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How to Smudge your House with a Sage Bundle or Wand

Copyright 2010 Deirde Heindl

Smudging is a ritual performed using a smoking stick made from bundled dried herbs (traditionally Sage, White Sage, Lavender, Copal, Cedar, Sweet grass, or a combination of these) for cleansing the physical body, locations, or personal objects. Smudging is part of many Native American traditions. This smoking stick of bundled herbs is called a smudge stick, smudge bundle, or smudge wand.

The idea of smudging or clearing a space goes back nearly to the dawn of civilization. Native American smudging dates back hundreds of years, and most traditional cultures, from the Zulu to the Maori, from the Chinese to the Balinese, have ancient forms of cleansing and blessing rituals. Even the incense wafting through a church or temple is cleansing and purifying the space, just as surely as the medicine man's bowl of sacred smoke/smudge does.

The ritual of smudging has scientifically been proven to positively affect the energy of the environment. The negative (healthy) ions in the smoke and the molecules of the smoke itself capture the positive (unhealthy) ions, thereby clearing the atmosphere. Therefore, as the smoke clears (preferably out the window), it takes the negative energy (positive ions) with it, releasing it out where it will dissipate.

The benefits of smudging your house are countless. It will improve every area of your life because it clears all of the old yucky energy that was trapped there. Energy sticks to walls and is trapped in corners, especially heavily charged emotional energy. You may currently be reacting to energies from previous owners of your house and not even know it! If you keep having the same argument, in the same room of your house, it needs to be smudged!

The following is a step-by-step guide to smudging your house. This is the way in which I personally smudge, but there are many variations regarding how it can be done. As you smudge your space more frequently, you will, no doubt, start to get into your own ritual rhythm with variations on the words you use, and the motions that you take.

Necessary Items:

Gallon Size Bag/s

Rubber Band/s

Smudge Bundle




Fireproof Ceramic Bowl or Shell to catch ashes

  1. Gather all of your items in the center of your house, preferably near a sink. Find your Smoke Detector/s and cover each of them with a bag, using the rubber band to secure it. This prevents the smoke alarm from going off from all of the smudge smoke!
  2. Open as many windows as possible.
  3. Light the candle with a match and then wet the matchstick to ensure that it is out.
  4. Hold the unwrapped end of the Smudge Bundle over the flame. Allow it to catch fire; you want it to smolder. Blow on it a few times to ensure that the center is well lit. Hold the Bowl or Shell underneath the bundle at all times to catch the ashes that will fall off from time to time.
  5. Smudge yourself and your chakras. Simply hold the smudge bundle and Bowl/Shell together in front of you, starting from your feet, and slowly move it up your body. Then, hold the smudge and Bowl/Shell behind your back, at the base of your spine, for a few seconds to ensure that the smoke goes up your back. Try to envision healing white light around you and the smoke cleansing you of all negative and stale energy.
  6. Go to your front door. Gesture around all of the seams of the door and state aloud that ‘I clear this space, and everything in it, of any and all negative or stale energy.' Begin moving along the wall of your house to the right of the front door (or clockwise). Repeat the phrase above as you go along. It is not necessary to spend time ‘covering' the whole wall with smoke, just move slowly along the wall. As you encounter windows or other doors, be sure to ‘seal' the entire frame with the smoke and linger a few seconds longer in corners, where excess stale energy tends to be caught.
  7. Continue around the perimeter of your house until you are back at your front door. Re-seal it with the smoke again.
  8. At this point, you have neutralized all of the previously negative, lingering, or stale energy in your house. Now the space needs to be introduced to new healthy positive energy.
  9. Light the incense with your candle and allow the flame to go to a smolder on its own, ensuring that it is smoking and did not go out. Now you can either go around the house again as before with your incense, or, using ash catchers, you can place incense in the corners of your house to burn through. Either way you choose, declare that ‘the smoke from this incense fills this house, and everything in it, with vibrant, healthy, new positive energy'.
  10. When you are finished, ensure that all of the incense sticks are out by dipping them in water before disposing of them. Put out the smudge bundle by placing the end under running water. It will sizzle. Before putting out your candle, thank the Universe for helping you to cleanse your house. Then put it out.
  11. You can now remove the bags from your smoke detectors. Keep the windows open as long as necessary until the smoke has cleared. If the smell is too powerful for you, you can go around the house with an air freshener.
  12. You have done it! Take a moment to feel your house. Doesn't it feel much lighter? Try to get in the habit of smudging your house on a regular basis. Remember that any high emotions will leave an energy print, which affects every person who comes across it. Smudging regularly clears these hot spots.

I hope that you smudge your house for years to come! Healthy energy is good for us all!

Please remember to always follow common sense safety practices when working with fire.

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