How to Use Sage for Smudging

by Julie on November 1, 2012


I recommend smudging to many of my clients, students and callers on my radio show as a way to clear negative energy and negative entities.  In the video above and in this article, I relay the history behind smudging, the reasons for using a smudge stick, the best type to purchase and how to burn sage to clear negative energy and entities.

Smudging is a sacred Native American tradition of using white sage to clear negative energy and entities.  It is my first line of defense in my home and in my intuitive practice when negative energy needs to be cleared.  Even my youngest son, currently age 5, will come tell me when it’s time to cleanse his room because he can sense it.

There are a variety of reasons why you would use a smudge stick.  Here are just a few examples:

  • A child is frightened of his/her room.
  • Cleanse a crystal, a piece of furniture, or any other object that you’re recently acquired or purchased.  You don’t know how many people have touched those objects and put their energy on them.  Or maybe you need to re-cleanse an object at some point, such as a crystal that you’ve used frequently and need to cleanse and recharge.
  • Cleansing a home, office or even land.  This may be because you’ve recently moved in or because you can detect negative energy or entities there.
  • You might cleanse a hotel or meeting space upon arriving.
  • If you suspect that someone may have a negative entity attached to them, burning sage in their aura may be able to cleanse it.
  • Regularly cleaning your living and work space is a good ritual for keeping it clear.
  • Full/new moon ceremony, solstice ceremonies, etc.

I recommend white sage that has been hand-collected and hand-tied.  This is the only type I buy  because I feel it is collected with love and the intention behind it is pure.

To burn sage, take your smudge stick and light it until there is a good amount of smoke.  Blow out any flames.  The smoke is what clears the energy so you want a stick that really produces a lot of smoke.  They don’t all smoke well.  As you can see in the video, the type I use produces a great deal of smoke.  You want to make sure that you always turn it in a counter-clockwise motion.  When smudging a house or room, be sure you “get” the doorways, mirrors, windows and the corners of the rooms and ceilings.  These are the places that the negative energy and entities get in or congregate.  For a person, you want to make sure the smoke gets in the person’s aura.

I do recommend that if your child is old enough to safely handle the smudge stick, let them cleanse their own room.  This empowers them to take control over their space and the energy there.

Smudging is a sacred ritual and should be practiced as such.  While there are many times and places to use white sage for cleansing, these are simply the more common ways and methods of using it today.  Please share your experiences with burning sage in the comments below.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura November 1, 2012 at 10:09 am

Great info Julie! Can you tell me about alternatives to burning sage for those of us who have family members with respiratory issues?


Julie November 1, 2012 at 10:41 am


Absolutely! For my clients that can’t tolerate smoke, I recommend making a spray with Young Living sage essential oil. You can mix it with distilled water and spray around the room. For more information on the oils, go to this page:

Thank you for asking and for reading!



Karen Boda November 4, 2012 at 11:55 pm

I keep a bundle on hand to use that I purchased from my local Odawa Indian owned Trading Post. (They have nice rings too…) :) I blow its smoke everywhere and my sons get cleansed/cleared too. My white sage gets burned on full and new moons too, and everyone loves the smell as the white sage burns, filling the air up with the aroma.


Julie November 4, 2012 at 11:58 pm

Outstanding Karen!! Thank you for sharing how you smudge! I picked up a stick of white sage and lavender this weekend at the Austin PowWow. It is nice also. :) But I still think I like the white sage by itself the best.


Elsserien June 30, 2013 at 7:51 am

I’m growing my own sage – but it is the green one. Will this also help? And is there any spiritual uses in other herbs? Thanks for the great post :)


Julie July 1, 2013 at 1:23 pm


I prefer white sage but green sage will work too. Sweet grass is also an herb that is used for cleansing.

Thanks for visiting and commenting!



Maria Elena August 15, 2013 at 11:23 am

Where I can buy your sage?


Erin April 5, 2014 at 9:36 am

Hi Julie, would you recommend opening windows while saging?




Julie April 8, 2014 at 8:53 am


It’s up to you completely. I would probably leave them closed while you’re doing the actual smudging but then if the smell is too much for you, opening them afterwards.


shylia adams July 20, 2014 at 2:00 am

Someone told me if sage is used wrong it will concur more negative energies/entities. Is this true?


Julie July 20, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Hi Shylia,

Some people recommend turning the sage counter clockwise as you smudge for this reason. It really is the smoke that clears so I’m no longer completely positive that it matters. I do it now because it’s just a habit to go counter clockwise when clearing in my home but truly, just set your intention and trust that the smoke will do its’ job. :)

Thank you for asking, that’s a great question!



Jina G January 23, 2015 at 11:56 pm

Hello I have a few questions. If I have a ranch style home with a basement where should I start and go? Do I face as if I am looking out of my house or face as if I am looking in my house to go clockwise at the door? Should I cover the mirrors or open the doors?
Thank you for your time!


Julie February 25, 2015 at 8:45 pm


I’m so sorry, I am just seeing your questions for some reason. Face looking out of your house when you start at the door. You want to make sure you also smudge all the mirrors, windows, doors, and even the corners of the room at the ceiling. You don’t want to cover the mirrors as you want to smudge them as well. If the sage smoke is too strong for you, then open a window but otherwise, there is no need to open the doors. :)



Amy May 7, 2015 at 3:48 am

Hi there! I smudged a room and now it smells like a campfire. I can’t get rid of that old campfire scent. I’m afraid it’ has absorbed into the walls. Help!



Julie May 7, 2015 at 9:19 am

Hi Amy! Yes, the smoke can be overwhelming. Once you’re done with the actual procedure, feel free to open a window or door and let the room air out. It will clear, it always does. :)


Kathy Duckworth June 10, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Where can you buy this at.


Julie June 10, 2015 at 5:01 pm

Hi Kathy,

Many places sell sage. If you have a Whole Foods or Natural Grocers where you live, I know they carry it. Also, generally any metaphysical shop or many rock shops carry it too.

Thank you for viewing and asking the question!



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