Whether looking to cleanse and refresh your own energy or that of your surroundings, burning sage is a popular way to do so that dates back hundreds of years. Sage is an aromatic herb that has been used throughout many cultures to prevent illness, cleanse and heal, repel insects and negative energies, and in spiritual rituals and ceremonies. This herb is easy to grow and dry yourself, or you can find bundles of sage at your local reiki, crystal, or mystical shops and even some health food or farmers markets. While there are many varieties of sage, white sage is most commonly used and is associated with purity.
Anytime you’re able to give the process your full attention is a good time to burn sage, but especially when moving into a new space, after an illness, argument, or negative occurrence. You can also do so during meditation to invite in high vibration spiritual guidance. I personally enjoy cleansing my energetic body with sage in conjunction with an epsom salt bath and meditation, and always feel deeply refreshed and uplifted after ridding myself of negative emotions or experiences.
How to smudge sage:
1) Before you begin, remember to be mindful and respectful of such an ancient tradition that is spiritual in nature to many cultures, especially that of Native American tribes. Burn your sage with honor and gratitude for this healing plant and Mother Earth. Thank your spiritual guides for being present with you and assisting with your cleansing and healing. Open windows where you are intending to cleanse, if even just a crack. Prepare your ritual items with care.
2) Set clear intentions as you light a candle. You may repeat these intentions out loud or to yourself as you move about your home or cleanse yourself. This can be something simple such as, “I cleanse this space of negative energy that does not belong here. I invite only love to enter here” or can be as complex and specific as you’d like. Just follow your intuition in doing so!
3) After setting your intentions, light the leafy end of your sage stick or bundle with your candle. Allow it to burn for a few moments before extinguishing the flame. Bringing along a small fireproof (ceremaic or glass) bowl or abalone shell, begin at the front door of your home or space. Waft the smoke into all corners of the space using your hand or a feather. Be mindful of cupboards, closets, and dark corners that often receive little fresh energy flow. Repeat your intention or mantra as you move clockwise around your home.
4) To smudge yourself, use a feather, fan, or simply your hand and “wash” the smoke over your body. Different sources may tell you to begin at your head, heart, or at your feet, but the most important thing is to breathe deeply, tune into your body, and repeat your intentions. Enjoy the soothing smoke while connecting with your higher power.
5) To extinguish, do so in sand, on the earth, or a ceramic dish. Do not use water. Notice and enjoy your space (and yourself) feeling lighter, fresher, and more pure. Give thanks and invite love, light and pure energy in!