Smudge rituals date back to ancient times as a ceremonial activity for inviting positive energy into a space or person and casting out the negative. While there are variants to smudging traditions, I’ve found that the most important part of doing a smudging or saging is the intention that is set for the practice and the meditative time set aside for the ritual. Here’s how to smudge your home if you’d like to do an energetic clearing in your space.
What You’ll Need
First, gather your materials.
Smudge sticks are made from a variety of materials and whichever you choose is up to your own personal preference. White sage is the most popular for smudging, particularly for more intensive energetic cleansing. Palo Santo is another more traditional option that not only smells good but carries amazing benefits. Recently, beautiful and less traditional smudge bundles are becoming available that feature herbs and flowers such as lavender, rosemary, and rose petals.
You’ll need a candle or lighter handy to light and re-light your smudge stick throughout your ritual. (Yes, they can have a tendency to go out depending on the materials.)
A turkey feather is helpful to waft the smoke from your smudge stick into the direction you want the smoke to flow.
A fireproof container is used to catch the ashes from your smudge bundle and provide a resting place if you don’t use the entire bundle in one session. I have a ceramic bowl designed as an incense holder that I use for small bundles or Palo Santo sticks. Traditionally an abalone shell is used to introduce a water element to the ritual.
Sand is ideal for putting out your smudge stick when you’re done. Keep a small bowl of sand handy where you stash your smudge kit to safely extinguish your smoke.
How To Smudge Your Home
To smudge your home, start at your front door and light your smudge stick. Wait for it to catch fire enough to start smoking and then blow it down to embers so you have smoke but no fire. Going clockwise through your home, use the feather to direct the smoke throughout the space. Be sure not to miss any closets or nooks. As you come across stairs if you have any, go up or down, and continue moving clockwise through your entire space until you arrive back at the stairs. Then head back to your main level where you can resume in a counterclockwise fashion to finish where you’ll arrive back at your front door.
You can also say a prayer or mantra as you move through the space. Speaking your intention aloud in this way makes for a more powerful experience. After all, your intention with the ritual is the most important piece. Otherwise, you’re just burning plant matter in your house.
Smudge your home as often as you feel called to it. Some people do it once a year or on the lunar new year. Others use smudging as part of a new or full moon ritual. It can be helpful to do when you move into a new space, as well.