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What does the Bible say about smudging?

Bible smudging audio

Smudging imitates a Native American ceremony in which certain herbs are burned to purify or “bless” a home in order to rid it of negative energy and restore positive, healing energy. People can be “smudged,” too. The practice of smudging is not mentioned in the Bible.

Smudging is usually done with smudge sticks, bundles of herbs that can be purchased or made with sage, cedar, sweetgrass, lavender, etc. During the smudging ceremony of a home, the person smudging is encouraged to focus his or her energy and control breathing. After the smudge stick is lit with a candle, the person waves the smudge stick in the air, often wafting the smoke with a feather, and walks around the house starting at the front door and moving clockwise. Extra attention is paid to the corners of rooms (which supposedly accumulate stagnant energy). Once the entire house has been ritually cleansed, the smudge stick is extinguished at the front door. Some people leave the smudge stick outside the front door, thinking it has protective power.

Some people also smudge themselves by directing the smoke around their body and through their aura. This is thought to cleanse them of negative or stagnant energy. Auras are the occult concept that human beings and other living things emanate subtle energy fields or fields of light, surrounding us like bubbles of power.

There is nothing inherently wrong with burning incense or using herbs to beautify the fragrance of one’s home, but that is not what smudging is about. As with all New Age teachings, there is no biblical basis for belief in smudge sticks, auras, vibes, or household energy. The Bible tells us that God protects His children from evil (2 Thessalonians 3:3). We have no need to smudge; in fact, smudging is sin. We do not trust in pagan rituals but in God our Savior. God is the source of life, of all that is good and true. God promises, “The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore” (Psalm 121:7–8). He will provide the strength and peace we need to make it through any test.

The devil cannot be made to flee with smoldering sage; our refuge is the Lord alone (see Psalm 4:8). God provides us with powerful tools to fend off the enemy’s spiritual attacks (Ephesians 6:10–17). Smudging is not one of those tools.

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This page last updated: November 11, 2022