Smudging The Jeanius Way


Every now and then I have a really bright idea… I like to think of them as moments of Jeanius. Unfortunately, what separates Jeanius from genius is the added layer of awkward on the inevitably misguided outcome.

A couple of weeks ago I had one such episode of Jeanius. As I lay in bed one sleepless night, tossing and turning and trying to get my mind off the turmoil of hurt and loss and anger and sadness that tends to creep in when I let my guard down, I tried to turn my attention to thoughts of my new loft. How I would decorate, what things I needed right away and what items I could slowly discover to make it into a home – I’ve always loved houses and décor, it somehow grounds me. So, thinking of my new home is something I find myself doing a lot when my mind gets the best of me and the havoc takes over. That’s when it dawned on me – this house I currently live in, this haunted house filled with overwhelming sadness – what if my new loft has the same negative mojo happening?  I don’t know what the previous owner is bringing to the table. What if he left some badness floating in the air there?  So then and there, at 3 o’clock in the morning, my Jeanius struck – I needed to get a smudge stick and do a cleansing ceremony in my new loft. And I needed to get it RIGHT. THEN.

This is the glory and the downfall of Amazon; because at three in the morning I grabbed my phone off the nightstand and started Googling for smudge sticks. Then, upon realizing I didn’t really know what all a cleansing ritual entailed, I Googled books about smudging. By 4am I had ordered California’s finest white sage smudge sticks and a book detailing not only the home cleansing, but any cleansing I may be in need of… And this is where the awkward begins.


When my smudge sticks and book arrived 48 hours later (bless you Amazon) I was thrilled to find that not only could I easily smudge the loft when I move in and rid it of any bad yuckies, but also I could actually smudge myself to cleanse the bad yuckies from my head! AND, what’s more, they even had a smudging ritual in there for dealing with a separation from a loved one – of finding forgiveness, letting go and moving on. Um, PERFECT! All I needed were a few more items like essential oils and some sort of flower essence that I needed to drink mixed with spring water and I’d be as good as new!

So, I tracked down all the extra ingredients I needed for my self-cleansing paired with the separation ritual and decided on the upcoming full moon I would free my heart and thoughts and let peace take over (because obviously those are the things that were going to INSTANTLY occur once I got my smudge on, ESPECIALLY if I did it on a full moon).

The night of the full moon I read through my two rituals a few times so I’d be familiar with the process –

Light stick, wait a bit, blow it out (totally like incense so far I definitely know what I’m doing), then clear your mind, think positive thoughts, focus on renewal and strength while wafting the smoke down my body – start at my head, work my way down then back up the opposite side. Child’s play, I’ve got this. The separation ritual was a bit more difficult. After cleansing myself I was supposed to start burning lavender essential oil, sit on the floor and imagine my ex was sitting opposite me with a silver thread connecting us from our solar plexus (kinda above gut-below tit area). Okay, I can do that. Then I was supposed to tell him all the things I wanted to say – not just the bad, but the good things too, the things that have me missing him and struggling with the loss. I was supposed to get it all out, then state “I release us from this relationship with forgiveness and love.” And at that point I was to imagine a pair of scissors in my hand, cutting the thread that bound us together. And then… peace. Um. Yeah. Okay… I can do that. I mean, if it’s going to help me sleep through the night and let go of some of the hate and hurt and move on a little faster, I’ll cut imaginary threads all damn day!

So I lit the smudge stick and… well, shit. That’s quite a flame there. Wooo, this smokes a lot. Like, oh dear god – will the smoke alarm go off A. LOT. I really let this burn a FEW MINUTES before blowing it out? Negative—I can’t make it 30 seconds, the room is filling up with smoke and DANG! The smell… this IS NOT LIKE INCENSE!!! I quickly blew out the flame and started waving the stick around my body – this was a frantic motion that rapidly became more of a fanning sensation to dissipate the smoke, there was nothing peaceful or thoughtful or centered about it – it was a rush job and I quickly snubbed out the smoking stick in the plate I had replaced the abalone shell for (yeah, because abalone shells are just lying around at Target).

Okay, maybe the self-cleansing could have gone better. And dear god the smell! It was like a 12-year-old boy after gym class—legit. Now I know why they want me to burn the lavender essential oil – yeah, like five drops of that in some water is going to combat 12-year-boy funk! Now I find myself sitting criss-cross-applesauce on the floor of my smoke-filled bedroom, trying to weave through my over-stimulated senses to find the comfort of the lavender as I imagine this man I both love and hate sitting across from me, connected to me by a silvery thread. I began to tell him of my hurt and disappointment, the pain and disbelief of what his choices have done. The things I missed about him, about us, about me. The parts that were changed forever… mostly for the worse… because of knowing him. And then the anger bubbled back to the surface and I found myself hysterically crying, desperate to cut the fucking silver thread because I wanted NOTHING connecting us. And then realizing it wasn’t enough to cut it, it was still hanging there out of my solar plexus – my broken thread. So I started trying to pull it out of me and get rid of it. But, here’s the tricky thing with invisible threads… they don’t exist.

About this time, sitting on the floor, a hysterical mess after drudging up all the emotions I keep trying to bury and ignore, I remembered I was supposed to say “I release us from this relationship with forgiveness and love.” I wonder now if adding the “you worthless piece of shit” at the end while cheersing my calming tonic in the air before slamming it like a shot might have tainted the process? Hmm.

Let’s hope the loft smudging goes a bit better.

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