SMUDGING

My first memory of my first visit to Bali was the scent in the air. As I stepped out of the plane onto the moveable stairway the smell of incense in the warm air embraced me from all directions. It was in that exact moment that I knew I had been here before, many times, perhaps even many lifetimes. I felt at home, this deep sense of safety. Over the last nine years when I disembark from the plane and feel the air on my skin and take a deep breath, the scent drops me into the present immediately. And everywhere you go in Ubud, where I live part-time, the smiles for miles and smell of incense lead you moment to moment to live in gratitude.
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Besides incense I also use medicinally the practice of burning S A G E — also known as smudging — which is an ancient spiritual ritual to cleanse a person, a group of people or a space. If you come to my home, anywhere I live, I will ask your permission to smudge you before you enter my sacred space so the energy in my home stays clear.
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The ritual burning of herbs is common to many cultures in the world. From the rich #frankincense of the Catholic Church, which is another childhood memory that I love, to the heady incenses of Asia, to the raw energy of brush burning in many native cultures—the purification of space through this modality is a global phenomenon with benefits for everyone.
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Burning sage is one of the oldest and purest methods of cleansing a person, group of people or space. While Native American sage burning is the most commonly recognized form of it today, it has nevertheless been a shared practice in other cultures too. From the ancient Celtic druids who used sage as a sacred herb alongside Oak Moss for burning as well as medicinal purposes, to the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon whose Palo Santo (sacred/sainted wood) sage burning ceremonies are still practiced to this day. My heritage of South America, my birthplace, may be one of the reasons why this method of cleansing feels so natural to me.
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Smudging also has science supporting its benefits too.
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1. Purification
The most-used types of sage have antimicrobial properties. This means they keep infectious bacteria, viruses, pollution, mold and fungi at bay.
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White prairie sage (Artemisia ludoviciana) is both antimicrobial and antibacterial. White sage (Salvia apiana) is also antimicrobial. And both have been shown to repel insects. One 2007 study found that burning sage for an hour decreased the level of aerial bacteria by 94 percent. These effects were preserved for up to 24 hours afterward.
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**Though scientifically unproven, burning sage is thought to release negative ions. This is said to help neutralize positive ions like pollution, dust, mold, pet dander.
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2. Cleansing
Smudging is a ritual tool to rid yourself — or your space — of negativity. This includes past traumas, bad experiences, or negative energies from others you pick up going about your day. It cleanses yourself and your space for manifesting through positive energy. Think of this based in the Law of Attraction. This cleansed space helps us to create a vibrational vortex of positivity. Positive energy attracts positive energy. We are vibrational beings attracting like energy. Cleansing negative vibration makes us more magnetic for positive things to flow our way.

You can cleanse not only yourself and your space but your belongs. For instance after you’ve worn your Malas for a while they need to be cleansed. Use smudging as a way to

3. Reduces Stress
A 2016 research project for the University of Mississippi established that white sage (Salvia apiana) is rich in compounds that activate certain receptors in the brain. These receptors are responsible for elevating mood levels, reducing stress, and even alleviating pain.

If you believe smudging distresses your day as a part of a coming home ritual, or evening ritual then it will have the impact you want it to have based upon your belief. The stronger you associate distressing with the scent of sage and marry this to the science the better it will work. The better it works, the better it works.

Today is a very good day for sage.
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Photo by Ulrike Lakshmi Reinhold

How to Invoke Sacred Space

I’m often asked about what words I say when I call to the #fourdirections to open or close sacred space. Here is one version of Invocation and thru the years of internal study as well as learning from my Shamanism teachers I speak my own voice too.

To the winds of the South
Thank you for the healing light you bring to us
For helping us to shed the deadness of our past the way a snake sheds skin, all at once
Thank you for teaching us the Beauty Way.

To the winds of the West
Mother Sister Jaguar
Thank you for protecting our medicine space
We embrace your wisdom of teaching us the ways
of peace, impeccability, and equanimity.

To the winds of the North
Hummingbird, dear Grandmothers and Grandfathers, Ancient Ones
Thank you for sharing this space with us
We listen for your whispers to us in the wind and to the sacred space within our hearts
Guide us with your grace.

To the winds of the East
Great Eagle, Condor
Thank you for taking us upon your wings to our highest path of destiny
Thank you for Showing us the holy mountains and reminding us to envision our lives from this place.

Mother Earth
Pachamama
We give you thanks, as one of your children, for holding us so sweetly in your womb of love and life as we heal all of our stories, our shadows, our fears.

Father Sun, Grandmother Moon
Star Nations – Star Brothers and Sisters
Great Spirit
You who are known by a thousand names
The unnamable, the nameless one
You who are unknown, yet not unknowable
Thank you for bringing us together
And allowing us to sing the song of Life, one more day.
. . . . . . . . .
skyaboveme
Learn more http://www.silviamordini.com

What is an Altar?

Jack Hayford describes Altars as “a memorial to the place where God meets us. We may not always be able to make a physical altar, but there can be one established in our hearts.”

I agree with that and would add from my experience it is a special dedication to sacred space. An agreement made between you and something bigger than you, what I personally call the divine.

Why Create an Altar?
To ask for help. To seek support from the energies of the universe towards both my personal and universal intentions. I create altars everywhere I go, first thing, to invoke positive and protective energy.

Where Do I Create Altars?
Anywhere that feels like it protects me, honors my connection to the divine, and supports my intentions.

How Do I Create an Altar?
I tap into my heart consciousness and intentionally set up my talismans, special tokens, power pieces, figures, photographs, food, flowers, crystals in a purposeful way.

Do You Have to Know What Everything Represents?
No. The universal mind knows how to interpret your offering.

How Do You Learn What Each Piece Means?
Study with an experienced teacher. Read and learn. Journal about the meaning of what each “thing” has for you.

Altar Love Jan 29 2016What Types of Things Have You Used on Your Altar?
I’m open hearted to receive support and love from a variety of philosophies. I use sometimes my “travel” buddha, ganesha and lakshmi mini statues, or Mother Mary. I also have photographs of Saraswati, Gandhi, Archangel Michael. I will often put the card I pulled for that day from my Angel cards on my altar of loving things.

I always have my collection of crystals to choose from and arrange in a special way based on what I’m feeling I need. Go to’s include citrine, rose quartz and clear crystal. I might also place my special malas.

I have my representation of Mother Earth in the form of flowers, fruits, avocado, nuts, shells, actual little pile of dirt.

Incense, sage, candles are sometimes included. I might also draw a picture, often a mandala, use my singing bowl or frame drum as a foundation or container.

And always those things that represent fertility like seeds and such.

Where was I Most Inspired by Altars?
In Bali where every home, building, has a temple (an altar) and the culture makes offerings 3 times per day. The sacredness of the ordinary soaks in.