The Proper Use of Smudging for Purification & Healing

in How To

One of the most common spiritual practices is smudging or the making of ritualized smoke. Smudging is a part of almost all traditional Northern Plains Indian Spiritual activities. The smoke of sage, tobacco, sweet-grass, and other plants is often used for purification. In some instances, the smoke from the burning plants, or mixture of plants, is pulled across the body in a cleansing action. The smoke is a purifying agent, a means of dispelling the everyday energy fields and substituting a pleasant odor for the spirits to work through.

Smudging makes it possible to see and communicate directly with the Spirits/Angels. Smudging opens up the energetic portal which allows humans to penetrate the barrier that separates us from the Spiritual realm. Thus, smudging is frequently the first ritual in a ceremony. Smudging may also be repeated during times of hardship or a need to contact your Guides.

It is not just people who are smudged. Houses, cars, guns, Crystals, computers, and other items often smudged to bring them into harmony. This is because it is believed that every object-even those sometimes considered inanimate-have a spirit by the Indians.

Even though there are many ways and techniques that people use to smudge a room or person, these are the ways I use to properly clear a home/office.  (I prefer to use White sage/Desert sage for this since it has a milder or sweet smell, but you can use other types sage if you don’t have this one)

Place the tip of the wand with the end pointing up from the ground or floor and light the open end with a lighter, or candle (don’t use a match since the smoke will interfere with the smudge). Gently fan the tip of the sage with your free hand until it begins to smoke (blowing is discouraged since it can contaminate the smoke and is sometimes thought of as being disrespectful).

Continue this process until the wand smokes rather vigorously, but don’t let a flame stay longer that enough time to allow the sage to smolder. Wave the smudge to put out any flames since you just want the smoke to work with.  Play some nice peaceful music in the background if you have access to something musical that’s soothing until you complete the smudge process.  (You may need to re-light the smudge if it goes out so carry a lighter with you)

Use a plate or large ashtray during the ceremony to catch any hot cinders and to avoid damaging the carpets, furniture and floors. A small bowl or plate serves this purpose and can then be used as a storage place for any half used sage wand. (Some people use a large shell to hold the sage in but it can be considered symbolically as a neutralizer since shells come from water and fire doesn’t mix well with water. It’s all up to you but I wouldn’t use one because everything we’re doing here is symbolic).

1) First, you need to clear yourself by waving/fanning the sage smudge over your body from the floor to over your head, front to back, and all around you in a complete circle going clockwise in one complete rotation, then another circle counter-clockwise from the floor to over you head like a corkscrew.  Ask that you be cleansed and cleared of any attachments or energetic thought forms while you undertake the smudging process. (You can also do this from time-to-time just to clear your own energy fields)

2) Start at the farthest room of the house (or basement) and pass the smoking wand over the shape of the entry doorway, going to the farthest corner of the room say a prayer for the room to be cleansed. “The Lord’s Prayer” or any prayer where you ask that the house and rooms be cleansed of all negative energies, thought forms, ideas, or attachments, and never to return can be used.  Walking to each corner of the room, wave the smudge wand up and down until the smoke fills the area. Also over and around each window, closets, or opening in the room like vents to Spiritually seal them. I would say the prayer in each room just to bless it with your energy, you can’t ask for help or blessings enough in this situation. (The reason to start from the farthest room is to ward off any energy going to another part of the house around you)

When you reach the doorway ask that the room be sealed and protected from this point on while you smudge the outline of the doorway as you pass through it to keep anymore energy from passing by while you conduct the clearing.  Then start to move directly into the next room following either the floor layout long the walls. Remember to pass the wand over the edges of each window and door as you continue through each room of the house or work space.

In order for the ceremony to be most effective, the Sage Wand should cover every room, closet, door, vent, and window. The house will become a bit smoky and it is acceptable to open the doors and windows to let the smoke out.  If you have a basement you can start there and work toward the steps that lead up to the main level first.

3) The idea is to walk from the farthest room to the entrance clearing each room so that you’re pushing all the negative energy out toward the front entrance.  Since you want all of the negative energy to leave your home look at it like it was a bug or fly that you’re trying to head out the front door.

Once you’ve sealed each room and headed to the front door. Say another prayer asking that the entrance of your home be safeguarded and sealed from this moment on sending any negative energy, or thought-forms back to its source and never to return.

This ceremony should be performed whenever you feel down, or you are surrounded by negative or stagnant energy that sometimes follows after group gatherings or events. These negative energy fields may manifest as scattered emotional patterns, projects or goals which become delayed; Spiritual Influences, continued restless sleep behaviors, arguments or disagreements, illnesses, headaches, or visits from undesired guests, after going to clubs and while drinking, or doing drugs.  Most of the time these energies are minor but we can absorb them without knowing it and become agitated or uneasy without knowing why. Crying for no apparent reason is a good example!

You should allow the smoke to clear out naturally so don’t be tempted to force it out. During a correct smudging, you will notice a calming effect throughout the area being cleansed within 30 minutes. In addition, if you are having disturbing dreams, it is recommended that you smudge frequently in the room where the dreams occur, especially under the bed, hampers, and closets.

Repeat this process at a daily, monthly, or semi-annual intervals for best results especially when we enter a new Solstice, or change of seasons.


{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Cadjia August 30, 2019 at 6:45 am

My husband and I will be moving to Riverview, FL, mid-October, to an apartment. My sister surprised me with three smudge sticks: sage, mugwort and cedar, that I should use in our new place. For fear of setting off the fire alarms and sprinkler system, could I possibly incorporate these plants in wax and burn them as candles, for the same purpose?? Please advise and thank you.

Psychic LaMont Hamilton September 22, 2019 at 10:37 pm

Hi Cadjia,

Thank you for your questions. The biggest issue with smudging is that you don’t want to create a LOT of smoke and something more controlled and small will work wonders for you. So it’s not about how much smoke you have versus doing the ritual correctly and with the right purpose. I would use the cedar sticks over the sage since it won’t create a lot of smoke and is stronger in the energy that you need.

Yes, that’s a great idea or replacement to incorporate the energy of the sage, cedar, or mugwort into a wax to control the smoke yet still accomplish your goal of clearing your space.


kat June 20, 2019 at 10:50 am

I have just smudged my house. I understand that the sage will know when to put itself out. After smudging i took the sage into the rooom where i felt the most negativity and it began to smoke furiously! I sat the sage in a fireproof container and it continued to smoke until it burned completely out in that room. I feel like there may be pornography in that room, could that be the reason for the sage burning out until it was completely gone?

Psychic LaMont Hamilton July 14, 2019 at 12:57 pm

Hi Kat,

There may be several reasons for the sage to smoke more in one room than another but I would follow your own instincts about the cause and relationship with the smoke accelerating in that room.. Thought forms whether negative, organic, or sexual are very powerful since they relate to our deepest thoughts or actions. There are times that the energy can be powerful from just a normal sexual expression between couples or someone having major hormone fluctuations, so keep looking for a cause.

If someone has passed away in a home, then for sure the energy can be amplified from their passing to their lives when they occupied that home. Even if someone died in the neighborhood, they can wonder to other places that they may have liked better or even if they liked someone that lived in your home in the past.

If you feel that the energy is from pornography, then do multiple blessings and rituals to “ask” that it be cleared and purified.

Thank you for your question!


Leanne May 28, 2019 at 12:32 am

My 5 year old grandson has developed a fear of the dark. Do you have any suggestions of a verse I could use to allow him to smudge and cleanse the air? I don’t want to use scary thoughts just allow him to be empowered to say go away to what ever is making him feel scared at night. Thank you for your help.

Psychic LaMont Hamilton July 14, 2019 at 12:16 pm

Hi Leanne,

I would use the Lord’s Prayer or something that he will become familiar with at some point in his life that’s acceptable. You can also use music on a low volume at night that will assist him in falling asleep. Just make sure that the smoke isn’t too heavy or that could distract his normal sleeping pattern too.

It may take several attempts to clear up the air and his thoughts but allowing him to participate will empower him to be in control of his fears and eventually overcome them.

Thank you for your question!


Ana March 15, 2019 at 11:55 am

Hi I smudged my house yesterday and I got lightheaded and have an uneasy feeling in my stomach since yesterday and it will not go away. Did I do something wrong? Is there something I can do to get rid of this feeling?

Psychic LaMont Hamilton March 31, 2019 at 11:44 am

Hi Ana,

Sometimes the entity or energy will affect us if it’s tied to an emotional issue like a former death in a residence or if we had a family member that was hanging around in Spirit and you disconnected the cord from your navel to them in Heaven. So, it’s not uncommon for that to happen depending on the circumstances so you can also re-smudge your home and see what happens this time just in case a lingering energy is hanging on.

Thank you for your question!

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Thank you for the tip and information!


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Amit Madan June 3, 2017 at 12:56 am

I have birds and was thinking of getting sage. But read that sage is harmful for birds if they breath it in. I normally keep them in one room, so if I burn sage in another room, how long should I wait before bringing them in to the room that I burned the sage?

Thank You

Psychic LaMont Hamilton August 1, 2017 at 11:15 am

Hi Amit,

I would wait several hours until the smell and of course the smoke, leaves your dwelling before returning the birds.


errica brisson August 2, 2017 at 4:50 pm

You can also do a cleansing using oils. Put your sage oil (and/or any other type you like) in a spray bottle with some alcohol and a pinch of salt. Continue as you would with a smudge stick.

Psychic LaMont Hamilton August 8, 2017 at 10:38 am

Thank you Errica for sharing your knowledge!


Ursula May 14, 2017 at 12:01 pm

This morning I felt the need to try smudging. I’ve been seeking how to, and I came across this site. I am a beginner and don’t have any experience. Thank you very much for letting be able to do a proper smudging. Peace Love and light.

Psychic LaMont Hamilton May 25, 2017 at 4:50 pm

Thank you Ursula!


Michelle Conrod May 6, 2017 at 6:15 am

I found most of the information helpful however I am Indigenous and I am learning about myself and my ancestors and their way of life. I don’t agree with not using a shell to hold the sage because water and fire because they neutralize. The point of a smudge is entirely symbolic and you honor the elements. Sage being Earth, Smoke being Air, Shell being Water, Matches being Fire, and during a Smudge Ceremony you use a Feather, usually of an Eagle to fan the smoke which also is the Air element, and the use of Drum(s) or drumming music which is the Beating of the Heart. You say also that you shouldn’t use matches because it can contaminate the smoke, however matches are used by elders and this is how it is taught. Another thing mentioned is about having the doors and windows closed, in traditional Smudging you open windows and curtains to allow the sun, to invite the sun and the spirits you are praying to. I know that there are many different ways to Smudge however some things are tradition and sacred, so I think that you should mention that. If I said/did some of these things that you have mentioned above to my people, It would not be taken lightly!

Psychic LaMont Hamilton May 25, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Hi Michelle,

Thank you for your insight and input, the blog was not intended to cover all types of smudging and of course there’s a 1000 ways that you can do it.

In your case, you’re invoking the Mother energy to help and know what you’re doing.

The main reason for not using the shell is that it can burn or hold too much heat where someone could get burned, if you understand what you’re doing then it’s ok to use..

Yes, you know the 4 winds but most of the people here may not even understand what you mean when you say that a shell is water, so I was attempting to keep it simple and easy as opposed to symbolic representation..

If you do not understand what Spirits are or if you cannot see them then you wouldn’t know what I was talking about when I stated that you needed to treat an wanted spirit like fly that you want removed.. It will just come back in another window if you open all of them at the same time. If you’re doing a ritualistic cleansing then it’s ok to open the house for that reason..

My intentions are not to thread lightly on anyone, they are just a common sense way to answer some of the many questions that you see posted here. I do many different variations of smudging based on the need of others so I do understand your point.

Many Blessing for your Help!

Sarah Wroe April 16, 2017 at 9:23 am

We have visitors to our house and they feel dark. When I’m in our house i have a dark cloud over me and a bad head, it feels like I’m wearing a helmet.
I have been told our 5 year old is a rainbow child and often sees and hears things /sprits.

We are trying to sell our house due it other reasons. Will smudging help? I just want our house to feel happy again ?

Jenn June 20, 2018 at 6:24 pm

Not only will smudging help but if there is a place near your entryway that you can safely burn a white candle when you are expecting company it will help discourage the negative energies that might be tagging along on visitors 🙂 hope this helps

Psychic LaMont Hamilton July 6, 2018 at 2:26 pm

Thank you Jenn for your input and help! This may be an easier way to ward off negative people and Spirits than cleaning up after


Sarah Wroe April 16, 2017 at 9:21 am


We have visitors to our house and they feel dark. When I’m in our house i have a dark cloud over me and a bad head, it feels like I’m wearing a helmet.
I have been told our 5 year old is a rainbow child and often sees and hears things /sprits.

We are trying to sell our house due it other reasons. Will smudging help? I just want our house to feel happy again ?

Percie April 3, 2017 at 1:57 am

Im waiting for some roommates to leave this weekend, or should i start smugging no…will it push then away quicker with no addaded negativity……ive heard Holy Water ouround the perimiter of the out side….will take any advive

Psychic LaMont Hamilton April 3, 2017 at 7:54 pm


Just wait until they leave and then do the smudging. Yes, the Holy water will help after you remove the people.


Kim May 4, 2017 at 4:10 pm

I’m smuging for the first time. I’ve read every Web site I can on this because I want to be respectful to this ceremony. Each Web site gives conflicting information.
It sounds crazy and embarrassing to say but we have seen shadows, orbs, things come up missing all the time. we never find the’s items either, things have moved but not often, we hear noses that no one can explain. People talking but just to the level you can’t make out what’s being said. We’ve moved and now things are again starting to happen. Theses things happen day or night. The home is full of argumentation and agitation. I’m praying smuging will help us all. We have a 7 year old in the home and he want stay in his room alone. We definitely do not speak of any of this in front of him. I just want him to feel safe and the home be content for him to grow up in.
If you know of anything else I can do to protect and fix this problem please tell me. Thank you

Emma March 22, 2017 at 6:46 am

I had a strange smudging experience recently – my first smudging experience. My sister came to visit me and thought it a good idea to smudge my home, so I decided to go along with her suggestion as she seemed convincing and knowledgeable on the subject. I was a little sceptical at first but felt I should give it a go. We smudged the house together, both upstairs and downstairs with no problems at first but it was when I smudged a certain area in our large garage that I felt an energy stopping me from walking through one particular spot – almost like running into a wall while walking at slow speed. When this feeling occurred I was sort of forced to stop walking and had to make my way around this spot walking slowly. Some sort of energy definitely did not want me to smudge there in this spot I felt, but cant explain. What could this be I wonder ?

Eileen Hickey February 6, 2017 at 5:45 pm

My husband has been dead for 5 years.He comes to me every night. I like when he comes. I do not want him to stop. Will smudging stop his coming in the evening. I have been down in the dumps the last 2 weeks . If I smudge myself will it stop him from coming to see me. Eileen

Psychic LaMont Hamilton April 3, 2017 at 8:46 pm

Hi Eileen,

No, it won’t keep him from coming to you, just state that you want to remove any negative or unwanted guests.

Thank you,

Eileen Hickey February 6, 2017 at 5:33 pm

Will the smoke alarms go off

Trina February 6, 2017 at 3:28 pm

as a native and growing up in my spiritual ways you don’t ever use a lighter. if that is all you got then start a paper up with the lighter and use it to start the smudge. and matches are fine.

Sara January 22, 2017 at 3:41 am

This is a great article. Smudging is one of the ancient ritual our ancestors used to clear energy and spaces and of course for healing as you mention!

Sage is one of the most well known herbs to smudge and there are other ones like lemongrass and Palo Santo Wood that also work very good!


Psychic LaMont Hamilton April 3, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Thank you Sara for your comments and input!


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Sarah Lou November 9, 2016 at 5:41 am

Me and my friend are smudging today as my house has a lot of visiting energies here. Orbs in other words. My cat doesn’t like some of them. So for that reason we are going to smudge wth native American sage

Psychic LaMont Hamilton December 23, 2016 at 11:38 pm

Thank you Sarah,

Not all energy is negative or harmful even to pets but if it makes everyone happy in your household, then it’s all about your personal needs being met.


Olive November 2, 2016 at 11:35 pm

Can sharing smudging items (smudging stick, candles, etc.) from another person release their negative energy, attachments, and spirits into your home? Thank you!

Psychic LaMont Hamilton December 23, 2016 at 11:36 pm

Hi Olivia,

Yes, that is possible when working with Spirits or doing energy work when one does not fully grasp what is at play.


Olive November 2, 2016 at 2:20 am


So my cousin introduced me to smudging fairly recently and shared a few of her experiences. I’m very curious and would like to know if what she experienced could happen to others.

1. Her first experience with smudging was far from positive. She explained to me how her landlord let her borrow her smudging kit. My cousin stated that after she used the kit, she felt extremely down…that there was a dark heavy cloud in her flat. A friend of hers explained that she should never use someone else’s smudging stick etc. By doing so, the negative energy would be realeased into her home. Is this possible? I haven’t found much information on sharing smudging items.

2.) She has smudged her home in efforts to keep individuals who have a “negative agenda” out. She has stated that the people she suspected of trying “to do dirt” have literally stopped at her door. That they made excuses to suddenly leave or suggested they go somewhere else. Is this kind of protection possible?

Thank you!

Psychic LaMont Hamilton December 23, 2016 at 11:35 pm

Thank you for your contribution Olivia,

Yes, there are times where things like this do affect the outcome, but of course it’s always good to raise your vibration prior to doing any smudging in an effort to force out any negative energy. Like all things connected to energy work, it requires a certain amount of focus and understanding to achieve the results that we seek.

Thank you!

Maximo October 23, 2016 at 5:42 pm

I’d like to find out more? I’d like to find out some additional information.

Arlene Montero October 7, 2016 at 9:09 pm

Does it matter if night or day.?

Psychic LaMont Hamilton October 14, 2016 at 1:21 pm

Hi Arlene,

Not really but I’d prefer the daylight since it will help foster for comfort on your part.

Thank you!

Trooper April 28, 2017 at 11:46 pm

Actually my physic friend wouldnt have commented but I actually have real life experience.

Do it before sunrise and make sure that it is finished within the hour .. and u actually go in a circular motion . it creates somewhat of a vortex .. also if it can be closed it needs to be opened .Jars drawers . denser objects need to be put in the sun… Smudging carries more of live spiritual vibrations . Salt will cover.. make sure you create a shield around your house with salt and natural tobacco ..

research bad advice can trap things in your house. Until u really know what your dealing with use prayer and that itself takes time .. man i wish i could be everywhere with all u guys ..
We are sometimes led to take actions and dont even know whats going on ..
Stuff can hurt your life force . and if taken in knowingly or unknowingly CAN KILL YOU>> Draining completely… Start with yourself first .. learn to build up a shield of protection . see your protection thick and almost plasma like …Substance//short blogs can really get people hurt .. a lil sage aint gonna help if its done wrong and not having pure intentions.. Love light

Jess May 20, 2017 at 8:44 pm

Hey Trooper if theyres something in the house and you put salt all around your house can that trap it in you house?

Psychic LaMont Hamilton May 25, 2017 at 4:26 pm

Hi Jess,

Not necessarily, it would probably take a lot more than salt to keep them locked in..


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Glee Cator September 24, 2016 at 12:06 pm

If no basement but have an upstairs where do I start.

Yenawa September 22, 2016 at 6:52 pm

Hi! I was recently smudging a mink pelt and koko Pelli neckless (my moms neckless) we bought at a powwow. When I finished smudging the necklace, I was handing it to my mom and I accidentally dropped it and it broke… I then smudged the mink pelt and was upset from dropping the necklace. She said it was okay from dropping it and accidentally breaking it but I insisted and I’m worried what may happen. Will I get cursed? I’m warming my hot glue up to fix it right now as I speak. The string didn’t break, just the crystal with the picture of koko peli on it.


Eileen Hickey February 6, 2017 at 5:31 pm

I nhave been feeling down lately. How do you smudge yourself and is it possible to make nmyself feel better ?

Jaymes August 30, 2019 at 3:56 pm

I was at my friends house during the evening and she started to sage while i was present. She turned on a white candle and the next morning she says the candle was turned off and i myself woke up feeling negative not myself and anxious . Did i pick up negative energy? Should i smudge myself and home as well ?

Psychic LaMont Hamilton September 22, 2019 at 10:42 pm

Hi Jaymes,

It is possible to absorb some negative energy while doing a smudging if you’re not paying attention or just ignore what’s going on since the energy has to go somewhere. It could be that some of that energy affected you somewhat, or the smoke from the sage was too strong and it made you feel ill. I would just take a shower or bath and ask that any negative energy be cleansed from your body…that way you’ll feel better faster.


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