The Art Of Smudging – A Shamanic Cleansing Ritual

The Art oF Smuding


    Share Your Wisdom

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I started smudging a short while ago. My main purpose was to clear the pain suffering my wife went through with dying from breast cancer. i feel calmersince the smudging,it seems to work for me.

    • Terry, your story is long I’m sure…glad you are better. My dear friend has cancer in three places and I would like to do anything I can to help him…I just don’t have any sweet grass…what exactly did you use?

      • type your comment here… has an interesting story today about how vitamins help combat diseases, including cancer. I suggest you see the movie offered there today.

      • Karla, I sorry about your friend. You both should check out the website ‘the truth about cancer’ there are a ton of things your friend can learn to heal themselves of cancer naturally as well as supplements they can take while doing conventional methods of treatments. Look up Essias Tea which has cured many people of cancer regardless of type or stage, they can also start using frankincense essential oil and canabis oil which has helped cure lots of people from cancer and other illnesses too. There is an 8 part documentary by Ty Bollinger discussing everything I mentioned and so much more. It was available for free when it first premiered but now you may have to purchase which is still a great investment. I wish your friend everything of the best!

      • There are many different choices for healing cancer other than the standard practice of chemo and radiation. Go to The Truth About Cancer, there is some wonderful information there.

      • Karla,
        Your friend may want to try Matcha Tea, it is Alkalizing, detoxifying and has 137x more EGCG’s which has been proven to kill cancer cells…..and again, I can’t stress enough to check the link, The Truth About Cancer.

      • Karla,
        You dont necessarily HAVE to have Sweet Grass as I understand, it may add to the fragrance. A lot of people only use Sage and get results. I have also. You may find some sage smudge sticks already made at a local metaphysical shop near you. Although I have also cut and rolled my own sage sticks that were cut from a friends garden and they seemed to have a more sentimental feel as I was more connected to the process. Grow some of your own in a window, or in the ground if you can

      • KARLA,
        Also, I’m sorry to hear about your friend. If they are able to eat honey without a reaction to Honey bees. Bee Pollen has shown great effects in fighting cancer. It doesnt take much pollen in addition to a healthy diet either. You can find more info on goodle. Search: “Bee Pollen Mice Cancer Study” I like to drink a half litre of water first thing in the morning, then just add a table spoon to a couple small scoops of yogurt in the morning, drink a couple more sips of water, then finish the rest of a cup of yogurt in which there is no yogurt. It almost completely covers the taste of the pollen, not that its terrible to begin with but it is very earthy and is not a flavor I want to linger around. You can order pollen from amazon inexpensively in bulk. It is advised to eat pollen at least from your continent, but the closer to local pollen you can find the better. Also, there are instructions on beginning doses and such. Its great for you and contains super simple proteins that the body can digest with out much work at all, it is said to be some of the most healthy food available on earth. It can sustain the human body indefinitely, There have been ancient sherpas that passed away from avalanches and were found frozen in the mountains more recently with ONLY bee pollen as a food source!! No kidding! The stuff is AWESOME for you! Good luck to you and your friend!

  2. I have been smudging for at least 30 years! It brings such peace to ones self, and to all you are sending Love and Light to! I use white Sage and an abolone shell with an Eagle feather that was gifted to me by a Lakota Elder.

  3. I love the prayer; very biblical. And so is blessing of people and space and purging of negative spirits through these sorts of rituals.

    Where can we find information on what can be learned by the way the smoke moves?

    • The smoke may move or wrap in a certain way almost as if there were an object in the way, but you may not see anything there, also, smoke may move as if something just walked/moved through it. If that happens, continue casting smoke in the direction of movement and continue this prayer or the lords prayer, or continue casting smoke where you get the feeling it might need it, like in corners, under tables, nooks and crannies, behind you, above you, anywhere a cat or dog or other pet may hide at… I believe he’s trying to communicate that things unseen may not wish to remain in the smoke and/or cannot tolerate it, things you, the other person, or maybe an object such as crystals, are trying to release, hence the open windows… Also certain energies may be transmuted from a negative energy and spun into a new positive energy or idea. All the best to you!

  4. The rising smoke from burning incense in the temple ritual of ancient Israel was a physical symbol of prayers ascending to heaven. It was a physical symbol of something spiritual. Without the prayer it was an empty ritual. The ritual itself did not provide healing, it was the prayer that was the healing aspect of the ritual. It is so important when performing any ritual to focus on the spiritual symbolism of the ritual.

  5. I read that first you smudge with sage, then smudge with sweetgrass, but don’t burn together. The sage removes negative energies while the sweetgrass welcomes in positive energy.

    • I think that is correct. I have used the sage to clear my home of negativity after certain people have been there. It works for me. Also when moving into a new place.

  6. I am a gardener that grows as many medicinal herbs as possible . I am looking for a source of sweet grass plants or seed to establish here in the mid atlantic region of the east I heard there is a different variety of sweetgrass for the east . I grow many native food seed as well as herbs

  7. I love to smudge.. Out have given me more information om how to in a better light. Thank you! Love your information on all that you share with us,

  8. Thanks for your work and this blog. I use Palo Santo each morning in a smudging ritual incorporating a prayer of gratitude and protection. I will integrate some of the info here into the ritual. mlk

  9. I was taught by, a shaman in New Mexico many years ago. It is exactly as you described. I was unaware of the 30 herbs used by the Cree nation. It was a good reminder for me to smudge.


  10. Many thanks for sharing , I love the prayer. Although I already smudge , I’ve learnt something new from you today ,
    With gratitude.

  11. Wonderful article validating my teachings and practices as I create circles and ceremony for women. We always smudge!

  12. I found this article to be magnificent!!! Wow- I did not know all these things about smudging.
    How to do it properly, the history of it, the intention behind it, different herbs for smudging, and more. Thank u for sharing such great knowledge.

  13. My beloved gives me red roses every week. I collect white sage locally. I dry the rose petals and then bind them in fresh picked sage and hang to dry. They have the lovely sent of roses mixed with the sage as well as the continued love offering from my beloved. They burn quite well. I make smallish bundles so that I may use an entire stick for each smudging. I smudge all the interior of my home and then the perimeter after. I’m sure my neighbors wonder, but I do it weekly for my well being. I can really see when there is a build up of stagnate or bad energy because they burn ferociously. I also use aromatherapy misters daily and burn palo santo, frankincense and piñon pine in a small cauldron.

  14. Thank you for clarifying aspects of the smudging ritual. Particularly returning the ash to the soil. At times I have felt the need to smudge my apartment area and have used sage.

  15. Hi Nick
    We are so blessed by partaking in this ancient ritual. Take time and feel where the energy lies around us and in our homes. The television is a huge energy source and I have found needs smudging as often as you can to lift the energy that accumulates around it. I am not one to have it on often but I share my home so find lifting that energy is my answer. A peaceful home car body is a beautiful way to go. I always enjoy your articles. Thank you. Mirri

  16. I think you haven’t given incomplete or incorrect information here in the blog and if I may suggest doing a bit more research. To many of the native people (I speak more about Saskatchewan and Alberta) your prescribed use of sweet grass goes against beliefs as I’ve been told.

    The use of sage is primarily for cleaning, to cleanse oneself before spiritual practice, to cleanse yourself before ceremony or before starting the day, or to cleanse a space, I understand some B.C. First Nations people will also use a candle to “light up” a space in addition to sage. But mostly I believe the smoke is to displace negative energies.

    The use of sweet grass is used primarily to create a link or open channel to a “creator” (or God or whatever your word for higher power is). This would be used at a funeral, in ceremony after sage is burnt to cleanse the space first, or if you were in despair and seeking to channel higher realms. it would be disrespectful to higher powers and to the sacredness of the sweet grass to burn it for the purpose of making the room smell good, or for simple practice, often meditation wouldn’t be deemed the right time, but that varies from community.

    White sage is used as well as Buffalo grass sweet grass and other varieties.

    Tobacco has a wide variety of uses, but its primary I believe is to send wishes or words to the creator in the heavens through the smoke from the tobacco pipe.

    Again, this is what I have learned from the indigenous people in sask, I do not speak for them all

  17. Thank you! This reminded me of what my abuela used to do ,long ago
    In Havana,Cuba.She said the smudge would “clear the air”.
    and the herbs were so fresh and aromatic!I am going to try this

  18. thanks Nick for that native prayer, it’s beautiful!
    I’m into smudging and will use that now.
    With love and light
    Om Om Om

  19. How are you planning on creating your special smudge stick? Thank you for your clear direction on preparation and performance of the smudging process.

  20. I have attended smudgings but never performed one myself. I now have the supplies and you have given me the knowledge and the confidence. Thank you

  21. Where does one find sweet grass, white sage and an eagle feather? Can another type of feather be used knowing each bird signifies a particular meaning.

    • Please know that if you are not Native American, it is a federal offense to be in possession of an eagle feather- $10,000 fine (that is if caught, of course). Turkey feathers are used by people I know who are not Dakota/Lakota/Nakota or as he says, use your hand to produce the wind.

  22. I learned to smudge 25 years ago when I began to participate in Lakota Sioux ceremonies. White sage was used to smudge the people, the pipe, the area. Sweet grass was used inside the sweat lodge before the ceremony and then when the ceremony began cedar was gently placed on the hot stones as they were placed on the fire pit. The cedar is spiritual protection. Sweet grass invites all spirits. Cedars protects and insures that only high-intentioned spirits enter the lodge.

  23. Just what I needed! I am new to smudging – never done it before but have a smudging ‘kit’ & am anxious to clear any negative energies in our new home! Thank you!!!

  24. Thankyou for sharing this deep profound and wise knowledge. IM Aboriginal to Australia,and we use the gum leaf to smoke ourselves,people and others in the same manner. Its a very purifying experience.

  25. I try to smudge on a daily basis. It helps me when i have all these negative thoughts. It helps my anxiety level go down when i am nervous about things.

  26. Thank you for sharing this entry. I have been using white sage for decades in my morning meditation and quiet time, occasionally along with a singing bowl. It clears the space and allows for a smoother entry into the inner world for me. Besides, I like the smell and play of the smoke as it rises in the air.

  27. I truly enjoy the information you shared. I’ve been smudging for years now and wasn’t aware you could release the ash to the earth. I was taught to burn it in a sacred fire. Thank you for the additional knowledge. Aho

  28. Thank you! It is finally clear to me how to do a smudging. I love this pieces of wisdom that you share with all of us. May you always be inspired!

  29. I had just been thinking that as spring is upon us and I am clearing out all the clutter and drew stuff in my life. I feel that smudging is exactly what is called for. I do have some copal from my aunt from Mexico and sage. Thank you for the reminder. Peace. Nya

  30. I don’t know why but just reading about this gives me peace. Would love to start doing this how do I get all I need.?

  31. I admire all the work you are doing and the information you are giving to stay connected with our natural elements. Thank you!

  32. I am new to smudging but am excited for this information so I can get started! Our home has seen its share of discord, grief and distressful situation and has never been cleared, so it’s about time! Thanks for the guidelines.
    * A piece of info for everyone – it might be illegal to possess an eagle feather in the United States. A law was implemented to protect eagles in 1972 and part of it prohibited any type of collecting of feathers from eagles and some other migrant birds. There are pages of search results but here is one that looks official-

    • Yep.

      They “assume” you killed the bird to get those feathers (unless you have a B.I.A. card). It is really a crying shame that we have so many “laws” against “possession”, without even getting to the facts about one procures those feathers.

      I am fortunate enough to live in an area where we see Eagles, Hawks, Falcons, lots of Crows, and Owls. Once in a while, I do find a dropped feather or two, but I try to be discrete about gathering them. They are also sacred to my personal practices, and I always appreciate the things they teach me.

  33. Namaste Nick. Being spiritual is sharing what you know with joy and with integrity. I honour your sharing with all of us and awakening within us what we already know. Thank you for nudging us to remember who we are. Your blogs touch me deeply and urge me to start ‘doing’ what I know. Blessings to you and your family.

  34. Hi,I come from middle eastern Persian culture, and always thought we were pretty spiritual,we also share same tridition of burning incents but shamans
    Are really going deeper in spritual sense! It’s impressive I’ll do it their way next time,,
    Thanks for the article Nick,,

  35. I guess Smudging seems to come naturally to some of us.

    I started smudging, albeit a little differently, with the use of certain aromatic kitchen herbs, in freshly-dried, whole form some years ago. It just felt like the “right” thing to do then. I always enjoyed the smells and loved watching the smoke, and where it went.

    These days,

    I use Sagebrush (Artemesia spp.) because it grows very commonly in my part of the world. I have found Sagebrush to be very connected with Earth and Earth energies. Probably explains why it is so powerful, especially for cleansing and summoning spirits. Many people confuse Sagebrush with actual (edible) “Sage” (Salvia spp.), but they are NOT the same! Sagebrush (Artemesia) can be toxic if ingested, because it has a high concentration of Juglones and other strong Terpenes. Sagebrush is related to Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris), Wormwood (or “Absinthe”, Artemesia absinthium), some species of “Dusty Miller” (some are genus Artemesia, and some are Centauria).

    I have also use smoldering Cinnamon sticks (once I can get them to do so), but confined spaces may make Cinnamon a bit strong to use. So, you may want to do short sessions with it in those environments.

    You may also use dried Rose petals, especially at weddings and hand-fastings! I LOVE the smell of Rose petal.

    Thank you for a most wonderful article on Smudging! I was about to write an essay on the subject, to include some of the wonderful characteristics of certain herbs when they are burned. You may also consider some of our favorite “woods”, as it is still common practice to use fragrant woodchips for barbeque seasonings when burned. So why not also use them in smudge mixes???

    – Jim (Rev. Dragon’s Eye)