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Spiritual Tools

Smudge Ceremony 101: Burning Sage to Cleanse Your Space & Self of Negativity

If you’re feeling stuck, negative, sluggish, or even downright depressed, it may be due to stagnant energy in your auric field. Your auric fields include your emotional, energetic, mental, spiritual or physical body, and your environment—whether it’s your home, office, or other physical space. Stagnant or negative energy can have extremely detrimental effects on your mental and physical state and is even believed to manifest into things like a lack of happiness and success as well as pain and disease.

Smudging is traditionally the Native and Indigenous Peoples practice of purifying or cleansing the negative energy of a person or place. The goal of smudging is to make a place clear of lingering energy that is different from what you may be intending for that space. You want to prepare the space for ceremony, the way you would clean your house, cook, and decorate when your family comes for a holiday. We are welcoming Spirit, Angels, and ancestors to come and share clean space with us as well.

What You’ll Need to Burn to Sage Respectfully

If you are a non-Native or non-Indigenous person choosing to smudge, buying sage from an Indigenous company is one way to directly support the communities where this practice originated.

If you’re new to the practice of smudging, there are a few more items you’ll need to get started. Traditionally, people use an abalone shell to hold the sage and then use a feather to fan and spread the smoke around the space once the sage is burning,

If you’re a bit sensitive to smoke or can’t have smoke in a specific space like your office, there are plenty of cleansing smudge mist options available these days too.

To Recap, Here’s What You’ll Need to Get Started:

  • A vessel for burning sage
  • Sage or a sage spray
  • A fire source (such as a long match or candle)
  • A fanning tool (not completely necessary but could be helpful if you need to cover a large area such as a home or office)

How to Sage Your Space to Clear Negative Energy

1. Gather your tools and have an exit strategy.

First and foremost, ensure you have all the above-mentioned tools handy and that you’ve opened a door or window before lighting up. After all, that negativity (not to mention smoke) needs to have a pathway to get out.

 

2. Set your intention and say a prayer or a mantra.

Intentions are central to the practice of smudging, so take a moment before you light the sage to determine what exactly it is that you’re trying to purify or release from your space. Then, decide on a mantra or prayer to repeat while saging that encapsulates this intention.

It can be something you come up with on your own, or for a little guidance. I suggest:

“I ask that Divine light surround me. I call in the presence of my team of Guides, Angels and Ascended Masters. Enter into this time and space. I call forth the consciousness of the Sage, in conjunction with my team, to fully cleanse my space of any and all negativity, to cleanse and release any density, or attachment and anything that no longer serves. Help me release anything that is not in alignment with this highest truth and light, let it be cleansed and released into the Light of the Divine.”

 

3. Light up.

Once you’re ready, hold the sage at a 45-degree angle, light it using your match or candle, and let it burn, Gently allow the flame to blow out so you see orange embers on one end. The smoke should now billow up.

 

4. Slowly walk around your space.

Slowly walk around your space and allow the smoke to waft around. I start to me leaft and walk around in a counterclockwise direction to signal the removing of energy. Guide the smoke—and the negative energy—toward an open windows or a door, so it can escape.

Give special attention to areas in front of mirrors, altars, in corners, and in spaces like foyers, hallways, and doorways, I’m also a big fan of saging technology like our phones or laptops. I usually hold the sage wand underneath them and then wave it around them.

 

5. Be safe!

Sage burning 101: Always stay present! If you see little embers fall on the ground, tamp them out immediately. Never let the burning sage stay unattended for any reason. Also, take care not to inhale too much of the smoke.

Although saging is a great way to clear your apartment or office of stagnant and possibly negative energy, it is best not to inhale it directly. Lungs are a delicate organ, and any type of smoke can be drying and irritating to the mucosa.

 

6. Extinguish your sage.

Once you’re ready to extinguish a sage smudge stick, press the burning tip firmly into your fireproof vessel, dirt, or sand until the smoke no longer rises.

Pro tip: Don’t get it wet! Don’t use water to extinguish the hot embers—it will ruin the tip of the stick and make it harder to light next time. When you are done using the smudge stick, you can keep it in a vessel until you are ready to use it again.

 

How to Sage Yourself

If you’re interested in saging yourself, you can essentially follow the same steps as above, but the focus will be on your body instead of your space.

Stand in the shape of a T with legs slightly spread like you’re in the TSA line at the airport. Then, keeping the sage stick at an arm’s length distance away from you, work your way up from your feet. Repeat your mantra (either internally or aloud) as you go, envisioning the smoke is clearing you of any and all lingering negativity.

I recommend doing a little self-diagnosis ahead of smudging yourself to determine which areas might need it the most. For example, if you shake hands often, then smudge your hands frequently, or if you speak all day at work, then be sure to sage around your throat.

Again, don’t directly inhale large amounts of smoke, and ensure the sage remains a safe distance from your body. If you have long hair, pull it back in a bun. Don’t forget to extinguish the sage once you’ve finished the ritual.

 

How Often Should You Smudge?

There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to how often you should sage yourself or your space. We are our best guides when it comes to identifying negative energy—so pay attention to your intuition. If you feel weighed down by stress or worry, it’s usually a good indication that a cleansing is in order. I also like to sage more frequently when the World is in chaos like with the current crisis in Ukraine. As empaths, we are constantly transmuting the Collective’s energy which can cause stagnation in our aura and fields.

 

Where to Buy Sage

As smudging becomes more popular, there has been a huge uptick in sage providers who are overharvesting the plant, so it’s important to use sage that’s been collected sustainably and with reverence.

I recommend researching how your sage is being handled and prepared. If it will be used for your energy clearing ritual, it’s important for your smudge stick to be deliberately prepared and handled with care and thoughtfulness. To respect this practice, purchase from small shops owned by Native Americans or Indigenous Peoples  or grow your own!

White sage is the most common variety you’ll find in a smudge stick, since the color is associated with purity. However, other dried plants such as juniper, rosemary, and cedar can also be used to clear energy if sage isn’t your thing.

 

The Bottom Line

Burning sage is a powerful ritual that Indigenous communities have been using to clear negative energy for thousands of years. If you’re going to burn sage it in your own home, office, or apartment, be sure to do so safely and with respect for the origins of this sacred practice.

Happy Smudging! With Light and Love,

Claudia

Need to have your Aura or Space (home or office) smudged.  For a Personal Cleanse, Book with Claudia at: https://innerinsights.shop/en/spiritual-smudge/

To Book a Session to Smudge a Space, email Claudia at: Claudia@innerinsights.shop 

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claudia

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