Smudging has been used by First Nations and Indigenous people around the world for centuries as a means of cleansing the mind, body, and spirit. In the same way that smudging can help our minds and bodies feel purified, smudging can also eradicate negative energy from a room or home.
Smudging is simply the act of burning a bundle of sacred herbs or medicines that are intended to help you purify and redirect the energy of your space. Burning these sacred medicines produces smoke that allows the healing benefits of the herb to enter our bodies and our home.
Smudging tradition changes from tribe to tribe, so it’s okay if you’re not sure where to start. The best way to practice smudging is through openness of spirit, ensuring that you are conscious and respectful of the cultures whose tradition you are practicing.
In just a few short steps, we’ll teach you all about smudging for beginners and how to do a kind of smudge DIY that will allow you to feel confident smudging in your own home. Learning to smudge is easy if you follow just a few quick steps and ensure you have all the materials you need.
Things You Might Need
Your smudging materials are called your “bundle” or can sometimes be referred to as a smudge kit or medicine bag. A smudging bundle traditionally includes an abalone shell, matches, tobacco, an eagle feather, and your choice of smudging medicine -- sage, cedar, or sweetgrass.
If some of this isn’t available to you, you can swap it out with other items that will work just as well. You might trade the abalone shell for a clay, copper or metal bowl. If you can’t get an eagle feather, a different kind of feather will work. Use what you have available as long as it will safely contain your burning bundle of medicine!
The Smudging Process
People smudge for many different reasons; it might be part of their routine, they might want to purify a new space, or they might smudge as part of a ceremony to cleanse their mind, body, and spirit. Whatever your specific reason, smudging can change the energy of your space and provide other health benefits through a simple, intentional process.
Step 1: Prepare your materials or “smudge kit.”
Step 2: Light the medicine by setting a match to the bundle. Place the bundle in a bowl which will ensure the heat and flame are safely contained. Don’t blow on the bundle, but instead use the feather to spread the flame around the medicine in order to create smoke. It is important that the bundle burns naturally.
Step 3: Fan the smoke toward you to allow the medicine to cleanse and purify everything it touches. Smudge your head for good thoughts, your eyes for clear vision, your mouth so that you will say only positive things, and your heart for love and kindness. Once you have moved through this process, you can smudge the rest of your body for good health and wisdom.
Step 4: Fan the smoke around the room, allowing it to pervade the entire space and touch everything in the room.
Step 5: Let the medicine burn out without interference. The smoke is a direct line of communication to the Creator, so it is important not to cut off the connection. The smoke will stop burning when it is meant to.
The last thing to consider is what to say while smudging. Positive thoughts, prayer, and giving thanks can be powerful parts of connecting to your energy and releasing positivity into your newly cleansed space.
How Do I Smudge?
We hope that with the use of this simple guide, you can easily learn to smudge in just a few minutes. If you smudge with intention, you can reap the benefits of this sacred ceremony that has been used by indigenous people for so long as a way to maintain peace, balance, and positivity.