How to Smudge / Clear Energy with Sage
Smudging is the burning of sacred herbs to produce smoke for energetic cleansing, purification and healing. There are many plants that are effective for clearing energy, but California White Sage (scientific name: salvia apiana) is most commonly used. The first part of the scientific name "salvia" comes from the Latin words 'salvare' meaning to heal and 'salvere' meaning to be healthy.
Even the happiest homes and people can accumulate some negative vibrations over time. Think of smudging like washing your hands for your energy field. It's good to give it a once over now and then, rather than wait for grime to build up!
If you’re feeling stuck, negative, sluggish, or depressed, it may be due to stagnant energy in your field. Your energetic field includes your emotional, mental, spiritual or physical body, as well as your environment (home, office, or other physical space). Stagnant or negative energy can have detrimental effects on your mental, physical and emotional state and is even believed to manifest into unhappiness, lack of success, pain and disease. Smudging with sage or other sacred plants helps remove negative energy and restore balance and harmony to the person, and/or space being smudged.
Ideal times to smudge:
- To lift your mood
- During or after an illness
- If you feel tired, sluggish or depressed
- When moving into a new house or apartment
- After overnight house guests or visiting family have left
- After work / repairs are done on your home by outside individuals
- After hosting a house party or gathering
- When you begin a new job or start your own business
- After a breakup, receiving bad news, or an argument
- When the person, place or object has an energy that feels "heavy"
- After being around negative or energy draining people or places
- At the change of each season to clear out any lingering negative energies a few times a year.
- Anytime you feel drawn to clear energy!
Smudging a person
Smudging is an ancient and sacred ceremony, so it is best to perform it with full awareness and in a slow, mindful manner.
- Smudge outside, or stand next to an open a window or door to allow negative energies to depart
- Set the intention mentally or aloud to cleanse and remove negative energy
- Place the sage in a heatproof bowl or dish
- Light the bundle or stick by holding a flame to it until it begins to smoke. If a true flame appears, shake the bundle gently or blow until it is just embers and smoke. You may need to re-light it few times until smoke continuously flows.
- Once you have a nice smoke going, use your hand, feather or wafting tool to direct the smoke over your body from the soles of your feet up to your head, and then back down again. Pick up each foot if you are able to and waft smoke underneath them. As you sage your body, visualize the smoke taking away with it any negative energy from your life, thoughts and body.
- If you feel comfortable, you can repeat an affirmation while smudging, such as "thanks for cleansing and balancing my energy", or any words, prayer or intention you feel inspired to say.
- Gently extinguish the sage in your fireproof container, unless you are moving on to smudging a space next.
Smudging a Space
It is best to perform space smudging at a time when you will not be disturbed and to create a sense of ceremony. When you smudge your house or apartment allow yourself at least 15-20 minutes.
- Before smudging a space, the person should smudge themselves and then proceed with the space. See the above instructions.
- Set your intention mentally or aloud to clear and bless the space.
- Open one or more windows on each floor that has them. Start at the bottom floor or basement if you have one.
- Walk around your home, making sure to gently wave the smoke in the air, into all corners, hallways, doorways, closets, garage, etc. Spend a bit more time smudging the room corners, as they tend to accumulate stagnant energy.
- As you smudge each area, if desired you can say a cleansing intention or prayer out loud or to yourself. Example: "thank you for clearing this space." This will help amplify the cleansing.
When you have completed all areas of your house, return to the starting point, give your body another sage smudge, and then gently extinguish your smudge stick.
Enjoy the lighter, more balanced energy feeling in your body and space!