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Today’s the Summer Solstice: the longest day of the year and the first official day of the season. And — in many circles — it’s regarded as a day of cleansing, new beginnings, and celebration.
What makes this year’s solstice so special, though, is that it also falls on a full moon, an event so rare that it hasn’t happened in several decades.
Pagan rituals have been seeping into the mainstream over the past few years, with everyone from Instagram mystics to indie markets selling crystals and herbs, while also offering up instructions on how to do at-home moon rituals.
Tonight, Dusty Rose Vintage in Greenpoint will celebrate the Solstice with a Welcome Summer Pop Up party. One of the guests — Adrienne Fisher, founder of the online market Meraki Nomad — will be creating custom ceremonial smudge bundles, which are herbs that are burned for purification. What does all that entail, exactly? Read on.
Can you tell me a little bit about what smudging is?
Adrienne: Smudging comes from the Native American tradition of cleaning negative energies from your home as well as yourself. I always want to make sure I give credit to the Native Americans for starting the tradition.
I think it’s so important to take some time out during the day for yourself. I usually like to do [a smudging ritual] in the morning and at night. In the morning, to gather my thoughts and start fresh and new for the day; at night, to cleanse all of the energies that I’ve experienced throughout the day that have come into my home and studio.
What are the main herbs you typically burn?
The main herb is white sage, which cleanses the body and the aura. There’s also sweetgrass, which is referred to as the sacred hair of Mother Earth. It’s usually braided to represent love, kindness, and honesty.
You burn the sage to cleanse negativity, and then the sweetgrass brings in positivity. In my bundles, I also put lavender and roses.
What goes into creating a custom bundle for someone?
I usually ask them to sit and think about what’s personally going on in their life that they feel they want to get rid of. It’s really great during the full moon — it allows you to really sit and think about what you want to cleanse from your life, and what you want to welcome into it.
I ask people to sit and think about that, and set a nice intention for the smudge stick, so that each time they burn it they feel those things leaving and coming in.
Each herb will represent different aspects of cleansing, so they can pick and choose what they feel best suits them at that time.