How to Smudge Without Smudging

woman with a cup of tea and incense burning on the table
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  • 01 of 06

    How to Smudge Without Smudging

    altar with Buddha, crystals, candles and sage smudging
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    Smudging your home is a powerful way to clear any negative and stagnant energies in order to allow fresh, new energy to come in. It is an ancient ritual practiced in many parts of the world. The most popular way of smudging is the Native American way of burning herbs such as sage, sweetgrass, cedar, and others. These herbs have powerful purifying properties, as anyone who has ever done smudging can attest to.

    However, what if you do not like smudging? Maybe you've tried and it seems too complicated, or maybe you just do not like the scent of these herbs.

    Are there good alternatives to smudging that can purify the energy in your space? Yes, there are. Here are five popular smudging alternatives.

  • 02 of 06

    Palo Santo Sticks

    sage stick and palo santo wood sticks
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    The most popular--and powerful--alternative to smudging is to use Palo Santo sticks to purify your home. Palo Santo, also called holy wood, is a medicinal tree that grows in South America. It is a powerful tree much respected by elders and shamans and used in many healing and blessing rituals.

    The sticks used in the clearing ritual come from fallen trees and are wild harvested. If the tree is cut while living, the concentration of the essential oil is not nearly the same, so the healing Palo Santo sticks come only from trees that have undergone a natural life=to-death transformation.

    The aroma of this wood is very pleasant and calming, and the actual clearing ritual is very easy.

    • What you need: A candle, one Palo Santo stick, and a fireproof bowl.
    • How to use:  Just as with the sage smudge stick, you light one end of your Palo Santo stick from the candle, let it burn for half a minute or so and then gently blow out the flame.

    Walk around your space and spread the smoke from your Palo Santo stick where it is most needed. You can clear your whole house or only a specific room.

    You can also just quickly clear your own energy throughout the day, as well as the energy of specific objects such as jewelry, clothing, etc.

    As with sage smudging, be reasonably careful while smudging with your palo santo sticks over fabrics and various surfaces. Gently blow on the embers when needed to keep the stick actively burning. When done, place your stick in a fireproof bowl.

    Burning Palo Santo sticks helps to clear negative energy and create a sweet, peaceful state of mind. It is definitely worth trying if you need a substitute for sage smudging or you want to try something new. The sticks are inexpensive and can be bought from many new age bookstores or online retailers.

  • 03 of 06

    Burning Resin

    sacred frankincense resin
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    Burning sacred resin such as frankincense and myrrh is also a popular alternative to smudging, but not if you are looking for something easy! It takes a bit of time and concentration if you are just starting with burning resin or loose herbs.

    This is a powerful way to clear negative energy that has been used since ancient times in many cultures around the world. Resins are the sap of the tree considered to have many healing properties; it is basically the energetic essence, the lifeblood of the tree.

    Along with the popular choices of frankincense and resin, you can also use amber, copal, pinion pine, benzoin or dragon's blood.

    • What you need: A fireproof dish half filled with sand, a small pair of tongs, a charcoal tablet, resins such as frankincense, myrrh or a blend of several resins and/or dried loose herbs. A  smudging feather (optional).
    • How to use: Light the edge of your charcoal tablet while holding it with a pair of tongs. Once the tablet is lit and sparkling, place it in your fireproof dish filled with sand. Take a small amount of resin or ​loose herbs and gently pour them on top of the burning charcoal tablet.

    The melting of resin (or herbs) will release a healing aroma into the air, purifying and blessing your home. You can use the smudging feather to direct the smoke to specific areas, or just use your hand. Keep adding the resins every several minutes or so and separate or remove the old residue before adding new resin or herbs.

    When you are finished, be sure that your charcoal tablet is completely extinguished. Either wait till the tablet fully cooled or spray water over it.

    This might sound a bit complicated but it does get easier once you do this clearing ritual several times. The energetic results are well worth the effort as your house will feel and smell amazing!

    All the needed supplies, such as various resins, charcoal tablets, tongs, etc can be bought online from local new age bookstores.

  • 04 of 06

    Natural Incense

    burning incense
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    Burning incense is the easiest way to use the power of herbs in order to purify the energy in your space. Basically, all you have to do is light your incense and enjoy it!

    However, the most common problem with using incense is its quality--most of the incense on the market has low-quality, artificial ingredients that can easily cause a headache. 

    The best way to find good quality incense is to buy it in person from a reputable supplier, such as a gift shop or a bookstore. This way you can ask about it, as well as possibly smell it. Try a wood- or sage-based incense, as this can bring many clearing benefits to your home. You can even buy Palo Santo incense these days, so it's well worth a trip to your favorite bookstore. Of course, once you know what you like, you can also buy it online.

    • What you need: Incense stick, an incense holder, a candle.
    • How to use: Light the end of the incense stick from the flame of a candle. Blow the flame as soon as the incense stick is lit. Place it in the incense holder and enjoy!
    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Smudging Spray

    smudging sprays
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    The so-called smudging sprays are a relatively new way to smudge without smudging that is super easy.

    All you have to do is spray the healing aroma in various parts of your home. This does not have the same powerful effects as smudging because the purifying element of fire is missing, but it is still good to use, especially if none of the options above are to your liking.

  • 06 of 06

    Essential Oil Diffusers

    aromatherapy diffuser
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    Essential oil diffusers are really easy to use, are highly efficient and can do a good job in any space, be it home or office. The beauty of a high-quality ultrasonic diffuser is that it can help you create any mood real quick -- all you have to do is choose the right oils for the job! 

    For the purpose of using the diffuser instead of smudging, you will have to go for essential oils that have purifying properties, such as clary sage, lemongrass, mint, lavender or eucalyptus. You can also use the Palo Santo essential oil, or a variety of premade essential oil blends for purification. Just be sure they come from a reputable supplier.

    • What you need: A good quality ultrasonic diffuser, high-quality essential oil blends.
    • How to use: Fill your diffuser with water as indicated by the manufacturer. Mix 10-15 drops of essential oil blend into the water (or more, depending on the bowl size). Choose the time setting and enjoy!

    The beauty of ultrasonic diffusers is that they keep the integrity of the essential oils released int the air. They are also very practical, come in beautiful designs and allow for even big size rooms to be infused with healing essential oils essence.