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Our Guide To Burning Smudges and Palo Santo


Burning a smudge stick is a very straight forward process. First of all you need to light the end of the smudge, it doesn't matter which end.  Let the flame burn for a bit (maybe 20 seconds) and then blow it out.  Smoke should be rising freely.  

Smudge sticks are a popular tool used for cleansing spaces, enhancing meditation practices, and creating a positive atmosphere. Burning smudge sticks is a simple process that can be done by following these steps:

Step 1: Choose the Right Smudge Stick

At The Smudge Stick Shop, we offer a wide range of sacred incense options, including White Sage, Palo Santo, Yerba Santa, Cedar and Blue Sage. Each of these smudge sticks has its own unique scent and properties. Choose the smudge stick that resonates with your intentions and preferences.

Step 2: Prepare Your Space

Find a well-ventilated area where you can safely burn the smudge stick. Open windows or doors to allow any negative energy to escape. Place a heat-resistant dish or abalone shell underneath the smudge stick to catch any falling ashes.

Step 3: Ignite the Smudge Stick

Hold the smudge stick at a 45-degree angle and light the tip using a match or a lighter. Allow the flame to burn for a few seconds, then gently blow it out. The smudge stick should produce a steady stream of smoke.

Step 4: Set Your Intention

Before you start smudging, take a moment to set your intention. Focus on what you want to achieve or release during the smudging process. This step helps to enhance the effectiveness of the smudge stick.

Step 5: Begin Smudging

Starting from the entrance of the room, walk clockwise around the space, waving the smudge stick in a sweeping motion. Pay special attention to corners, doorways, and areas where energy may feel stagnant. Visualise the smoke purifying and cleansing the space.

Step 6: Extinguish the Smudge Stick

Once you have finished smudging, gently press the smudge stick against the heat-resistant dish or abalone shell to extinguish the embers. Ensure that the smudge stick is completely out before leaving the area.

Step 7: Store the Smudge Stick

After each use, store your smudge stick in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This will help preserve its potency and ensure it lasts for future smudging rituals.

Remember, smudging is a personal practice, and it's important to trust your intuition and adapt the process to suit your needs. Enjoy the transformative power of smudge sticks and create a sacred space for yourself.

If the smudge isn't smoking properly or it goes out it is probably because the smudge is tied too tight and air isn't being allowed in to the bundle.  It that's the case simply pull the smudge apart a little to let the air get in and allow the material to light.  

You may need to blow on the smudge sometimes to keep it going, and you may need to relight it occasionally.  You can knock the ash off into a suitable container such as a Scallop or Abalone shell.  When you have finished using it or if you are taking a break you can rest the smudge in the Scallop or Abalone shell.

Smudges don't need to stay bundled together, and as you burn them down the string will burn and they inevitably won't stay together.  At this stage you can remove sections of the bundle and use each piece individually. 

If you just have leaves left and you can no longer hold them, you can burn them like incense in a Scallop shell, Abalone shell or any other suitable container.  Put the leaves in the container and use a long match or lighter to get them going.  They can then smoulder away in the container, and you haven't wasted anything.

Never leave a burning smudge unattended and always make sure the smudge is fully out when you are finished.

Palo Santo

The method of burning Palo Santo is very similar to smudges.  Light it and allow it to flame for maybe 20 to 30 seconds.  Then blow the flame out and let the stick smoulder.  You will need to blow on the smouldering stick from time to time to keep the embers going and keep it smoking.

However, also like smudges it is important to remember that Palo Santo is a natural material.  Some sticks are denser than other and some have more resin in them.  All this will effect the amount of smoke they produce and how quickly they light.

You can stub the stick out in a Scallop or Abalone shell or other suitable container when finished.




We recommend that you burn smudges outdoors or in a well ventilated area and that you don't burn smudges around anyone with asthma or respiratory problems.




Safety Disclaimer:  The Smudge Stick Shop is not responsible for any damage to any persons or property as a result of purchasing any of The Smudge Stick Shop products or using any of The Smudge Stick Shop products or following the directions of use of any of The Smudge Stick Shop products or website content.  Use at your own risk, be cautious of your surroundings and do not leave anything burning unsupervised, out of sight or in a windy/breezy area.


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