Sarah Gregg - The Reiki Drum Technique

There is a beautiful old lavender bush at the entrance to the pathway to my house.  She is a wonderful healer and over the years her energy has contributed to the harmonious energies in my home, my clinic and during my classes as well as clearing and balancing the energy fields of many of my students and clients.  This time of year she spills her bounty over the pathway attracting many bees that spend their day collecting pollen from her.  I always know when it’s time to start harvesting her flowers when I see the postman having to climb over the small wall at the side of the house, rather than be engulfed in her as he tries to make it down the path, and this week, I received this signal!

Having checked the date of the next Full Moon (it’s always advisable to harvest herbs on a waxing moon as their essential oils are at their most potent), I have just over a week until the Full Moon on the 26th to harvest her flowers and make my annual lavender smudge.  This is a beautiful task I relish every year and I use the time I would normally spend each day in meditation,  to make the smudge, as to me it’s a sacred and magical act.

I first connect with the Spirit of my Lavender bush and request permission to harvest her flowers, then collect what I need for that day’s smudge making, offering her Reiki in gratitude.  I then spend a contemplative time binding the fresh lavender flowers together into a smudge stick with embroidery thread, whilst chanting the Usui Kotadama and the Karuna energies and binding them into the smudge. I bless the smudge at the end of making it and blow further Reiki energy into the bundles, using the Koki Ho technique.  In her own right this beautiful flower is a powerful healer, but coupled with Reiki energies, she is truly magnificent.  On one of my retreats one of the retreatees who was very sensitive to subtle energies, actually saw the symbols as she was being smudged, and my intent whilst binding them into the smudge mixture is that they are released into the recipient’s energy field or physical space as the smudge begins to burn.

I use lavender because I have such a wonderful source and because of her energetic properties.  Traditionally the energy of lavender brings in emotional balance, harmony and a sense of peace.  It is also very cleansing and can be used to help clear a space of negative energies.  Thought to bring upper and lower chakras into harmony, lavender also has a strong affinity with the Crown Chakra, and its energy helps with meditation and journeying.  It invites in loving energies and Spirits, and her aroma, it is truly divine!  It never ceases to amaze me when students smudge with lavender at the beginning of a session.  They are often quite talkative and very much still in their normal day lives when they first get to class, but after the smudge, a sense of peace and calm descends on both the room and their being.

I have several Rosemary bushes in my garden which contribute a strong, fortifying and protective energy to smudge that I make when this plant blooms with its delicate blue flowers earlier on in the spring, although you can make with just the rosemary needles at this time of year.  This plant is a powerful protector and also clears negative energies from a person or space.  I use it when someone needs a little bit of strength.  It is said to have an affinity with the Brow Chakra, centre of clairvoyance and brings about clarity and clear vision.

The tall cypress at the bottom of the garden  provides an interesting smudge.  Its needles give off a pungent woody smell when burned.  Cypress has amazing energetic gifts for helping people with transition, be it on the earth plane or to the other planes of existence.  I burnt cypress oil during my father’s transition some years ago and I like to think it helped ease his passing, as well as providing strength and solace to the rest of the family.  It is a good plant to use when doing soul retrieval work as it assists with the energetic shifts created.  Use it whenever you are going through any major life change.

My beautiful rose bushes provide a smudge mixture which can be used in a container such as an abalone shell or a fireproof dish.  Their energy is a loving, compassionate, joyous and heartfelt energy.  They are good to use on someone’s energy field if they are in need of a loving touch.  The aroma invites in angelic energies.

Another interesting smudge mixture is peppermint.  This would also be used in a container.  It’s distinctive aroma and energy is very cleansing and energising.  A visionary herb, this is another smudge mixture which is believed to bring clear vision, concentration and clarity of mind, a good smudge to facilitate clairvoyant vision during the journey state.  And this is a smudge which can  be used to make a wonderful peppermint tea as well!

I have a prolific amount of  Melissa in the garden.  I love this plant and its energy is of a very high frequency.  It is a good smudge to be used for group meditation work.  It has a supportive energy as well as bringing in serenity and relaxation.  It is thought to aid with past life recall for those of you who practise past life regression work.

If you can collect enough jasmine flowers to make smudge, this flower with its heady scent  also brings in angelic energies.  It can be used to enhance creativity and original thought and encourages heightened spiritual awareness.

The smudge can be left to dry for a week or so before using and will keep for a long period of time.  I have some smudge from four years ago which is still fairly pungent when used, and of course no less powerful energetically.  When using it to clear space or someone’s energy field, you may wish to incorporate the use of feathers to move the smudge smoke around.  The feathers of birds have their own energetic properties, closely allied to the medicine of that particular bird (and would make for a blog post all on its own!).

I use my smudge from my garden on a daily basis for clearing space, smudging crystals, feathers, drums, Tibetan bowls, my gong, in fact any power tool which has been used for healing or spiritual work, as well as preparing and clearing my own field.    When clearing space you can use the smudge to draw Reiki symbols.

Many cultures use sage or juniper as clearing and protective smudges.  Most aromatic medicinal plants can be used to make smudge as long as they are not toxic. I thought I should post this now for those of you who read it before the full moon so that you may enjoy this pastime and bring the beautiful energy of lavender and other garden herbs into your life.

Besides binding the Karuna energy into the smudge, one of the Karuna energies in particular aids in connecting with other forms of consciousness such as plants, and can be used to connect with the different plants you are harvesting from during the smudge making process.  I am running a Karuna Reiki® class for Masters 21st-23rd August in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire.  Karuna Reiki® is the next step for Usui Reiki Masters and introduces many more tools for the healing practitioner.  Besides more unique energies which facilitate growth, Karuna leads you to unlock unlimited potential in all areas of your life.  For further details and class syllabus, visit the Reiki Drum Karuna page at


  1. Viv says:

    I have been making similar smudge sticks for many years but following leaving behind my lovely lavender bushes at my last house, my new ones are failing to thrive and so have made none now for some years. The rosemary is doing well though.
    I am a beekeeper and I like to put a sprig in my smoker when I inspect my hives; my girls seem to appreciate it too.
    thanks for a lovely article.

  2. Drum says:

    Thanks Viv… love the idea of your bees enjoying your rosemary… can imagine it would make for some nice honey!

  3. Celia says:

    I have spent this afteroon making lavender smudge sticks and upset a few bees that are still visiting the bushes it is a very peaceful job and the smell is jusy lovley my problem is it makes me tired so have to sit in the garden to recover with a cup of tea.Wonderful!

  4. Drum says:

    Isn’t it a wonderful way to spend time. I’m using a lot of my smudge in my classes currently, always makes for lovely energy. Glad you enjoyed it. Lucky you to still have your lavender in bloom. It’s almost all over here in the South East. And what a lovely way to spend such a beautiful hot day as we’ve had today!

  5. marie says:

    I found this surffing the web!Wonderful information. We have Bay and Huge eucalyptus tress, can these too be used smudging?

  6. Drum says:

    Hi Marie, as long as a plant is not toxic, you can use its leaves for smudge. Bay and Eucalyptus are used in both herbal and aromatherapy applications, therefore they will be safe for use as smudge. Both have wonderful aromas and have their own energetic applications in plant spirit medicine. Bay is protective and inspiring, and Eucalyptus is a particular good cleanser.

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