By Phoenix – My tradition is Slavic and we take a bowl of herbs and flowers and make a “Water Smudge Bath” to cleanse the physical body in a ritual. Many people like the “Folk Smudge” smoke and that is fine too, but the bath is very feminine in the purification rites of cleansing the soul through the physical and emotional body in this ritual.
I suggest using the smudge in a bowl with water and doing the water purification, but if you like smoke, then use a charcoal disk and buying regular white sage to triple your bag because its a dense smudge. My bath wild flower water ritual are a full moon ritual, because full moons are about release.
Ingredients in the Water Cleansing (or dried smoke smudging):
1. Lavender Dlowers (Lavandula officinalis) is very versatile, its used in purification, love spells and attraction sachets. Also burning lavender induces a peaceful sleep. Scattered around the home, lavender smudge (without even being burned), helps clear the atmosphere for peace and serenity.
2. Pine & Cedar needles and wood shavings – Pine is one of the most abundant trees in the Northwest and we respect each tree and gather fallen branches from storms etc. It is an ancient goddess medicinal trees, each part of the tree has nourishment, protection and cleansing. The pine and cedar wood chips (pieces) also add fuel to your magical or sacred burning bowl.
3. Mugwort – I use sparingly since its a mild alternate plant. Its home grown and dried for dreaming but not to drink because its a mild yet powerful herb and only small amounts should be used in any sort of ceremony to allow your mind, body and soul to process as it both enhances and clears dreaming and visioning spaces. I don’t ever suggest drinking mugwort because you can get the same results from sachets or folk smudging it. Its an ancient herb that cleanses while it helps to temporarily open the intuitive perception in smudge/smoke forms.
4. Madwort Yellow Tuft (Alyssum murale) – This grows locally in the Pacific Northwest and is invasive because its not a local plant. I had to do a lot of research on this native plant and only Harvard.edu had an old manuscript explaining its medicinal purposes. As an ancient’s medicinal herb it was used for purposes of madness (hysteria, excessive anger, mental illness’s emotional outbursts) and to alleviate rabid dog bites.
As a smudge its used for creating calm, peace and groundedness which can sooth issues of anger or aggressiveness in one’s environment. Always remember that issues of such things must be healed much deeper, and a smudge or stone only adds the physical dedication to the issue and has mild mood changing effects that are mainly supportive. This plant grows wild in the Balkans of Romania, Albania and Turkey and made its way over to the US.
5. Juniper & Juniper Berries – The Mt Shasta area has a lot of Juniper but so do many places in the midwest. I don’t like to take too much from nature, just enough so its a beneficial picking and why I do very small batches for my own personal use.
Magical uses are to burn them to clear spaces that have negativity and also used in ancient traditions to break hexes and curses, carried for anytime of protection against thefts, shadow roamers, tricksters and anything that influences negatively or drains one’s energy. In ancient times this was also burned in exorcism rites both pagan and religious. Here is my Juniper Article with folklore and medicinal traditions: https://wp.me/p6B4GV-7DL
6. Dried Roses – When drying your organic rose petals, be consistent in the gathering, making sure to take care of your rose plants so it produces a lot of blooms in the summer. Dried roses added to any water bathing herbs or folk smudge adds sweetness and calm to the powerful mixture to keep a sense of peace and groundedness when doing your magic or healing sessions with others. When I was younger I told people they should smoke roses rather than pot, because pot is a very low vibrational plant and roses are an extremely high vibration plant (but of course no one listens to me in my common sense). Roses are a favorite of those who work with or are a priestess of the Goddess, especially Aphrodite and Venus. Photo of our Roses this summer…
7. Red Clover – Large red clover flower, good for one’s coughs and colds, indigestion and asthma (just like Mullen), so its an excellent addition to burning bowl smudge as it purifies and cleans the air or in your watery herb washing ritual.
8. Larkspur / Delphinium – Home grown and dried is the best, as a smudge Larkspur it clears the spores in the air, and good also for asthma or breathing problems, its also prescribed against colic and irritations. As a tea its used to treat intestinal worms, fluid retention, poor appetite, and trouble sleeping (insomnia).
9 Hollyhock – Hollyhock is a soothing support for the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and urinary systems. It’s a popular addition to cough syrups, acting as an expectorant. Like its relative the hibiscus. Hollyhock is also a blossom tea good for inflammation of the genitourinary (reproductive and urinary) systems, especially mouth or throat. Topically, a poultice of leaves, flowers, or both can be just the thing for pulling out the sting of an insect bite or a stubborn splinter.
10. Hawthorn – Home picked and dried, Hawthorn dried leaves and berries used by the ancients were specifically for magical powers to ward off the evil souls and the shadows of people. The berries (also known as “Pixie Pears”) contain vitamins, Hawthorn along with Sage, is a double powerful smudge for protection.
11. St John’s Wort – Local wild St Johns Wort helps with depression and lifts the heaviness. In a smudge it has a lesser effect but can cleanse the home or space with purifying any negativity from depression causing energy.
12. White Sage – I add basic white sage to add protection and to enhance the burn quality because the Folk Smudge is a dense smudge (to be used with the round charcoal discs). Or used sparingly in the water bath ritual. I also sometimes add a brown sage from South America which is a very fine blend.
FOLK STICKS: Seasonally dried and hung on an altar for half a year before using, makes them mush stronger and potent in your ritual work.