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Smudging Part 2: How to Smudge?

In part 1 of this 2-part Smudging post, we looked at what smudging is and why smudging can be beneficial. In this post, we explore the nuts and bolts of how to smudge.

How to smudge


  1. Before you begin what is called a ceremony or ritual, it’s important to take a couple of other steps. First, tidy up your home. Then, take your time to gather the materials for the ritual. The mindfulness of the smoke ritual begins when you collect your supplies, so practice this with ease and care. Do your best to slow down and not rush through this first step.

  2. Allow enough space and time for the ritual so you don’t feel rushed. If possible, meditate for at least five minutes to calm your mind and heart. The act of clearing the air, mind, spirit, and emotions may be accomplished in a variety of ways.

  3.  It’s calming to smudge a home by yourself. But, if anyone else is present during this smudging ceremony, you can include them in the ritual.

  4. The medicine (sage, tobacco, etc) is placed in a smudge container. The container may be a shell; a ceramic or stone bowl; or a copper, brass, or cast iron pan. It is important that it is made from a ‘natural’ product.

  5. The medicine is lit with a match. Once the medicine is lit, the smoke may be pushed forward with a feather or a fan. (A commonly used medicine is sage as shown in the picture above. A smudge ball is created mainly from the leaf of the plant, which is rolled into a ball for burning. It is important to understand that this particular medicine can create a significant billow of smoke, which emerges from the smudge ball.)

  6. It is not necessary to create enough smoke to fill the entire space where you are smudging. Only a small stream of smoke for the person who is smudging is required. Now that you have all your tools and preparations in place, you can begin the smudging ritual.

  7. When we smudge, we first cleanse our hands with the smoke as if we were washing our hands. We then draw the smoke over our heads, eyes, ears, mouths, and bodies. These actions remind us to think good thoughts, see good actions, hear good sounds, speak good words, and show the good of who we are.

  8. Start at the front door of the home and light your smudge stick. Then, begin to move slowly around the home. Move mindfully and with care, walking clockwise around the entire interior perimeter of the home. Be sure to allow the smoke to drift into even the hidden spaces, like inside closets, basements, and dark corners. If there are stairs, just go up or down when you encounter them so you can smudge the upper or lower levels in the same manner. Then keep moving clockwise until you meet the stairs again. Then continue to go down or up the stairs and resume smudging on the main floor.

  9. Moving around a space like this is called “circumambulation.” It’s a practice that’s been done for centuries in ancient cultures to make a space more sacred.

  10. If you feel comfortable doing so, there are things you can say when you sage your house. It’s helpful to chant a mantra or a prayer that is meaningful to you as a way to fill the space with more cleansing vibrations.

  11. When you arrive back at the front door, chant your final mantra or prayer. Visualize the entire home filled with bright white sunlight. Then speak your intention one last time to close the smudging ceremony.

  12. A smudging ritual is a beautiful and effective technique to clear a space. You’ll know if smudging worked because you will likely feel better after the ritual. A smudging ritual can be done annually, monthly, once a season, or more often. It’s especially powerful to perform a space clearing as part of the cleaning process when you first move into a home.

  13. Once the smudge is over, the smudge ball is allowed to burn out naturally while the person leading the smudge watches, paying attention until it is completely out.

  14. Some people choose to bury the ashes or smudge stick ends. Other people prefer to wash the ashes away with water.

Tip You may be wondering what’s the best time of day to sage your house. You can smudge your home at night or during the day. What’s most important is that you smudge your home when you feel it needs to be done, or if you feel negative, sluggish, anxious, or stressed.



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Sheila Pryce Brooks

About Sheila Pryce Brooks

Sheila Pryce Brooks is an expert in sleep paralysis and extraordinary spiritual experiences. She is passionate about illuminating the overlap between sleep paralysis, spirituality and science through research and education and she has since dedicated her life to helping others manage and transcend sleep paralysis and other extraordinary spiritual experiences.


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