Smudging Without Smoke


This is without a doubt one of the things we’ve been asked most often over the years.  So many times, so many frustrated people, so many instances of “I really need to sage, but…”

Let’s face it, there are many reasons why you might not want smoke in your house/business/vicinity.  Maybe you have a new baby, a sensitive pet, or a family member with a health risk like asthma or COPD.  Or you might own a business or work in a place where it would not be practical or appropriate to burn things.  Whatever reasons you have are valid.  And there are solutions, we just need to apply a little creativity.

The following is just a sampling of methods that we like to use or suggest in situations where smudging is needed but smoke is unwanted.  You’ll notice that each suggestion is labeled with an element or elements.  There’s just something about more unusual methods, these magical workarounds, that seem to work best when the practitioner has an affinity with one of the replacement elements.  Oh, and, just because we say “sage” in each of these suggestions doesn’t mean you can’t use a blend, if that’s your thing.


The No-brainer – Literally smudge as normal, but without lighting the sage.  This is purely metaphysical, easier for someone with a very cerebral mindset.  (Air)

Simple Spray – Essential oils + water or vodka.  Mix in a spray bottle or bowl, then spray or flick with the tips of your fingers.  (Air or Water)

Sage Tincture –  Place a handful of sage in 16 oz. of vodka and let steep in a cool dry place for approximately two weeks.  Use to spray or anoint surfaces.  (Earth or Air)

“Tea” – Pour boiling water over an small amount of sage.  While hot, waft the steam as you would smoke.  May be cooled and used as a spray as well.  (Air or Water)

Repurposed Wax Burner – This is a method that works particularly well in a business or office setting, or anytime you might want a longer or ongoing smudging session.  Take a clean wax burner (either electric or candle), and place a large pinch of sage into the bowl.  Cover with a small amount of water (no more than half full).  Make sure the burner is somewhere that you can keep an eye on it, and continue adding more water as the liquid evaporates.  (Water or Fire)

Infused Candles – A great choice for anyone who really feels the need to still burn something, or has trouble connecting with the other (above) methods.  You can “steep” your candles.  Simply place loose sage in a (preferably wooden) box, nestle the candles down into that, and cover.  Let sit at least one week, or better yet, just keep a few stored that way all of the time.  This works especially well if used in conjunction with our spell to clear the air.  (Fire or Earth)


Do any of these methods work exactly the same as traditional smudging?


But why do they have to?

Just as we are all different, we often have at least slightly different ways of accomplishing the same tasks, of getting to the same places.  And why should this be any different?  Magic, witchery, spirituality, these things are so personal…why would they not also be personalized?

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