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How to Do Smudging with Herbs, Resins, and Woods

Smudging is not only a physical act but also a deeply personal and spiritual practice. It’s about setting intentions, honoring traditions, and finding moments of peace and clarity in our busy lives. Whether you use smudge sticks as part of your daily routine, during meditation, or for special occasions, it can be a powerful tool for self-care, healing, and connection to the divine.

So, if you’re curious about exploring the world of smudging, I encourage you to delve deeper into this ancient practice. Discover the sacred herbs, resins, and woods that resonate with you, and experiment with different rituals and techniques. Embrace the transformative power of smudging and allow it to guide you on your holistic living journey.

woman with sage and crystals ready for smudging

What is Smudging?

Smudging is an ancient practice that has been passed down through generations, rooted in many cultures and spiritual practices. It involves using the smoke from burning sacred herbs, resins, and woods to cleanse and purify spaces, objects, and even individuals. This powerful ritual has gained popularity in recent years as more people seek holistic approaches to living and connecting with their spiritual selves.

Imagine lighting a bundle of white sage stick or palo santo and gently blowing on it, watching as the fragrant smoke rises and fills the air. The act of smudging is not simply about creating a pleasant aroma; it carries deep meaning and significance. It is believed to clear away negative energy, stagnant emotions, and even unwanted spirits or energies that may linger in our surroundings.

However, smudging can also be done effectively without burning Sage stick and Palo Santo. The ancient smudging ceremony was purely carried out with Herbs, Resins, and Woods, and not the actual white Sage bundles or Palo Santo that are used nowadays.

Most Common Alternatives to Smudging Without Using Sage Bundles and Palo Santo

Smudging with resins, woods, and herbs is a commonly practiced ritual not only in indigenous communities but also in various religions and faiths worldwide. The inherent qualities of the chosen materials, such as their unique scents and properties, contribute to the overall experience of smudging. For instance, the soft feathers used to waft the smoke can symbolize the helpful guidance of spirit guides or ancestors.

Common woods, resins, and herbs for smudging ceremonies other than palo santo and white sage budles include cedar, sweetgrass, frankincense, myrrh, juniper, and lavender.

Think of smudging ceremony as a way to reset and refresh your space, just like opening windows on a warm, sunny day to let in fresh air. It’s a time-honored tradition that helps create a sense of balance, harmony, and purity in our lives. This practice originate centuries ago and by engaging in this practice, we can invite positive energy, clarity, and peace into our homes, offices, or any space that needs a little energetic boost.

The act of using smudge sticks is not limited to a specific set of herbs or materials. While burning sage and palo santo are often popular choices, many other plants and natural materials can be used for smudging ceremonies. Cedar, sweetgrass, lavender, rosemary, and even resins like frankincense and myrrh have their own unique properties and scents that can enhance the smudging experience.

How to Do Smudging with Resins?

Each individual may have their reasons for smudging with resins. Some seek to cleanse a new space before moving in, while others use it as a daily practice to purify their surroundings. No matter the reason, the effects can be profound, leaving you feeling grounded, centered, and connected to something greater than yourself.

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Starting the Ritual

First, find a quiet room with a window. Open it slightly to allow a gentle breeze to flow through, carrying away any stagnant energy. This simple act creates an optimal environment for your smudging ceremonies.

Now, let’s gather the tools you’ll need. Take a moment to collect a bundle of fragrant resins that speak to your soul. Pressing the bundle gently in your hand, you can feel the intention and energy that you have created.

You should purchase this bundle from a trusted company like Incensen or should collect the resins yourself if you know what to get. Collecting the resin yourself adds an extra layer of meaning to your experience.

As you light the resin bundle, watch as the flames dance and flicker. Feel the transformation unfold before your eyes. Once the flame has quickly arrived at the end of the bundle, gently blow on it, allowing the fire to be extinguished and smoke to emerge.

Cleansing Using the Resin Smoke

Now, it’s time to play with the smoke. Take a moment to connect with your breath, inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly.

With intention, guide the smoke around the corners of the room, ensuring that every nook and cranny is touched. As you repeat this action, visualize the negative energy dissipating, making way for fresh and positive vibrations. If you feel negative then keep on releasing the smoke at the specific area until you start feeling positive energy. 

Getting the Intentions Right

While smudging with resins, consider engaging all your senses. Notice the subtle fragrance filling the air, allowing it to transport you to a place of tranquility. Look into the mirrors in the room and watch as the smoke dances and swirls, reflecting the connections between all things.

As you move from room to room, remember that using smudge sticks is not just about cleansing physical spaces but also about clearing the energy within. Take this opportunity to reflect on your learning and growth, letting go of any negative thoughts or emotions that no longer serve you.

Be Mindful and Respective of the Act

The purpose of smudging with resins goes beyond the physical act – it’s about creating an energy shift, bringing more ease and peace into your life. As you engage in this ritual, be mindful of the intentions you set. Is it to find clarity? To open your heart? To embrace change? Allow the power of the resins to guide you on this transformative journey. Burning resins for smudging is the best option if you dont want to burn sage bundles to cleanse your space. It also has some unique benefits that are not achieved when you burn sage bundles. 

How to Do Smudging with Woods Without Using Palo Santo?

When it comes to smudging with wood, certain types are recommended for their unique properties and aromas. Sandalwood, Juniper Wood, and Lavender are known for their soothing and grounding effects. These woods have been used for centuries in many cultures like the Native America Cultre and hold a special significance in spiritual practices.

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Beginning Wood Smudging

To begin, find a quiet area where you can turn your focus inward and connect with the energy around you. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, allowing yourself to enter a state of relaxation. As you turn your attention to the purpose of your smudging ceremony, envision the positive result you desire to achieve.

Choosing the Right Wood for Smudge Stick

Choose wooden smudge stickor a bundle of wood chips that resonates with you. Years of wisdom shared in cultural traditions indicate that woods other than the commonly used Palo Santo are also very good for smudging.

For instance, Sandalwood, Juniper wood, and Lavender are excellent choices for wood smudging all thanks to their calming and purifying qualities. Always read about the properties of each wood to find the ideal match for your intentions.

Once you’ve picked the perfect wood for your smudge sticks, it’s time to begin. 

Starting the Ritual

Find a fireproof container, such as an abalone shell or a ceramic bowl, to catch any falling embers. This will ensure safety as you navigate the transformative power of smudging.

Position yourself near the front door of your space, as smudging traditionally begins here. Light the wood, allowing the flame to dance for a moment before gently blowing it out. As the wood smolders, it releases fragrant smoke and the smoke rises to cleanse and purify your surroundings.

Now, with your fireproof container in hand, move throughout your space, paying close attention to areas that may need extra energetic clearing. Return to the front door, completing a full circle, as this symbolic act signifies the completion of the smudging ritual.

Get Your Intentions Right

With each inhalation of the fragrant wood smoke, allow yourself to become centered and grounded. Let the earthy smell transport you to a place of serenity and connection. Throughout the ritual, gather your thoughts and set an intention or mantra that aligns with your desired outcome.

Cleanse The Space and Spirit

As you move through the space, visualize the smoke dissipating negative energy, leaving behind a sense of calm and clarity. Embrace the power of ancient medicines and practices, knowing that you are participating in a sacred and transformative experience.

Remember, the act of smudging goes beyond simple physical cleaning. It is an opportunity to release what no longer serves your well-being, inviting positive energy and balance into your life. Embrace this connection with the natural world and the wisdom of ancestral traditions and the native American cultures with the centuries old Smudging technique.

Be Mindful and Respective of the Ritual

It’s essential to approach smudging with wood respectfully, especially when it comes to cultural and spiritual purposes. Non-native practitioners should be mindful of the origins and significance of these practices, honoring the wisdom and customs passed down through generations.

As you engage in the ritual of smudging, take a moment to acknowledge and respect the native American Culture that have preserved this tradition of smudging with woods other than Palo Santo. Recognize the diversity of languages, cultures, and beliefs that exist throughout the world, each contributing to the richness and depth of our collective spiritual practices. Burning woods for smudging is the best option if you dont want to burn sage stick to cleanse your space. It also has some unique benefits that are not achieved when you burn sage stick. 

Smudging Woods Other Than Palo Santo

Cedar Wood: Cedar has a long history of use by the indigenous people like the people from the native American culture for purification and protection. Its sweet and woody aroma makes it an excellent choice for smudging rituals.

Juniper woodOne of the best alternatives to sage smudging, Juniper has been used in various cultural and other practices for its cleansing and clearing properties. Unlike non natives, the Native Americans have been using its smoke to help eliminate negative energies as a traditional use for centuries.

Rosemary Wood: One of the best alternatives to white sage smudging. It is a versatile herb that can also be burned for smudging purposes. It is known for its aromatic and purification properties, making it a great alternative to white sage and Palo Santo. Native Americans have been using Rosemary wood to eliminate negative energies for decades as a traditional use. 

Lavender Wood: One of the best alternatives to white sage smudging, Lavender wood with its soothing effects, can be utilized for smudging rituals to promote relaxation, peace, and balance. Unlike non natives, the Native Americans have been using Lavender wood to cleanse their spaces as a centuries-old tradition. 

It’s important to explore and experiment with different woods and herbs to find the ones that resonate with you. Each wood carries its significance and energy, creating a unique smudging experience. Guiding the smoke inside closets with open windows just like you heard in a related story much longer serves to cleanse your space and help erase negative experiences. 

a set of incense cones and herbs for meditation laid out on table

How to Do Smudging With Herbs Other Than Sage?

When it comes to smudging with herbs, several herbs can be used for smudging including Mugwort, Rosemary, Lavender, etc. The smoke emitted from burning herbs is believed to bless, cleanse, and heal both individuals and objects. Other herbs like Lavender, Juniper, and Cedar have their unique benefits and purposes when used in smudging rituals. 

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Starting Smudging with Herbs

To begin the smudging process, light the tip of your chosen herb bundle or smudge sticks using a lighter or match. As the flame catches, gently blow on it until it burns down and produces fragrant smoke. At this moment, it’s essential to be mindful of fire safety and ensure you have a fireproof container, such as an abalone shell, to catch any falling embers.

Getting Your Intentions Right

Before you proceed, take a moment to determine your intentions for the smudging ceremony. Reflect on what areas of your life or space you wish to cleanse, purify, or bring positive energy to. Setting clear intentions can enhance the effectiveness and meaning of your smudging experience.

Performing the Ritual

Hold the smoldering herb bundle or use a feather to fan the smoke around as you move through your space. Allow the smoke to reach dark corners, crevice, and room, ensuring its purifying energy permeates the entire area.

Be mindful and respectful throughout the process, acknowledging the history, cultural significance, and reverence associated with smudging.

As the fragrant smoke fills the air, could you pay attention to how it makes you feel? Notice any shifts in energy, emotions, or physical sensations. Smudge sticks that are made with herbs can create a calming and grounding effect, allowing you to let go of negativity and invite positivity into your space and mind.

Re-ignite the Herb if the Flame Goes Away

If the flame on your herb bundle goes out during the smudging process, you can relight it using a lighter or match. Remember, the act of relighting represents the continuation of the ceremony and keeps the intention alive.

Smudge With Herbs Everywhere!

The practice of smudging with herbs is not limited to personal spaces; it can extend to events, hospitals, and other communal settings. Many wellness practitioners and companies have embraced smudging as part of their protocols, recognizing its potential benefits for overall health and well-being.

Be Mindful and Respectful of the Ritual

As you engage in smudging, take time to learn about the history and cultural significance of this practice. Be mindful of the potential for cultural appropriation and approach it with respect and understanding. If you choose to purchase pre-made smudging bundles, ensure they come from a reputable source like Incesen that honors sustainable practices and supports indigenous peoples.

What Herbs Can We Use for Smudging Other Than Burning Sage?

When it comes to smudging, several herbs can be used as alternatives to bruning sage and sage smudging. These herbs carry their unique properties and can provide similar cleansing and purifying benefits. Here are some herbs that you can consider using for smudging:

Mugwort: Mugwort has a scent similar to the scent of a burning sage stick and works just as well for cleansing. It is a popular choice for smudging without harvesting sacred or endangered plants.

Rosemary: Rosemary, native to the Mediterranean, is another excellent herb for cleansing your space and personal energy. It has been used for centuries for its aromatic and purification properties.

Lavender: Lavender is widely known for its soothing and calming effects. It can be used in smudging rituals to promote relaxation, peace, and balance.

Cedar: Cedar has a long history of use in native American culture for purification and protection. Its sweet and woody aroma makes it an excellent alternative for sage smudging.

Juniper: Juniper has been used in various cultural and other practices for its cleansing and clearing properties. Its smoke can help eliminate negative energies and create a sacred space.

Bay Leaves: Bay leaves are believed to bring good fortune and positive energy. Smudge sticks made of bay leaves can help cleanse and purify your surroundings.

Remember, each herb carries its significance and energy, so choose the one that resonates with your intentions and preferences. Exploring different herbs for smudging allows you to create a personalized and meaningful experience.

Guiding the smoke inside closets with open windows just like you heard in a related story much longer serves to cleanse your space and help erase negative experiences. 

bundle-of-dried-sage-herb

How to Use Cedar, Sweetgrass, and Frankincense for Smudging

In Indigenous communities and Native American cultures, smudging is a traditional practice that involves using sacred plants like cedar, sweetgrass, and frankincense. Here’s a detailed description of how to use each of these materials for smudging:

Using Cedar for Smudging

Begin by obtaining a piece of dried cedar, such as a small bundle or loose leaves.

Light the end of the cedar with a match or a lighter until it starts to smolder and produce smoke.

Hold the smoldering cedar in your hand or place it in a heatproof container like an abalone shell.

Start at the entrance of the room or space you wish to smudge using a smudge stick and walk clockwise, moving through each area.

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Use a feather or your hand to gently guide the smoke into all corners, hidden spaces, and dark corners.

As you move, focus on releasing negative energy and inviting positive energy and blessings into the space. If you feel negative then keep on releasing the smoke at the specific area until you start feeling positive energy. 

If desired, you can say prayers or affirmations that align with your spiritual purposes or beliefs.

Once you have finished smudging, gently blow out the cedar or allow it to extinguish naturally.

It is a great alternative to burning white sage stick and has its own unique benefits.

Using Sweetgrass for Smudging

Prepare a braid or bundle of dried sweetgrass. If using a braid, remove a small portion of the end to expose the fibers.

Light the exposed end of the braided sweetgrass with a match or lighter until it catches fire.

Let the flame burn for a few seconds, then gently blow it out, allowing the sweetgrass to produce fragrant smoke.

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Hold the smoldering sweetgrass in your hand or place it in a heatproof container.

Similar to cedar smudging, start at the entrance of the space and move clockwise, focusing on each area.

Use the smoke to cleanse the space, paying special attention to areas that feel energetically heavy or stagnant.

As you use the smudge stick, you can recite prayers or intentions that resonate with you and your spiritual purposes.

Once you have completed smudging, gently extinguish the sweetgrass by pressing it against a heatproof surface or allowing it to burn out naturally.

It is a great alternative to burning white sage stick and has its unique benefits. However, you should be careful about where you purchase sage as it can make all the difference. 

Native Americans have been using sweet grass to cleanse their spaces as a centuries-old tradition. 

Using Frankincense for Smudging

Obtain a piece of frankincense resin or powdered frankincense.

Place the frankincense on a heatproof charcoal disc or burner specifically designed for resin incense.

Light the charcoal disc using a lighter, match, or candle until it starts to smolder and turn gray.

Once the charcoal is glowing, sprinkle a small amount of frankincense resin or powder onto the disc.

As the frankincense burns, it will release fragrant smoke. Allow the smoke to fill the space.

Move through each area of the room or space, focusing on areas that hold negative energy or feel energetically dense.

Use your intentions and prayers, if desired, to enhance the purification process and invite positive energy.

Ensure proper ventilation by opening windows or doors to allow any negative energy to disperse.

Unlike non natives, the Native Americans have been using frankincense to cleanse their spaces as a centuries-old tradition. Guiding the smoke inside closets with open windows just like you heard in a related story much longer serves to cleanse your space and help erase negative experiences. 

Once you have finished smudging, extinguish the charcoal disc by carefully placing it in a heatproof container and letting it cool completely. It is a great alternative to burning white sage stick and has its unique benefits. However, it would help if you were careful where you purchase sage as it can make all the difference.

How to use Myrrh, Juniper, Lavender, Rosemary Wood, and Bay Leaves for Smudging

Using myrrh, juniper, lavender, Rosmert wood, and bay leaves for smudging can add unique aromas and energies to your smudging practice. Here’s a detailed description of how to use each of these materials:

Using Myrrh for Smudging

Light a charcoal disc using a lighter or match until it starts to glow and turn gray.

Place the charcoal in a heatproof container or burner.

Sprinkle a small amount of myrrh resin onto the glowing charcoal.

As the resin burns, it will release fragrant smoke. Move the container around to disperse the smoke.

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Set your intentions and focus on clearing negative energy while inviting positive energy into the space.

Allow the smoke to reach all areas of the room, paying attention to dark corners and hidden spaces.

Once you’ve finished smudging, extinguish the charcoal by carefully placing it in a heatproof container.

It is a great alternative to burning white sage stick and has its unique benefits. However, you should be careful about where you purchase sage as it can make all the difference. 

Using Juniper for Smudging

Collect dried juniper branches or berries.

Light a smudging bundle, such as a juniper bundle or a smudge stick, using a lighter or match.

Let the flame catch for a few seconds, then gently blow it out, allowing the bundle to produce smoke.

Hold the smoldering juniper bundle over a heatproof container or shell.

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Walk through the space, waving the bundle to disperse the smoke, particularly in areas that need clearing.

Focus on your intentions, visualizing negative energy dissipating and positive energy filling the space. If you feel negative then keep on releasing the smoke at the specific area until you start feeling positive energy. 

When you’re done smudging, extinguish the bundle by gently pressing it against a heatproof surface or allowing it to burn out naturally.

It is a great alternative to burning white sage stick and has its unique benefits. However, it would help if you were careful where you purchase sage as it can make all the difference. 

Guiding the smoke inside closets with open windows just like you heard in a related story much longer serves to cleanse your space and help erase negative experiences. 

Using Lavender for Smudging

Gather dried lavender flowers or a lavender smudge stick.

Use a lighter or match to light the end of the lavender smudge stick, allowing it to catch fire.

Blow out the flame, leaving the smudge stick to smolder and produce fragrant smoke.

Hold the smudge stick over a fireproof container or shell to catch any falling ashes.

Walk through the space, gently waving the smudge stick to distribute the smoke.

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Pay extra attention to areas that feel heavy or energetically stagnant.

Focus on your intentions for purification, relaxation, and inviting positive energy into the space.

Extinguish the smudge stick by gently pressing it against a heatproof surface or letting it burn out naturally.

It is a great alternative to burning white sage stick and has its own unique benefits.

Guiding the smoke inside closets with open windows just like you heard in a related story much longer serves to cleanse your space and help erase negative experiences. 

Using Rosemary Wood for Smudging

Rosmert wood is a sacred wood used in a traditional practice, particularly in Slavic cultures including the native American cultures.

Obtain a piece of dried rosemary wood or shavings to create a smudge stick or smudge sticks.

Light one end of the rosemary wood using a lighter or match until the smudge stick starts to smolder.

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Hold the smoldering end of the smudge stick over a heatproof container or shell.

Move around the space, allowing the fragrant smoke to cleanse and purify the area.

Set your intentions for spiritual connection and healing as you smudge.

After smudging, extinguish the rosemary wood by pressing it against a heatproof surface or letting it burn out.

Using Bay Leaves for Smudging

Gather dried bay leaves or a small bundle of bay leaves.

Use a lighter or match to light the end of the bay leaves, allowing them to catch fire.

Blow out the flame, leaving the leaves to smolder and release aromatic smoke.

Hold the smoldering end over a heatproof container or shell.

Walk throughout the space, ensuring the smoke reaches all areas, including dark corners and hidden spaces.

Focus on intentions of protection, purification, and inviting positive energy.

Once you’ve finished smudging, extinguish the bay leaves by pressing them against a heatproof surface or letting them burn out naturally.

It is a great alternative to burning white sage stick and has its unique benefits. However, you should be careful about where you purchase sage as it can make all the difference. 

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