We made it to our new home. And several epsom salt baths later, my body is finally feeling back to its old self.
I've got a new workspace that's just itching to be dabbled on, and yesterday I got back to work. It started with a stroll around our front and backyard - scoping out all the herbs and flowers we've got going on. It's late summer, and herbs are abundant! We've got sage and rosemary and lavender and so many other magical plants that I can't wait to learn about.
So it got me thinking, you've probably got an abundance of herbs too. So let's make some simple, fragrant fire starters and smudge sticks. Smudge sticks, if you aren't familiar, are bundles of dried herbs that are slowly burned to purify and cleanse a space. Tim and I burned some sage and lavender a few nights ago to help us feel more settled and grounded into our new home.
EDIT: Since writing this post, I have educated myself on the origins of this practice of smoke cleansing and how to approach it with more integrity and less cultural appropriation. You can learn more here.
Herb Fire Starter + Smudge Sticks
- Fresh Herbs
- String or twine (made of natural materials to prevent toxic fumes)
Harvest your herbs (around the same length) using a sharp knife or scissors, making sure it's a bright and sunny day. Or, if you purchased your herbs at the store, lay them out in the sun a bit so any moist bits will dry. You want to prevent any mold from growing in your bundle.
Combine herbs together in any way that fits your fancy (or pleasures your nostrils). If you are making a fire starter, add in some dried flower petals and stems to serve as kindling and will catch fire quickly. I've used rosemary, sage, cedar, and lavender for my fire starter - adding in some dried hydrangea for kindling and color.
Tie with string. Start at the bottom of the bundle, circling the string around for a few times to secure it. Then wind the string on an angle up to the top of the bundle. Turn the bundle around and wind the string back down to the start, creating a criss-cross pattern over the first strings.
Keep it in a dry and dark place to allow to completely dry (it will take a few weeks).
Once dry, it is ready to light.
For the fire starter, simply light under your wood to get the fire going - adding kindling as necessary.
For your smudge stick, you'll want to hold one end of your stick and light the other with a match. Let the end burn a bit before blowing out and allowing it to smolder so you can begin smudging. When finished, gently pat down the smoldering end of your smudge stick so it goes completely out.
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