Smudging- Intro

Smudging Basics

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  1. What is smudging?
  2. Why do we smudge?
  3. How to smudge
  4. Order
  5. Types

Smudging has been around since the first fire made by man. If you knew how to make fire for food you would undoubtably use fire for other purposes which would have included wood, herbs, and other natural resources.  In ancient times, most smudging rituals honored Mother Earth and/or God, at some point in the ritual. One way of honoring the earth is to honor the four cardinal directions.  While smudging, pray to the energy of your choice. 

Fire Element

The most powerful cleansing methods include the element of fire in someway. Fire moves up (toward spirit). Fire brings illumination, vitality, destruction, and purification.

1.What is smudging?

Smudging is using smoke from burnt herbs, words, resin or incense to cleanse purify and/or bless (essentially change/alter the energy of) a person, place, or thing. The smoke bellowing from the herb(which flame has been exstiguished) and making contact, is what is doing the cleansing. The smoke can cleanse a room while you are smudging a book from the thrift store. 

2.Why smudge?

We smudge because of an overstanding of science. And that the total amount of energy in the universe is constant. 

The amount cannot be changed, only transmuted Albert Einstein 1907 

We understand that people places and things can project and absorb energy from other people places and things. Everything made up of living matter has an energetic imprint that can project and/or absorb. This energy can be beneficial or detrimental to the recipient. When doing anything metaphysical, it can be a horrible life or death if you are not as spiritually sterile as possible. Just think of a doctor…

We smudge to remove all energetic microorganisms and germs. This ensures our work(healers and spiritualist) is as sterile as possible and flowing on high vibrations. Low vibrational energies can not exist around high vibrational frequencies.  Intentional smudging can raise the vibrations and no other energies entities or play an unwanted role in our work or intentions for cleansing.   Smudging rituals have the power to transform energy. Smudging also allows one to honor your deity of God of choice.

3.How to Smudge?

Smudging is ancient and sacred. Smudging rituals/ceremonies should be done with humility, patience, and reverence. It is a time of prayer, gratitude, blessings, and connection to the divine. Specific prayers and request can be petitioned during smudging rituals, because it is considered a secret time(act).  Smudging rituals have the power to transform and transmute. Never smudge a person place or thing without permission. We will talk more about this later.

1.Gather all materials.

2.Set the atmosphere to your intentions (to your best ability).

3. Cleanse, pray, & bless yourself.

4.Center yourself; Breathe.

4.Set your intentions.

5.Carefully light your smudge.  Leave ignited only long enough to produce a consistent flow of smoke.  

6. Extinguish the flame, allow the smoke to bellow up.

7.While smudging you should at some point give gratitude, pray , state your intention/removal clearly or aloud at least once, pour a blessing back in, give gratitude again, then close the ritual.

8. Closeout ritual and extinguish the entire smudge. Removing all embers in a fire proof container/tray.

4. Order

If in a group setting, Elders or clergy(priest/priestesses) should be smudged first, then the smudger, then smudgee(the  person, place or thing getting smudged).

Move clockwise to bring in blessings or increase 

Move counter-clockwise to decrease or remove. 

Move clockwise or clockwise around a place for Cleansing a space. 

A person normally, from top of the head down to the soles of the feet; from the core out to the hands. 


There are a few common methods of smudging. Using the smoke directly from burnt herbs is the most common, economical, and diverse method. There are a wide range of herbs that offer many different benefits. Wood smudges are powerful because of the historical imprint and ancient DNA ingrained in the woods, which are which were collecting energy and memories for millions of years. Resins are produced from the essence and ether(the blood) of the tree. They hold the same sacred quaulites and benefits. Incense are made using the same resources in powder form (basically).  With incense, aromas are allowed to burn alone for a long period for time an can be placed in very convenient places.  Choose which type of smudging works best for you. You might like all three for different purposes, like me.  

Every ritual is powerful, non-more powerful than a ritual that is customized to your own energy. You should be already developing your own energy correlations. For example, Water. What comes to mind when you hear that word? For me, it’s moon energy, feminine energy, movement, travel, cleansing,purity, white, blue, etc.  One should employ the guidance of experienced people, reference books, and/or the internet to give direction and share the standard or common way to express a certain energy. We will talk about research sources in another post. Source responsibility.  It is more than OK to apply what information comes to you spiritually. It is also important to know that certain energies can be expressed differently depending on culture, location, etc. Some spiritual information changes culturally and according to available resources. So don’t get discouraged if some information across sources are inconsistent. Look within and tell yourself what feels right.

Ask yourself what does this color, element, smell, herb mean to me? What do I feel when using it?

Explore which expression holds energy for you? How does smelling lavender make you feel? What does the color orange say to you?

Take time to feel which expression of the lavender/color orange (or whatever you choose) holds the most energy for you, for your specific needs. Explore which expression you feel drawn to the most. Write it down.  Always trust your inner voice first. Take what you need and leave the rest. Whatever energy you are meant to work with will come back to you in divine timing.

Home smudging the quality of energy in your home is crucial to your overall health and ability and effectiveness in to healing yourself

Overall health and effectiveness in the ability to heal yourself. Your home can be a space that challenges your growth/goals or a secret space that supports your growth/goals.

Smudging the home raises the vibration of your home through the balancing power nature has on us.  Most would agree going out in nature calms, renews,and refreshes them.

In Conclusion 

Smudging is a go-to on my list of spiritual practices. If done right you can protect and bless yourself a place or someone else, transmute negative energy, cleanse, and spiritually sterilize as a healer and spiritualist.

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What is your favorite wood, herb, or resin to smudge with?

What are some of the corresponding energies you think of when you hear the four elements air, earth, fire, or water?

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