Google once told me that my family's old-timey motto was, "Brave in difficulties," no doubt connoting my ancestors' fortitude and ability to overcome immense challenges. If I were to establish a motto for myself, however, it'd be more like, "Anxious and overwhelmingly negative in difficulties," connoting my personal tendency to worry at the first sign of trouble — or of anything happening at all, really. I'm a worrier, plain and simple.
So, when I learn about a product that stands even the slimmest chance of quieting my mind, I jump at the chance to try it (see: the shungite crystal that I keep at my desk). Ceremonie's Sacred Smudge Mist*, a scented spray meant to purify and protect the user's space and their "aura," is my latest weapon in my spiritual war against the influx of my own fears.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the concept of auras, they are, essentially, energy fields whose colors are thought to reflect our current mood and state of mind. "They emanate from every living source, including human, animals, and plants," says shamanic medicine teacher, ritualist, and Ceremonie founder Mimi Young. Since auras are believed to be integral to our physical forms, we must treat them as such and care for them like any other part of our bodies, she explains. Enter Ceremonie's Aura Mists.
Young creates all of her mists by hand via shamanic rituals using "pure plant ingredients and positive energetic infusions." Each variety of mist is composed of different ingredients and offers the user energy "that corresponds with distinct, ideal human states of being or states of power," she says. The Sacred Smudge Mist, specifically, contains witch hazel, water, and oils derived from the leaves and woods of several plants and trees, including sage, juniper, and Douglas fir.
As far as using the mist goes, Young leaves that mostly up to the individual user. Use it as much or as little as you like, just use it with intention, she says: "My sense is that the inexperienced user can begin with a sense of exploration, and as they work with these plants, their spirits will gently lead the user to begin forming their own rituals." In other words, with time you'll likely develop a routine with your mist that works for your needs.
So, with that in mind, I decided to use my Sacred Smudge Mist in the mornings, before leaving the house and stepping out into the vastly intimidating world. I sprayed the mist over my head and around my body (not directly onto it, as the instructions on the bottle stated), all the while repeating a very simple mantra: "All will be well." I'm not very original with my mantras.
The first thing I noticed about the mist was its fragrance. Not quite floral, not quite metallic, it's an earthy blend that instantly made me feel more grounded, even as I went about my feverishly paced morning routine. (For the record, there isn't a ton of research on aromatherapy and its potential benefits, although one small study published in 2008 suggested that the scent of lemon may have a positive effect on people's moods.)
Maybe it helped that I faced the one window in my studio apartment as I misted my surrounding energy field. Maybe it helped that my week was already pretty challenging and I was down to try just about anything to feel a little chiller. Whatever it was, I felt more reflective, aware of my own feelings, and, most surprisingly, secure and confident in those feelings. And, eerily enough, that's kind of what the mist is supposed to do.
"Common effects users experience when using the Sacred Smudge Mist is a renewed sense of worth, clarity of self, and the capacity to set healthy boundaries," Young says. To be fair, the mist didn't wash away my overall pessimistic outlook on life, but maybe, just maybe this small ritual, in which I hit pause on my frantic day for a moment to remind myself that things will eventually look up, made a difference in how I handled the challenges that came my way.
Originally, I planned to conduct my mist test for just a week, but truth be told I used it for a bit longer — and, at least for the immediate future, I plan to keep using it. I'm not sure I'll be revising my personal motto anytime soon, but having a less murky aura just might change that.
*Ceremonie provided Refinery29 with the product for testing purposes.