Magical and Planetary Associations
Incense and Magic qualities - using herbs for magic
- Allspice, ruled by Mars - Money, strength, action
- Bay, ruled by the Sun - Healing, protection
- Benzoin, ruled by the Sun - Money, increasing mental powers and concentration
- Cedar, ruled by Mercury - Healing, cleansing redundant influences and negative thoughts
- Cinnamon, ruled by the Sun - Increases passion, money-bringer, psychic awareness
- Cloves, ruled by Jupiter - Love, repelling hostility
- Copal, ruled by the Sun - For protection, purification and for cleansing crystals
- Dragon's Blood, ruled by Mars - Love, protection and passion
- Fern, ruled by Mars - The initiator of change, travel and fertility
- Frankincense, ruled by the Sun - Courage, joy, strength and success
- Juniper, ruled by the Sun - Protection, cleansing and healing
- Lavender, ruled by Mercury - Love and reconciliation
- Myrrh, ruled by the Moon - Healing, peace and inner harmony
- Rosemary, ruled by the Sun - Love and happy memories
- Sage, ruled by Jupiter - Wisdom and enhanced mental powers
- Sandalwood, ruled by Jupiter - Spiritual and psychic awareness and healing
Making and Using a Smudge Stick
Incense and Magic qualities - Use six or seven sprigs of the fresh herbs, each about 22CM (9in) long. Hold these tightly together and bind them with cotton thread. Secure the bundle every centimetre and leave the herbs to dry for two or three weeks.
Light a candle of green or brown for the Earth Mother and hold the Smudge Stick about 8cm (3in) above the flame until it glows and smoulders, releasing a thin trail of smoke. You can trim the end for use at another time. Alternatively, follow the traditional method of using a bowl or deep shell to contain rolled and dried herbs, lit from the candles.
Move from the bottom to the top of the body in a clock- or sunwise direction, making an anti-clockwise circle above the crown or centre of the head to remove negative influences.
Carry out this ritual six times for the six cardinal directions: east, south, west, north, up and down. Feel all unhappiness, anger, fear and pain leave and be replaced by golden healing light. If you have a specific need, see your dreams and wishes spiraling upwards into a single white cloud of smoke to fall as fertilising rain. Use a feather or your hand to waft the smoke all around you or the person to be healed. Another name for this ceremony is 'sweeping medicine'. You can sometimes buy ready-make smudge sticks. Alternatively, incense sticks can be substituted. Use two contrasting herbs (Incense and Magic qualities), sage and cedar, or sage and sweet grass, the banishing substance followed by the attracting herb of positive energies.
Sandalwood can be substituted for cedar or sweet grass, and rosemary or thyme for sage. Use three separate cycles:
- sage is swept upwards anti-clockwise, followed by an anti-clockwise circle round the crown to banish negativity
- cedar is swept upwards clockwise to attract positivity, ending with a clockwise circle around the crown
- the cycle of sage and cedar is repeated twice more as above.
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