Since humans have existed on this wonderful blue and green planet, smudging and the burning of incense has been used as a way to cleanse and purify the energy of spaces. While its practice has been most associated with that of indigenous tribes, religious and secret societies, and hippie or new-age subcultures, its use and its benefit belongs to all people, the way water and oxygen do, and can be used a way to provide greater comfort and ease within living spaces and shared environments.
Smudging is neither voodoo, nor magic. It requires no belief system or breaks from any known cultural tradition. The decision to smudge, burn incense or not is a practical one, really. It’s simply a matter of how free and clear of negative energies do you wish the spaces you spend time in to be.
Smudging is the burning of sacred herbs, with sage being the most commonly used. The smoke produced from its burning, or the burning of incense is what naturally cleanses and purifies an area of negative energies. When it comes to smudging or burning incense, it’s all about the smoke, not the flame. Smoke cleanses in the same manner as water, by dispersion and elimination.