Smudging is just one way to cleanse a home. It calls for the use of sage, cedar, sweetgrass or incense that you burn and fumigate your environment with. Usually the smoke is wafted with a feather or your hands.
Sage is one of the most sacred herbs among indigenous North American peoples. The clean burning sage is used in the energy cleansing ritual known as smudging (or purification), which in theory means the smoke would attach itself to the negative energy of the area and cleanse it so that it becomes positive energy. The sage wands I sell are consecrated on my altar to Black Hawk, the famous Native American War Chief who is highly revered among hoodoos and Spiritualists.
In the Native American tradition, cedar is used to carry prayers to the creator. It is used to bridge the gap between heaven and earth. It also seems that the cedar tree has connections with power and the sun through many varying traditions such as Sumerian legend, Cabalistic lore and Egyptian mythology. It is often associated with breaking the misuse of power or powerful forces that may be having a negative influence. Cedar is often used in the sweat lodge ceremony. A few pinches are thrown on the red-hot rocks, immediately sparking into a yellow glow and releasing their aroma. The smoke of burning cedar is said to attract the good spirits and eliminate negative energies.
Sweetgrass is considered sacred by many peoples of North America. The smoke of burning sweetgrass is said to purify and clear objects, places, and people. They are often kept in medicine bundles and sometimes packed with dance clothes to keep them fresh. Sweetgrass is often burnt after using sage. It encourages positive vibrations to enter an area or room. Sweetgrass is also used in sweat lodges where clippings are placed on the hot rocks throughout the ceremony.