Smudging 101

Let’s talk about the importance of a healthy life and being mindful of the energy in and around your home. Your home marks both the beginning and end of your day, making it worth taking a few moments to reflect on the energy it holds.

You’re probably well aware of the benefits of maintaining a clutter-free home. Of course, achieving that can depend on factors like your available free time and the dynamics of your household – whether that includes kids or even our four-legged canine companions.

However, there’s an aspect that’s often overlooked: the actual energy that permeates your home. Think of it as the underlying harmony that complements a clutter-free space. By parting ways with items that no longer serve you and clearing out what’s unnecessary, you effectively restore the energy flow within your home.

Have you ever paused to consider the subtle, unseen energy that may be lingering? It could be the emotional residue from a bad day, disagreements, or simply moments when the atmosphere felt a bit heavy.

This is where the idea of smudging comes in. Let’s start at the beginning.

What is Smudging?

Smudging is a sacred cultural practice and not a religious ceremony. It is part of spiritual tradition and used in ceremonies and rituals for many indigenous people all over the world. When you smudge, begin with a prayer or intention to honor the cultures that have been using smudging for generations.

You may be more familiar with smudging with sage to remove negative energy from your home and energetic body. It is an ancient spiritual ritual of Native Americans and may be most common in North America.

What is Palo Santo?

Palo Santo is a sacred tree native to South America. People of its land have used it for spiritual healing and in healing ceremonies for centuries, much like sage has been used by Native Americans.

Shamans believe burning Palo Santo (sacred wood) removes negativity and attracts good fortune. You can clear your home regularly by smudging with sage or Palo Santo or just rooms that may need it more often.

When is best to Smudge?

In addition to smudging to clear your home and crystals, smudging may be used to calm the mind and become present in the moment before meditation or prayer.

I often smudge myself before sitting down at my desk to work or create or at the end of an intense day.

Smudging on a new moon is a great way to work with moon energy to clear your home.

Our journey gracefully transitions from sweeping away stagnant energy to fostering sacred connections. As we delve into the revered art of smudging, a time-honored ancient tradition to cleanse our living spaces, we find ourselves seamlessly guided toward another profound practice. Just as smudging revitalizes our surroundings, the ancient tradition of using incense on your altar nourishes your spiritual connection through a delicate dance of smoke and intention.

We’ve also started incorporating Himalayan Rope Incense into our home routine. Personally, it’s become a way for me to make a small offering to my guides and angels before diving into my workday. These special incense ropes are made with care – women in Nepali households wrap Sandalwood powder in delicate rice paper by hand. This tradition harks back to ancient times, seen as a heartfelt offering to the gods and goddesses.

This practice, much like smudging, holds deep roots in ancient cultures, where the offering of fragrant smoke was a symbol of reverence and devotion. It’s a timeless link that ties the old with the present, infusing your spiritual journey with a profound sense of continuity.

How do you smudge?

Step 1. Light one end of the wood stick or sage bundle, allowing the flame to extinguish and begin to smolder. (if the flame does not extinguish— shake to extinguish, don’t blow on it. Tradition says if you blow on your smudge stick you are blowing your spirit away.)
Step 2. Offer a prayer to call in your angels, guides, ancestors, or Source (choose what resonates for you). Ask them to remove energy that no longer serves your family and home, making way for all the blessings to come.
Step 3. Be sure to clear the corners of rooms and closets.
Step 4. When complete, open a door or window for negative energy to leave your space.

When you begin to smudge your home, start at the front door, move in a clockwise rotation, and return to the front door for completion. Remember to open the front door (and windows along the way) for negative energy to leave your home.

The beauty of smudging is it is a part of many different cultures and traditions. Like spirituality, if you honor the history, you can use various methods and find what resonates for you. Here are a few other ideas to explore and add to your smudging ritual.

To deepen your smudging practice, before you begin, include an invitation to the energies of the east, west, north, and south. I like to also add in – all that is above and all that is within.

How do you incorporate the four elements into smudging?

Another practice for smudging is to include the four elements in your practice.
1. To hold your ash, use a shell to represent water (either one you have purchased or collected yourself.)
2. Burning sage or Palo Santo is a gift from mother earth.
3. The flame used to light constitutes fire.
4. The smoke that is created represents air as the final element.

In Hindu tradition, the ash left after smudging is sacred. It represents purity. When placed on the forehead, it represents the purity of the mind. Placing a bit of ash on your forehead before meditation will help to clear your mind and prepare for meditation.

Can you make your own smudge bundles?

If you prefer to make your own smudge bundles, you can use garden sage, cedar, sweetgrass, rosemary, or sagebrush. If you prefer, you can smudge with loose herbs you have grown or gathered.

Use caution with loose herbs to not burn yourself or your home. I use a selenite offering bowl for burning loose sage and as a way to collect the ashes. Any dedicated fire-safe dish will work.

How to use incense as an offering on your altar:

Step 1: Intent and Choice Begin with a clear intention for your offering. Choose an incense that aligns with your purpose, whether it’s relaxation, clarity, or connection.

Step 2: Lighting Light the incense and let the flame catch. If possible allow the flame to extinguish itself, leaving a glowing ember.

Step 3: Place with Purpose Position the lit incense in a holder on your altar. It symbolizes presenting your intention to the divine.

Step 4: Reflect and Gratitude Observe the rising smoke, reflecting on your intention. Express gratitude for the connection you’re fostering.

Step 5: Closure Once the incense has burned enough or your offering feels complete, acknowledge the connection you’ve nurtured with a prayer of gratitude. If possible and safe you can allow the incense to burn completely out instead of extinguishing, if you prefer gently extinguish the ember.

Using incense as an offering adds a touch of sacredness to your practice, creating a bridge between the physical and spiritual realms.

 

We offer a variety of smudging items and other spiritual tools in our online shop.

  • Tibetan Tinghsa Bells

    $22.00
    Very high quality Tingsha made from bell bronze.  These are embossed with Tibetan good fortune symbols. Such a beautiful addition to your alter, meditation, or yoga space
  • Meditation Medley

    $51.00
    With a mix of healing crystals, smudge sticks, and a Buddha figurine, every item in this starter kit was carefully chosen for its supportive and energetic properties.
  • Chakra Sage Smudge Stick – 4″

    $7.00
    The chakra white sage is as supportive in clearing your body’s energy as your home. It can also be used as an offering on your altar if you think it’s too pretty to burn.
  • White Sage Smudge Stick – 4″

    $5.00
    Smudging is a way to calm the mind and become present in the moment before meditation or prayer, focusing your sacred time or ceremony.

HI! We're Cris & Matthew, a husband and wife duo who created My Healthy Life Box Monthly Subscription box with the intention of supporting those seeking a joyful journey through mind, body, and spirit with My Healthy Life!

In addition to our monthly subscription box, we have an online offerings full of spiritual classes, meditations, breathwork, and more. We also have an online store selling yoga accessories and crystal collections, such as meditation and altar collections. 

In July 2020, I started a podcast — Grounding Journey — to connect with souls on a journey similar to mine. We began offering products in February of 2022 with our Sacred Practices Yoga Deck and a small Etsy store. Over the year, we grew our product offerings and created an online summit that reached over 1000 souls across the world.