Sage, a witches favorite plant. Burning sage is one of the oldest and purest methods of cleansing a person, group of people or space. “For centuries, Indigenous Peoples have burned dried bundles of sage in a process called “smudging.” This involves moving the sage bundle around anyone or anywhere that you want to clear the air. The primary intention is to clear away negative energy, including fear, anger, and also earthbound or lower spirits. Anything unwanted, smudging removes.” – Angel Therapy
Scientific research recently has proven that the smoke of sage actually clears bacteria out of the air. Botanical researcher Dr. Chandra Shekhar Nautiyal found that “burning sage and other medicinal plants reduced bacteria in the air, including Staph. These antibacterial benefits lasted long after the smoke cleared, too.” I personally got introduced to sage and smudging a few years ago and love it as a daily/weekly practice for my own home. They say that you should do it daily, but I do it once a week as a maintenance routine or anytime I start a full moon ritual or meditation.
The Latin for sage, ‘Salvia,’ stems from the word ‘to heal.’ The other qualities of sage when burned, such as giving wisdom, clarity and increasing spiritual awareness, are also indicated in the name. It’s no accident that we refer to wise people as sagely.
Every space holds energy…. I am sure that most of you have probably walked into a room or place and even though it may have seemed nice, somehow it just didn’t feel right. Or maybe you been in a space that was poorly decoration, out of style or just not your cup of tea, but you immediately felt good or comfortable…even a sense of welcome possibly. We intuitively understand that buildings, places and people can have a certain vibration or feel.
Rooms can hold the energy of all the events, emotions, people, and activities that have taken place in the space—in order to have a fresh start, and create more harmony and peace in our surroundings, it can be helpful to clear the energy once in awhile. Stagnant energy can prevent us from reaching our full potential by holding past issues, emotions, and old patterns that no longer serve us. A good time to clear energy is before moving into a new space, after a construction project is complete, after an illness or argument, during or after any major life event, anytime you feel stuck or down, or when you are simply trying to usher in more positive energy.
(Also getting rid of old furniture, mattresses, decor and adding a shrine to your room can help increase energy…Stay Tuned!)
One thing I have to remind myself, is the “intention” you have while you sage really makes the difference. Here is how to clear your home of negative energy with sage:
Select Your Sage. You can find bundled sage at just about any health food store for about $5-7, or mystic/crystal shop. You can also grow your own from seed to save money and create a deeper connection with the energy of the plant (I need to try this one day!)
Use A Smudge Bowl or Abalone Shell. My first sage utensil was an abalone shell my dad ordered me online. I seriously loved it and need to get a new one, because it got thrown out during my last move.. Many have small holes built-in, allowing more oxygen to reach the flames and sustain the burning process.
Gather A Feather. Since feathers come from birds, they compliment the ethereal element of the cleansing process and help spread sage over a greater surface area during smudging… and if you are lucky enough to find one out and about, they say it’s a sign from your angels. (Also if you don’t have a feather that is fine too, I currently sage without one.)
Be Intentional. Before lighting the sage, be clear about what you’re looking to release or bring into your life or space. Clear your mind and allow yourself to enter a meditative state. Say some intentions or a brief prayer of thanks, invoking God, the Universe or Spirits to guide your use of the sage and remove any unseen energies that no longer serve your highest and greatest good.
Open a Window. Although many love the smell of sage, according to Native American tradition, life-sucking energies and people carrying unseen negative entities in their aura are repelled by it. Give bad vibes a space to flee by cracking open a window or door before you begin and a few minutes after to help clear the space…
Light Sage. Sage is slow to light, so it’s best to use a lighter or I sometimes dip mine into a lit candle for a few seconds. Once the leaves catch fire, blow softly and to blow our. This will cause a soft gray smoke to billow from the sage, which you want to keep going by gently blowing one the flames as needed.
Smudge Spaces/Objects. It is recommended to regularly sage your space and frequently used items to keep their energy positive and vibrations high. To do so, slowly wave the burning smudge throughout your space, drawing attention to corners where energy often gets stuck or any areas that feel heavy or dark. For objects, pass them through or above the sage smoke to clear them of any lingering negativity. Since most people can’t “see” negative energy, you’ll have to trust your instincts on when to stop, which comes with practice.
Smudging People. Sage can be passed through a person’s energy field, or aura, to clear negative energy. This is especially helpful after an argument, a night out on the town or to lighten a depressed mood. To smudge, wave the smudge in soft, elliptical motions from the bottom of their feet to the top of their head, including legs, along each arm, under each armpit and entire torso. Have them stand on their tip toes or lift each foot so you can pass the smudge underneath for clearing. With the sage still lit, go around their back and smudge the head, neck, torso and arms using the same format. You can also sage yourself in the same way. Allow the power of the plant to guide you.
Store Your Sage. Sage should be stored in clean, dry space. Some Native Americans believe storing sage in a drawer above waist height honors the sacred energy of the plant, helping it maintain a purified, elevated vibration which makes its cleansing properties more powerful.
Regardless of how and where you sage, your purity of intent is the most important factor. With regular practice, smudging can be a powerful tool for spiritual grounding, healing and rejuvenation. It can also have a dramatic increase on your mood, attitude and productivity, in creating a clean, scared home or work environment.