Blue Russian Sage Smudging Sticks Step by Step How To

Posted on June 6, 2013

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Due to the popularity of an old post I made, I thought it would be good to make an updated, more in-depth post about how to make sage smudging sticks.

Why do we use sage to smudge things? What so we smudge? What kind of sage can we use? Is it difficult?

Below are step by step instructions on how to make your own sage smudging sticks.

You can use any type of sage, although some are VERY strong in odor, especially when they are burned, so be cautious. I love the Russian blue, because the odor is not too heavy and the lightness of the plant lends itself to clearing negative energy waves and inviting a lighter more positive flow into your how, office, room, etc.

You can use sage to clear the challenging (negative, harmful, evil, bad, etc.) energy out of any dwelling, from and place or from objects. We do this because the energy of our life builds up in the places we use every day and the things we  use. It is kind of like a therapeutic massage for dwellings and objects.

To smudge something, simply light the end of a sage stick and either walk through the room, house, office, warehouse, barn, garden, etc., waving and blowing the smoke all around. Open up any cabinets, closets, doors or drawers, so that the smoke can waft into every crevice. If you are smudging an object you just hold the object over your burning sage stick. Sage once lit does not catch on “fire”. It smolders. Like incense or an ember. If you are smudging inside, use some type of glass container to catch the ashes as you walk through each area. Some ash may float off of the stick. Unless you are a super clean freak, there is no need to worry about it. If you are, then be sure to take a dust rag with you to spot clean any stray ashes.

Here is my tutorial on making your own sage smudging sticks:

Blue Russian Sage

This is a "bush" in my back yard

This is a “bush” in my back yard

This stalk is already in the process of budding, so I will not cut it. Any that are starting to bud, I leave on the bush.

This stalk is already in the process of budding, so I will not cut it. Any that are starting to bud, I leave on the bush.

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Always cut or pluck the sage just above a set of leaves that has small bud/nubs next to them. That way you will promote that stalk to regrow two new shoots, instead of stunting the growth. I used my hands to break them/cut them with my finger nail, but you can use scissors or pruners if you like. Be sure to remember that sage is sticky, so you will have to clean your tools with alcohol and oil them (if necessary) afterwards.

Always cut or pluck the sage just above a set of leaves that has small bud/nubs next to them. That way you will promote that stalk to regrow two new shoots, instead of stunting the growth. I used my hands to break them/cut them with my finger nail, but you can use scissors or pruners if you like. Be sure to remember that sage is sticky, so you will have to clean your tools with alcohol and oil them (if necessary) afterwards.

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I used yellow this year because of the daily power color yellow (it was Sunday).

I used yellow this year because of the daily power color yellow (it was Sunday).

Try to keep the bottom ends as even as possible before you start rolling it.

Try to keep the bottom ends as even as possible before you start rolling it.

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Slide the paper up as the sage sticks roll inside of the fold. Do not roll the paper around the stick.

Slide the paper up as the sage sticks roll inside of the fold. Do not roll the paper around the stick.

You will need about six feet of thread for an 18" stick. I measure by rolling out the thread as far as both arms will stretch apart, twice. Then double it up (fold the thread in half, making the ends meets). Starting at the bottom of the stick, take the cut ends of the thread and loop them through the middle of the piece of thread, as you can see above. A slip know, if you will. Then just wrap the thread, not too tight, around the stick, pressing the leaveas down as you go. Some will stick out. Catch those when you wrap the thread from the top to the bottom. You will wrap once from bottom to top, which I use a small wind (closer together), than when I go back. The second wind the wrap can be a bit farther apart. Be sure to try and capture as many sticking out leaves as you can. This will help to have less crumble off after they are dried.

You will need about six feet of thread for an 18″ stick. I measure by rolling out the thread as far as both arms will stretch apart, twice. Then double it up (fold the thread in half, making the ends meets). Starting at the bottom of the stick, take the cut ends of the thread and loop them through the middle of the piece of thread, as you can see above. A slip know, if you will. Then just wrap the thread, not too tight, around the stick, pressing the leaves as down as you go. Some will stick out. Catch those when you wrap the thread from the top to the bottom. You will wrap once from bottom to top, which I use a small wind (closer together), than when I go back. The second wind the wrap can be a bit farther apart. Be sure to try and capture as many sticking out leaves as you can. This will help to have less crumble off after they are dried.

Ready to wrap.

Ready to wrap.

As you can see, some leaves will stick out a bit.

As you can see, some leaves will stick out a bit.

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I will cut the tips off and place them in the corners of my house to increase the abundance and cash flow energy in our life. I will let you know how that works. (already, I did not get laid off OR get a pay cut, so yay team Sage!)

I will cut the tips off and place them in the corners of my house to increase the abundance and cash flow energy in our life. I will let you know how that works. (already, I did not get laid off OR get a pay cut, so yay team Sage!)

The finished product, ready for the drying process. This year I got seven stick from my one plant. I am tempted to stop along Pendleton Pike and cut some stalks off of the bushes that are part of the median landscaping!

The finished product, ready for the drying process. This year I got seven stick from my one plant. I am tempted to stop along Pendleton Pike and cut some stalks off of the bushes that are part of the median landscaping!

Use at least three stalks and up to seven, depending on how big around you want the stick. Some people may even fold these in half, the make the stick shorter and fatter. I like to leave them unbent. They seem to burn as well or even better than the shorted style.

Use at least three stalks and up to seven, depending on how big around you want the stick. Some people may even fold these in half, that makes the stick shorter and fatter. I like to leave them unbent. They seem to burn as well or even better than the shorted style.

A few last thoughts: sage is sticky. Your hands will get sticky. If you do not want sticky hands, try using gloves, although tying the thread will not be easy. Use hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol to get the sap off when you are finished.

Use a couple of loop ties at the bottom to secure the thread, then cut off the excess. The stick will stay together well without a tight know, it just needs to stay around the stick, mostly until it dries. When you burn it, burn thread and all. The thread helps to keep the ashes together, so they are easier to catch.

Lay them flay to dry or hang the upside down. If laying them flat, turn them once every couple of days until the get good and dry. Otherwise the will mildew. Try to find a place that gets warm during the day. You can dry them in the sun, but it can be harsh drying them too much. I put mine in our tool shed. It gets hot in there on sunny days, and usually only takes about a week to cure them.

If anyone tries this, please let me know how it goes. Enjoy!

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