Don't trip alone!

5-MeO-DMT is by far the strongest Entheogen known to man. It is important to know that consuming this compound by yourself can be extremely dangerous. Firstly, it is known that during the experience people can stop breathing without noticing it. And secondly, if vomiting takes place, you must be rolled over on your left side, to prevent choking while laying on your back. It is, therefore, fundamental to have someone watching over you.

Don't trip alone!

5-MeO-DMT is by far the strongest Entheogen known to man. It is important to know that consuming this compound by yourself can be extremely dangerous. Firstly, it is known that during the experience people can stop breathing without noticing it. And secondly, if vomiting takes place, you must be rolled over on your left side, to prevent choking while laying on your back. It is, therefore, fundamental to have someone watching over you.

When and How To Smudge

The act of smudging is an ancient sacred practice that has been present in various cultures around the world, with the main goal of cleaning the energetic, spiritual, auric, and/or emotional fields of people, spaces, and objects. Traditionally, although ordinary people could carry out this ritual on a personal level, there were —and still are— people from the community whose specialty and purpose was to master the act of smudging and provide this service in rituals, ceremonies, celebrations, moments of misfortune or illness.


For some years now, we've been living in an era in which almost all knowledge and medicines are easily accessed or purchased, which has made us fall into the illusion of thinking that the careless practice of native rituals will bring us miracles. That is the deception in which the consumer traps surrounds us. All sacred practice requires —both from the giver and the receiver— a great deal of discipline, humility, love, compassion, and surrender to mystery for it to work at its best. And this is why the act alone of smudging will not take you far if it's not accompanied by a deep and respectful connection with the practices and medicines that you're working with.


To be able to smudge effectively, you must embark on an exploration journey towards the more subtle planes on which you seek to affect. And although it is not necessary to go through an initiation if you want to start this practice on a personal and domestic level, for deeper and wider purposes it's recommended to seek guidance. That said, I would like to share my perception of the most subtle planes on which this practice has an effect, product of my exploration journeys with different teachers, sacred plants, and ancestral practices.


I believe that the material world is only one of the many dimensions that coexist in this space/time. Our body becomes the incarnation of our spirit or the vehicle that allows us to exist and evolve on this planet and fulfill the purpose of our soul. Parallel to the reality that our five senses perceive, there are other more subtle planes that we also inhabit, although most of the time we are not aware. Plants and all living beings follow a similar "design" and that's why, in many cultures, their spirits have been considered as masters and allies that can help us to harmonize and have an effect on the more subtle planes that our physical body can't access.


Masters and allies are keywords for me, as that's the approach that I consider most appropriate when working with medicinal or sacred plants. In the process of being honored with an ally from the plant, mineral, or animal kingdom, we are, first of all, apprentices who devote time, dedication, and some sacrifices to receive teachings and understandings of how to invoke and work with the medicines of these wonderful beings. Afterward, we will be able to establish a loving and respectful alliance, only when and if we have proved that we are willing to serve the greater good, and be a channel through which the mystery can bring its medicine down to earth. Therefore, to get into the practice of intentional smudging, I would recommend starting by knowing your ally and letting yourself be guided by a direct connection with it.


To do this, the first step would be to investigate the traditional use of the different smudging plants you have in mind and the very nature of them. Native people used to live — some still do— in a much more subtle reality, in which the dance between the different planes of existence was more tangible. This had to do with many different factors, such as the food diet, the connection with their homeland, the respect for their traditions and spirituality, among others, which is their knowledge of the psychical, spiritual, and energetic benefits of plants is much deeper. When investigating a plant for smudging, knowing in depth what is seemingly common data of it, will allow you to get closer to its essence and intuitively guide you in a better way. I'm listing some examples below:

Most Common Ways of Smudging


  1. Most Common Ways of Smudging Pieces of a log, barks, and bundles of dried leaves, can be lit directly. This allows you to move the smudge freely around the body, object, or space that you're working on.
  2. Resins, oils, and loose dried leaves can be placed over hot coals. It is preferable that they are in a light, manageable smoker, which allows you to move it around the body, object, or space that you're working on. You can also place yourself close to the burning coals and use your hands to move the smoke and give yourself a "smoke bath".
  3. For cleaning of spaces, close all doors and windows and place a decent amount of incense over the coals. Leave the space for a few hours, and when you get back, open doors and windows for the wind to clean the space. Afterward, do a deep, general cleaning.

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How and When To Use Palo Santo


Palo Santo is a tree that is becoming very famous in the smudging scene, although few know some of the most important facts about its powerful medicine. Native to the dry forests of Ecuador and Peru, its sharp and charming scent is only released when the tree has died and dried naturally for a lapse of 5-10 years (the longer the better). You can't cut down a Palo Santo tree, dry it artificially and get the same aroma. In fact, you'll barely get anything at all. What this interesting process tells me, is that its medicinal smoke is appropriate for those times when our internal cycles/rhythms are not in harmony with the external expectations for demanding, as well as in times of "drought" in which we must work to strengthen our patience and acceptance with the natural flow of things, having confidence that in the end efforts always bear the sweetest fruits.


How and When To Use White Sage


White Sage is native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, and its leaves release very aromatic oils and resins that are highly attractive for bees. It also grows in a dry environment, and when smoked it produces a sweet and pleasant aroma that almost feels like being under the spell of fairies. I consider the medicinal smoke of White Sage to be quite effective to clean low/bitter energies, such as anger, frustration, jealousy, envy, or sadness, and to attract positive "pollinating" energies that bring on creativity, renovation, and a spring-like feeling.


How and When To Use Copal


Another booming smudge is Copal, which is an aromatic resin found in several trees native to the Americas, but the most used ones are Mexican and Peruvian ones. Being a natural secretion produced by the tree —mostly coniferous— to defend itself against insects or harmful organisms, I believe that its medicinal smoke is very powerful for the protection and cleaning of heavier negative energies or spirits. Also, it can help to invigorate our energy at times when we are working on our self-esteem and personal boundaries.

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How To Smudge


As said before, if you wish to dedicate fully to the act of smudging and provide this service to the community, I recommend you seek guidance from people who have studied this practice thoroughly. They have a much more detailed and profound knowledge of the different rituals and plants that must be used to work deeply in the subtle planes according to the situation. On the other hand, if you are exploring the sacred smoke on a more personal and domestic level, my tips are:


  1. In case you haven't done it yet, reconnect with the ancestral ritualistic part of yourself and feel comfortable with it. Rituals have been practiced by humanity since ancient times, and they allow us to give free rein to the right part of our brain as well as to awaken our intuition and innate connection to nature and other realms of existence. Allow yourself to create your own ritual and let your intention flow through that beautiful and ephemeral work of art.
  2. Analyze the meaning and pertinence of the symbols and elements that you will use during your ritual so that it follows a clear goal, and be mindful of honoring every step of the cycle — opening, development, and closure. For example, it is essential to recognize and appreciate the presence of the four elements during the smudging — the plants come from the earth, they have been fed by water, oxygen, and sunlight, and the energy of fire will transform them into smoke that will be carried around by the wind. It is not necessary to surround yourself with stones or crystals, religious cards (of any belief), amulets, etc. if you don't have a clear purpose for them during the ritual. If you do, honor their presence and pay attention to the messages or energy they will offer to the ones present.
  3. Opening. It's always better to do it in a quiet, peaceful place, without any electronic device nearby. If you want or must do it somewhere with people, remember to stay focused on the ritual and try not to get carried away by thinking about how others see you or what they say about you. I recommend you to open the ritual with words of infinite gratitude for life and for whom you consider the Supreme Being (God, Love, Jesus, Divine Light, Great Spirit, Divine Feminine). Continue to give thanks to the elements that allow the existence of matter on this planet —including yourself—, and end with a loving dialogue with the energy/spirit/medicine of the plant that you will be using. If you'll be including other spiritual elements or tools in the ritual, acknowledge them too.
  4. Development. Once you have opened the ritual, it is time to work with your ally — the sacred smoke of plants. Keeping your intention always present, you can, for example, put the plants over burning coals during a time of meditation, during which you can visualize how the negativity that troubles you (emotions, physical pains, external energies) dissolves with the smoke and rises towards the light. Once you feel lighter/cleaner it's time to fill the "empty space" with the medicine of the chosen plant, so that it penetrates and flourishes in the different planes of your being. This same visualization can be transformed into affirmation or prayer while smudging spaces, other people, objects, or yourself. Stay as long as you consider necessary in this stage. You can reinforce the ritual with other elements such as feathers (to move and distribute the smoke through space or body), musical instruments, or songs.
  5. Closure. Again, and as many times as you feel like, express your gratitude. One can never thank you enough for the opportunity to be alive and share this planet with such amazing beings, nor for the wonderful gift of being able to create these healing and uplifting forms of art. Thank the Supreme Being for guiding, helping, and protecting you. Thank each one of the elements that were part of the cleansing ritual. Thank yourself for allowing you to be you just as you are, and all those who visited you during the experience to teach you something.


This is just my recommendation, but as you create your own rituals, which will inevitably and fortunately be permeated by your culture and beliefs, you will find your way of smudging. Remember this is just one of the many tools that can help improve a given situation, but there is nothing like your connection with your inner self. If you want this to be your main energetic/spiritual tool, then I recommend you carry out a constant and conscious practice. Explore this beautiful alternative with respect and humbleness, and little by little you'll understand the benefits it brings to your life.


Eco-Friendly Note


We're living in an era in which mass consumption and unconscious cultural appropriation, represent a great challenge for the sustainability of medicinal and sacred plants. That is why I invite you to choose your smudging plants wisely, knowing where it comes from if it is harvested sustainably, and using it with measure and consideration. Surely, in the area where you live there are many types of plants that can be used for these rituals and do not represent an ecological or cultural risk. Here goes a list of suggestions:

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