What Is Smudging?

The term smudging is not a feng shui term. It comes from Indigenous healing and shamanic traditions of working with energy. The most common herb used in smudging is the white sage; this is the scent most people associate with smudging. Sweetgrass and cedar have also been traditionally used in smudging ceremonies.

It is important to understand that every culture has its own way of smudging or using various herbs for clearing energy. So, to focus on the fact that feng shui (which originated in China) uses smudging (an Indigenous ceremony) is to miss the main point, which is healing one’s being on all levels – physical, emotional, and spiritual.

Smudging and Feng Shui

Feng shui, in its essence, is a deeply healing art because the main goal of feng shui is to strengthen human well-being. Modern applications of traditional feng shui have embraced healing tools from many parts of the world. Smudging, or burning herbs for clearing negative energy, is one such tool that is often used in one’s home or even office.

Smudging originated from a deep understanding of the way energy works. Because energy is in constant motion, its positive and negative polarities can be easily guided with skillful tools and intent. Powerful herbs are one such tool.
In burning sacred herbs, the powerful energy of fire unleashes the plant’s potent healing energy to neutralize and purify any negative presence. This can be the negative energy in a place, such as a home, an office, or even a piece of land, or the negative energy surrounding a person, be it in thoughts, emotions, or actual manifestation as physical symptoms.

How to Smudge

Smudging is usually done by lighting the tip of the smudge stick with candlelight, then gently waving it in the air till the tip begins to smolder. You can then guide the smoke from the smudge to specific parts of your house or parts of your body. One needs a container for the smudge stick to keep the process safe.

If smudging does not appeal to you, look into other ways of purifying your house’s energy. Here are the most popular alternatives to smudging:

  • Burning incense is a similar way to work with the healing and purifying energies of fire and herbs combined.
  • Another way is to burn various resins, such as copal, myrrh, frankincense, or piñon (you can buy these resins at most new age bookstores or on-line).
  • Burn palo santo wood sticks. This is one of my favorite ways, in addition to white sage, cedar, and lavender. I found the aroma of this wood mighty, as well as gentle and deeply invigorating.
Fun Fact

In feng shui, smudging is often part of space clearing sessions. Which you can have as often as every week (simple space clearing), or several times a year (major space clearing).