I have to admit something, when I first bought a bundle of sage I was totally clueless as to how the heck I use the thing. I was worrying about doing it 'wrong', dishonouring a sacred practice, or worse, appropriating a cultural practice that is not my own. And let's not forget about the dangers of setting off smoke alarms or causing a fire from wayward embers!
But once I got past my fears I discovered that the art of smudging (cleansing your space) with sage can be a beautiful practice to help release negative energy and feel calmer.
How it all started
I was at the Om Yoga Show in London, and in between classes I headed straight to the most colourful and fragrant stand at the show - The Henna Den stand. They had the most amazing array of incense on display, it was like being transported to somewhere exotic and mystical.
I absolutely adore their Nag Champa GOLD incense sticks, they smell divine and look stunning, a real treat for your meditation practice, so I stocked up on those. Then I spotted the bundles of sage.
I'd heard of 'smudging' with sage but had never tried it so picked one of their white sage bundles and asked how to use it.
Oh it's easy babe!
One of the sisters who runs The Henna Den replied with "Oh it's easy babe, just light it then blow out the flame so it smoulders like an incense stick. To cleanse your home just start at the front door and work your way through each room in a clockwise direction, and don't forget to smudge the soles of your feet too!"
Ah, so it's *easy* then?
And there you have it, as easy as that :-D Yet it still took me several months (and tons more research) before I plucked up the courage to actually use the thing (*hangs head in shame* please don't judge).
I'm now happy to say I feel way more confident using smudge and do it regularly. I feel lighter after a good smudge and I personally LOVE the smell too.
So here's my beginners, or should I say worriers guide to using smudge like a pro / how not to start a house fire when burning sage ;)
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How to cleanse your home, yourself or your sacred space in 5 easy steps
What you'll need:
- A bundle of Sage
- An abalone shell or fire proof container (such as a ceramic dish) to catch any embers that fall from the sage and for extinguishing the sage when you're done
- A feather for wafting the smoke
- A lighter or matches (I personally light a candle then light my sage from the candle flame)
- Common sense around fire safety!
- First honour the plant by giving thanks (either to the plant or to God / The Creator / Source) think of it like saying grace before a meal.
- Open a few windows before lighting your candle (or lighter/match) then use the flame to let the sage catch fire, allow it to burn for 10 - 20 seconds before blowing it out to leave you with a smouldering ember - like an incense stick.
- Holding the sage and fire proof container with one hand use your free hand (with feather if you have one) to waft the smoke around your body, whilst holding the intention that the smoke is purifying your energy field (aka your aura). Start at the top of your head and work down to your feet, doing your soles last. Remember the fire proof dish is there to catch wayward embers, it's a bit of a juggling act with one hand but try to keep the sage over it.
- Next sage your home or space by starting at the door and working in a clockwise direction, wafting the smoke towards the walls and into the corners of the room, again with the intention of purifying the energy.
- When you're finish, snuff out the sage in the fire proof container.
BONUS TIP for crystal lovers:
To cleanse your crystals, or even your gemstone jewellery, simply hold them above the rising the smoke from the sage, imagining the smoke carrying away any previous programming or removing any negative energy from other people who have handle the crystal. This is great for new crystals you bring home, when other people have touched your crystals or crystals you haven't worked with for a while.
The perfect addition to your moon journaling practice
I love to cleanse myself, space and my crystals every new and full moon before I sit down to start journaling my new moon intentions / full moon reflections. Moon journaling is my favourite way to declutter my head so I can get my thoughts in order - a must as a busy mama juggling all things!
If you're moon obsessed like me and have always wanted to keep a journal but found it a real challenge to keep it up, or if you'd like to start manifesting with moon but don't know where to start, then check out my Moon Journal - created to help busy mamas like you (with or without tiny humans) get more done and feel calmer.
Make it yours
The method above is not the only way to smudge and a quick search on the web will bring up a ton of how to guides, but this is how I smudge - feel free to make the practice your own by doing what feels intuitively 'right'.
Some folks say never use your breath to blow on the sage smoke because it's linked to your spirit, others say never use a lighter to ignite the sage because it's not of the earth.
I say listen to your intuition, do additional research if you wish, focus on your intention and don't get hung up on the rest.
Take inspired action
Knowledge is power to fuel action so I hope this article has helped put your mind at rest when it comes to smudging by giving you some easy to follow steps.
And comment below - will you be trying out smudging?
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