Smudging: The Art of Purification
Smudging is an ancient Native American custom of purifying a space, person or objects by burning herbs. Many religious and spiritual groups as well as healers, feng shui practitioners and Yogis have adopted this ritual because if it’s a fast effective way of cleansing.
How Does It Work
Herbs, like sage, cedar and sweet grass, are burned as part of the smudging ritual. It’s said that the smoke from the herbs attaches itself to negative energies. As the smoke clears, it brings the darkness away with it. If you are dealing with evil spirits, it is believed that they hate the smell of these herbs and therefore leave the house.
You can smudge a home, office, altar and any other space that feels heavy and dark.
People who are angry, anxious, ill or depressed can benefit from a personal smudging. It can also be used to purify objects like crystals, candles, furniture, jewelry, statues, clothes and altar tools.
What You’ll Need
- Herbs like sage, cedar and sweet grass. These can be in a bundle or loose. White Sage is the most popular herb used.
- An abalone shell or clay bowl if you are using loose herbs.
- A lighter or matches.
- A cup of water.
- A Peyote feather. (Optional)
- Oils like cedarwood oil and aloe vera oil. (Optional)
How to Perform a Cleansing Ritual
- The very first thing you need to do is get grounded and set your intentions. Smudging needs to be performed with love and care, never from a place of anger or hate. Say a prayer before you start like, “My intention is to clear this house of all impurities and negativities and bring in light, love and healing energies.”
- Open all doors and windows. Some people go so far as to open all cabinets, drawers and shut off all electronics.
- If you are working with a smudge stick, light it until it catches fire and then blow it out. If you are working with loose herbs, light some in an abalone shell and blow it out. The herbs should start to smoke.
- Walk through each room, waving the smoke with your hand or Peyote feather. Pay special attention to corners, closets and windows. While walking, repeat any mantra or intention you have while visualizing all of the toxicity floating out of the doors and windows.
- After you are done, allow the smoke to engulf your body, cleansing yourself of any residual negative energy.
- Put your smudge stick or loose herbs in a cup of water to extinguish it or just let it burn safely until it’s done. Some people spread the ash outside their home for protection.
- Allow all smoke to exit your home before closing the doors and windows.
- You can seal this ritual by lighting a white candle and going through your house again and saying “This house is filled with light and love.”
- Finish by adding aloe vera or cedar wood oil to each room, window and doors for extra protection.
To cleanse a person, light sage and carefully wave smoke around their body. They can cup their hands in the smoke and wave it onto their face. For objects, simply hold the object through the smoke or wave the smoke around it.
Smudging is an easy and effective way to cleanse your home and yourself when done with love and care.