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How to Use a Smudge Stick

The burning of herbs and incense for blessing, space clearing, self blessing, healing, and spiritual purification is common practice in many spiritual traditions. Smudge sticks are one of the most popular and effective tools available. Use them to bless and renew your own energies, bless your home or other space, cleanse crystals, or bless others.

You may be interested in Ritual Blessing Kits (for home, money or love) or our Smudge Sticks.


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Any action, undertaken with intention and belief can become a wonderful, potent ritual. Before you begin, breathe deeply and slowly while you consider your intention. This can take just a few moments, or be as elaborate as you like. (You may also wish to read our article on "grounding and centering".)

Lighting the Smudge Stick
It's recommended to light your smudge stick with a candle, as the stick sometimes takes a moment to fully light. Be sure to have something below it to catch any embers or ash. Many people prefer a large abalone shell set aside for just this purpose, but any fireproof glass or ceramic will suffice.

Light the smudge stick, and once it's burning, gently blow it out. The stick will begin to smoke.

Smudge Yourself
To be most effective, you should always smudge yourself before moving on to smudge the home.

Allow the smudge stick to smolder a moment. Gently fan the swirls of smoke around your body from head to toe, envisioning the smoke bringing waves of positive energy flowing over you. See it carrying away any stress, anger, or other negativity, replacing it with a deep contentment and calm. (Smudging yourself is also very effective after illness, arguments, etc. to refresh and cleanse your energy.)

Now you are ready to bless/smudge your home, space, or others. We will focus here on smudging your home for house blessing and energy clearing.

Smudge Your Home
Do one room at a time, generally starting at your front door. Gently fan the smoke over each door, blessing all who enter and stating that only positive, beautiful energy is allowed to enter. Do the same for the windows, stating that all energy entering is beautiful, full of light, healing, blessing, etc. Move through your home room by room, smudging especially areas that may have contained feelings of negativity. Pay attention to corners and behind doors where energy can get "stuck". Continue throughout your home, blessing each room, and allowing the smoke to carry away any unhelpful energies.

It is helpful to speak your blessings aloud, adding the energy and power of the spoke word to declare and direct the energy. Use any words you like, as simple or elaborate as you like.

Completion - Extinguishing the Smudge Stick
Once your home is smudged, express gratitude for the effectiveness of your blessing, and gently extinguish the smudge stick. One way is to dip the stick into moistened sand, or simply dip the burning end of the stick into water to be sure it's out. (Some people prefer to use a ritual bowl of blessed water for this purpose.) Let your smudge stick dry thoroughly, and store it in a special place for future use.

Smudge sticks are simple yet very effective tools. I believe their unique strength is derived from the fact that they embody all four of the directions/energies combined:

  • North - Earth: (the sage/herbs sprang from the earth)
  • South - Fire (while burning)
  • East - Air (while smoking)
  • West - Water (while extinguishing)


©2008 S. Jinn, all rights reserved. You are welcome to copy this article in its' entirety as long as you include this copyright information and provide a link back to .


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