First, light one end of your smudge, allowing it to catch fire and burn for several seconds. Once the flame extinguishes, gently blow on the lit end to fan the embers; the smudge will begin to glow and smoke. Lay the smudge on a heatproof dish, such as an abalone shell or bowl, to catch the ashes as it burns. Waft the smoke in your space. We should always respect the power of fire when using it in ritual.
As the smoke rises into the air, picture your intention, whatever it may be. If you are clearing negative energy, picture its density and see it lifting away. Healing? Then imagine the smoke cleansing any illness or injury. Whatever it is, envision it floating away on the smoke. You can pray or chant if you feel called. Use your hands or a smudge fan to guide the smoke over yourself and around your sacred space.
The beauty of smudging is that it can be done at any time, as often as you need, no matter your background or culture