it is true that I didn't suffer from any invasions by evil spirits during the ensuing year, but I don't really think that was due to the smudging. I mean, I already had mirrors hanging from the four exterior corners of my dwelling, and the large quartz crystal on my dining room table was precisely alligned with the ley line that passes under the house. AND I had magnets in my shoes.
So we can't really be sure it was the smudging, right?
"I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry."
-- John Cage
Last edited by Dr H; 9th February 2009 at 04:17 PM. Reason: Minor typo.
|9th February 2009, 05:50 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
I know it's been around since at least the early 1990s because I worked in a New Age store then, and I used to teach people how to do smudging. It's something borrowed from Native American ceremony and may have gotten its start through New Age pretend Native shamans like Lynn Andrews (very popular at that time). In this version, you use a shell (to catch the ashes), a smudge stick (usually sage) and a feather, light the sage and walk through the house fanning the smoke through the air, thus cleansing the rooms of negative energy/bad spirits. As I recall, sweetgrass could then be used to call the good spirits in. Cedar and sandalwood supposedly had protective qualities too.