In recent years, smudging has become widely popular among spiritualists who wish to cleanse their homes of negative energy and invite energies of protection into their space. Smudging is a tool that many cultures incorporate into their spiritual practice; Native Americans being the first on record to incorporate the burning of herbs in their ceremonial rituals.
I'm sure you've heard of people cleansing whether it be themselves or their home. You’ve probably even seen the lovely bundles of sage sold online or at your local metaphysical shop. You may have started asking yourself, why is this so important?
We constantly carry energy, whether that be our own or other people’s we've picked up on during the day. Without realizing it, we bring these residual energies into our home. Over time, we get a build-up of lower vibrations invading our space or stale, stagnant energy that can affect our mood or even worse, cause chaotic energy within the people we live with.
In this beginner's guide, we're going to dive into the proper way of smudging to ensure you're getting the most out of your practice. We'll also get into what to say when blessing your home along with some things to be mindful of when you decide to cleanse your space for the first time.
Smudging for the First Time
When you decide to cleanse your home for the first time it's an exciting choice, but it may leave you wondering "what do I need?"
Here is a small list of items that are essential when smudging for the first time:
- Smudge Stick - It’s important to find sustainably sourced herbs, the most common is White Sage, Juniper, and Cedar.
- Abalone Shell or Ceramic Bowl- Any fireproof container can work, it’s to catch any ash or fallouts in the smudge stick.
- Matches or Lighter- You can even use the flame of a candle for a nice twist.
- Feather (optional)- To waft the smoke from your smudge stick.
Have some fun when picking out your accessories to smudge with, adding your unique touch will make it feel that much more personal.
After you have your smudging tools, it’s time to get started!
One of the most important things to remember when cleansing your space is to open all the windows and doors that you can. If not, you’re essentially letting all those negative energies become stuck in your home, they need a way out.
After you’ve done that you can move along to lighting your smudge stick. Using your matches, light the end of your bundle, and hold it over your fireproof bowl in case any fallouts happen. Gently blow on the lit-up end until you see a nice flow of smoke. The smoke is what does the cleansing so the smudge stick must stay lit throughout the entire ritual.
Begin walking around your home, using the feather or your hand, you can move the smoke into the corners of each room. You may have to re-light your bundle and that’s okay. Once you see that it’s out, grab your lighter and fireproof bowl again, and repeat the lighting process.
After you’ve cleansed your space, you can finish off by cleansing yourself and the people in your house if they allow you to. The same steps apply, but instead of moving the smoke around your home, you move it up and around your body.
Do I Need to Say Anything While Smudging?
Setting intentions before cleansing your home or yourself is highly recommended. Especially if you have specific needs in mind such as protection or simply ridding of unwanted energies. Before starting your ritual, you can say a quick prayer or affirmation such as “Please allow the energies that are not in my highest alignment to peacefully detach from me and my space.” This ensures that the lower frequency energies leave but the ones that bring you harmony stay.
Taking a moment to center yourself with your breathe before smudging can also be beneficial. Before lighting your bundle, hold it in your hand while closing your eyes. Breathe in for four seconds while repeating your intention for smudging in your mind, breathe out for four seconds, and repeat this exercise until you feel relaxed and ready to start cleansing.
During your cleansing ritual, you can repeat your affirmation for added effect. You can even say a quick “thank you” prayer after you cleanse each room!
Be Mindful of The Negative Effects
Although smudging is great for our spiritual well-being, there are some factors to keep in mind before lighting your first sage stick. Smudging involves the burning of herbs which creates smoke that can be a health risk to others, especially if they suffer from asthma or allergies. Having the windows open does help some, but please remain mindful of others, especially if they’re sensitive to the smoke.
Also, it can be a fire hazard due to the consistent burning, so never leave a smudge stick unattended. The best way to extinguish the bundle is to put it out in your fireproof bowl, some continue to let it burn until it goes out, but only do that if you can sit with the smudge stick until it’s completely done smoking.
Times You Should Not Smudge
It’s important that we go into our cleansing ritual with positive intentions and high vibrations. I encourage you to never smudge when you are feeling angry or feel yourself operating at a lower vibration. Try to always be aligned with your intentions, it’s hard to rid of the negative energies when you are operating at that same level.
Also, never perform your ritual if those around you are judgmental of the practice or they operate at a lower frequency. You want to surround yourself with good, harmonious energies so that you may invite more of that positivity back into your space.
There is no limit to how many times in a month you can smudge, that part is completely up to you! Stay mindful of who is around you when do decide to cleanse your space, and make sure to align yourself with the intentions you set forth. Enjoy the renewed energy that smudging can bring to you and your home!