Burning smoke is a ceremonial tradition adopted by cultures worldwide. The sacred practice is rooted in Native American culture, and indigenous communities use the healing smoke to balance energy and spirituality. In modern society, many call this practice “smudging.” During this practice, people burn sage sticks and say prayers, intentions, and waft the smoke into a space to cleanse their home and aura.
Smudging sage has had a resurgence among holistic communities, and now all walks of life are turning to sage smoke to cleanse and restore.
In our beginner’s guide to smudging, we covered the basics of burning sage to cleanse your home. In this guide, we’re diving deeper into the fine details of smudging sage to amplify your practice to ultimate zen status.
Ready to smudge? Let’s burn some sage!
What Are The Benefits Of Smudging?
Before we get to our practice, let’s examine some of the positive effects of burning sage. Everyone can benefit from smudging, not just healers and intuits. That’s largely why the practice has segued into the mainstream.
There are many reasons to smudge, and regardless of your intention, you’re sure to benefit! Smudging sage can:
- Cleanse your space and home of stagnant, negative energy
- Clear negativity from your body, mind, and spirit
- Purify the air in your home or workspace
- Promote holistic healing
- Connect you with higher spirituality and consciousness
- Bless a place, event, or person. For example, some people smudge sage at weddings or when they move into a new home.
- Release traumas, painful memories, and negative thoughts
- Help you recover from an accident or traumatizing life event
- Cleanse your aura after a negative encounter with a friend, family member, or stranger
Sounds pretty amazing, right? Every smudging practice is unique because each practitioner is special. What you take away from your practice may differ from someone else’s. The important factor is to go into the ritual with an open mind and heart.
Which Sage Is Best For Smudging?
The first order of business is to decide which sage you’ll use. Many wonder, “can common sage be used for smudging?” If you have sage in your garden, you can certainly dry it for smudging. However, the most common and optimal sage for smudging is white sage.
White sage is the most famous smudging material because of its purifying effect and potent scent. The intention of smudging sage is to cleanse and purify. You’ll need a strong herb like white sage to take full effect and maximize your practice.
If you’re feeling bogged down by negative, stagnant energy, you’ll need a major cleanser that’s fit for the task. Look no further than white sage, a natural antimicrobial herb that purifies pathogens, impurities, and negative energy from your home.
With your white sage in hand, let’s prepare for smudging.
How Do You Prepare Sage For Smudging?
Like most sacred rituals and traditions, you’ll need specific provisions for smudging sage.
What you’ll need:
- White sage smudge stick
- Matches or a candle
- A fire-safe bowl
If you’re working with loose, dried herbs, you’ll need to create a bundle for smudging. Compile your dried herbs and leaves together and wrap them in a cotton string from the bottom to the top. Be sure to tighten the bundle enough so that loose leaves don’t fall out.
Grab your bundle, and let’s jump right into the practice of smudging sage!
How To Smudge Sage
Smudging sage is relatively straightforward, and the more you practice, the stronger the healing. For your first practice, follow the steps below to introduce yourself to the healing benefits of smudging sage. Over time, the ritual will sync with your muscle memory and you’ll find yourself smudging without having to follow instructions.
1. Pick Your Herbs
In this guide, we’re focusing on smudging white sage. However, you can also create your own smudge sticks from dried leaves or herbs like lavender, tobacco, cedar, mugwort, or juniper.
2. Grab A Fire-Proof Bowl
Choose a fire-proof plate, bowl, ashtray, or abalone shell. Most people choose an abalone seashell as it brings in a natural element to your smudging practice. Take it a step further by adding some sand to the shell, which will help you extinguish the burning smoke after you smudge.
3. Set An Intention
The goal of smudging sage is to purify, cleanse, and renew your space to be as uplifting and positive as possible. Assist your smudging practice by setting an intention before you begin. So, What do you say when smudging?
You can ask the practice to cleanse your home, remove stagnant energy, or pulse uplifting vibes through your home. Your prayer or intention is entirely personal and you should tailor it to what you need most from the smoke.
4. Open Up Your Space
The healing smoke from the burning sage works to completely cleanse your home. Assist the process by opening up windows and doors to allow fresh energy to flood into your home and guide the cleansing smoke outward.
5. Start Smudging
Now that we’ve prepared your space, we can begin smudging. Hold your smudge stick over the fire-proof bowl, and light the top end of the stick with a match or candle. Slowly turn the smudge stick to engulf the top of the bundle in a flame. Gently blow on the fire to put out the flame and billow the smoke.
Walk around your home or space carefully in a clockwise movement. Approach each room with the smoke and waft it into the corners, windowsills, under furniture, and in cabinets where dead energy stagnates. Afterward, leave the doors, windows, cabinets, and closets open to let the smoke dwindle naturally.
6. Conclude Your Practice
When you’ve thoroughly smudged your space, put out the smoke in an ashtray or the abalone shell with sand. Press the sage stick into the bowl and the smoke will slowly dissipate completely. Alternatively, you can rest the smoking bundle in the bowl and let it blow out, just be sure to stick around until you’re positive it’s no longer burning.
Combine Sage and Crystals For Heavenly Healing!
As you master the art of smudging sage, you’ll want to bring in more natural elements to amplify the ritual. Like sage smoke, healing crystals contain powerful properties that cleanse, purify, and heal on a physical and metaphysical level.
If you’re feeling distant or withdrawn from celestial energy, bring in spiritual crystals like rose quartz, crystal quartz, and amethyst. Better yet, kickstart your smudging journey with our Crystal Healing Kit!