NOTE: Smudging, in and of itself, is a very special and sacred ritual in the Native American community. It can only be done by a priest ordained to perform the ceremony. This post is not intended to copy that but rather to pull a very small piece of it and share the power of it. Smudging in this case is is simply herbs removing negative energy.
A smudging ceremony is a Native American ritual that has a spiritual and practical use. Roy’s grandparents were Native American, and like the people themselves, Roy has a strong love and respect for nature and the earth. Smudging fits right in. It is a type of blessing where you spread herbal smoke throughout an area to cleanse it. The idea is that it clears out negative energy. It also gets rid of old stale odors. When we move into a new home we always smudge it. Whether its psychological or not it always feels so much better afterwards and gives the house a nice earthy smell! (We will also smudge the home about once a year after moving in.) It’s very simple to do. You take some white sage that’s bound together and light it, blow it out and then while thinking good thoughts walk clockwise around the perimeter of each room gently waving the smoking sage. You need to keep one window or door open in each room you’re smudging to allow the smoke to dissipate and the “old energy” to leave. Herbs and matches are all that is required though there are extras items you can use to make it more ceremonial in nature. I made my own little kit that holds all my smudging items. I have very fine clean white sand inside a large abalone shell which I then use to extinguish the smudge stick when I’m done. (A smudge stick can be used over and over.) I keep it my supplies in a fancy pencil box that I labeled.
It’s also a wonderful way to teach children about other cultures. In the past I’ve had our granddaughter Alyssa Mae smudge our home for me. I’d start the herbs smoldering then give the bundle to her. She really enjoyed learning about the meaning behind it and then going from room to room following the directions I gave her.
I’ve created a free downloadable pdf below with all the instructions on how to smudge your home. There is also a list of supplies you can use to make your own kit. There are many ways to bring positive loving energy into your home. This is just one of them.
Smudging Ceremony Supplies
- White Sage (This herb is best for the purpose.)
- Wood Matches (Used because they are more natural than book matches.)
- Large abalone shell & stand (optional)
- Clean sand for extinguishing sage. (optional)
- Pencil box or other container. (optional)
If you enjoyed Smudging you’ll love our Burning Bowl Ceremony!
Printable Smudging Instructions
Though free, a donation is always welcome.
Actual Use of White Sage to Smudge a Home
Roy using the smudge stick in our current home.
Thank you for this. I grow my own white sage and also add lavender and rosemary. I am glad you included the leave the window open.
I was given white sage and a shell as a gift to smudge my new apartment by a friend whom is a tribal member. I believe that the love shown by the gift will indeed bless my place as it was intended. Love exudes love~
I am not indigenous, but I believe spiritual cleansing comes from the Lord, through the sage. Am I wrong?
If you are not indigenous Native , please do not buy white sage. It is endangered and only to be used for our ceremonies, gatherings, prayers. Yes it can rid of negative energies but there are other herbs you can use. White sages is GIVEN to us by our indigenous community, Stop encouraging NON-Indigenous white people to buy white sage. It’s not suppose to be sold or bought anywhere That’s why it’s endangered! Use something else. do your research before telling everyone to buy white sage.
White sage is a perinneal that comes back each year. Like any other perinneal, you don’t pull it out by it’s root but cut it back. I grow my own & make my own smudge sticks. It comes back each year & spreads.
Thank you for sharing the information!
Please please do not purchase white sage! It is endangered!!! It is not ethically grown or harvested! There are so many other plants that can be used for the same purpose. If you really want to use white sage, grow your own!!!
Where did you get the shell and it’s little stand? I would love to have one like it. It’s beautiful and I loved this article. Thank you so much. Peace be with you.
I would like to believe that “appropriation” of facets of any culture is well-intentioned, if not always without mistakes. It is only offensive when mocked or trivialized and superficial. Or commercializing it in a cheap, tawdry way.
Many of us are no longer part of organized religions and are on a spiritual journey. I call myself a “seeker”. So since I was a young woman in the 60s, I have adopted and adapted rituals and traditions that resonate with me. If a ritual is done with deep respect and heart, it is accepted by the powers that be.
As a white woman, I can only say that most of us do so in a reverent and apropos demeanor. BUT we are always able to learn from others and should always remember that other “tribes” have suffered in ways we cannot imagine. To adopt theirs without paying homage and trying to understand and LISTEN is the entitled arrogance of the victors.
So I believe the author is honoring those others and Jenna is shining a light on sensitivities. So we learn. And grow. Spiritually. And hopefully, all journeying down a path to peace and sisterhood. Amen. So Be It. The End.
Very well said Maggie. Thank you. Ü
Thank you so much for sharing.
I just wanted to say thank you for this post. I have read some of the comments, some people need to sage themselves. I have been wanting to sage my home for a while, my boyfriend lived there with his ex for a few months and their relationship was toxic so I want to get rid of that energy. I have bought 2 different smudges and a partridge feather from a kind lady farmers market, blue sage and lavender. I have asked on a FB page about how to do it and the feed back was limited. The clock wise was helpful and the one window per room. My question is how long do you leave the window open? do you close the bedroom door so the energy doesn’t travel to other room?
There is no time limit. I usually close mine after a few minutes. Energy moves quickly so unless you would like to “air out” the smell longer, which won’t hurt anything, you can shut them soon after you’re finished.
So glad you found this helpful. Thanks so much for visiting!
Lovely Nancy Thanks for the Hoodoo AND THE Koranic Asraar.
I was going to respond to Jenna’s comment but then I read Leann’s who so eloquently said all that I would have and more 🙂
Thank you Nancy for your well written article and for the downloadable instructions! I was preparing to make up a kit for my step-son who is about to move into a new home and was hoping to find a nicely done instruction sheet to print and include. I really appreciate your sharing.
I’m so glad you found some helpful information. Thank you for the kind comments Patty!
Just to add that smudging is not do e by an ordained minister at all! We as Aboriginal people myself a Dene woman find some of this information untrue…To clarify in think one needs to sit with the Elders and ask questions as to why and how! We hold this gift sacred and respect it greatly..In closing i feel that research needs to be done about the church and how they affected our people. ..We smudged hundreds of tears before any non aboriginal person knew of it…To end on a positive note thank you for sharing some of your knowledge
Appreciate your contribution to that topic!
Beautifully written article but I’d just like to inform you that these Native American practices are part of a closed religion/culture. Unless you are a member of a tribe, born into or adopted by one, misappropriation of their practices is highly offensive. The concept of closed religions/cultures is unfamiliar to most people, but taking practices from these oppressed cultures is far too common. Smudging, for example, is a spiritual practice done by a Native American priest who has been trained and ordained to do so. Also I’d like to add that white sage is endangered!!!!!!! So PLEASE use other herbs/incense..
I don’t mean any offense, just to inform and prevent. Thanks
I had replied to your comment and it magically disappeared into the nether. Anyway, I wanted to thank you for your comments. It’s never my intention to copy something sacred or disrespect a culture. Particularly that one. My goal was to pull a small piece from it to inspire and help others. I’ve smudged my home for years and I can attest to the power of it… which basically comes from the specific type of herbs used which clear negative energy, and then putting forth love while it’s done. I had no idea about white sage. I’ll have to read up on that myself.
Anyway thank you for comments. I’m going to go over that post and see if I can reword things or add and note.
Have a wonderful week!
Firstly, I would like to point out that the practice of smudging is not strictly a Native American/First Nations spiritual practice. Smudging existed for thousands of years in Asia, Africa, and the middle East to name a few long before Europeans came to North America. I have several family members who married into the family with Native ancestry. Although I am ‘white’ of European decent I have cousins and uncles of Native heritage, my Godfather is of Algonquin decent and identifies as such. The statement that Native American practices are part of a “closed religion/culture” made me all but laugh out loud. I have never known any Native person to consider themselves or their religion “closed” to anybody. Period. I personally have found Native people very welcoming and open with their culture regardless of whether one could be considered an outsider (non-native, not adopted into, …what is this trash?) Smudging is an act of prayer for spiritual cleansing and healing. Nobody has the right to tell anyone what religion they are allowed to practice, what to believe or shame them for not meeting someone else’s standards of belonging. Would a person dare to tell a Catholic they were not entitled to pray because they were not ordained by the church? You have to be a priest to pray? Essentially, this is what is being said by the poster ‘Jenna’. On the issue of the “endangered” white sage. White sage is like any other herb, grown and cultivated. People can buy the seeds and grow these plants in their own back yards. Native people themselves cultivate and process these sacred smudging herbs to share with the world. Endangered-it is not. So let’s not get side tracked and make statements that the practice of smudging is “highly offensive” to the Native American culture and stolen or misappropriated from an historically oppressed people. Yes, what was done to the Native people by the Europeans was horrendous. It was done to them, NOT by them. Natives shared much of their culture with European settlers willingly and openly as they still do to this day. Perhaps it is Jenna that should work on being more open and accepting within her own person and refrain from making oppressive statements herself that would speak for the modern Native people of North America in it’s entirety.
You definitely made some valid points Leann.On the White Sage I was wondering about that as I easily found mine. thanks! Ü
All I was clearing up is that the actual act of smudging – using sage and other herbs to energetically cleanse or during ritual participation – is done by priests across various cultures. Smoke cleansing, on the other hand, can be done by anyone. I think it’s amazing to use other cultures’ practices, adopt their beliefs, and so on, but i wanted to note the difference between a religious ritual and practice performed by a priest vs cleansing your home/self/belongings/etc. In no way was i insinuating you need a priest to pray, just as you don’t need one to smoke cleanse. Smudging is a lot different than connecting to your deity, but using smoke from herbs and spices can even help you do just that, WITHOUT a priest! Try lighting incense or burning herbs while praying to your deity! I myself like to burn incense or palo santo to cleanse my home, crystals, and myself, which I picked up over different cultures. I’m sorry if you felt I was being “oppressive” but I think it’s better for people to be informed of this difference. In actuality, you are “trashing” my ideas and thoughts – can’t we have a mature discussion? So I thank you for pushing me to elaborate my ideas and points. And finally, yes, CA white sage is not endangered as a species, but as more people take up land to build infrastructure and less people are in their gardens, the plant’s native habitat is in decline. So maybe we should all start growing some white sage! I unfortunately couldn’t find any Salvia apiana at the local garden shop, but I have been growing some beautiful purple common sage!
At the end of the day, we’re just people on the internet sharing our ideas. Have a beautiful day.
Very good information. Thanks for taking the time to do that Jenna.
Never burn white sage unless you are native NEVER period!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you Leann. What you say has also been my understanding of smudging & to be true.
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I love your post about smudging! Saw it on the Happiness is Homemade link party and wanted to read it. I smudge often. My dogs love when I smudge as they follow me all through the house while I’m conducting my cleansing. By their actions, I believe the whole thing comforts them. Everything always feels lighter once I’m done.
Oh… that is so cool about your dogs! Animals are aware of so much. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!
My husband has distant Cherokee roots as well and we have been doing this for years, I’m a firm believer that homes retain energy from previous residents good or bad and it’s a wonderful way to help cleanse negative energy.
That’s so awesome Brenda! We very much agree with your thoughts on that. Some places you walk into you can just “feel” the energy of it whether its negative OR positive! Thanks so much for stopping by and for commenting!
I think this is such a nice tradition to carry on. We moved into a foreclosure, and I wish we had done something like this before moving in. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Go ahead and do it now Dee! We do it once or twice a year or if something really negative happens in the house. It truly does make it feel much better!
Ok, I have a problem here, directly am in Nigeria and I don’t really understand the leave smudging . how can I get the leave here in Nigeria or can any person explain the said leave briefly to my understanding pls am very serious to know it thanks
Hello Kingsley! Can you get it online there? I’ve linked to where you can purchase it on Amazon but I’m not sure how that works where you live. Just do an online search for “white sage” and see if you can find it in small bundles ready to use for saging. There are many online places that sell it. Good luck!
White Sage is not the only thing you can smudge with and some herbs or woods in your area are probably used for this already. Please read about all things you can use, you may want a variety as they have different affects.
This is very true Cathe… I specified white sage as that’s what Native Americans used and it has the property of “clearing”… but other types of sage will work. Intent is a big part of this process. Ü
This was very interesting! And it sounds like a nice ritual. Maybe to use when you moved into a new house and want to make it your home… Pinned!
I am stopping by from the Pin Me Linky Party.
Thank you for teaching me something new!
Thanks Charlotte. We’ve done it for years regularly in our homes. Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!