Updated: Jul 10, 2020
I am a big fan of white sage. Big fan! I use it often, in my house, clinic and personally and I continue to be graced by its special qualities. If you're not familiar with this special clearing ritual or if you're in need of a little smudging inspo right now or aren't sure if you're using it to its fullest potential, then read on beautiful.
There are many times when you may feel that your space seems a little heavy and things aren’t flowing right, or maybe you’ve had some company that have left a strange and not-so-great vibe behind. Clearing our spaces, be it home, car, office, even our body and our pets is vital to encourage good positive and protective flow in our lives. And it is super simple!
If you’ve left a job, moved house, ended a relationship, feel like things could be moving a little easier or are ready to call in some fresh feels – its time to smudge!! Plus we are heading towards the end of the year AND the end of the decade where we definitely want to encourage good flow for a smooth transition.
If you’re not already familiar with it, ‘smudging’ or ‘saging’ is a beautiful ceremonial and ancient ritual whereby dried white sage is burnt. As one of the oldest methods of clearing this purification tool helps shift the energy of a space to a calmer and happier state. The smoke created by the plant is beneficial for clearing unwanted and negative energies to make room for the new. For those who need a little science to back things up it is thought that saging also absorbs majority of the airborne bacteria in a space.
While smudging with white sage is passed down from North American Indian practices many other old cultures also utilise smoke for ceremonies and strong spiritual work, like aboriginals in Australia who burn native plant leaves, Indian culture where they use variations of incense and many jungle tribes who use their own types of foliage and bark for clearing and inviting higher guidance.
The beautiful ritual of smudging has been part of my tool kit for many many years now and each time I work with it I feel so blessed that I can use it to realign things when they might feel a little wonky. Smudging is for everyone and is so simple! If you are still a bit unsure if there is such a thing as needing to ‘clear a space’ try to think back to a time when you walked into a room and had a funny feeling. Not from people or anything in particular but you felt a strangeness that you knew didn’t feel good or quite right. Either way you have nothing to lose and only something to gain.
So, lets get started!
1. You’ll need a good quality smudge stick (also known as a white sage stick). They are available from some health food shops and usually all crystal stores and there are plenty of suppliers online too. My definate favourite to date is from a friend of mine https://amaramists.com/feathers-shop/ who is a healer and adds beautiful organic lavender and a quartz crystal to the bundle. You will also need some sand (or dirt) to put out the stick when you have finished smudging.
2. Make a little time. I allow 10-15 minutes for this and ensure I will not be interrupted so I can be fully present during the ritual. Also ensure there is no disruptive background noise so you can tune in deeper. You may wish to play some gentle mantra or soft music or if you like you can repeat a mantra or intention while you are clearing. It can be as simple as ‘I am clearing this space to allow new fresh positive energy and protection’, or anything that may resonate with you.
3. Light the end of your smudge stick with a lighter – this can take a little time to start glowing and get a cherry. You can encourage it to burn by gently blowing on it. During the clearing gently tap the stick into a bowl or the kitchen sink to drop off any ash that is being created.
4. Open all windows and doors as you move around your space. Move through each corner of each room and really watch where the smoke is going. I wave my smudge stick or gently blow on it to encourage more smoke and for it to move easier or you can wave the smoke with your other hand. Move under things like beds or tables. For a deeper clearing I even open all cupboard doors too. Keep windows and doors open for around 10 minutes after you have finished.
5. I also move around the outside of my house and always smudge all entry ways, around and in my car and any other spaces you may utilize.
6. To cleanse yourself or your pets just follow the same process by gently waving the smudge stick around you and over you. Remember to tune into the process and stay connected with why you have chosen to do this smudging today.
7. Once you are finished clearing your spaces I thank the sage for its assistance. To put out your stick put it burning end down into a bowl or cup of sand. Let it stay here for an hour to really ensure it is completely out. (Putting the sage stick out under water will damage the plant leaves, make it soggy and will prevent it from burning as well next time you use it.) To store it keep it dry and out of direct sunlight. You may wish to place it in a special area or keep it on your alter if you have one.
So how often should I smudge??
If you would like to draw something into your life you can smudge with intention on the new moon for creating and manifesting, or if you are wanting to clear something to make space this is best on a full moon to assist in letting go. I usually clear myself, my dog and my spaces every month or two if I don’t have any specific intentions or things to clear. If that sounds too much for you definitely aim for the end of a season and especially at the end and beginning of a new year. Other than that its up to you. Usually you will know when its a good time so just go with your intuition. I would suggest not doing it more than once a week though to allow things to settle and be able to tune into what your body and spaces are telling you so you can learn how to read this information easier.
Happy smudging !!