How to Sage or Smudge
Light your sage smudge stick with a match or lighter, over a fireproof container. An abalone shell or a ceramic bowl is a perfect container. Once lit, blow out the fire, and the smudge stick will smolder, much like an incense stick.
Sage sticks tend to go out without constant air flow. You can use a feather to fan air onto the smudge stick and to disperse the smoke. Never set the smudge bundle down on anything other than a fireproof surface.
While smudging, keep in mind your intention. Blessing your home, casting out the negativity, and bringing in the positive energy. Smudging alone will not create a sacred space. It is a ritual to reinforce your own positive energy within your home. Begin at your front door, and wave the smoke into the air. Work your way from room to room, concentrating on corners, where negativity gathers.
When you are finished smudging your home, extinguish your smudge stick by dipping it into sand. You can also snuff it out by pressing the smudge stick into the fireproof container and applying a bit of pressure. If the string holding the smudge stick together breaks or burns, simply re-tie the string further down the stick. This will prevent the bundle from falling apart. Smudge sticks can be re-lit and used several times.
Different Types of Smudging Plants:
White sage is what people typically burn, especially indoors. It has a clean scent, and the smoke dissipates from a room quickly when doors and windows are opened.
Mountain and Desert Sage is best for outdoor ceremonies. The scent is strong and tends to linger longer indoors.
Palo Santo is a sacred wood from the Andes. It scent is similar to frankincense with some citrus notes.
Sweetgrass is not a type of sage, but is often used in conjunction with it, or even as an alternative. Some sage bundles will even be made with sweetgrass incorporated into the bundle.