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As the new year approaches, many of us are taking stock of our lives, our habits, our spaces. We’re filled with renewed energy—ready to tackle 2020 head on, and render it the year that we became the people we’ve always dreamt of being. But as we approach this time of transition, we may find our year-end rituals lacking. Penning a few resolutions feels almost clinical, when what we’re craving is absolute ceremony. We want to light every candle we own. We want to purge unnecessary belongings. We want is to stock up on smudge sticks and infuse our homes with fresh energy.
The latter is, admittedly, more complicated than simply lighting candles or cleaning house. Because smudging isn’t merely a matter of wafting smoke around your house—it’s a spiritual tradition with roots in many indigenous cultures. Smudging is a ceremonial act, said to cleanse, purify, and ground those engaging in it. “Smudging allows people to stop, slow down, and become mindful and centered,” one First Nations group writes. “We smudge to clear the air around us…We smudge our whole being so that we will portray only the good part of [ourselves] through our actions.”
This ritual is a beautiful one. It concretizes transitions, simultaneously honoring the past you’ve lived while creating space for the future you hope to build. It’s little wonder many of us find ourselves so drawn to this tradition; it gives visual form to the feelings living inside us—feelings that tend to overflow as we approach the end of one year, and the start of a new one.
Though smudging is a culturally specific ritual, the sentiments it encapsulates are universal. And there are respectful ways to engage with this tradition. “A smudge is led by a person who has an understanding of what a smudge is and why it is done,” the same First Nations group explains in its smudging guidelines. “That person may be an Elder or a cultural teacher…it can be a [person] who is knowledgeable about the tradition of smudging.”
So spend some time getting to know this tradition before stocking up on turn-of-the-year smudge sticks. Or opt not to, and turn instead to one of the other equally moving ways to honor yourself and the changes you’re welcoming into your life.
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The Ritual Incense Bundle Trio Set
This smudging set comes with three different bundles: one crafted from sage, one crafted from lavender, and one crafted from roses.
Rosemary, Rose, and Calendula Smudge Stick
This smudge stick blends herbaceous rosemary with florals like rose and calendula to create a bundle that’s vibrant, cleansing, and refreshing all at once.
Rootfoot Palo Santo Bundle
Those who prefer woodsy scents to floral ones will surely appreciate this bundle, which is crafted entirely from palo santo wood.
Floral Smudge Bundle
This artisanal bundle comes not only with white sage and flowers, but also with a rose quartz crystal.
Celebration Rainbow Smudge Stick
Each of these exceptionally pretty bundles is one-of-a-kind. But all of them are made from some combination of wormwood, sage, cypress, citrus, rose, carnation, and goldenrod.
Palo Santo Smudge Stick and Raw Crystal Bundle
This crystal-forward smudge stick is crafted from traditional ingredients, like white sage, lavender, and palo santo.
White Sage and Lavender Smudge Bundle
This incredible fragrant bundle is made entirely of white sage and lavender. And each smudge stick is hand-wrapped and sold by members of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, so you can rest assured knowing you’re buying respectfully and responsibly.
Palo Santo and Crystal Bundle
There’s no sage in this smudge stick. Instead, this “protection” bundle is crafted entirely from flowers and palo santo.
Sage and Palo Santo Smudge Kit
This “positive energy” smudge kit comes complete with three rose petal-wrapped sage bundles and two sticks of palo santo wood. Use them one at a time—or in combination.
Lavender Smudge Bundle
Lavender lovers will surely appreciate these smudge bundles, which are composed entirely of Grosso French lavender. And since these bundles are crafted and sold by Native Americans, you can trust that your money is going to the very people whose tradition you’re engaging with.
Medium Sage Smudge Stick
This smudge stick is crafted entirely from organically grown, sustainably harvested sage, bundled up in hemp string.
Rosemary, Lavender, and Rose Smudge Stick
This rosemary, rose, and lavender bundle promises to be vibrantly fragrant. What’s more? Each smudge stick comes paired with labradorite, a stone said to encourage reflection.
Catherine Rising Large Lavender Smudge Stick
This classic sage stick is paired with fresh lavender and dried white roses to create a bundle that’s fresh and bright.
Love Smudge Twin Pack
This smudging twin pack comes with two sage bundles wrapped with roses. Choose between a yellow-on-yellow, red-on-red, or red-on-yellow color combination, and know you’re buying from a Native American-owned shop.
Floral Smudge Kit
This seven-piece set comes with two sage sticks, four palo santo sticks, and one rose palo santo bundle. Use them one at a time, or light a couple in conjunction.
Palo Santo and Crystal Bundle
This “positivity” bundle is made from cedarwood and dried flowers, and topped off with a crystal.
White Sage Smudge Stick Bundle
This smudge stick is crafted entirely from white sage, making it a particularly traditional option. Sage is one of “four sacred medicines” recognized by many indigenous peoples, and it’s said to cleanse spaces and relieve troubles.
White Sage and Rose Smudge
Each of these vibrantly colored bundles carries a different meaning. The red rose bundle signifies love, passion, and beauty. The yellow rose bundle signifies friendship, happiness, and new beginnings. And the purple rose bundle signifies enchantment, desire, and grace. Like all products at the Whispering Winds Shop, each bundle is hand-wrapped and sold by Native Americans.
Pink Sage Bundle
These floral beauties are composed of white sage, palo santo, roses, baby’s breath, and other dried flowers, leaving each one fragrant, bright, and delightful.