"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 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. Usually, once a week as a maintenance routine or anytime I start a full moon ritual or meditation.
The Latin word for sage, ‘Salvia,’ stems from the phrase ‘to heal.’ The other qualities of sage when burned such as giving a reason for one to mediate, silents their thoughts and get clear on intentions.
Every space holds energy… I'm sure 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. It may have felt heavy, or dense. Or maybe you've been in a space that was poorly decorated, out of style or just not your cup of tea, but you immediately felt good or comfortable…perhaps even a sense of welcome. 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, it can be helpful to cleanse the bacteria in the air and remove the energy stagnant energy stuck in it. 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. If has been proven that the smoke of the sage leaf cleanses the removes bacteria in the air.
(Also DECLUTTERING is huge. Getting rid of old furniture, mattresses, decor and anything and everything you haven't used in years can make all the difference, many times a cluttered environment can be a reflection of a cluttered mind, of having trouble "letting go," I have found decluttering to be personally theurepteic and if it a daily work in progress)
One thing I have to remind myself is the “intention” you have while you sage really makes the difference. Here are some simple beginning steps on how to clear your home of negative energy with sage (again no right or wrong way - the intention is what's important):
Select Your Sage. You can find bundled sage at just about any health food store for about $4-7. You can also purchase our signature sage bundles here. 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. A sage utensil makes the process a ritual and clean. Many have small holes built-in, allowing more oxygen to reach the flames and sustain the burning process. Also an abalone shell is a great symbol for the element of water, allowing all four elements to be present while you sage.
Gather A Feather. This isn't necessary but it makes it more fun and allows smoke to flow smoother. 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 spirit guides (also if you don’t have a feather that is fine too, you don't need to have 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 Angels to guide your use of the sage and remove any unseen energies that no longer serve your highest and greatest good. Envision a white light or bubble around your space, envision the energy being cleared - and so it is!
Open a Window. Although many love the smell of sage, according to Native American tradition, energies and 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. 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.
Smudging People. Sage can be passed through a person’s energy field, or aura, to clear negative energy. This is helpful after an argument, a night out 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 tiptoes 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 a 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. Truly, there are no rules to spiritual practices. It is whatever feels best to you!
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 in your mood, attitude, and productivity, in creating a clean, scared home or work environment.