How to Smudge

Please add your questions to the comment section. I answer your smudging questions. 

How to Smudge
Today I want to provide you with a good overview of smudging definition, a little smudging history, a quick how to smudge your home and smudge yourself instructions, as well as when to smudge your home, what to expect to feel when smudging, what to say when smudging and the tools used to smudge and perform a clearing ceremony. There are also questions that I have received that I have answered at the bottom of the article.  

What is Smudging?
Smudging is a way to purify a location, object or person(s) by burning sacred plants. 

Why We Smudge   Smudging techniques
Native Americans traditionally smudged as the initialization of a ritual.  Many cultures have used their own form of cleansing for centuries with some continue this ritual today. to cleanse and clear self or home after interaction with those with negative energy or to send prayers and offerings to the heavens. Today, there are many people who smudge in order to clear out their space of unwanted spirits, bad vibes and negative energy. As I say, maybe you just want to rid  your space of that crummy energy from your ex. It happens! 

Smudging Materials
When people today think about smudging, they typically envision white sage leaves bound with string into a small bundle, called a smudge stick.  For the beginner, I'm including a link to a Starter Smudge Kit to get you started.  Depending on your intentions and culture, there are also many other plants, herbs, resins and oils used to clear and cleanse. 
Smudging for Beginners details over a dozen plants, herbs, and resins that are used in ceremony, their plant genus as well as their individual spiritual significance.

Not all Spirits are Bad Ones
Not all spirits in your home are negative ones. It could be grandma dropping by to say hey. It's just that you've not known that she's been visiting you every Sunday, until recently. Fortunately, I've never encountered a spirit that was truly evil, impatient, confused and frustrated, perhaps, but so was my ex-husband. I do know that if there is some less than positive energy in your space, then smudging can help.

When to Smudge
Anytime is a perfect time to smudge your home or smudge yourself to remove negative energy The rule of thumb is to smudge if you're feeling uneasy in your space, then smudge. You will feel lighter if you do.  Other times to smudge include:
  1. Full Moon for letting go 
  2. New Moon for new beginnings
  3. When you first move into a home or apartment
  4. With the change of seasons (Smudge as part of spring cleaning)
  5. When you begin a new job or business.
  6. Before you meditate.
  7. During an illness.(smudging has been proven to kill airborne bacteria)
  8. To lift your mood
  9. After a breakup
  10. After negative guests enter leave your home.
  11. After an argument with your loved ones or work associates
Smudging Supplies: 
The below is what I have handy in my  complete smudging tool kit, each with specific spiritual significance.
  1. A smudge stick 
  2. A lighter or candle
  3. A shell or Dish 
  4. Salt (I prefer pure Himalayan salt)
  5. Anointing Oil
Prayers for Smudging
There are prayers and affirmations said when smudging.  It can be words from a religious book like psalms, Native American prayers, spiritual prayers or a special affirmation of intentions that you feel strongly about. Pick one that resonates with you and say an affirmation to your higher power out loud.

Want more information? 
Here's a link to my book, Smudging for Beginners.  The book answers many questions like:
  • How do you smudge a person?
  • Why do you burn sage?
  • Can you reuse sage?
  • Why do we use Sage to smudge a home?
  • What kind of sage is used for smudging?
  • What is a smudging ceremony?
  • What is Palo Santo wood used for?
  • What other materials can be used to smudge? 
  • What does saging the House do?
  • How do you cleanse your house?
  • How do you cleanse a house of spirits?
  • How do you get rid of negative energy?
  • What is the spiritual significance of smudging?
  • What should I say when I smudge?
  • When is the best time to smudge?

Below are answers to some questions I have received:

What is Anointing Oil?
Answer:  Oils have been used since before Christ by every religion in ceremonies to assist in purification, protection, raising vibration, clearing  negative energy, consecration, prayer and healingI use a combination of Rose, Sandalwood and Myrrh because of the specific significance each has to raise vibration and used in healing, smudging and clearing or just to release any negative energy accumulated 

Should I smudge someone's home without their knowing?
Answer:  I want to emphasize that if you walk into someone else's home and the energy feels, well, not so good, you can smudge yourself when you get home and tactfully speak to them about smudging, but be gentle about it, not adamant about it or try and sneak it or you just may lose friend. I get countless emails from people asking how to smudge someone else's home without their knowledge. Sorry, but it's not yours to own darlings.  

Should I hire Someone to Smudge?
Answer:  I get asked a lot, "Should I hire a professional to come and smudge my home?" 
Professionals that will come in and deal with what could be a house full of negative energy are not cheap and can cost upwards of $500 for a local pro to come in and cleanse your home and family. But if you're dealing with something that you can't handle, then seeking a professional like myself who performs the entire cleansing and smudging ritual is worth every penny. 

I grew up in Long Island, NY a few towns away from fellow channel, Theresa Caputo, who also smudges her location with sage prior to connecting with the passed loved ones of her clients. If Theresa or I were smudging your house you may get more than you bargained for. Theresa might have messages from your passed loved ones helping you heal and me, the unwilling channel, will information from all the spirits in the room regardless of whether they are related to you or not, because I pick up information from all the energy in the room to determine what they want and help them on their way.  

Unfortunately not everyone lives close to where I'm located (my current residence in the Lake Tahoe, Nevada area and although you can fly me in, it can get costly.) 

So darlings, let me save you money..... you DO NOT have to hire someone to perform a general smudging of your home or a person. Why don't you try it yourself first and see if it solves your problem before you reach out to a professional like me, okay? 

Can start smudging with one smudge stick then light another one if I used up the first one?
Answer: Yes you can light a new smudge stick after starting with another one.

What if I can't find sage and desperately need to smudge. What do I do?

Answer: Although I prefer and typically use white sage to smudge, if I'm in a place where I absolutely can't find any and need to smudge, then I use what is available. At times I've tied a few incense sticks together and used them to make one. Hey in a pinch when I was in the woods and had nothing with me and gathered some grasses and tied them together.
It is all about intention my dears!

Where Can I Buy Smudge Sticks?

Answer:  I am working on a complete house blessing and clearing kit. I have NOT seen smudge sticks at Costco, Samsclub, Walmart, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or Sprouts, but I hear that they may now be available in some Whole Foods locations.  I do not sell smudge stick separately at this time. I would also try New Age bookstores and shops. Some new age organic farmers markets carry them as well. Happy searching. Remember if you must smudge and have no local resources, while you are waiting for your online order, use what is available until it arrives. It will make you feel lighter. Be Blessed in knowing that!

Can I reuse a smudge sticks for cleansing?

Answer: Absolutely, there are no issues with reusing a smudge stick, so light it back up.

How many times can I reuse a smudge stick?

Answer:  Until you can no longer hold it comfortably without getting burned. I get frustrated when I hear about charlatans telling people that they can only use a stick once, just to sell more product. That's why I started this blog, I wanted the information to be available to the public.  

Can more than one person smudge?
Answer: Absolutely. My friend Michele of Healing Spirit in Sedona and I have joined forces many a time to smudge together. 

When should you smudge?
Answer:   Anytime you feel at odds with the energies that are around you. Did you ever get the feeling that there was something not right in your home? That's a good indicator that it's time to smudge. There are times though that depending on what you want to accomplish, better times for smudging. All that detail is in Smudging for Beginners

Can you have Bad Luck after Smudging?
Answer:  In short, No! There is always one or two of you who still believe that the glass is half or almost empty.  Smudging is a positive act, leading to positive results, not negative ones.

Do I shower before smudging my Home?
Answer:   It's not a bad idea to cleanse oneself prior to cleaning the home, but it is not a requirement. 

Can I burn sage around an infant?
Answer: I have smudged children under 5 years of age. The smudging is performed swiftly, since children have small, delicate respiratory systems. I do not however suggest that small children stay in the home for an entire smudging ceremony. My advice is to consult with your pediatrician.

Can you smudge a Car?
Answer: Absolutely, a car, a plane, a playhouse, garage, new business, new love, etc.

What's the best way to put out Sage?
Answer: Sometimes a picture or video is worth a thousand words. Let me show you: Video

I smudged and now I smell sweet flowers. Is that bad?
Answer: Ah, so you've smudged your home and now that stale and or negative energy is replaced with a sweet fragrance, although there are no flowers around.  First, let me say, no, this is not a bad thing, and well, welcome to my world. What you are spelling is one or several divine fragrances. These surround us as we increase our consciousness. For example, if you are smelling roses, then that signifies, unconditional love. A very high vibration indeed. And if you are, you're in good company, since many Catholic saints smelled roses.   

I hope that you all enjoyed today’s article and look forward to sharing with you in future.

An energy master, Shamanic practitioner, 5 time Reiki master, spiritual life coach, emotional coach and certified EFT practitioner, .LeeZa Donatella has been involved with alternative modalities, having worked alongside many other masters since the early 90s.. She's been fortunate to have been shown Shamanic practices during her travels from the 1990's in South America.  Her studies have included but are not limited to: Bio-Energy, Japanese Reiki, Anapana and Vipassana Meditation, Monroe's Gateway Experiences, Balancing and Harmonization, Eastern and Western Herbalism, reflexology and Acupressure, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). 

Update October 19, 2015 : Visit my YouTube Smudging Playlist for more upcoming videos. 


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