Smudge/Smudging is basically the burning of herbs and sacred substances (sage, sweetgrass, tobacco, cedar, many diverse substances), in the belief that the resulting smoke has a cleansing and healing effect for the person smudging, objects being smudged and spaces being smudged. It is also believed that the smoke carries both spoken and unspoken prayers to the Creator god when someone performs smudging rituals or ceremonies.

The smudge can be loose leaves taken into the hands to form a ball which is then lit and placed on a large, flat rock, in a shell or other suitable fire-resistant vessel. Many people "bundle" their smudge so that it is wrapped up tightly into a stick. Sweetgrass is usually braided, thus, like a stick-bundle. Sweetgrass is also called Vanilla Grass, Holy Grass and Seneca Grass and has quite a pleasant smell.

Although many people think of Native Americans/Aboriginal Peoples when the word "smudge" is mentioned, smudge is NOT unique to just these Peoples. Many people identifying as Wiccan, Christian, Various Eastern Religions, and even those identifying as Satanists all use smudging and perform smudge ceremonies and rituals.