The Art of Smudging

Written by Philip Gardner from POD products. 


Smudging is the burning of herbs with intent to bring about or manifest a desired change in one's emotions, thoughts, surroundings and reality. Smudging is a golden thread that connects and runs through all cultures, religions and belief systems and has been practiced throughout the millennia. I believe that the smudge stick and the act of smudging, along with focus and intent, creates a powerful tool which allows you to take responsibility for your own Self-empowerment/reality by working with your higher-self and the elemental energies of the Earth to manifest your greatest joy.

Homes and bodies are not just made of purely physical matter; they also vibrate with subtle, invisible energy Cleansing a space or our bodies with techniques such as smudging clears away all the emotional and mental "garbage" that may have gathered over years or even hundreds of years. Just like you physically dust, clean and vacuum your house and take showers or
baths to clean your body, smudging is the equivalent of energetic spring cleaning your house or taking an energetic cleansing shower.

The act of smudging is true self-empowerment because it allows you to take responsibility ( your ability to care for yourself) for your well-being instead of feeling  negative emotions, thinking negative thoughts (a downward spiral) or booking an appointment with a therapist (looking outside yourself for someone to bring yourself back into balance). The effects of smudging can be surprisingly swift and dramatic. People who have themselves, their space or
items smudged have reported instant effects ranging from increased happiness, increased feeling of peace, greater success and their homes become more peaceful after smudging. The rituals can help you release stress, attract love, sooth you, or give you energy. Above all they can turn any
space, however humble, into a soothing sanctuary - a place of renewal and happiness. Smudging along with your effort to avoid negativities and include healthy positives in your life will bring about positive change in your space
and body.

Smudge whenever you need to re-balance your mental body (self-destructive/limiting thought patterns) and/or emotional body (fear, anger, depression) or when you  desire to let go of/transform any energy (negative) that is not for your highest joy that’s affecting you or your environment/reality or belongings and to embrace/ground new positive energies in to your being/reality.


  • Balance, upliftment & self-empowerment
  • Cleansing, protection
  • Attracting positive energies to you
  • Letting go of negative energies
  • To create & enhance positive energy
  • Spaces for healing and manifestation

Items that can be smudged include:

  • Yourself or others
  • Home, healing space or an office
  • Personal objects
  • Crystals
  • Cars


  • Make sure the area you are smudging is well ventilated
  • Do not use near people with respiratory problems such as or asthma, or pregnant women
  • Never leave burning smudge unattended
  • Place some sand or salt in the bottom of the container to provide insulation otherwise the container could burn the surface it is placed upon
  • Clean the area to be smudged. Remove unnecessary clutter that creates energy blockages. Vacuum and dust if possible.

Any action, undertaken with intention and belief can become a potent ritual. Consider your intention before you smudge and hold it clearly in your mind.
A candle flame is recommended to light the smudge stick as it may take a little time to get the herbs smoking (about 60 seconds). Once the tip of the smudge stick is glowing red, put it out so that the herb is smoldering, not
burning. Periodically wave your hand or feather to stoke the smudge stick. Allow the smudge herbs to smolder, freeing the smoke to circle in the air.

There is no one right way to smudge oneself. Many cultures have their own particular way of smudging. As long as there is intent and the smoke touches all parts of your auric field. Fan the swirls of smoke around your body from head to toe with your hands or feather. You may want to especially focus on chakra areas where you feel there are blockages or where there has been physical, emotional, or mental pain. Visualize the smoke lifting away all the
negative thoughts, emotions and energies that have attached themselves to you. If you are feeling depressed for instance you could visualize the smoke carrying away all your feelings of depression.

It is often appropriate to smudge guests as they enter the space at a ritual, ceremony or special event. Smudge others as if you were smudging yourself, fanning the smoke all over their body while holding intent to cleanse and
clear their energy field.

During healing work, the smoke may be fanned over the person either by your hand or with feathers. This clears out stuck energies which allows for a more powerful treatment and a quicker recovery time for the patient. You
may also direct smudge to each of the person's chakras and as you do so visualize each chakra coming into balance as it is purified by the smudge. If you can see auras, look for discolored places in the aura and direct the
healing smoke towards those places on the patient's body. It is highly recommended that you smudge yourself and your treatment room both before and after a treatment to maintain an energetically clean and clear space and to avoid energetic cross contamination of your patients and yourself.

For cleansing any space it is recommended that you create a altar for the space clearing. On the altar, placeflowers, a candle and a crystal. Write out a list of what you want to let go of or transform in your space/reality
and one list of want you want to manifest or attract to your space/reality.Read out the list of what you want to let go of/transform and then burn that list. This signifies to the Universe that you want to transform/let go of. Next read the list of want you want to manifest in your life. Smudge yourself first because you are the person that is going to smudge the space so it’s best if you are centered and balanced before you start with the space clearing. Beginning with the lowest level of your house, and moving upward, light the smudge and walk about the perimeter, giving special attention to the corners, places behind doors and any place or object where you intuitively feel drawn to whose energy feels off. You can also fan the smoke throughout the room with a large feather. Repeat the list of your manifestation intents either out loud, or in your mind as you smudge. Once you have finished smudging the space smudge yourself a final time.

When smudging an object. Hold the object/s to be purified in the smoke or fan the smoke over them.


Have a fireproof container such as a shell, glass or ceramic dish ready to put the smudge out in when you've finished. Always make sure that a smoldering smudge stick is out before leaving the room.  You can smudge as often as you like. Whenever you feel your emotions or thoughts are affecting your reality in a negative way or the energy in your personal living, healing or office space feels stuck/stagnant. You can smudge once a day if you like, and is recommended daily for health and energetic healing practitioners to maintain/enhance your energy field, healing space, personal living space.