Have you ever wanted to learn how to smudge your home and impart positive energy in your living space, but didn’t know where to start? Then this post is for you! Learn all about what smudging is, how to do it, and even a tried-and-true smudging prayer. This is the perfect way to kick off the new year!

how to smudge your home using a homemade smudging stick in a bowl lightly lit with smoke coming out, all on a wooden table

Why You’ll Love This Spiritual Practice

Happy New Year, amigos! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year surrounded with loved ones and delicious food.

Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to put away all of the holiday décor, declutter, clear the energy, and lift spirits with the sacred art of smudging. And when I say, “lift spirits,” I mean mood; not anything creepy. I mean improving your and your space’s overall energy and mood to create a healthier and happier mindset.

Latina lighting a smudge stick in a bowl to smudge her home

What Is Smudging?

Essentially, smudging is a way to get rid of stagnant and negative energy using the smoke from lightly burned smudge sticks.

We’ve all had those days where we roll out of bed and we just don’t have the energy. You know, those days when you have zero patience and you just can’t seem to shake off being moody. Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep, are feeling stressed out or overwhelmed, or perhaps coming down with a cold. Whatever the cause of your funk, don’t feel bad — it happens to the best of us.

If you are feeling stuck, negative, sluggish, or depressed try smudging. Smudging is an ancient ceremony in which you burn sacred plants, such as sage or palo santo, to allow the smoke to clear and bless a space.

a hand holding an abalone shell filled with a smoking smudge stick to smudge her home.

When Is The Best Time To Smudge Your Home?

The first time I saw someone smudging, I was at a sales conference, and a Native American lady was burning sage in the conference room before the conference began.

I have to admit that I was a bit confused at first, but later she explained that the goal of smudging is to make a place clear of lingering energy that is different from what you may be intending for that space. It’s now something I commonly practice, and you can, too!

I now smudge my home two to three times per year. I faithfully smudge my home in the New Year, and again in the spring after I spring-clean my home.

how to smudge your home using a homemade smudging stick in a bowl lightly lit with smoke coming out, all on a wooden table

How to smudge your home

First, let’s start with the supplies. In order to smudge your home, you’ll need:

  • Ceramic bowl or an abalone shell to hold and burn the plants. An abalone shell represents the water element.
  • Sage smudge sticks. Sage represents the earth element and when burned, the smoke from it represents the air.
  • If you’re not into the smell of sage, you can also use palo santo, sweetgrass, or copal.
  • Matches or a lighter. These represent the fire element.

Tips for a Successful Smudging

  1. Clear your space of clutter and mess.
  2. Open up windows and curtains to provide an exit for trapped negative energy and to allow for clean air to enter.
  3. Place the smudge stick in a fireproof container such as an abalone shell.
  4. Turn off your phone and create a sense of peace and prayer.
  5. Light the smudge stick and say a prayer or just focus your energy. Gently wave the stick till it begins to smolder.
  6. Wave your hands to disperse the smoke. Remind yourself to stay connected to your breathing and have only positive thoughts throughout your smudging session.
  7. Smudge the corners of every room, as they tend to accumulate stagnant energy. Be sure to also open the closet doors and carefully smudge inside. I often don’t, but they say it’s important not to forget about spaces such as the laundry room, the garage, or the basement.

A Smudging Prayer

Being that I am of Catholic faith, I usually pray the Hail Mary and the Our Father, but recently found the smudging prayer below.

Just as a priest blesses a church with aromatics like frankincense and myrrh, I remind myself that the burning incense is a symbol of prayer and the smoke is rising to heaven.

Here’s a prayer you can use when smudging your home.

May your hands be cleansed, that they create beautiful things.
May your feet be cleansed, that they might take you where you most need to be.
May your heart be cleansed, that you might hear its messages clearly.
May your throat be cleansed, that you might speak rightly when words are needed.
May your eyes be cleansed, that you might see the signs and wonders of the world.
May this person and space be washed clean by the smoke of these fragrant plants.
And may that same smoke carry our prayers, spiraling, to the heavens.

The smudging prayer above is from chopra.com. Check out this post for more smudging prayers.

how to smudge your home using a homemade smudging stick in a bowl lightly lit with smoke coming out, all on a wooden table


What are smudging sticks made of?

Smudge sticks are derived from Native American and Hispanic cultures where they are used in ceremonies to cleanse and bless people and places. The sticks are usually comprised of dried sage. However, they can be made with many other combinations of dried herbs and flowers like roses, lavender, rosemary, thyme, or any other scents you prefer. When making your own smudge sticks, think of scents that impart positive feelings and energy for yourself and your family.

How often should you burn sage?

Honestly, as often as you like! I like to burn sage in my home 2 to 3 times a year. It’s a good practice to do when things at home seem stressful or out of balance to restore peace.

Do you have to burn the whole sage stick?

No, you can use as much or as little as you need. Definitely don’t overdo it!

Do you burn sage with the strings?

Yes, as the strings help hold together the sage bundle and prevent it from falling apart as it burns. Try burning your bundle as it is to start with. If it is wrapped too tightly, then you may need to untie the bundle a little bit and pull it apart a little. Alternatively, if it’s too loose, tighten the string’s hold on the bundle.

DIY Homemade Smudge Sticks

Photography: Jenna Sparks
Originally published: January 2018.