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  • Writer's pictureBryan Stafford

Smoke cleansing, and black salt

Updated: Jan 29

Submitted questions covered in this blog/video:

"What is 'smoke cleansing'? And how is it done?"

"What is 'black salt'? And how is it made?"

Thank you to those whom submitted these questions! In this video I offer an example of smoke cleansing, and how I make black salt. Although the questions were submitted separately, given how these topics are related to eachother in my practice, I thought I'd combine these questions into one video.

In my practice, a main source of collecting ash is from burning incense and herb bundles used for smoke cleansings. To do smoke cleansing, gather associated herbs that resonate with your intention and place in a fireproof bowl, dish or cauldron. These could be thyme, pine, cedar, lavender, sage, juniper, peppermint, rosemary, mugwart, etc. For this example, I am burning rosemary and mugwart. I associate these herbs with intuition and protection. Most of the herbs used in my practice are grown in my garden during the growing season and then collected, dried and stored.
Once the herbs are contained, it can be lit on fire to produce the smoke. Then, waft the smoke around where/what is to be cleansed. Always being careful with fire, lite the herbs well so that ambers are visible, without flame and the amount of smoke is appealing. Now it can be used for cleansing. There are different uses for smoke cleansings. For example, to cleanse yourself, waft the smoke around you. Or, cleansing your alter or work space. Or, cleansing personal objects, such as crystals. With intention, smoke cleansing can reduce stagnant energy and remove negative energy from ourselves, objects, or our surroundings.
Burning herbs will produce ash that can be collected and stored until there is enough ash to make black salt or other protection herb mixes. Be sure they all of the herb has burned and that only ash is remaining. Remove any unburned stems or leaves from the ash, if necessary. After the herbs have been burned and no longer producing smoke (and have cooled down), the ash can be saved and stored in a jar or container until needed. Personally, I like to use a funnel to reduce mess. Ash is extremely powdery and can form a bit of a cloud of poured to quickly. Do not allow unburned herb to mix with the ash and hold them back while pouring the ash into the container to be stored in. I usually just hold it back with my thumb while pouring the contents gently tapping the edge of the bowl to loosen any clumped ash. And, I like to be sure all the ash has been collected and not stuck in the funnel, etc. Slightly tapping can loosen the ash. The ash should appear loose in the jar or container and may require a regular 'shake' every so often so not too clump together. The container can be kept someplace darkdark until it is need.
Ash can be used in a variety of traditions, rituals and spells. Once the ash has been collected, it can be used to make black salt.
Black salt is personally used in spells and protection herb mixes. To make ash into black salt, add consecrated white salt to it. Personally, I like to use Himalayan pink salts to make black salt. So not too be too course, I like to put into my pastel and mortar to break down into into a fine salt stone powder before addingadding to the ash. If you are using granulated white salt, then there is no need to use a pestle and mortar as it should already be fine enough to use.
FYI: Witches black salt is NOT the same thing as cuisine black salt which isa popular mineral ingredientin some Indian foods.
Other sources for obtaining ash can be from a bon fire, or firepit, incense, ash trays, campfires, scrapings from a used pot or pan, or just burn herbs to make ash. Some make with finely ground pepper. If you burn in a cauldron, remnants from the bottom can also be collected and added to a black salt protection mix. Basically, any kind of all can be used to make black salt. However, past close attention toto personal associations with the ash source.
The basic method of making black salt is to literally mix the same into the ash with intentionintention of using for protection and spellwork. I'm addition to being a powerful ingredient for protection magick, it can also be used in folk tradition for curses, hexes and bindings.
It is important to charge the black salt with your energy afterwards while keeping in mind what your later intented use for it is. In this example, I circle the ash in a counter clockwise motion to intent to remove negativity when applied to spellwork or protection.
That's basically how I make black salt.
Adding cedar and rosemary to black salt creates a powerful protection mix that can be said to protect an area or property.

Unfortunately, the sound quality of my microphone was not up to par in order for me to dictate and speak through the video which is the reason I mainly used captions. I apologize for the delay that was caused to post this video/post and also in advance if this makes the video hard to follow. It is my hope to eventually get a proper mic and better lighting options to increase the quality of my videos in the future. In the meantime, please feel free to send to me your suggestions, helpful advice or critique of my video. Be honest -- I can take it!

If I can clarify further or if you have questions, please feel free to submit your comments and questions at or send email to

Thank you for checking out my blog!

* BLOG POST UPDATE: Perhaps it also should've been mentioned in this video (shown above) that smudging with smoke and smoke cleansing are not the same thing. Therefore, I didn't think to mention it and in hindsight, I see this as a mistake. For more information about this, please see my blog titled "Opened practices vs closed practices":

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