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Smoke Cleansing for a Fresh Start in the New Year

smoke cleansing sticks

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

As one year draws to a close and a new one begins, many of us seek ways to leave behind the old and welcome the new with freshness and positivity. Smoke cleansing is a powerful and ancient practice that can help clear away stagnant energy, cleanse your space, and invite new beginnings into your life. 

The Art of Smoke Cleansing

Smoke cleansing involves the burning of sacred herbs or botanicals to purify the energy of a space, person, or object. Various cultures have used this practice throughout history to remove negative energy, cleanse the aura, and create a sense of balance and harmony. Please look at the note at the bottom of this article to avoid cultural appropriation. While there are several herbs and materials that can be used for smoke cleansing, sage, cedar, palo santo, and sweetgrass are still among the most commonly used.

Benefits of Smoke Cleansing for the New Year

Clearing stagnant energy: Over time, the energy in our homes and within ourselves can become stagnant, leading to a feeling of heaviness or blockage. Smoke cleansing helps release this energy, making way for a fresh start.

Setting intentions: Smoke cleansing can be a powerful ritual for setting intentions for the new year. As you perform the cleansing, you can infuse your space and thoughts with positive affirmations and goals for the year ahead.

Purification and protection: Cleansing not only purifies your environment but also offers protection from negative energies or influences that may have accumulated over time.

Enhancing mindfulness: The act of smoke cleansing encourages mindfulness and presence as you focus on the ritual and your intentions, promoting a sense of clarity and purpose.

Creating a sacred space: Regularly smudging your home can create a sacred and energetically harmonious space that supports your well-being and personal growth.

smoke cleansimng ritual

 How to Perform a Smoke Cleansing Ritual for the New Year

Gather Your Supplies:

Collect the materials you’ll need for your cleansing ritual, including a smoke cleansing stick, a fireproof bowl or dish, and a lighter or matches.

Set Your Intention:

Before you begin, take a moment to set your intention for the smoke cleansing ritual. What do you wish to release from the past year, and what do you want to invite into the new year? Formulate a clear and positive intention.

Prepare Your Space:

Open a window or door in the space you wish to cleanse to allow the smoke to carry away negative energy. Ensure your fireproof bowl or dish is ready to catch any falling embers.

Light the Herb:

Light the tip of your chosen cleansing stick until it smoulders and produces a steady stream of smoke. Blow out the flame, allowing the embers to smoulder and release the fragrant smoke.

Begin Cleansing:

Hold the smoke cleansing stick over your fireproof bowl or dish and move clockwise around the space you wish to cleanse. As you move, use a feather, your hand, or a fan to guide the smoke and distribute it evenly.

Focus on Your Intention:

While you cleanse, concentrate on your intention for the new year. Visualise the smoke carrying away negativity, clearing the space, and filling it with fresh, positive energy.

Complete the Ritual:

Once you have cleansed the entire space, return to your starting point and extinguish the stick by gently pressing it into the fireproof bowl or dish. Thank the stick for its cleansing energy.

Express Gratitude:

Take a moment to express gratitude for the cleansing ritual and the opportunity to begin the new year with a fresh start. Close the window or door.

Regular Practice for Renewal

Smoke cleansing can be performed as often as you like. Still, it’s especially beneficial as a new year’s ritual to help you start the year with clarity, positivity, and renewed energy. By incorporating this practice into your life, you can create a fresh, energetic, harmonious space that supports your intentions and aspirations for the year ahead. Embrace the power of smoke cleansing, and welcome the new year with open arms and a clean slate.

Remember to tag us on Instagram @surrender_to_happiness with all your smoke cleansing pictures. If you want to make your own smoke cleansing sticks, have a look here. If you want to know which crystals work best in your space, click here. Finally, if you are looking for a good smoke cleansing starter kit, we sell a lovely beginner’s smoke cleansing set in our webshop, and for that something extra special, take a look at our home cleansing kit.


Smoke cleansing is closely tied to the spiritual practice of smudging by Native American / Indigenous Nations. White sage, palo santo, sweetgrass, and many other plants used for burning are considered sacred medicine by the Native American / Indigenous Nations. It is, therefore, essential that to avoid cultural appropriation and exploitation you understand the cultural history of these items. As well as the history of suppression forced upon these native populations, where they were forbidden to practice their culture, language, and traditions, including smudging, until 1978 and the passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. Even with the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, Native American / Indigenous Nations still find themselves continually persecuted for various reasons. When purchasing sage and other plants used for burning, it is essential to ensure that they are ethically sourced and that there is no over-harvesting of these sacred medicines. And where possible, always support the Native American and Indigenous Nations.

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