A Beginner’s Guide to the Sacred Art of Smudging

Mar 17, 2022

wellness

A Beginner’s Guide to the Sacred Art of Smudging
BY AHNA KENNEDY

Smudge Stick

We all carry energy — both our own and fragments of other people’s — around with us and into our homes and spaces every day. This energy isn’t always as positive as we’d like and over time it can accumulate and stagnate which can lead to feeling uninspired, apathetic, stuck, or depressed. This is where smudging sage and other sacred dried herbs come into play!

What is Smudging?

Smudging is like an energetic shower if you will. The practice of burning resins, herbs, or woods is an age-old ritual that has been used for thousands of years for a wide variety of medicinal, spiritual, and ceremonial purposes. Traditionally, people burn or smudge white sage to purify the air, move energy throughout a space, and kill airborne pollutants. Sage, cedar, and rosemary are just a few of the most popular herbs and bundles that can be dried and used for this practice —  each carrying its unique uses and benefits.

The Benefits of Smudging Your Home

Smudging offers numerous benefits when burned intentionally within your home or space. 

Smudging can help you:

  • Relax and feel a sense of grounding and homeostasis.
  • Connect with your higher self. 
  • Gain clarity + sharpen focus without any heavy energies hanging around.
  • Let go and release whatever is no longer serving you, and increase your spiritual awareness.
  • Purify your air and clear out toxins. The air feels so crisp and clean when you’re done smudging.

woman smudging


Common Herbs to Smudge 

  • White Sage — used to clear negative energies from objects, space, or people. It also releases negative ions that fight against things like dust and pollution, and research has also shown that it can clear 94% of airborne bacteria (for up to 24hrs).
  • Frankincense — reduces stress and removes unwanted energies. 
  • Myrrh —  cleanses, heals, and uplifts the spirit.
  • Sweet Grass — symbolizes kindness and is often used in cleansing rituals.
  • Cedar — to uplift feelings, and banish fear.
  • Rosemary — for removing negative energies associated with sickness, and clearing.
  • Aspen – for ascension, protection, and overcoming fears.
  • Eucalyptus — for healing and protection.

When to Smudge?

There’s no right or wrong way to smudge your given space. You can create a personalized smudging ritual that can be as simple or spiritual as you’d like.  

That said, an ideal time to practice smudging includes: 

  • Before a meditation or journaling session 
  • When the energy in your home feels toxic or unpleasant
  • On a full moon and the day after a new moon
  • You’ve recently deep cleaned, organized, or decluttered your home
  • You’ve had visitors (especially if negative emotions were shared during the visit)
  • You have come home from a crowded, negative, or tense place
  • If you’re having trouble getting out of your head and letting things go
  • When moving into a new space 
  • Someone in the house has been sick

smudge tray

Supplies Needed For Smudging

  • Sage stick, smudge stick, or herb bundle. 
  • Candles or matches to light the sage.
  • A fireproof smudging bowl — traditional rituals use an abalone shell, but you can use any heat-resistant dish.
  • An ashtray, pot of sand, or soil to extinguish the burning sage.

A Basic Smudging Ritual

  1. Set an intention tailored to your specific needs. For Example, “I ask this practice to cleanse and purify my home of negative energy.”
  2. Open windows and doors, which help to guide smoke away from your space or home. 
  3. Ignite the end of your smudge stick or bundle until it begins to smoke.
  4. Gently blow on the fire lightly to extinguish the flame. The sage stick will release healing smoke, similar to an incense stick. 
  5. Cleanse your space by moving clockwise throughout your home.
  6. While fanning the smoke, repeat a mantra or intention to focus the intent of the ritual that is meaningful to you. 
  7. Continue fanning smoke in a clockwise direction until you return to the starting point, thus completing the circle.
  8. Extinguish the smoke by gently pressing bundle or stick into an ashtray or pot of sand. 

Blessings on your cleansing!

If you enjoyed this blog post, check out 4 Things to Consider when Buying Vitamins & Supplements

ahna kennedy

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