Cleansing and Smudging

How to Make a Cedar Smudge Stick? [Step-By-Step]

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Written by: Tina Caro

According to the ancient traditions of the Indians, each plant had the power to protect a sacred spirit, and it is thanks to this that they were able to find healing benefits on a physical, mental, and spiritual level.

Smudging means burning herbs and incense; it is the art of purification through the smoke generated by a stick of dried herbs that is spread on people or in a space by moving the smoke with the hands from the bottom up or, as tradition dictates, with the help of a natural feather. Or it is simply placed on an earthenware bowl, on stones, or on large shells.


  • Cedar smudge sticks are the perfect tools for you to use if you need to cleanse the energies around you after nightmares and other negative experiences in your psychic realm.
  • Making these sticks is simple: you just need cedar branches, cotton and scissors.
  • Tie them together and you are ready to go!

We often hear about sage smudge sticks, but did you know that there are many different cleansing herbs we could use to smudge and cleanse our homes? Today, I want to talk about cedar and how to make a cedar smudge stick.

How to make a cedar smudge stick?

The smudge is prepared only with natural herbs and flowers, it is not real incense because it lacks the natural resins used to create the classic incenses that are found on the market.


Personally, I love medium-sized herb sticks; they are more cohesive, more beautiful to look at, and it is easier to find a concave object that can contain them, such as a shell as was done in the past. It is not complicated to make a smudge stick by hand, it just takes a little practice.

  • Harvest some fresh cedar branches. You should do it when the plant as at is best. Do what feels good. I highly recommend giving thanks to nature when harvesting its gifts, honoring the cycle of life, and raising vibrations while creating a deep connection with the cedar that is going to help you cleanse your space.
  • Cut the branches of the plants you are using to 17-25cm in length. (Note: I prefer to let the fresh branches wither for a day or for the whole night before the next step); Measure a piece of thin string (cotton is good) 4 times the length of the branches; You don’t need to be too precise about this. Do what feels good and what you can. You can use a white cotton string or a colored one. Your choice! Usually, for cleansing rituals, white cotton is even better as it recalls the white energy that is needed to cleanse the dark, negative energy.
  • Bundle the branches.
  • With the branch tips pointing down, wrap the string around the base of the branch bundle.
  • Wrap the string around the whole bundle (pressing it well).
  • Knot the two ends of the string at the base.
  • Dry the smudge stick in a basket for 7-10 days (or as long as needed). I try to let them dry in a dark, dry place. If, after a while, you still notice your cedar smudge stick is not ready, don’t freak out and don’t rush things! It’s completely normal as it takes a lot of time to dry. Don’t be impatient, give it the proper time to dry, and get ready for what’s next. This part is so important as dry herbs are what work as a cleansing tool. It needs to be dry as it’s the smoke that does the job!
  • You can harvest a huge amount of cedar and create different sticks to perform the cleansing ritual and smudge your space over and over again. Repeating the smudging is essential to see results!

Also read:
Powerful White Sage Smudge Benefits [Explained]
What to Say When Smudging a House? [Different Chants]

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What’s cedar? Why is using it the right option?

There are various qualities of this great tree, but the best known and the only one with a deep-rooted magical tradition is the one from Lebanon (Cedrus libani), not to be confused with the other great variety, the Atlantic one.

Cedar’s magical properties: What makes cedar so good for smudging?

It possesses a strong purifying power and the ability to ward off bad dreams, evil spirits, and demons. The wood of this plant also attracts material prosperity and is, therefore, an ingredient in incense for economic growth rituals.

Cleansing propertiesCedar has been traditionally used for spiritual and energy cleansing, purifying the environment from negative energy.
Aromatic scentThe natural aroma of burning cedar creates a pleasant and calming atmosphere.
Insect-repelling propertiesCedar contains natural compounds that help repel insects, making it ideal for outdoor use.
Connection to natureUsing cedar smudge sticks can help foster a deeper connection with nature and promote a sense of grounding.
Table 1: Benefits of Cedar Smudge Sticks

Cedar is placed under the influence of Jupiter but also has solar characteristics. It is the sacred tree of the gods, and in particular, of the ancient Mesopotamian god, Enki-Ea.

God Ea, seated, holding a cup. From Nasiriyah, southern Iraq, 2004-1595 BCE

Is a cedar smudge stick as good as a white sage?

Absolutely! Cedar is more suitable for protection and to get rid of unwanted presences around you, giving these souls a chance to heal and rest, while white sage is all about cleansing from any sort of negativity from the evil eye to haunting presences attached to your home or an object.

Basically, cedar is a more versatile resource as it acts on your home, yourself, and your soul at many different levels.

When should I use it?

When you want to build a protective energy shield around you, your loved ones, or even your pets and your home, cedar is the perfect option. As you begin the purification by burning it, focus your intentions on what you are trying to protect, like a mirror-like force field where any attack bounces back to the sender. In your mind, imagine this force field filling with love and security.

Cedar is a strong and resistant tree, able to live even in hostile environments; these characteristics can also be found in the smudge (bunches of leaves and twigs) produced with it. A cedar smudge has a fresh, woody, and decisive aroma.

Burning a cedar smudge is a good way to improve self-confidence, self-esteem, strength, and determination. In the Native American tradition, it is also indicated as a remedy to induce good sleep.

Smudge Stick SizeLength (inches)Burn Time (minutes)
Table 2: Cedar Smudge Stick Sizes and Burn Times

Being very versatile, you can use a cedar smudge stick at your workplace as well, especially if it’s a place where tensions and a lot of arguing take place! And I have a special recommendation for you: if you feel some negative energy is around you and it’s affecting your financial situation and your work, smudge your space on a Thursday to boost even more Jupiter energy!

What should I do next?

When the smudge stick is dry, use it like this: light it with a candle; when the tips burn, put out the flame gently and let it smoke. You never have to extinguish a smudge stick, just let it burn out by itself. Move the smoke with your hands or with the help of a feather, starting from the bottom and moving up in a clockwise direction.

In a room, start on the left side from the door, do not forget the corners and windows, and end with the front door. The ashes must be deposited outside the door of the house as if to return everything to the Earth.

You created your cedar smudge stick, but things don’t seem to be resolved? Do you still sense some negativity around you? First of all, give it at least a second try, and then if you think smudging is not your thing, you can rely on a spell casting! I offer many different spells to offer you cleansing and protection for you and your space. Check out my shop and choose the right option for you!

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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