What is Smudging?
Smudging is a way to energetically cleanse a space in order to invite positive energy. When smudging a space, you burn plant material. The smoke fills and purifies the environment. There are many different plant materials you can use for smudging. Some common ones are sage, cedar, sweet grass, and lavender.
White sage is probably the most common and popular herb for smudging. It is associated with purity and has a strong and heavy presence.
As the smoke ascends, our wishes and intentions rise and mingle into the universe, connecting heaven, earth, and humanity.
What You'll Need
a sage bundle (or smudge stick)
a seashell or bowl of ceramic, clay, or glass to hold burning sage or capture ash
optional feather or fan for fanning smoke
How to Smudge?
Light the end of a sage bundle with a match.
The tips of the leaves should smolder slowly, releasing thick smoke. Direct this smoke around your body and space with one hand while holding the bundle in the other.
Allow the incense to linger on the areas of your body or surroundings you’d like to focus on. Using a fan or feather can also help direct the smoke, though this is optional.
Allow the ash to collect in a ceramic bowl or shell.
Some helpful hints to consider
If you are smudging your home, it is recommended to work in a clockwise direction and ending where you began.
Some people burn sage over special objects, to acknowledge the object with sacred meaning.
You can also burn sage as an aromatherapy to improve odor, fragrance, and mood.
Benefits of Smudging
It is purifying
It is thought to release negative ions which clean the air of bugs and bacteria
It may dispel negative energy
It may improve your mood
It may assist in soothing stress
It may improve sleep
It may boost cognition
Creates an uplifting natural fragrance
Cultural Celebration and Appreciation
Smudging and other smoke offerings have been found in Buddhism, Indigenous practices in the U.S., along with others. The smoke ceremony creates transformation and blesses a space and the inhabitants. It is important to treat this ritual with respect and gratitude, acknowledging its deep history and origin.
Where to purchase Sage
As smudging becomes more popular, there has been a huge uptick in sage providers who are overharvesting the plant, so it's important to use sage that's been collected sustainably. Research how your sage is being handled and prepared prior to purchasing. You may also consider growing, drying and bundling your own.
Risks and Safety
Never leave burning sage unattended. Make sure to put your sage bundle out completely after every use.
People with asthma and other respiratory conditions may be more sensitive to the smoke and have adverse reactions.
Always leave a window open while smudging. Inhaling smoke can be hazardous to your health.