View Full Version : how to smudge?

21-10-2005, 01:15
Hey there, I have already searched this topic, but being a complete beginner I still need a bit of help!

I have just bought my first sage smudge stick, yay me! But don't know how to do it. I have searched google but there are so many methods?

Some say you need to put it in a bowl and use a feather to waft the smoke?

I assumed I just held it, lit it, and waved it around? I guess I'll need a plate to catch the ashes!

What is the best method please? Thank you!

21-10-2005, 01:31
Ok, there are various ways how to smudge. One way is - as you already did it - light the bundle and fan either with a feather or a fan the smoke through your deck or in the room.

Another way is - this is what I prefer - to buy a special burner with a small grate (do you call it like this in English?) and place a votive candle below (make sure the difference between candle and grate is at least 10 cm!), place the incense on the grate and light the candle. After about 10 min a wonderful soft smoke will arise (this is the nicest way to smudge because incense will not smell like burned rubber as it may happen on charcoal. Besides you only need very little incense or herbs (3 grains of incense usually last up to 2 weeks on my burner).

Third way is to put a good deal of sand into a fireproof bowl and put a piece of special smudging charcoal on it. Light the charcoal, wait until it is covered with ash and then place the incense on top of the charcoal. Be careful, the charcoal will be up to 800C !

21-10-2005, 03:06
Hello Sagewriter

I'm glad you asked this as I wasn't sure either. I have sage growing in my garden and I guess now would be the right time to gather some for smudge sticks.

I have seen them used in tropical areas by wrapping a fresh green leaf (fairly large one) around the already smouldering stick then held between both hands and used in an almost prayer like way, moving up and down in front of you. I think such ritual is most likely specific to that area but making a sheath from soft metal sheet would work as well.

As I say, I am completely in the dark about this too so I look forward to reading everyones responses.

21-10-2005, 09:23
The good thing about a feather (wing feather or tail feather, not a soft one) is that it moves the air around more dramatically than just waving the sage in the air (dangerous! Embers fall off) or waving your hand over it.

Use only a little, sage smudging can drive everyone out of the house like a bad cigar in a tiny room. Be sure you can open windows afterwards, to clear it all out, it's a heavy scent.

The hard part about it sometimes is getting the thing lit. Don't let it catch fire, you have to have it smoldering to produce the smoke you want. Start with a small amount and see from there. It's easier on the sage if you put it out with sand dumped on top rather than in water.

21-10-2005, 09:35
....or mix it in a metal ashtray with some sweetgrass or tobacco...carry it through the house from door inwards.

21-10-2005, 09:55
When I smudge, I open a window just a little but to let out any negativity that is in the house together with the smoke.

I lit the sage till it smokes, and put it in a big seashell (use whatever you want to, a small plate is good too).

I don't have a feather so I use my hand. I hold the shell with the smoking smudge in one hand and with the other hand I wave the smoke with a movement away from me.

While doing this I walk through every part of my apt, and ask any negativity to go away. It is quite smokey and sometimes it dies so you have to light it up again.

Sometimes when my defences are weak and I am very vulnerable and too open for ohter people's energy, I use sage too. Right before I leave the house and go into the world, I light up some sage untill it smokes and make cirkling movements around me starting from the top of my head to way down my feet.

Good luck ,

21-10-2005, 22:04
I sometimes smudge before doing Reiki and put the stick in a large seashell like YogaSpider does. Any kind of dish would do, but it's necessary to use something because it sometimes sparks so you need to be able to catch the live ash.

Its good for sealing aura's and any type of cleansing, like a room, particularly in the corners where negative and stale energy lingers, much like with Feng Shui.

Some people don't like the smell of sage though, so best to make sure first if its for a customer.

23-10-2005, 03:16
I have never placed sweetgrass or a smudge stick onto charcoal; I always thought you were to light it and let it burn as an ember. That way, you hold the 'cool' end of the stick. Doesn't burning it on charcoal make whatever your container is get hot?

24-10-2005, 03:17
thank you for the help everyone. I have taken a bit of Catlin's info. I have bought myself another oil burner, and put a few sprigs of sage into teh bowl and light a candle. I don't get any smoke, just the smell, so I shall have to experiment with candles and amonut of sage. I may even add some lavendar into the mix!

Thanks again :)

24-10-2005, 18:31
The heigh between the grate with the incense and the candle may vary as e. g. pine gum or Labdanum burns very easily whereas frankincense, copal, cinnamon or palo santo are a bit slower.

I choose a closed burner so I can vary the heigh by using sand unto which I place the holder with the votive candle.

24-10-2005, 19:03
The heigh between the grate with the incense and the candle may vary as e. g. pine gum or Labdanum burns very easily whereas frankincense, copal, cinnamon or palo santo are a bit slower.

I choose a closed burner so I can vary the heigh by using sand unto which I place the holder with the votive candle.

Ah, I may then try different sized candles. Maybe a taller one would work, as the flame would be closer.

Thank you for the idea!

12-11-2005, 21:18
Where do you guys buy sage? I haven't seen it here yet - maybe in my home city (Amsterdam) I'll be able to find it... or maybe i'm just looking in the wrong places..

Just curious, i wanna try this out ;)

Is it also a scent that gives the house a nice smell to it? or is it too overwhelming?

13-11-2005, 00:27

One can buy dried sage at New Age/Mystical/Metaphysical Shops or Nature/Organic supermarkets.

In Amsterdam there is a New Age shop/teahouse called Himalaya, located in the Warmoestraat (next to that big Coffeeshop called "Grasshopper".
And every Sunday there is a Market at Nieuwmarkt and there you can find it too or go to the Organic Market on Saturday's at the Noordermarkt in the Jordaan.

Also, try the "Natuurwinkel" at the Elandsgracht.

Be aware that when you smudge sage, it is very very smokey and the scent is incredibly strong and yes, kinda overwhelming.
Just a tip: for the same purpose of using sage, you can try incense Frankincense and Mirre; very pleasant scent.


13-11-2005, 02:22
I buy loose, white sage. Some people think "regular" sage smells like marjuana, and are turned off by that. But white sage is very sweet smelling. I buy it loose and put it in a small smudge bowl. Then I light the top, and fan the smoke around me. It usually goes out on it's own in a few minutes, but if it doesn't I just put a lid on the bowl to smother the embers.

I love sage. It's not like incense where you can leave it burning, because you'll be smoked out of your house if you do. It's nice to smudge yourself in the morning, or after a stressfull day, and you feel very calm. I usually fan it toward my heart, over my head, and then run my hands through the smoke.

13-11-2005, 17:35
YogaSpider, thanks so much for the information! Wow, you porbably lived in Amsterdam for a while since you know all the streetnames and insiders? ;) Impressive.

I will try all those things you said. For now it will be inscence since I haven't found any sage here in Oman. In Feb i'm movng back to a'dam..i'll try straight away.

I've tried franckinsence on special in-house coal, which was very ovewhelming too. I guess incense is better.

17-11-2005, 02:05
@ValerieB66: most incense smells bad to horrid when burned directly on coal because the coal is too hot.
Besides, you need much more incense when burning on coal. As you are in Oman I am pretty sure you can find an incense burner with a small grate on top (and don't forget to get you some frankincense there, some of the best comes from Oman).