A beginners guide to smudging: Establish a positive environment with this energetic cleaning

This is why you should start smudging

If you feel your space needs an energetic shift, you might profit from the ancient practice of herb smudging. There are different types of herbs to burn and achieve different purposes and you might even create your own type of rituals. Let’s find out!

First of all, it is necessary to state that smudging is an ancient spiritual ritual used by Native American peoples and in many other cultures around the world and it must be treated with respect.

Just as we take care of our minds and bodies –doing exercise, eating healthily and meditating–, we should also take care of the energy of the space we occupy. Spiritual hygiene is paramount to get rid of negative and stagnant energy. Buildings tend to build up energy from people that have been inside, from ourselves, and it isn’t always positive energy and over time it can accumulate and stagnate. Accumulated energy can cause us to feel stuck or in a low mood, especially if you work with a lot of people and interact with different personalities. Some people say prayers, others light candles or smudge to cause an energy shift and for the environment to feel lighter.

Smudging consists of igniting a bundle of herbs and using the smoke to purify places. You can use different types of herbs to achieve different purposes.

Smudging tools

Palo Santo

The South American tree is burnt to bless, heal and consecrate spaces –it can be used with sage to add a clearing effect.

Palo Santo is used to bless, heal and consecrate spaces.


It is associated with strength, so smudge for support and security.

You can mix several herbs for different purposes.


Smudging with white sage clears the air at an energetic level and it also has some other practical uses –like fighting against pollution and clearing bacteria.


Lavender is used for cleansing and providing psychic protection, it also invites happiness, healing and purification.

Lavender is used for cleansing and providing psychic protection.


Rose petals are burned for luck, love and healing rituals –before a wedding, to heal a broken heart or to learn to love yourself.

How to get started

Step 1

You need a smudge stick –with your herb of choice–, a fireproof container –it could be a ceramic bowl–, for example, matches and something to put out the fire –it could be a bowl of sand or you can press your stick into your bowl until it has been extinguished.

You'll need a container and your herbs of choice -Rose petals are burned for luck, love and healing rituals.

 Step 2

I like to set an intention before the smudging ritual, it needn’t be anything in particular, just something that works for you, I usually say “Please fill my home with love and prosperity,” and that feels right for me.

Step 3

Open windows and doors to help the smoke and the negative energy escape from your home –this is extremely important.

Step 4

Light your smudge stick over the bowl the leaves should smolder slowly–if the flame is too big, blow out quickly. Start walking around your home clockwise trying to reach every corner of your space: behind doors, cupboards, wardrobes and windows. You need the smoke to move around your house, it is not necessary to create a thick cloud of smoke.

Light your smudge stick over the bowl the leaves should smolder slowly–if the flame is too big, blow out quickly.

If I’m going to stay home I prefer to let the stick burn until it becomes ashes, rather than extinguish it, and if the smoke is too thick, I leave it at my window, but that is your choice.


You can smudge your home whenever you feel necessary –I usually do it once a week, after cleaning thoroughly my house. I recommend doing it whenever you feel your mood is low.

I hope you find this ritual helpful and I suggest giving it a try!

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Aniela Dybiec

Aniela is a writer who loves art, makeup, and magick. She is also an amateur illustrator, a wellness fan and a vegetarian.+ info

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