The process of using smoke to cleanse effectively has a little more to it than just burning select herbs, it comes with intent. You can take the added step of collecting and bundling your own herbs. Or you can buy them from appropriate retailers.
First, clean the space physically, and open the doors and windows.
When you are done, hold the herb bundle between your hands and focus pure light into it.
Then simply pray, your prayer should vary depending on the reason you are smudging: “Ancient ones, both of my blood and of the land I ask that you let this sweet smoke guide you in cleaning this space, drive away that which means harm, that which shadows the minds of the ones who live here, and where the smoke travels, I ask you to bless. So mote it be.” The energy should snap like a rubber band, at this point you light a candle, and use it to ignite the herb bundle/smudge.
It’s important that the smoke gets everywhere, waft it with a hand, a fan, or a large feather, and walk through the place you are smudging, when clearing a room make sure to include closets, cupboards, and under the bed. Pay special attention to the places not often touched by light, man-made portals like doorways (internal and external), and windows.
When you have finished carry the smudge outside and smudge the front door, set the smudge in a fire-safe dish or abalone shell, to smolder out outside. Then go back through the house and close all the windows and doors, when you get back to the front door say.
“This place is clear, all the spirits and energy that would harm my family have been removed, and may these entities know that they are no longer welcome, and cannot return.”
Then close the front door and extinguish the candle you used to light your smudge.
By now you know that different woods, herbs, flowers, or resins, can affect a person in different ways, spirits and energy are no different. When you have options, you should choose to smudge with the thing that is best suited for the job at hand, or aligns the closest with your given intentions.
Sage: The generic go-to smudge, while a lot of people swear by White Sage , after over twenty years I can tell you that by way of Smudging, all SAGE is created equal. Sage Assists with clearing negative stagnant energy, washing away ‘that which no longer serves you’ it can be used to purify people, objects, and homes of negative effects caused by evil or negative entities. Though stronger, intelligent entities may resist the effects, by using sage regularly you are depriving these entities of nourishment, and they may move on, on their own.
Wormwood: (Hazardous – Never burn inside unless it’s in a well-ventilated area) aids in developing psychic powers and summoning the spirits of the dead. Used when communicating with the dead, or when performing hexes or curses, wormwood can thin the veil to the underworld when used correctly. A great aid in reversal magick to turn a spell and bring strife and misfortune to the person who sent it to you.
Mugwort (aka Black Sage). This herb is often used to protect one against evil spirits. Mugwort is well known as an aid to astral travel and dream Magic. Mugwort also is used to dispel fatigue and aid in divination. This Smudge is often used before or during divination working for this reason.
Juniper: Not only does Juniper clear negative energy like other smudges, Juniper can also create a safe, protective, positive, healing space when the negative energy is removed. Juniper is energetically and physically detoxifying as well as centering.
Mullein: In the Middle Ages when people would burn a mullein smudge wand; first dipped in tallow, as a protective spell against witches and witchcraft. Overall mullein is used for courage, protection from wild animals, and protection from evil spirits. Smoke is used for banishing bad influences and stop or regulate bad habits. Mullein smoke is also used for the cleansing of ritual spaces, sacred circles, and any other place where magical work will be performed. It’s also used for cleansing and purifying ritual tools and altars.
Rosemary: As a smudge, the smoke from Rosemary emits powerful cleansing and purifying vibrations. Use this smudge stick to cleanse a space for rituals or ceremonies. Clears negativity, promotes confidence, and invigorates the mind. Because it can banish negative energies, this is an excellent herb to prepare the space and the mind. Promoting clarity, Rosemary deals with the mental aspect of your being and aids in the release of negative thought issues. A fantastic way to recover from spirit work is to use Rosemary afterward as it can actually help restore a weakened Aura.
Palo Santo: Assisting as a spiritual remedy to purify and cleanse. Purifying the spirit and clearing negative energy are common uses for palo santo wood smudge sticks, but the sacred wood is also known to inspire creativity, bring a deeper connection to the divine source, and aid in physical healing.
Cedar: While the cleansing effect of Cedar is not quite as intense as Sage, Cedar has other great properties. The cedar tree is a sacred tree believed to have healing properties. This makes Cedar a must-use for healing and for ceremonial purposes. Cedar smoke has friendly and healing energy that is a good alternative for those who have an aversion to sage.
Pine: With many connections to death, death rituals, and protection Pine is known to reverse hex or curses upon the recipient. During times of loss, the burning of Pine is known to lift the spirits of those in mourning. Pine also helps with concentration.
Cinnamon: My use of Cinnamon sticks as a smudge started with a message in a dream “smudge with cinnamon to ward the plague” the timing of this dream was about two months before Novel Corona-virus 19 (COVID-19) hit the News. Needless to say, Cinnamon joined my smudge routine and more than a year later, my house is Covid-Free. It was mentioned in Chinese books on healing more than four thousand years ago. Its smoke is used magically to consecrate or bless sacred space or tools, healing, protection, love/lust, money, speedy spells, spirituality, success, or victory.
Lavender: Assists with creating balance, harmony, and inner peace both within us and in our environment. Use during meditation and prayer work to raise your vibrations, relax and connect with spirit. Lavender increases your awareness, so you are more open to the signs and messages from your angels and spiritual guides. It can also be used to draw spiritual energy into an object at dedication.
Bramble (Blackberry, Raspberry etc): Hard to find unless you live in an area that has Brambles, and even harder to bundle them. I suggest braiding the shoots and hanging them to dry after. Assisting in protection, fertility, prosperity, kitchen/hearth magick, mourning, love, and binding. Extremely effective when dealing with Earthbound Spirits.
Yerba Santa: Assists with journey, or shadow work, great to use when you are looking to start using meditation as it aids in finding your innermost self or burning before starting a spiritual journey. Use for spiritual cleansing rites, Yerba can give one encouragement and courage to face what needs to be done.
Sweetgrass: Usually braided and then dried prior to burning. When burned for healing or ritual purposes, the smoke from the braided sweetgrass is thought to attract good spirits and positive energies. It is used as a smudging tool to purify people’s auras, cleanse objects, and clear ceremonial areas or healing spaces of negative energy.