Cleansing and Smudging

Can Smudging Make Things Worse? Can it be Dangerous?

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Written by: Tina Caro

The smudging ceremony, or purification ceremony, is part of the shamanic tradition of Native American peoples and other indigenous cultures. The smoke obtained by burning herbs and resins is used to purify negative energies and invoke peace and harmony for environments and people.

I want to borrow this ancient and regenerating practice by bringing it into our contemporary lives and trying to recreate some of that magic.

Let’s find out if smudging can make things worse, not just better!


  • Yes. This can happen if you are dealing with strong dark entities like demons.
  • It might also happen if you are smudging a space but during the process you are not calm, positive and you don’t believe that it will work.

Can smudging make things worse?

Yes. This can happen if you are dealing with strong dark entities like demons, or if you are performing the ritual but your intentions and your vibes are not in tune with the ultimate goal of establishing a serene, balanced atmosphere at home.

Smudging a House

Plus, maybe you performed the ritual without using the right herbs and without honoring their properties and energies, or you performed the ritual from a place of discomfort and almost of shame for your practice, with the fear of being judged by those around you. All this can lead to an even darker and more dangerous tool.

Did You Know?

I was honored when I was recently asked by Court TV producers to consult on a case.

You can view the clip below. This case is a great example of why I do not cast any spells that have harmful intentions. As a Professional Spellcaster, I work with clients from all over the world and it’s important to me to remain grounded and stay ‘in the light’ so that I can help as many people as possible.

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Why do things get worse?

Let’s suppose something dark is at work in your home. You smudge it to cleanse it and finally have peace and positivity, but while shaking the energy, you are not doing it with the right intentions or following the basic tips for doing it mindfully and with an open intuition.


If you start questioning the practice, if you fear what others might say, if you use smudging without believing in it and you get frustrated and angry at the practice, you are going to generate brand new dark energy that will be the perfect nourishment for the bad negative energy to get bigger, stronger, and manifest with worse effects.

Potential risks and considerations

Risks and ConsiderationsDescription
AllergiesSome individuals may be allergic or sensitive to certain smudging materials. Use caution if you or anyone present has respiratory issues or known allergies.
Fire HazardsSmudging involves burning herbs, so it’s essential to follow fire safety precautions and ensure proper ventilation to prevent accidents.
Cultural AppropriationIt is crucial to respect the cultural origins and practices associated with smudging and use it with reverence and understanding.
Personal BeliefsConsider individual beliefs and preferences regarding smudging, as some people may have different cultural or spiritual practices.

How to recreate a smudging ritual to avoid making things worse – with the right attitude

Home rituals give you the opportunity to cultivate presence and awareness. Take the opportunity to take stock of your life and reflect on stagnant or negative situations that no longer serve you. Try to let go of stress and calm your mind, dedicate a special moment to regenerate your energy and nourish your uniqueness.

Best plants for smudging properly

You cannot smudge with any kind of plant. You need to choose the right one. There are different traditions depending on the areas and populations that perform these rites, and each has its own “recipe” regarding the herbs and plants to use.

If you’re not thinking of following a particular tradition, we recommend starting with sage leaves, which are one of the most used herbs. Sage represents the life force; it is used to give greater clarity, strength, and wisdom.

You can also pick it up and dry it yourself. Always choose a place that evokes positive feelings and collect the leaves consciously and carefully. You can also buy pre-packaged smudge sticks.

Sage by TamedWild – you can find it here.

But always check the sources, choose those who respect the plants, and operate in a sustainable way. We have chosen sage because it works with indigenous peoples by promoting social entrepreneurship. Respect the workers and invest in safeguarding their traditions and their independence.

There are other options besides sage. For example, Palo Santo (wood derived from the Bursera graveolens trees, considered sacred in Mexico and Peru), cedar, juniper, or other aromatic resins.

Also read:
How to Make a Cedar Smudge Stick? [Step-By-Step]
How to Make a Cedar Smudge Stick? [Step-By-Step]
How to Make White Sage Smudge Sticks? [Step-By-Step]

How to smudge properly to avoid making things worse?

To perform this smudging ritual, there are only three necessary elements:

The candle is the bearer of light par excellence, the guardian of the fire with the function of awakening, by resonance, our inner fire. The intention, on the other hand, must be clear for two specific reasons: it must be formulated, verbally or mentally, correctly, linearly, and with a specific meaning.

The more specific the intention the more focused its effect will be.

The second reason lies in another meaning of the clear term: only bright and benevolent intentions should be addressed to the energy of fire. Remember that the energy of fire that recalls this rite is that of purification and transformation.

The intention can be linked to oneself in general or to some other aspects, to work, to a couple, to family, or to friends. We invite you to turn your intention to yourself and not to third parties.

If you want to turn your intention to someone else, it may be useful to advise them to do this rite in turn, perhaps sharing this post for information, letting the other decide to do it. The intention must always be directed to oneself or, at most, to one’s relationship with someone, because the fire of purification acts on the energy field of whoever sets the intention.

It is then necessary to decide whether to do this ritual alone or with the family. It must not be something to hide because “the others in the house would not understand” or because “it is too strange”, but a moment of sharing and meditation.

If you do the purification rite with your family, you can choose to do it using a candle each or it can be a single person, perhaps who proposed it, to take on the task of conducting the rite, inviting others to follow it with their own intentions.

Also read:
What to Say When Smudging a House? [Different Chants]

I smudged my home, but things got worse. What can I do?

You can rely on a cleansing spell or protection spell for you and your loved ones (I can help you with that with my spell casting service) or you can ask for help if things get even worse, like people at home being attacked or things getting violent and physical.

Also read:
What to do With Sage Ashes or Stick after Smudging? [Guide]

Besides that, try to raise your vibrations by doing what you love, spreading positivity, and trying not to bring any negative energy at home.

For example, if something bad happens at work, try to forget about it, recharge with a hobby, a run, or a walk outside in nature, and when you feel you found your center back again you are ready to go home. Evil forces feed on negative energies and vibes so try to be positive while dealing with it!

The combination of a positive approach and a cleansing and protective spell can easily solve things.

Alternatives to smudging

Alternative MethodsDescription
Sound CleansingUsing tools such as bells, singing bowls, or chanting to create vibrations and cleanse the energy of a space or object.
Visualization TechniquesUtilizing visualization techniques to imagine and project positive and cleansing energy into the surroundings.
Salt CleansingSprinkling or placing salt in specific areas to absorb negative energy and promote purification.
Crystal ClearingUsing specific crystals or crystal grids to clear and balance energy in a space.
Tina Caro

Tina Caro is a witch with more than 10 years of experience, a yogi, an astrologer, and a passionate supporter of all things holistic! She’s also an owner of the website Magickal Spot where she discusses a variety of her favorite topics.

Magickal Spot has helped thousands of readers worldwide, and she’s personally worked with hundreds of clients and helped them manifest desires to have a happier and more abundant life.

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