Smudging has been adopted by wicca and other pagan practices fairly recently. It is of course taken from sacred native american rituals – and there is some concern that the use of smudging sticks in wicca is cultural appropriation. BUT….. most people do not realize that TRADITIONAL ENGLISH WITCHCRAFT has a very similar practice. The “Witches Whisk” is made of dried blackberry stems. They are set alight and then blown out and then smoke just like white sage wands. In Traditional Witchcraft the whisk is then used to “dance” and “weave” around the edge of the circle. The intent was the same – to make a boundary for sacred space. We have a mighty patch of blackberry that grows down near our pond, we harvest it at midsummer, the leaves are dried and sold in our apothecary, while the stems are hung upside down to dry in my wood workshop. This means the stems are full of vitality, juice and life and dry quickly with the goodness still inside. We then cut and bind them with red thread, in traditional witchcraft red is the color of power and protection, green was for healing/blessing and black for cursing and turning.