In recent years, smudging has become a trend among celebrities and influencers. Despite this newfound hype, this ancient healing practice been around for centuries. Have you heard of smudging, but you aren’t sure what it is? You’ve come to the right place! In this smudging for beginners guide, we’re walking you through every step of the ritual.
Keep reading as we outline the roots of this sacred tradition, holistic benefits, and how to smudge!
What Is Smudging?
Smudging is a time-honored ritual used for cleansing a space or home of negative or inactive energy. For thousands of years, our ancestors and indigenous tribes have used smudging to remove evil spirits and make room for uplifting, healing energy.
The process involves burning sage, herbs, or resins to release sacred healing smoke. The smoke wafts into the air and floods a space with purifying, healing energy.
As we move about our day, encounter others, and carry energy from space to space, a buildup of stagnant energy happens. The result is low vibes and an energetic plateau. You may feel uninspired, apathetic, stuck, or depressed.
When this happens, it’s a great idea to smudge your home, room, and office!
So, How Does Smudging Work?
Traditionally, people burn white sage sticks to purify the air, move energy throughout a space, and kill airborne pollutants. While white sage isn’t the sole material used, it’s a great starting point for smudging for beginners.
Best part? You can tailor your smudging practice to best suit your vibe. Sage is the most popular smudging herb, but you can use any herb or plant! That’s because every flora and fauna have medicinal properties that can best facilitate your intention.
Do you want to invite harmony and peace into your life? Try smudging with basil! Looking for love? Smudge cloves, which attract romance. Need to protect yourself from toxic energy or news overload? Start smudging with grounding eucalyptus.
Since we’re discussing smudging for beginners, we’ll focus on working with sage in this guide. Ready to learn how to smudge? First, let’s get your materials together.
Supplies Needed For Smudging
As mentioned, you can choose which herbs you’d like to smudge. Here’s what else you’ll need to start smudging:
- Sage stick, smudge stick, or herb bundle. (Some smudge with palo santo, learn why we don’t recommend smudging with palo santo, and sustainable alternatives.)
- 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
How Do You Smudge?
Step 1: Set An Intention
With your materials in hand, you’re ready to start smudging! First, you may want to set an intention to strengthen your practice. What do you say when smudging? Start by asking what you need from your ritual. Some call this a smudging prayer, but it’s ultimately an intention tailored to your specific needs.
Since we’re discussing smudging for beginners, keep your intention simple. Say, “I ask this practice to cleanse and purify my home of negative energy.”
Take a moment to meditate on your intention, and when you’re ready, begin.
Step 2: Open Windows and Doors
A common question about smudging for beginners is, “Do you open windows when smudging?” We recommend that you do because as the sacred smoke purifies your space, you’ll need to direct the negative energy outward. Open the windows and doors to guide the smoke away from your home or space.
Step 3: Light Your Sage Stick Or Herb Bundle
Take your fireproof dish and hold your sage stick above it. Then, use the candle or lighter flame to light the end of the sage stick slowly. Any excess ash or embers will fall into the fireproof dish below. Slowly, a flame will ignite. Blow on the fire lightly to extinguish the flame. The sage stick will release healing smoke, similar to an incense stick.
Step 4: Cleanse Your Space
With your smoking sage stick in hand, move clockwise through your home. Enter each room and waft the smoke into all corners of the room and throughout the open space. Get in the nooks and crannies, corners, and crevices to flood them with healing smoke. Make sure to smudge the smoke into windowsills, and even open closets and cupboards.
Small spaces harbor stagnant energy, so you want to be mindful to fan the sage smoke into these spaces. Leave the doors, closets, and pantries open to allow the smoke to dissipate.
Be mindful not to erupt billows of smoke clouds into one space where the smoke will stagnate. The goal is to keep the smoke moving lightly and efficiently through your home.
If the smoke goes out, repeat step three and reignite it with a flame over your fireproof bowl.
Step 5: Extinguish The Smoke
After you’ve smudged your entire home, your sage stick may still be smoking. Grab your ashtray or pot of sand. Gently press the stick into the earthy bowl until the smoke ceases. Some people prefer to let the sage stick burn out naturally. If you’d like to do this, stay with the sage stick until it stops smoking. Do not leave a smoking stick unattended.
And that’s your step by step guide to smudging for beginners!
Start Cleansing Your Space
Are you wondering when you should smudge your home? It’s entirely up to your discretion. If you’re feeling an accumulation of negative energy or stagnation, it’s a good time to smudge.
Avid participants of smudging may conduct the ritual daily. However, most choose to smudge once a week or month. Ultimately, you’ll look to your inner intuition to tell you when it’s time to cleanse your space.
Need more tips for purifying your space? Head to our guide for removing negative energy from your home.