Mark Roemer Oakland image of a smudge stick and ash catcher

Smudging 101: Burning Sage to Cleanse Your Apartment

Are you experiencing feelings of being stuck emotionally or perceiving a terrible energy in your apartment? I, Mark Roemer, know this could result from a toxic roommate leaving, a failed romantic relationship, or simply your own unresolved annoyances that you wish to purge away. Smudging, an age-old process involving burning sage to purge an area of negative energy, can be used to clear your apartment of the negative and unpleasant energy lingering there, making way for the arrival of fresh, positive energy.

The procedure, traditionally carried out by many Native American tribes, is spiritual in nature and enhances health in both the mind and the body. Sage is known to purify the air, which in turn can make you feel more at ease. Smudging is an excellent way to rid your apartment of negative energy, and here’s how to do it.

What exactly is smudging, and how is it performed?

Smudging refers to the practice of burning sacred plants in order to cleanse oneself of negative energy and make place for positive energy. Smudging is a tradition that can be found in indigenous societies all over the world, including a significant number of Native American civilizations. This practice has been around for hundreds or even thousands of years. Native Americans utilize it for both medical and spiritual purposes, to bless people or an area in order to improve their health and well-being.

What’s the difference between smoky sage and regular sage?

It’s possible that you’ve come across the terms “saging” and “smudging” and found yourself wondering what the distinction is between the two. In all honesty, there is no distinction between the two, as they both pertain to the same old ritual. Although the burning of sage is the most common kind of smudging, there are many other types of sacred plants that are historically believed to be able to clear an area of negative energy when they are burned. Smudging is typically done with aromatic plants like lavender, rosemary, and sweetgrass, each of which has a different function than the others. The most common reason for engaging in the spiritual practice of sage burning is to purify a space.

The process of smudging

It is not necessarily challenging to use smudging to cleanse your place of negative energy; yet, in some cultures, the smudging ceremony is considered a sacred art. Keep that in mind and show proper reverence for the ritual as you burn sage and let its smoke clear your home of any negative influences.

Obtain a smudging stick

A smudge stick is a little bundle of dried herbs that are used in the practice of smudging. You will create smoke from the smudge stick by lighting it on fire. Either you may buy a smudge stick, which is something that many online vendors offer, or you can build your own by tying a tiny bundle of dried herbs together with some twine. Both options are available.

Sage is the most common herb used in Native American smudging ceremonies because it is the most effective at cleansing a space and eradicating any negative thoughts that may be present in the area. Sage also represents healing. However, this does not imply that you should simply grab whatever kind of sage you come across; instead, you will need a stick of white sage for the purpose of your ritual.


Meditation is another age-old practice, similar to smudging. It is traditional to meditate prior to beginning the process of smudging in order to clear one’s mind and bring calmness to one’s body. It would be best if you didn’t rush through the process of smudging. So make sure you give yourself enough time to meditate before beginning the ritual and enough of time to complete the following steps.

Maintaining control of your breathing and thinking about how you want to feel in your home might help you get the most out of your meditation practice. Try not to dwell on the unfavorable emotions that you may be experiencing due to your current environment. Rather than that, focus on the positive and productive things you are looking forward to.

Light the stick on fire

When you are ready to begin the ritual, you will light one end of the smudge stick on fire with either a lighter or match. This will allow the smoke from the smudge stick to disperse. It is expected that your bundle of sage will catch fire and start smoking. It is essential that the sage not be entirely ablaze; rather, it should have orange embers that are slowly burning to produce sacred smoke. In the event that the embers begin to go out, give them a little blow to maintain them burning throughout the ceremony.

Because the burned sage will begin to deteriorate and pieces will fall off as they become exhausted, you will need to carry a small fireproof container to hold underneath the sage stick to catch anything that falls. The Native Americans would use a bowl made of an abalone shell, but if you don’t have one, you can use a bowl made of ceramic instead.

Pray and cleanse

Beginning at the apartment’s primary door, slowly travel in a clockwise path throughout the rest of your space. This will ensure that the smoke permeates each and every room. You can pray aloud or in your mind as you smudge, and some prayers are already written online that you can read, learn by heart, and then recite. Alternately, you can come up with your own while you are burning sage all-around your place.

As you navigate the room, make sure the smoke makes its way into every nook and cranny. Move at a snail’s pace to ensure that your motion will displace sufficient air and spread the smoke. At some point, the same smoke will spread throughout all of the rooms, clearing the air of any negative energy that may have accumulated there.

Put the stick out

After you have completed purifying your flat with sage smoke, you will need to extinguish your smudge stick. To put out the embers, it’s best to use sand or dirt. This will work the best. Smothering the flaming end of the smudge stick in the dirt until it stops smoking and there are no visible embers is all that is required of you to use a smudge stick. Alternately, in the event that you do not have access to an earth element, a water element will suffice; in this case, you might extinguish the flames by placing the bundle of sage in a bowl filled with water.

Smudging alternatives

You also can use a sage spray if you have never performed a smudging ritual in your apartment before and are nervous about setting sage on fire to produce smoke. Sage is believed to clear the air of any negative energy that may be remaining. Because of this, a spray that contains sage can have a nearly identical impact to traditional smudging practices. Sage smoke is preferable, but the sage spray is an excellent alternative to smudging that can assist you in becoming more at ease with the ritual!

Clean the negative energy out of your apartment Since you are now familiar with the skill of smudging, I, Mark Roemer, know you will be able to purge your apartment of any negative energy and go forward with the ability to produce beautiful things. Scrubbing with sage can be done once or on a regular basis. You are the only person who can speak to how you feel in your apartment, so it is important to practice self-care and smudge whenever you feel it is necessary.