Updated: Apr 14, 2021
Any action, undertaken with intention and belief can become a potent ritual so consider your intention before you smudge and hold it clearly in your mind. You may wish to invite the spirit of the herbs to join you and guide and assist with your intention.
A candle flame is recommended to light the smudge stick as it may take a little time to get the stick smoking. Once there's a flame blow it out so that the smudge stick is smoldering, not burning. Blow or wave the flame with your hand to put out the fire. Allow the smudge stick to smolder, freeing the smoke to circle in the air.
Fan the swirls of smoke around your body from head to toe. You may want to especially focus on areas where you feel there are blockages or where there has been or is physical, emotional, or psychic pain. Imagine the smoke lifting away all the negative thoughts, emotions and energies that have attached themselves to you. If you are feeling depressed for instance you could visualize the smoke carrying away all your feelings of depression.
It is often appropriate to smudge guests as they enter the space at a ritual, ceremony or special event. Smudge as if you were smudging yourself, fanning the smoke all over their body. You may want to speak an intention or a suggestion for the smudging as you do it. For instance "Allow the sacred smoke to cleanse your body and spirit and bring you present and available into this moment"
Smudging a room or space
Light the smudge stick and walk about the perimeter, giving special attention to the corners and the places behind doors. You can also fan the smoke throughout the room with a large feather.
During healing work
During healing work, the smoke may be fanned over the person either by your hand or with feathers. This clears out unhealthy energies and brings in the special attributes of the herbs. You may also direct smudge to each of the person's chakras and as you do so visualize each chakra coming into balance as it is purified by the smudge.
Cleansing crystals or other objects
Hold the objects to be purified in the smoke or fan the smoke over them. If you are clearing your crystals prior to programming them thank both them and the smudge stick for helping you to realize your goals.
Extinguishing the smudge stick
Have ready a fireproof receptacle such as a shell or a glass or ceramic dish to put the smudge stick in when you've finished. It's ideal to damp the stick out in sand, or earth or you can just press it against the bottom of the receptacle. Always make sure that a smudge stick is out before leaving the room where you keep it.