The ancients used numerous botanicals for spiritual cleansing. Only recently has the USA west coast trend of white sage use accidentally overtaken the process. Sacred cedar, white pine, Tibetan sage, and many others are much stronger and more pleasantly scented. We use very high vibrating herbs and blooms in addition to traditional white sage, for a more positive and uplifting experience.
Is it safe to burn random wild flowers?
No. Never, ever burn any plant which you do not know the metaphysical properties for! In addition, most wild flowers will cause a toxic burn. Never burn whole plants such as roses or random blooms. Most botanicals must be processed for use to prevent the moisture inside the plant from exploding, making a pop during burning, causing sparks to fly. Avoid burning smudge bound by any person who is not a seasoned smudge maker with knowledge of their craft and respect for the act of spiritual cleansing. Would you endure surgery from any person other than a trained medical doctor? If not, surely you understand the importance of your safety and spiritual well being. Sadly, as of Autumn 2017, countless sellers began to offer poorly made smudge sticks featuring plants they do not process or even know the names of. Never burn bundles bound by those focused only on profit. Smudging has become trendy and many do not care to understand the reason why. More people smudge now as our world is rapidly changing! Healers and lightworkers are best suited to craft smudge for uplifting the energy at this time.
Should I refrigerate my wands once they arrive by mail?
No. Your bundles are dry and ready for use.
Store wands in a dry place, shaded from direct sunlight or protected by tissue wrap. Keep in a dry, well-sealed tin if storing long term.
Should I remove the tissue wrap the wands arrive in?
If you would like, sure. Retailers often unwrap a sample wand and keep the rest of their orders tissue-wrapped, unless all wands are for resale display.
Bundles can be stacked without their protective tissue wrap, but they may show breakage if delicate petals, grasses or leaves crack or break during shelf, basket or table display. This will not lessen the wands' beauty.
Should I light the crystal bound to my wand bundle?
No, never ever! Many minerals explode, boil, crack and become toxic or dangerous when heated! Never ever touch a flame to a crystal! Remove your crystal before burning the stump of your smudge wand stick. We suggest burning wand stick stumps in a bowl with loose incense. Stumps also make great campfire starters.
Why don't we promote the use of feathers in the smudging process?
Feathers hold death chi. Countless cultures do practice spirituality using animal remains, and it is important to understand that each person must follow their heart and do what feels right to them. We favor a more zen way of spiritually cleansing, which is pleasing to most who smudge. In addition, a smudge wand's smoke can be directed by the hand which is a much stronger intention than using a remnant from a deceased creature. Simply make circles or eternity symbols with your wand to keep it burning. Hold your wand in the places you wish to fill with smoke. Think of your smudge stick as a magic wand, through which your own power extends and flows to where you aim.
Why do we choose Vibrational Transfer over Reiki?
There are several reasons. Our wand bundler vibrates very high and practices Vibrational Transfer as it is deemed appropriate for our unique service by spirit guides and source. It the best match to compliment spirit vortex energy work, and is perfect for conducting lightwork for healing. Our family and our home (places are beings too!) prefer Vibrational Transfer, as it is extremely positive and uplifting. We use minerals in our work, and in our gardens and in our home. Crystals absorb and intensify emotions, situations, memories and vibes. Crystals can be an open door to other dimensional beings and to energy. Crystals are VERY powerful! Always be mindful of their abilities. Binding crystals to smudge wand bundles without the security of Vibrational Transfer allows for negativity and for danger to effect the wand user and the space during spiritual cleansing using smoke. Many smudge and crystal users believe that the use of Reiki on botanicals, bundles, and crystals works as a protective measure. In many and most cases this can be untrue. Reiki is an open channel and as its popularity grows as a fix-all, less and less Reiki masters teach the dangers of connecting to universal and dimensional energy without practicing proper protection. We prefer Vibrational Transfer as that is what the ancients used. With Vibrational Transfer no flood gates are open to allow for malevolent energy or beings to move through. Once Vibrational Transfer is performed on a crystal it is forever charged and cannot receive low vibrating energy. This is a tried and true practice for The Sage Cottage, and it is part of our hearts. Vibrational Transfer can be felt in the heart chakra!
Should I add crystals to my own smudge stick?
Do not add crystals to strengthen the power of your wand willy-nilly. Crystals enhance EVERYTHING, be it positive or negative! You must use an energetic process to seal good chi and proper intention into your crystals when working with smudge, as wands can actually absorb negativity in order to correct the vibe and balance the energy. We practice Vibrational Transfer, but we do not teach it, because if it is misunderstood or improperly performed, things could go awry. Always treat crystals with the greatest respect, and be sure to keep them in a pleasant environment when not in use. Clean them often, using sunlight. Some crystals can be rinsed with water. Many people like to charge their crystals in moonlight. If you have crystals from The Sage Cottage, they are forever charged but any act which represents your intention is helpful in using the law of attraction to receive your highest good in life.
Must I set intentions every time I smudge?
Smudging without using personal intention will not have the same outcome as smudging using intention. Focus on what you do want, not on what you do not want. Imagine the best possible scenario, and know that your guides, Source or Spirit, and the metaphysical herbal properties will all work as one to serve your needs. Every once in a while we receive questions from those who want change in their lives but cannot achieve their dreams. They want a smudge wand to do all of the work for them, without having to set personal intentions. A wand can do so much more if you interact with it, and treat it as a helpful partner. If your wand was created for you as an Intuitive Order, please meditate on it and be open to any messages or suggestions/nudges that may come. Your wand may be used as an entrance to a much healthier and happier way of life!
How does intention setting work from the wand maker's involvement?
Each wand made allows for a type of spiritual conversation, or psychic experience. We may not know exactly who will use the smudge bundle, but we will receive vortex energy data about that person's needs and little stories about what is headed their way. There are many ways to enhance the power of a wand, but our methods to support intention setting include use of color therapy, numerology, magical representation, and speaking or thinking positive affirmations. For example, if someone is blocked from their creativity at work we will use botanicals to reverse the situation, and colors and numbers which will bring the best desired results. The act of placing specific herbs into position in coordination with magical representation works as a sort of alchemy. We are well practiced in the traditions of Wicca and take from that tradition often during our intention setting.
How do we know who to set intentions for when making wands, since we do not always know who will use them?
This is more difficult to explain but the concept is simple: Everything is energy. Time is not as we are made to believe. The past, present and future are all happening now. That allows for us to access vortex energy data to help us in our work. Guides, Source/Spirit and our higher selves are not constrained by time in the traditional sense. Much magic happens while making wands, and being open to positive results and magnificent gifts helps the intention setting process to flow. The wands do not "find" their person. Instead, fate has already been set into place even though in our modern mind's understanding of time the future has not yet occurred. When you understand that the future and the past are NOW, you can more easily grasp concepts of the law of attraction working across all timelines and dimensions to provide you with your greatest good and most joyful outcomes!
What should I include in my smudge wands? Should I use mostly White Sage in my own bundles?
You will receive the best results when working with botanicals that vibrate in a way which is similar to your own personal vibration. For example, you may respond very well to Lemon Balm. Check the metaphysical properties of Lemon Balm, to see if there are corresponding traits similar to your character and personality. We suggest using what is available to you, and what is more natural to your area. For instance, Sacred Cedar, White Willow Bark and White Pine are sacred to the ancients in our own region. We use those frequently but also bundle Tibetan Sage as it vibrates higher than White Sage. White Sage can have an overpowering smell when burned often, so one may become tired of the scent. It's refreshing to use exciting and unique blends, in addition to more traditional smudging herbs. Try to be sensitive to scent blends, and imagine what botanicals might smell like together when burned. Lavender and any lemon based scents blend beautifully. Rosemary and White Sage are a favorite pair. Patchouli goes well with earthy combos which include barks, and mild flowers, such as chamomile. When using Sacred Cedar go easy on lemon scents. We like to combine lemon scents with White Pine, Meadowsweet, and Sweetgrass.
When I purchase smudge wands from The Sage Cottage and select to receive an intuitive order, do I need to provide any information about the person or persons to receive the wands?
No, no information is needed. Once an order is placed our wand maker will begin to receive what is known as a spiritual download, and this energetic information serves as the initial connection between wand maker and the person or persons who will make use of the smudge wands' healing energy. During the bundling process meditation and a trance like state is used to further the connection between our wand maker and Source, and between any helpful and organic spirits or guides who present themselves to work on the project. Our wand maker will hear information, see scenes play out, and will know what key issues to focus on while bundling.
If I order a popular smudge wand or a favorite or seasonal blend, will my wand receive spirit vortex energy healing?
Yes! Each wand is unique and is made as orders are received, using spiritual vortex information, which involves meditative process. We connect with the wand users' needs to promote healing and prosperity, even for popular wand orders.
How can I make my own wands?
Select your botanicals. You may work with dried herbs, fresh herbs, and flowers. Try to connect with the plants, what information do they share with you?
Set your intentions. What do you wish for your smudge wand to accomplish? Center and ground your energy before you begin bundling, to support intention setting. Connect with the natural support system all around you, it will help you to create a lovely spiritual tool for clearing stale chi and negativity, and to attract protection, prosperity and blessings. Simply wanting to create the perfect wand will ensure that the project goes well.
Do not work under time constraints. Allow yourself wiggle room. During the binding process you may be nudged to add additional botanicals, or to not include some which you originally selected. You may receive spiritual downloads, experience visions, or meet energetic beings or spirits. Expect the unexpected, as with any energy work.
Bind your bundle, and let the magic begin. While holding your botanicals, wind your twine up the bunch, then down, and tie it off tightly, but not so tight that the bundle will not allow for enough air flow to burn properly. Very tight and thick bundles take a long time to dry. When a bundle is too heavy to burn using a lighter, try using a candle's flame. Be sure to allow your wand light and air flow during the drying process. You may test your wand's readiness to burn by placing a finger on the bundle and pressing very gently to feel areas of the stick. Some botanicals dry crunchy, while others dry a bit more rubbery. If your botanicals are rubbery and feel cool to the touch, mushy or moist, your wand is not yet completely dry. Give it another day or two. Some botanicals will dry rubbery. Use your best judgment. Store wands away from heat and bright, direct sunlight if you wish for them to not become extremely crunchy to the point of going up in flames when burned. If you bundle a huge wand and wish for it to become a giant flaming stick, keep it in a very warm and brightly lit place, or allow it to dry in the sun.
What are some good tips for making great wands?
Always process your botanicals prior to bundling. Rose petals smell lovely when burned, but the stems, seeds and centers do not. It is quite popular to bind entire flowers to wands, which actually causes a toxic burn. This is not only unpleasant smelling but it also creates a negative chi. Many flowers may be burned in whole, such as Spikenard, Chamomile, Indian sage, Knotweed, Lavender and Rosemary. Others must be processed properly, such as Hibiscus, Honeysuckle, Calendula, Aster and of course Rose. Some flowers have such mesmerizing perfumes and stunning colors that one may hope to include them in their wands, but they DO NOT burn properly! Never, ever work with Lantana, Baby's Breath or Mums (Chrysanthemums).
Beware of things that go "pop" when burning. Juniper berries and Sacred Cedar berries are very beautiful and popular in wand making, but pose an extreme hazard. There's no sense in introducing materials which have the potential to explode. Same goes for adding tiny flowers as a fountain-like feature from a wand, such as when a bundle features loose Baby's Breath unsecured from the main wand body. When holding a burning smudge stick in one hand and clutching its plate, bowl or shell in the other (to catch burning embers and ashes) you do not have a third hand to deal with any small fires started when a berry pops and explodes, landing on carpet, clothing or hair. Unsecured materials such as fountain-like focal points will burn unpredictably, usually flaming very quickly thanks to open airflow. And who knows where they will land.
Twine selection is important. Only use natural fibers. Never use polyester or nylon, no matter how tempting. Certain hemps and cottons are too thick and will smoke (and stink) as they burn. Stick with simple but strong organic cotton or hemp twines which knot nicely but do not require double strings. Less is more with twine use. You want your bundle to dry condensed, so well formed that it will hold together even if the twine is removed. It is becoming fashionable again to use aids during the binding process, such as rolling the bundle in newspaper. There are tutorials on YouTube, if you are interested in this more simple but less energetically pleasing method. I do not recommend it but understand some may need to "cut corners" in a pinch, and that is fine.
Use of resins in smudge wands are not recommended. Resins liquefy and bubble when heated. Only a seasoned smudge maker will understand how to properly and safely include resins in bundle layers.
Never store botanicals in plastic. Herbs require airflow to breathe. Plastic can encourage mildew and mold. In example, you may have dried Lemongrass or Sacred Cedar which you are sure is quite dry, but once placed in plastic the natural oils inside of the plants may easily create a moisture build up which is a happy environment for all sorts of nasty situations. Protect your herbs by storing them in baskets with cloth over the top, or place your baskets in airy but closed cupboards. We use a large wooden cabinet with small holes drilled in the back, and hanging baskets in The Sage Cottage Kitchen. Shipping a dried wand to a friend or loved one? Selling your work to others? Never, ever use bubble wrap mailers. Avoid plastic at all costs! Only use breathable, natural materials when shipping. Your wands may be quite dry but they still need to breathe.
Should I practice wild harvesting for my wand making botanicals? If so, what do I need to know?
Be sure that you are very familiar with the environment where you harvest from. Check county websites to discover if there's any type of chemical spraying in progress. Be aware of nearby centers of negativity, as plants work very hard to create balance and if they are already taxed from a duty, you may wish to select plants from a more cheerful location.
Be mindful. Never take too much, as flowers feed the bees and countless creatures. Leave enough plant that it can sustain itself. Prune high as to not damage stalks. Never tear out roots unless need be. Plants need roots to survive and often to return next year. Many plants start from seed so when taking flowers be sure to leave enough for them to reproduce.
Don't be a menace. 1- Plants must be "in" on the decision to cut them for use. We explain our needs, ask permission, and thank them for their sacrifice. Scientific studies prove that plants do think, feel, communicate and care. They do not wish to perish but do want to help. They will happily give in to our will for their use if told what they are needed for and how their gift will assist. Giving thanks creates a serenity in the situation. 2- Be aware of tiny living creatures. I once received a smudge wand from an acquaintance, shipped from the opposite coast. The wand maker wild harvested without allowing caterpillars to escape their homes (and food!) before bundling. Luckily I laid the bundle outdoors for a bit before noticing the little guys working their way out of the wand. How frightening for them! Imagine being burned alive after enduring such a traumatizing fate. Always leave your herbs outdoors so that little creatures may travel to new safe places. Even that process still allows for miniature spiders and other bugs to come along for the ride, so please practice kindness. I've refrigerated botanicals and found live creatures hiding out even after many hours or a couple of days. It feels good to rescue then. Always be aware of temperatures when transporting insects outdoors, as they will require shelter during freezing conditions. If it's very cold out consider placing them somewhere else, if able. I am lucky to have an old house with areas I'm comfortable placing spiders, and our foot thick walls allow for warm places between our home's doors where bugs can shelter until they figure out what to do. Once I discovered a ladybug in my botanicals, so we made a bug house for her using a glass jar, a lid fashioned with air holes, a damp washcloth for hiding under, and a tiny glass of water crammed full of celery stumps to sustain her. Never allow open water, always be sure your celery is thick to prevent drowning. Poor bugs deal with so much!
Is there anything I should know before smudging?
When spiritually cleansing and releasing negative chi using sacred smoke as a tool, one may encounter forces which wish not to leave. Negative energy does not hold the same power as a loving and well-intended person smudging, but it will attempt to make the smudge burner very afraid. One common method is to create panic by tampering with one's burning candles, incense and smudge wands by creating a huge blast of flames coming near the face or body. Those who exorcize negative forces will be familiar with this little trick. Another trick is to show itself as though it retains a physical "body" in our somewhat material realm. Always keep in mind that such energies most often are not even of this world, but they MUST follow earth's rules. We humans hold all the power here, and they are not organic to our dimension. They may get seemingly close, they may move things about or touch us, but they are not truly here. Use sound, light and love to lessen their grasp on our reality and to remove them from our timeline. Once released, "seal" your space and body with use of protective crystals, jewelry, imagery, symbols, sacred oils, salts, or any object which feels nurturing to you. You are in charge here, you decide what protects you. What you say goes!
Other than smudging regularly and after negative situations, what can I do to become spiritually protected?
Protection of choice may include:
- Use of Feng Shui traditions, religious tools, or other spiritual practices.
- General support of good chi and energetic upkeep through these methods: A tidy home and work space, well-cleaned refrigerator and stove/oven (these represent our prosperity so use your kitchen well and often), open and inviting entrance to your home's doors, easily accessed walking paths through rooms (unhindered by clutter and dust as both can hold stale chi and invite "like" which vibrates as negative chi), plant energy represented by houseplants or landscaping, keeping doors and windows clean of outside dirt, keeping vents and other openings free of debris, closing the lid on your toilet, covering the drains of your sinks and showers/tubs (if located in a prosperity zone according to Feng Shui studies), allowing light to enter through windows but without being too bare by hanging window treatments (so that chi does not flow out of the home), encouraging fresh air flow by opening doors and windows, promoting positive chi and blessings by rearranging rooms a couple times each year and by removing unused items and releasing relationships or situations which no longer serve your highest good.
- Sleep! Get enough rest. Tired minds and bodies are more easily affected by negativity. Never stay up late at night worrying or entertaining anger. As like attracts like, your mood will surely connect with some sort of nasty vibe. This is how so many become affected, by pulling in what they do not actually want!
- Knowledge! Learn to understand the true power and dangers in practicing card reading, Runes, Reiki, channeling, automatic writing, séances and "ghost hunting". All of these activities open a portal to the unknown. Even the strongest of us while using strong spiritual protection cannot completely control what interacts once a channel is open! We may believe to know what we are communicating with, but very often we are fooled. In addition you may put family, friends and loved ones at risk as darker negative forces do enjoy moving through social circles.
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