a Guide to Smudging

Smudging is a ritual to cleanse and invite positive energy in. The smoke from a burning | smoldering smudge stick fills and purifies the target. Here is a simple guide to smudging.

guide to smudging

Smudge sticks are bundles of herbs known for their healing and purifying qualities, like sage, lavender and heather to name a few. Some smudge sticks also contain Palo Santo and Crystals like selenite.

History of Smudging

The burning of herbs goes back to the beginning of time; burning herbs in order to prevent illness, ward off negative energy or cleanse a space, person or thing is a tradition that goes back centuries. Native Americans were known for using sage and sweetgrass in their ceremonies.

Burning smudge sticks is a sacred religious practice, which should always be treated with respect. The proper intention, reverence and deep gratitude for those who did it before us should always be kept at the forefront of the ritual.

Reasons | Benefits for Smudging

  • Inviting positivity
  • Purifying
  • Symptom relief
  • Spirituality
  • Release negativity
  • Cleanse or charge objects
  • Mood agent
  • Stress relief
  • Sleep quality
  • Brain stimulant
  • Energy booster
  • Aromatherapy

The scent of smudge sticks is calming on a soul level, since it’s a tool to balance energy, creating as much positivity in our life and diminishing negative aspects, creating an optimal spirituality.

The Four Elements and Smudging

  • Earth {sage or whatever herbs compose the smudge stick}
  • Fire {matches | candle used to light smudge stick}
  • Air {smoke generated from smudge stick which permeates the space, person or object}
  • Water {abalone shells were used by Native Americans to hold smudge stick during ritual}

All four elements need to be balanced with the proper intentions to set the fifth element to come through, which is the good spirit. This is at the core of the smudging ritual.

Materials Needed for Smudging

  1. Fireproof bowl | container {ceramic, metal, glass marble, clay or sea shell to hold embers and ashes}
  2. Feather or fan {to direct smoke}
  3. Matches and candle {preferred over lighter}
  4. Sand {for extinguishing}
  5. Shrine{to hold all smudging materials as dedicated items only for this purpose}

The smudging tools and materials should be dedicated to the ritual and only used for this sole purpose. A shrine or altar can be used to house the smudging materials between ceremonies, regardless of frequency.

A Guide on how to Smudge

  1. Gather materials with mindfulness
  2. Set intentions
  3. Light sage stick with matches and|or candle
  4. Allow to smoke {if flame develops extinguish with sand}
  5. Use feather or fan to direct smoldering smoke
  6. For person or object simply fan smoke in direction of and over said person or object
  7. For home start at the front door and move through home in clockwise fashion {make sure there is a window or external door ajar for negativity to exit}
  8. Allow smoke to enter all closets, nooks and areas in home desired for cleanse
  9. If stairs are involved, go up & down stairwell when reached and continue in clockwise fashion on current floor and when done with floor repeat process on additional floors
  10. During ritual use fireproof bowl, dish, shell to catch any embers and ashes
  11. Relight smudge stick if necessary during ritual using candle
  12. Repeat a mantra or prayer during ceremony manifesting intentions
  13. Finish ritual back at front door with one last chanting of mantra or prayer
  14. Envision home enveloped in a bright, white light

Home cleansing usually is done once per year but a smudging ritual can be done as regularly as needed. You can have it coincide with a lunar new year or an equinox if you desire but it is not necessary. Rather follow your instinct and intentions for the proper balance in your life.

Additional Notes on Smudging

Aside from the metaphysical uses of smudging, research is showing that sage can also be used to benefit physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Be mindful that during the ritual you are literally playing with fire. Please be safe and prudent to prevent any accidents or mishaps. When I cleanse my house my daughter helps since between the shell, the matches, the candle and feather to direct the smoke it’s helpful to have extra hands to help. I also enjoy sharing the intention together.

Smudge sticks are deeply embedded in ancient cultures but have become main stream with some beautiful varieties in the marketplace. I have acquired my smudge stick collection and become acquainted with the ritual since we carry them at the store where I work, Whim House, which you can read more about here {working at Whim House}.

Smudge sticks should always be sustainable and authentically made supporting artisans and indigenous ways. Remember, the proper intention, reverence and deep gratitude for those who did it before us should always be kept at the forefront of the ritual.

We invited positivity into our home from the front door and worked clockwise around the entire home. We welcomed happiness, health, hope and prosperity into our minds, heart, body and soul. I am working on maintaining balance and peace in my life, striving to nurture my health. {Health is my one little word for 2022}.

“The healing power of smudging- cleansing rituals to purify your home, attract positive energy, and bring peace into your life.”

Rodika Tchi


  1. I enjoyed your post at Funtastic Friday. I smudge my home , myself, my friends and my business. Like minded.

    1. Thanks Michele. I am a newbie at the smudging but I am fascinated by spirituality and I am working on my mindfulness. Thanks for stopping by. XO- MJ

I love hearing from you!