How to Use Sage
Smudging is a symbolic exercise found in Feng Shui practice, as well as many Native American traditions and alternative healing practices. It involves burning selected herbs or other materials in a manner that fills the space with the fragrance of the smoke and is said to clear negative energy.
Smudging is an ancient and sacred ceremony, so it is best to perform it with full awareness and in a slow, mindful manner. Even the happiest homes accumulate negative vibrations over time, so it’s helpful to smudge the home at least several times a year. Some people smudge as much as once a week. You can also smudge your office space periodically (though preferably not during busy office hours), and you can even use smudging to clear your own bodily energy or the energy of other people.
Along with space clearing and other practices, smudging can be an effective way to clear negative energy and create a good feng shui or raise a more positive vibration.
There are only four simple supplies you need to smudge your house:
- Smudge stick
- Candle and matches
- Fireproof container
- Abalone Shell or Bowl with sand
- (to extinguish the smudge stick after completion)
Place the candle, the fireproof container and the smudge stick on a table, desk, or any other appropriate surface. It is best to perform smudging at a time when you will not be disturbed and to create a sense of ceremony when you smudge your house—allow yourself at least 10 to 15 minutes.
Light the candle and say a prayer of your choosing—or just mentally focus your energy. Light the tip of your smudge stick with the candle, then gently wave the smudge stick in the air until the tip begins to smoulder.
Alternatively, you can pull a couple of leaves off the stick and burn those in the fireproof container instead.
If using the smudge stick, make sure that it remains over a fireproof container at all times to prevent burning or smouldering herbs from falling onto the floor as you smudge. Wave your hand through the air to gently waft smoke where you want it. You can also use a feather for this if you have one. Remind yourself to stay connected to your breathing throughout the smudging session.
Move in a clockwise direction around your house (usually starting at the front door), and gently wave the smoke into the air as you move. Spend a bit more time smudging the rooms corners, as they tend to accumulate stagnant energy. Be sure to also open wardrobe doors and carefully smudge inside. Do not forget about spaces such as the laundry room, garage and even the loft space.
When you have smudged all areas of your house, return to the starting point and gently extinguish your smudge stick. Dipping it into a bowl with sand while applying a bit of pressure usually works well. Wait for the smudge stick to be completely extinguished, then pack away your smudge and container until your next smudging session. If you wish, you can leave the candle burning to continue purifying the space.
Go Smudge Yourself!
It’s usually a good idea to smudge yourself, both before and after you smudge the house. Or, there may be occasions when it is appropriate to smudge family members or friends. (Especially the negative ones!)
Once your smudge stick is lit and smouldering, direct the smoke waves to the overall energy field around your body, starting with the area above your head and continuing down to your feet. Do not forget to breathe deeply as you do this.
Smudging can also be done in the reverse order—starting with the soles of the feet, going up both sides of the legs, torso, and arms, and finishing by smudging the space above the head. Choose whichever method feels right for you.
The same steps apply when you are smudging another person.
White Sage is traditional in Shamanism, however there are loads of alternative types of dried herbs available and it’s great if you can find locally sourced bundles (it’s less strain on our planet)