Smudging for beginners

So, this is a quick tutorial on smudging for beginners. This is strictly about clearing the energy. It isn’t for something more advanced like getting rid of a spirit or entity. Smudging, or smoke-cleansing, is a Native American practice which has become very popular. Why? Basically, because it works. Smudging will reset the energy field in your home and bring a sense of balance and peace. I smudge before a ritual, but it has also become a daily practice for me. I use it to ground and center myself.

Tools needed to smudge

Smudging options

There are so many options. You can use the traditional bundle of white sage. Not everyone likes the smell of it, so you will have to try it out. If you are just smudging yourself, I would suggest getting a small quantity of the herb and burning a single leaf at a time. And I would use a bundle of sage if I were planning to do a large space, like a house.

And what if you don’t like the smell of white sage? Then you can use a bundle of another type of herb like juniper or cedar. I prefer palo santo, a holy wood, because the smoke has a very pleasant and sweet smell. It also reminds me of a campfire. It has that crackling woody smell and a spellbinding, almost hypnotic effect. Although, I don’t dislike sage. I just have to be in the mood to burn it. However, I would say white sage is a bit more powerful, so if you have  lots of negative energy around you, bring in the “big guns” to take care of it.

Vessel to catch the ashes

Any fire-proof vessel will do, but I use the traditional abalone shell. If you don’t do this, you could burn your carpet, or scorch your floors. You are also adding in the element of water.

A feather

Traditionally, a feather is used to fan the smoke everywhere in the space, especially into corners and closets. I use my hand for this instead.


I also use a selenite wand to also clear the energy. They are like purifiers for your place, soaking up unhelpful negativity and clearing it right out. So, I take both the wand and the palo santo around with me from room to room. This also adds in the element of earth. And with the smoke (air), shell (water), crystal (earth), flame (fire), you have added in all the elements.

Smudging  Supplies

So, I am a girl on a budget, and I have shopped around quite a bit. I buy my palo santo on Amazon for $10 for a bundle. It is the best price I’ve seen for legit palo santo. One stick usually lasts me three weeks.  Buyer beware if you see a very cheap price. Most likely, it’s a knockoff. The real palo santo has a very distinctive smell.  And I got a whole smudging kit including the shell, selenite, and bundles of herbs on Etsy for $19.

Smudging for beginners

How to smudge your house

Open the windows

You want to drive these darker feelings and emotions away from you, so they have to escape elsewhere. Shoo these suckers out the doors and windows.

Clean your space

You want to shift the energy in your space, so you have to move that stagnant “yech” that is just clinging to the surface and behind your furniture. Regular dusting, mopping, and sweeping should do the trick. If your space needs a major energy shift, I suggest a huge clean and clear out.

Set your intention

You can say a prayer if you like, or tell the bad energies to hit the road. Or you can just think it as you are moving from room to room. Just remember to keep your focus. Don’t let your mind wander while you smudge.

Get Smudging

I move in a counterclockwise motion through my house. Why? Because I’m clearing it, I’m getting rid of negative energy. If I wanted to draw something to me, I’d move in a clockwise direction.  Make sure to walk around the entire room, getting the smoke and the crystal (optional) into the corners, underneath furniture, and in closets.

Extra Credit

After you finish clearing it out, you might want to do some simple protection magic like salting your windowsills to help keep negativity out of your home. Not to scare you or anything, but I recommend doing this before Samhain and during the month of October when the veil thins and there is more spirit activity.

Does smudging really work?

Yes! Every time I smudge myself, I relax. I can literally feel the badness drifting away. I’ve started to smudge myself every morning as part of my routine. I also smudge my tarot cards, my altar, my phone (because social media can be full of creeps), and anything else that is causing me stress. And I do it in the evenings too, before I go to bed, just to get release any negativity I happen to be carrying with me.

What if I can’t handle smoke?

Then I would recommend a smudging spray instead. This accomplishes the same thing without the smoke in your space. Or you can also do a little sound cleansing if you like, by using a bell or even music, like binaural beats to shake up the energy field in your home.

And there you have it, smudging for beginners. Are you planning to smudge yourself or your space?  Tell me in the comments.