Make Your Own Smudge Sticks
By Patti Wigington
Smudging is a great way to cleanse a sacred space, and most people use smudge sticks made of sweetgrass or sage for this purpose. Although they are available commercially -- and are fairly inexpensive -- it's easy to make your own if you've got herbs growing in your garden, or if there's a place nearby where you can go wildcrafting.
Scissors or garden clippers
Plants such as sage, mugwort, rosemary, lavender, or juniper
Cut off pieces of the plants in lengths about 6 - 10 inches long. For more leafy plants, you can make the pieces shorter, but you may want to use a longer piece for a plant that has fewer leaves.
Cut a length of string about five feet long. Put several branches together so that the cut ends are all together, and the leafy ends are all together. Wind the string tightly around the stems of the bundle, leaving two inches of loose string where you began. The smudge stick in the photos contains sage, rosemary and pennyroyal.
Wrap the remaining length of string around the base of the branches several times to secure it. Then, gradually, work your way along the length of branches until you reach the leafy end. Return the string back up to the stems, creating a bit of a criss-cross pattern. You'll want to wind the string tightly enough that nothing gets loose, but not so tight that it cuts off pieces of the plants.
When you get back to the stems, tie the remainder of the string to the 2" loose piece you left at the beginning. Trim off any excess pieces so that the ends of your smudge stick are even.
Place the bundle outside or hang it up for drying. Depending on what type of herb you used, and how humid your weather is, it may take a couple of days or as much as a week to dry out. When your sticks are dry, you can burn them in ritual for smudging by lighting one end.
Safety tip: Some plants may have toxic fumes. Do not burn a plant unless you know it is safe to do so.