Spring is usually thought of as cleaning season, but fall is often just as good, if not better, for fresh starts. As leaves start to fall and temperatures cool, it’s the perfect time to clear out the proverbial cobwebs and prepare your home for winter. One of my favorite ways of honoring the changing seasons and welcoming good energy into my home is with smudge sticks.
Smudging uses handheld bundles of dried herbs and flowers, which are then bound in twine and burned. The smoke is said to help purify the air and invite good energy into the home. It’s also a great way to put those herbs leftover from the summer growing season to use.
DIY Smudge Sticks
When burned, smudge sticks give off a resinous smoke, which is said to burn up toxic energy and bring things back into balance. While frequently used to cleanse places, smudging can also be used to cleanse people and objects. Aside from an increased sense of calmness, the benefits also include increased well-being, clarity, optimism and physical energy.
There are lots of different herbs traditionally used for smudging, but some are easier to find than others. Some of my favorite easy-to-find herbs include:
- Sage – Considered one of the most prized and sacred herbs, sage instills peace and tranquility.
- Cedar – Often used for renewal, protection and grounding.
- Rosemary – Great for promoting mental acuity and purification.
- Rose – Usually burned in love, luck, grief, and healing rituals.
- Lavender – Cultivates peace of mind and restfulness.
- Frankincense – Often used to send prayers and intentions to the gods.
- Eucalyptus – Gives any room a relaxing, spa-like feel.
It’s best to use smudge sticks after having just cleaned and sanitized your home. Once you’ve gotten rid of physical impurities like dirt and dust, walk through each room with your smudge stick to cleanse the energies and leave your home feeling fresh both physically and spiritually.
DIY Smudge Sticks
Yield 1 smudge stick
- 4 - 5 rose buds or lavender sprigs
- Roughly 15 sprigs of fresh herbs, like rosemary, sage and thyme
- Start by trimming your flowers and herbs to size. Secure a long piece of twine around the base of your herb bundle and continue wrapping it until you reach the top. You want to make sure to wrap the twine as tightly as you can so that it stays bound when the flowers dry and shrink.
- When you reach the top, tie your twine securely and trim the excess. Trim off any herbs that happen to be sticking out of the bundle.
- Set your smudge stick aside and allow it to dry for at least two weeks.
- To use, light your dried smudging stick with a lighter or match.
- Starting at the Eastern most room of your home, circle around the room clockwise, wafting the smoke as you go.
- Continue moving in a clockwise direction through the rest of your home, purifying each room similarly.
- Finally, extinguish the smoke under either running water and set it aside to dry. You can reuse the same smudge stick until there is nothing left to burn.