My Morning Smudging Ritual

Contributor: Ashley Neese
Photographer: Ashley Neese
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I always love the feeling of mornings because they mark the beginning of a day. Each morning brings with it a feeling of hope for the hours to come, it’s like a clean slate where all possibilities are on the table. Each morning I flow through a smudging ritual to clear my mind, body, spirit and home. This practice sets the foundation for my day and supports me to open up to the potential for creativity and growth in the coming hours.

Truth be told I don’t wake up every morning jumping out of bed with a giant smile on my face ready to give the world my all. However, that is starting to happen more and more because I am choosing it. Our day starts with the very first thought that surfaces in the morning. Making a practice out of paying attention to that thought is changing my life. Most mornings I course correct the negative thought right away by jumping into my daily meditation practice and smudging with sacred plants.

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Years ago when I started working with sacred plants to clear energy I wasn’t aware of their long history. Like many, white sage was the first plant I encountered for this purpose and was immediately drawn to the huge streams of smoke that came off of such small dried leaves. The smell permeated every part of my body and filled my mind with white space. Of course it smelled a little like weed too so that didn’t hurt! I never enjoyed smoking weed, but always really liked the smell.

I was gifted a small bundle of white sage from a friend who instructed me to burn it before meditation, anytime I needed to clear the energy in my home, or when I felt the need for a personal energetic cleansing. Shortly thereafter white sage became a part of my life and over the years I have developed a deep connection to this healing plant.

Since then I have incorporated other healing plants into my morning cleanse ritual and often use them with clients and when I teach classes. These days I am using mostly Palo Santo and sweetgrass. Palo Santo is a potent medicinal wood and sweetgrass symbolic of feminine energy and purification. All three of these mystical plants have been used for centuries to clear and ground energy and to support healing and spiritual development.