Smudging for the Beginner

When to Smudge, How to Smudge

Today I want to provide you with a good overview of the definition of smudging, a little smudging history, instructions on how to smudge your home, how to smudge a person, prayers to say when smudging, smudging kit materials and their significance and what to expect to feel when smudging and perform a clearing ceremony. There are also many questions and comments 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, but many cultures have used their own form of cleansing for centuries. Some cultures continue this ritual today, like the incense you see them burning in the isles of church at Easter as a vehicle to  cleanse the space and people in it and send prayers to God.

We smudge to cleanse and clear ourselves, we smudge to clear our homes of negative energy, whether the negative energy comes after interaction with negative people, an ex-husband or boyfriend and we smudge to send prayers to the heavens. Over the centuries we smudge to send people to the afterlife and we smudge to  banish unwanted spirits and bad vibes  As I say, maybe you just want to rid  your space of that crummy energy from your ex boyfriend. 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 would suggest considering purchasing a Smudging starter kit. Here's a link to one that I found for you that may be helpful (Starter Smudge Kit).  Here's a quick smudging materials list:
  • A smudge stick 
  • A lighter or candle
  • A shell or dish 
  • A feather (optional)
  • Salt (I prefer pure Himalayan salt)
  • Anointing Oil (I use a mix with Rose oil, since Rose has a very high vibration.-Optional) 
  • Stones/Gems (optional)

Depending on your intentions and culture, there are also many other plants, herbs, resins and oils used to clear and cleanse. My book, Smudging for Beginners details over a dozen plants, herbs, and resins that are used in ceremony, their plant genus family as well as their individual spiritual significance as well as the reason I use anointing oil.

Not all Spirits are Bad Ones
So you have a ghost in your home. Well, like Casper, not all spirits in your home are negative ones. It could be dear departed 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. I have met some that are impatient, confused and frustrated, however, but so was my ex-husband.  I talk on the radio about some interesting experiences that I have had, but know that how you handle any situation is key. Fear will always keep you from growing. Who know's it may just be grandma coming for a visit. She loves you and does not want to scare you.  Ask who is there. If it's grandma, she'll try their best to give you a sign that you'll recognize. 

Now, if there's less than positive energy in your space and not your beloved granny, then smudging can certainly help. Just know that ghosts in your home, even ones that are not your funny departed Aunt Sally are not all bad. I remember being in an apartment where I kept seeing a shadow figure. When a friend of mine visited, she saw him too. We spoke to him together, his name was Francis and he did not know that he was dead. See the prayers to say when smudging section below for what to say get rid of ghosts in your house. 

When to Smudge

The rule of thumb is that if you're feeling uneasy in your space, then smudge. So really anytime is a perfect time to smudge your home or smudge yourself to remove negative energy or rid your home of an "evil spirit."  You'll feel lighter if you do.  There are more specific details in the book, but below are the specific intentions of the best times to smudge:
  • Best times to smudge for releasing, removing or letting go, we smudge in the evening or at the Full Moon.
  • Best times to smudge to bring in something new or for new beginnings is in the morning or at the New Moon.
  • You should always smudge a home or apartment when you first move in.
  • You should smudge with the change of seasons (smudge as part of spring cleaning)
  • You should smudge yourself when you begin a new job or business. You should also smudge the new business space.
  • You can smudge before you meditate.
  • You can smudge yourself during an illness (smudging has been proven to help eliminate airborne bacteria)
  • You can smudge to lift your mood.
  • You should smudge your space after a breakup to remove the unwanted attachment of the prior mate.
  • You should smudge after negative people are in your home to remove their negative energy from your space.
  • You should smudge after an argument with your loved ones or work associates to cleanse the space to help clear up the disagreement.
      Preparing your Home to Smudge
      It goes without saying that you want to easily navigate your space prior to smudging it, so move furniture and declutter  Open all your windows, weather permitting, open your closets, open your cabinets, etc. And for the love of St. Micheal, tidy up. Think of smudging as a final step to "spring cleaning" as you un-clutter your life.  

      What to Say when Smudging
      There are prayers to say when smudging. These smudging affirmations can be the serenity prayer,  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 this smudging prayer out loud. My only suggestion is that you replace any negative energy that is being removed with a positive one.

      A few examples of smudging prayers:

      "Dear Jesus, cleanse this house, allowing only love and light to remain."

      "Father God, rid this place of all negativity, bringing in only positive vibrations."

      Here's what to say to get rid of a ghost in your home.  
      "I ask the angels to show this lost spirit the loving light of heaven and help them transition to the next place. With love and light I cleanse this space to help them on their way to the next place."

      "Ancient elders, help me cleanse the home of the spirits of the past. Help guide them forward. Thank you for love and protection of this home."

      "I call on the angels to cleanse this space. Remove the demons and protect my place with your loving grace."

      You'll notice that I use the word love. Love energy has the highest vibration. Even invoking love can change the vibration of a location. 

      I hope that these smudging prayers assist you. 

      Basic Smudging Instructions

      1. Start a smudging ceremony with an opening prayer. It can be a simple as a request to successfully cleanse the home replacing any negative energy with love.
      2. Light the smudgestick until you can get it smoking enough to fan the smoke
      3. Move clockwise throughout each room in the space from floor to ceiling, fanning the smoke while saying your smudging prayers aloud. 

      How to Smudge Notes: You want to start and finish in the same spot in the house. You don't want to miss any space in the home.
      More details about full smudging ceremonies in Smudging for Beginners,
      I hope this smudging overview has helped you.  
      All my Books  available on Amazon 

      Here are some links to items I enjoy, that you may find useful 
      Berkey Water Filter  The only filter I've found that removes fluoride from drinking water. We filter fluoride from our drinking water to decalcify our pineal gland to connect to increase our spiritual awareness. (article on the Pineal Gland)
      Spiritual Guide Incense I love this incense that gets me into the zone. 
      Other authors books that have helped me on my journey.
      The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz
      The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
      The Essential Rumi  by Jalal al-Din Rumi

      Leeza Donatella is an author, speaker and teacher

      I hope that you all enjoyed today’s article and look forward to sharing with you in future.
      Don't forget to ask your question in the comments section. 
      Smudging for Beginners answers many questions like:

      • How do I smudge a person?
      • Why do we burn sage?
      • Can I reuse a smudge stick?
      • 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 used for?
      • What other materials can be used to smudge? 
      • What does saging the House do?
      • What to say when smudging a house
      • Smudging a home with more than 1 floor
      • The best times for smudging
      • How do you cleanse your house, where to start and end?
      • How do you cleanse a house of spirits?
      • How do you get rid of negative energy?
      • What is the spiritual significance of smudging?
      • Prayers to say when smudging, what should I say when I smudge?
      • When is the best time season, month and best time of year to smudge
      • Which is better to use to cleanse a person, sage or Santo palo?
      • What do I do if I am living with a negative person?
      • How do you extinguish the smudge stick? (Putting out a smudgestick)

      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).  

      Below are answers to some of the hundreds of questions that I've received. Check the comments section as well for questions about smudging. And If you have a question, please leave it in the comments and I will answer yours as well. 

      Where Can I Buy Smudge Sticks?

      Answer:  I do not sell smudging materials, other than my Smudging book but most New Age bookstores and shops as well as Amazon will have what you are seeking. I have left links to some of my favorite Amazon items above. 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!

      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 into their house when they are not at home, 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.  Now, if they are living in your home, that's another story as the below answer to the next question suggests.

      Can I smudge him when he's sleeping?

      Answer:  The short answer is yes. Contrasted with the question above, if this person is living or staying with you and you are stuck with what he's attracting, then I might also be inclined to smudge them when he is sleeping. You would however,  wake him up burning a smudge stick and I'm guessing that might only make things worse if he was against the idea. 

      I know what it's like to be with someone who has not yet experienced things outside their 2 by 2 little box, thinking that everything else is just a bunch of woo woo, attracting in all sorts of negativity and not realizing that there is a way to unburden themselves.  I would suggest smokeless sage smudging spray if you're attempting to cleanse someone while they're sleeping as well as silent smudging prayers. 

      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!

      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. More information is in my book. You can also see my article about Smudging around children or people with respiratory issues

      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: The key is to deprive the smudgestick of oxygen. I roll mine in a shell that has a little bit of sand in it.  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 negative energy is replaced with a sweet fragrance.  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.   

      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 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 an entity 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 Phoenix, AZ 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?