Smudge

Probably the most well known spiritual protection is “smudge“. Since ancient times, our ancestors have burned sacred herbs and resins, believing the sacred smoke to raise vibrations, dispel negativity, and assist with spiritual work.

Today, we know this process as smudging. The most common herb we use is white sage and it is widely available in metaphysical shops and online. Even at Amazon.

I smudge often to purify my sacred space. It’s an integral part of my spiritual practice. Anytime I feel the vibe in our home has been compromised, I pull out the smudge.

The scent is a bit like marijuana at first, and can be potent to some noses, but you will get used to it. Honestly, I love the scent these days. Just smelling it instantly calms my soul because it transports me to my most grounded space.

There are a variety of choices for smudging, though, so getting to know what is what is a good idea.

Each plant carries its own magical properties and benefits, and you can pick one to resonate with your specific intention. If you’re feeling drawn to a specific type of smudge, trust your intuition – your spirit knows what it needs.


Listed below are some basic properties for various herbs:

  • Alfalfa– associated with psychic abilities, and attracting animal spirits.
  • Allspice – for uplifting and increasing energy, and determination.
  • Amaranth – for healing, protection, vulnerability, especially healing of broken hearts.
  • Aspen – for ascension, protection, and overcoming fears.
  • Basil – for attracting love, happiness, peace, and money; steadies the mind.
  • Bay Leaves – for psychic power, divination, success, and money; invoking wish magic.
  • Blue Spruce – the symbol of pure intentions, generosity, and giving.
  • Calendula – for love and constancy.Catnip – attracts good spirits and great luck. For love, beauty, and happiness.
  • Cedar – banishes fear and enhances psychic powers.Chamomile – for protection and purification.
  • Cinnamon – when burned raises high spiritual vibrations and aids healing.
  • Cloves – for protection and exorcism; attracting opposite sex.
  • Coastal Sage or Artemisia Californica – for clearing negative energies and healing holes or tears in the aura.
  • Dandelion – for divination, spirit calling, and wish magic.
  • Dill – for protection, luck, money, and lust.
  • Eucalyptus – for healing and protection.
  • Frankincense resin – reduces stress, eases tension, and connects you with Source energy.
  • Ginger – adds power to any magical activity, speeds things up; brings passion.
  • Lavender – brings peace, relaxation, and restful sleep; purity and love.
  • Lemongrass – for cleansing and purifying, removing obstacles, and opening doors.
  • Lilac – for protection and exorcism.
  • Mugwort or Artemisia Vulgaris – brings clarity and develops/deepens psychic abilities.
  • Myrrh resin – for physical healing and grounding.
  • Palo Santo – for deep healing to the physical body; can be used to clear a home of energies associated with illness.
  • Peppermint – for purity, protection, release, and renewal.
  • Pinon Pine resin – protective, healing, and nurturing.Rosemary – for removing negative energies associated with sickness, and clearing.
  • Sage Flowers – for cleansing and releasing negative energies; brings wisdom and purity.
  • Thyme – excellent for releasing ceremonies; allows us to recall the past without pain.
  • White Sage or Salvia Apiana – used to clear negative energies from objects, space, or people.

How To Smudge

  1. First, light one end of your smudge, allowing it to catch fire and burn for several seconds.
  2. Once the flame extinguishes, gently blow on the lit end to fan the embers; the smudge will begin to glow and smoke.
  3. Lay the smudge on a heatproof dish, such as an abalone shell, to catch the ashes as it burns.

We should always respect the power of fire when using it in ritual. As the smoke rises into the air, picture your intention, whatever it may be.

If you are clearing negative energy, picture its density and see it lifting away. I also use my voice and authority to command any dark energies to leave my space and forbid them to return. I tend to walk the entire apartment with the smudge, making certain to open closet doors, brush over mirrors, and get behind the shower curtain.

If you are smudging for healing, imagine the smoke cleansing any illness or injury. Again, use your voice and your power. Tell your body to heal, tell the darker energy affecting your body to leave. This is also a wonderful time to ask your angels and guardians to assist.

Whatever it is, envision it floating away on the smoke. You can pray or chant if you feel called. Use your hands or a smudge fan to guide the smoke over yourself and around your sacred space. When you are finished, douse the embers, and remember to thank your angels and guardians.

In some cultures, it’s customary to begin facing East, then turn South, West, and North before finally turning East again. Native American ceremonies begin by sprinkling the floor with loose sage. They then burn the sage, a braid of sweetgrass. Finally, they burn a bundled sage stick (or smudge bundle) while washing the smoke over the body. The beauty of smudging is that it can be done at any time, as often as you need, no matter your background or culture.

Don’t over-complicate it for yourself, though, especially at first.

Just get used to lighting the sage, get used to its scent, become familiar with the shift in energies. This is a magical time, growing in this new knowledge. Don’t stress, enjoy it with gratitude and the knowing that you are connecting with centuries of people participating in these types of ceremonies.