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What Is Smudging?

Updated: Dec 14, 2022

Essentially, smudging is a way to get rid of stagnant and negative energy using the smoke from lightly burned Sage Bundles

If you are feeling stuck, negative, sluggish, or depressed try smudging. Smudging is an ancient ceremony in which you burn sacred plants, such as sage or palo santo, to allow the smoke to clear and bless a space.

Purpose of smudging

Smudging connects people to the Creator and is a way to gain spiritual protection, receive blessings from the Creator, and improve spiritual health. The smoke created by burning medicines purifies the body, soul and brings clarity to the mind. In this way, smudging is also used to rid any negative energy a person may carry throughout the day. Sacred items and locations can be smudged to clear away negativity. Smudging can be done at any time of day or night, whenever it is needed.

How to smudge?

Take your sage and burn it in an abalone shell. A small stream of smoke is all that is necessary. The smoke from the smudge can be pulled toward oneself with your hands or pushed by another person using a feather. For many, smudging is a way to start the day right, prepare for a ceremony or meeting, or use it when life gets challenging.


May your hands be cleansed, that they create beautiful things. May your feet be cleansed, that they might take you where you most need to be. May your heart be cleansed, that you might hear its messages clearly. May your throat be cleansed, that you might speak rightly when words are needed. May your eyes be cleansed, that you might see the signs and wonders of the world. May this person and space be washed clean by the smoke of these fragrant plants. And may that same smoke carry our prayers, spiraling, to the heavens.

Smudging our bodies

The smoke from smudging is similar to the water that we cleanse our bodies with, but instead, it cleanses our spirits. When we smudge, we cover a few key areas: the mind (top of the head), ears, eyes, mouth, heart, back, hair, and whole being (push the smoke down the body towards the floor) and the feet. Once the smudge is completed, the smudge can burn out naturally

  1. Mind: to have good thoughts

  2. Eyes: to see the good in others

  3. Ears: to listen and hear good sounds

  4. Mouth: to speak well of others

  5. Heart: to purify our hearts

  6. Back: to have others watch our back

  7. Hair: to take care of our lifeline

  8. Whole being: to portray only the good part of ourselves through our actions

  9. Feet: to walk a good life


  1. Clear your space of clutter and mess.

  2. Open up windows and curtains to provide an exit for trapped negative energy and to allow for clean air to enter.

  3. Place the smudge stick in a fireproof container such as an abalone shell.

  4. Turn off your phone and create a sense of peace and prayer.

  5. Light the smudge stick and say a prayer or just focus your energy. Gently wave the stick till it begins to smolder.

  6. Wave your hands to disperse the smoke. Remind yourself to stay connected to your breathing and have only positive thoughts throughout your smudging session.

  7. Smudge the corners of every room, as they tend to accumulate stagnant energy. Be sure to also open the closet doors and carefully smudge inside. I often don’t, but they say it’s important not to forget about spaces such as the laundry room, the garage, or the basement.

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