Simple Solstice Smudging Sticks—Going into the darkness with scents (& sense)

Yesterday the main retreat ended as Sogyal Rinpoche urged us to integrate the beautiful teachings on Wisdom and Compassion into our lives and the three-day extension begins as the weather turns nippier, darker, and a tad stormy with clouds over the vast expanse of Clear Lake.

Yesterday, too, I slipped away to visit a dear friend and her family on their land…dubbed “Two Great Swings Rancherito”….named, of course, after the two great swings for their two children. The house, which is a yurt, was a-bustle with preparations….with readying.

Readying for inspection to pass through the permitting process. Readying for the coming week. Readying for the winter by putting up insulated window coverings (great winterizing and energy-saving strategy!). Readying for the deeping darkness as Winter Solstice approaches. Here in Northern California it gets dark now at 5 p.m.

Yes, a house a-bustle with creative projects. Melissa’s daughter, 11, read her poetry to me as I cut out three cardboard circles for their Solstice project. Butterscotch chip and coconut cookies came out of the oven as the son of the house, 9, made sculpy figures for a diorama.

And, Melissa sat on the floor, making these simple Solstice Smudging Sticks, used in purifying space though sacred scents.


Each bundle contains about half a dozen cedar twigs (about 8-12 inches long). These came from trees on their land that needed trimming.

In the middle of the bundle are embraced rosemary and lavendar sprigs. These came from Melissa’s herb garden.

The bundle is bound tightly with embroidery thread, strong and pretty.

Let dry and then ready the space to celebrate Solstice (December 21st) by smudging the space with healing smoke.

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