Even though I don’t believe in spirits, I do believe that it’s a great way to break away from those negative patterns we all tend to hold onto. Taking a few minutes once a month, or once a week – whatever you can spare – to light some sage and dance around with it throughout your space can act like a refresh button for all that trauma we go through everyday. It’s a chance to step away from the world and focus on what’s going on right in front of you – if you don’t, you might just burn your fingers.
You’ll need a bundle of dried white sage, also known as a smudge stick. They can be found at most farmers markets, new age stores and all over Etsy. Actually I’m being biased because I personally like white sage. You could also try lavender, pine or cedar. On that biased note, it doesn’t have to be a smudge stick, you could use loose sage or lavender if you so choose.
You’ll be setting the sage alight, so you’ll need a lighter, matches, or just anything that produces a flame.
Oh, and don’t forget a bowl or plate to catch the ashes that fall. I don’t think your path to positive energy starts with catching your carpet on fire. Especially important if you’re using a loose herb. It’s suggested that you cleanse it first by smudging it or washing it with sea salts.
What you’ll need to do is to light the sage, let it burn for a few moments and then blow it out. Then walk around your home allowing it to creep into every corner and crease of window sill, in between cushions and let it permeate the walls. Try to cleanse until your herb finishes, rather than when you feel you are done. This is why it’s recommended you start by burning the herb less, because the more you burn the longer they will take to finish touting smoke.
Don’t forget to open a window, never inhale the smoke and definitely don’t put it near a pet.
The most important thing to this process are positive thoughts. The act of wisping around sage will do nothing more than waft if it isn’t attached to positive thoughts. It’s also suggested you should include all members of the household that will be using the space otherwise they might just contaminate it themselves.
When doing a sage cleanse you shouldn’t be appropriating anyone’s culture. It always helps to have at least a brief understanding of the roots of a ceremony. These days sage burning is often done by Wiccans or spiritualists. While herb burning was common in medicinal healing throughout history, burning sage is most recognised as a part of Native American culture and it is still a big part of many Amazonian cultures healing procedures to-date.
What do you think? Sage cleansing is a great way to welcome in a new year and ridding ourselves of all the residue of the past year that just won’t quit hanging onto to our skin. Is this something you would like to try?
Image from Free People