The ancient art of burning sage is one that has been practiced in many cultures throughout history. The form of practice we most commonly know today is the one derived by Native American practice. Smudging itself is the use of burning sacred herbs or resins and using the smoke/ scent produced to partake in whichever religious or spiritual rite intended. In Native American tribes smudging was first intended to purify or bless people who underwent this cleansing cycle, but in modern America smudging is mainly used as a practice for cleansing the space.
Sage belongs to the salvia plant family; the term ‘Salvia’ derives from the meaning ‘to heal’ in Latin. As we’ve discussed throughout several other posts on this blog, energy is all around us, but it’s not necessarily also good energy. In each person we cross paths with throughout our day their energy leaves an imprint on ours, and if that said person harnesses negative space it can actually affect the space surrounding us.When sage is burned, the chemicals released from the smoke release ions that can actually change the compositions of the surrounding air and produce mood boosters. Aside from the metaphysical use, research shows cleansing your space can benefit you in your physical, mental, and emotional well being. For self care purposes sage can be a major stress relieving factor to ones space no matter which area one is trying to cleanse. When burning sage you can utilize this palette cleanser to purify your home, your office, yourself, or even a close belonging.
What you need:
- White Sage
- A vessel for the sage
- A lighter, candle, or form of flame
- A fanning tool (optional)
1. Collect your Tools and Pick your Space
Once you’ve gathered all the tools required you’ll want to ensure you have everything set and ready for a proper cleansing. Before you begin the process you’ll want to open up a door or window depending on the space, or both, to allow an exit strategy for all the negative energy to evacuate.
2. Set your Intentions
Setting an intention is vital to most divination practices, and when it comes to smudging there’s no difference. It’s strongly recommended to set an intention of what in particular you are trying to cleanse from the space. Once you’ve grasped an idea of what you’re actually trying to do with this experience, hold onto that thought and sit with it for just a few moments to allow it to settle in your mind. The grounding and healing smoke can be spiritually transformative of cleansing the energy around, so it’s best to have a solid idea of what is going on. In addition to having steady ground, a simple correlating mantra can also benefit this practice. As recommended by Giselle Wasfie, founder of REMIX Acupuncture & Integrative Health, “I let go and release what no longer serves me.”
3. Light Up
Now that your mindset is right, or hopefully is, hold you sage up at a 45 degree angle and lightly burn the end for a few moments. After about 30 seconds or so the ends will appear an orange ember and smoke should begin to fine out.
4. Move Around
Slowly move around the space and begin to waft the smoke around with your fanning tool, or your hand. Be sure to focus on corners, mirrors, and small pathways around the room that might go unnoticed. Guide the smoke towards the exit pathway and allow the bad energy to escape, taking its negative energy with it.
5. Extinguish the Sage
Always be mindful when you are burning sage to keep smoke away from your lungs as much as possible. This is a safe practice, but it’s never too good for your lungs to breathe in smoke for a period of time because it can be extremely drying. When you are complete with your cleansing go ahead and press the sage firmly into the vessel, or outside ground. Do not use water to extinguish your flame, you can but it might make things a little more difficult when trying to relight the flame. After you’ve put out your flame you can leave the sage inside the vessel or place it away in a safe area. We are now complete. 🙂
How Often Should I Sage?
There is no set timing for when it’s right to sage a space, only the timing of ourselves. We are the best and only factor to determine how we feel about our surrounding energy and if it feels negative, sage. I strongly believe in always having a good surrounding space to properly be able to function so in my case the second something feels off even if it’s just a smidge, it’s time to cleanse, and personally I feel like this is a great perspective to have.
Thank You Sage.
I’ve been ending some posts with a thank you conclusion, and we’re here again to thank the practice of smudging. Cleansing our space is one of the most uplifting feelings there is and we should all be grateful to have the knowledge and tools necessary to achieve this. Smudging deserves our respect and we should always look for the best forms of practice that suit us while also maintaining a respect for the cultures that have provided us with this opportunity of experience. I wish all readers a purified space with only room to expand growth and love, may we all move forward on our journey with the best energy possible, xx.