How is smudging with a smudge stick different from smudging with loose sage?
If you purchased or received a smudge kit as a gift, the sage inside the smudging kit is likely in the form of a bundle.
Smudging with a smudge stick whether you made it yourself or not is a different process than using loose sage.
If you're someone who wants to do your sage cleanse with a smudge stick, but you’re not sure how to light it well or keep it lit, I’ve put together these 6 steps on specifically how to smudge with a sage stick.
There are many different ways to smudge, and everyone has their own style, so feel free to use this video as a foundation and get comfortable with learning what feels best for you!
Let’s jump right into the six steps for smudging with a sage stick I’ve organized here for you today. You’re gonna be 100% confident on using a bundle of sage to smudge and I promise, it’s all super easy. It just takes some time set aside and the right intentions.
#1 The first step in smudging with a smudge stick is to Make it yourself or buy one
Remember what I said about finding what feels best for you? This is the first example on how you can do that - it’s up to you whether you make a smudge stick yourself or buy one.
Why might you want to make it yourself?
- By making your own smudge stick yourself, you can customize the medicines inside the bundle exactly to your liking. You can add flowers and herbs to make it entirely your own. This is a big draw for a lot of people - especially those who are more experienced in the practice.
Why might you want to buy one?
- First of all, buying a smudge stick instead of making one is definitely easier - and it allows you to start smudging sooner. When you make your own stick, you have to go out and source long branches of sage so you have enough material to make what you need. With a pre-made smudge stick, you’ve got everything for your practice right in front of you.
#2 Prepare your sage stick and your other materials - whether it’s a smudge kit or other items you have for your smudging session
Before getting started, it’s so important to prepare your materials. The last thing you want is to have your practice interrupted because you don’t have what you need.
Make sure you have a bowl handy in case you want to set your sage stick down at any time - I don’t recommend setting it directly down on any furniture!
When you’re smudging with loose sage, it’s pretty obvious that you’ll need a fireproof bowl or abalone shell to hold your sage. But when you’re using a smudge stick, this factor might not be as clear. That’s why I recommend getting everything in place before you start - this way, you can focus your mind on the task at hand, which is your smudge ceremony.
#3 The third step in smudging with a smudge stick is the same step when smudging with any type of sage which is to set your intentions and focus on them.
This is arguably the most important part of the smudging ceremony. Ask yourself: What’s the reason that I’m smudging today? Your reason is your intention, and your intention is what gives your smudge the power that it holds.
Some people smudge in order to rid a space of negative energy. Some people smudge to simply clear the air of unwanted feelings or emotions. Some people smudge to welcome a new season. Some people smudge to wipe the space clean of bad energy after a fight. Everyone’s reasons - and intentions - are different. Just make sure that you know yours!
If you don’t know what to say during your smudge - you can get a personalized smudge prayer based on your specific needs - Just answer 7 quick questions!
#4 Light the sage bundle.
If you made the bundle yourself, there’s a benefit to this - you can intentionally make the bundle looser so it’s easier to light.
Sage is typically easier to light when it’s looser because it’s easier for air to reach the flame. Sage sticks are known for being hard to light (and keep lit) because they’re wrapped so tightly, and the flame dies out quickly - which can be disruptive and annoying to your practice.
#5 Smudge your feather (if you have one) and yourself first.
Sometimes when you smudge, you might not have a feather - that’s okay! You don’t need one for your smudge to be effective.
This step is where having a smudge bowl to place your smudge stick in will be super helpful. With the bundle in the bowl, you can waft the smudging smoke around yourself very easily and help this step go off without a hitch.
#6 Smudge your surroundings
The last step involves smudging your surroundings. The difference in this step when using a bundle is that you have the option to hold the smudge stick itself rather than the bowl or the abalone shell that you would be using if you were smudging with loose sage. Some people like this better, as it feels like more of a tool, but in the end it depends on the smudger!
Don’t forget to let the sage burn out on its own once you’re finished. This is a crucial part to a successful smudging ceremony.