Since publishing this article, the popularity of using sage for cleansing has resulted in cultural appropriation and overharvesting. Please consider using some of these alternatives instead.
Whether you are just moving into a new house or driving away bad energy, cleansing your home can be both therapeutic and beneficial to all those who live there.
Smudging, or using smoke made from lighting a bunch of dried white sage, is a Native American Shamanic practice that helps to cleanse and purify a space.
While this ritual stems from Native American shamanism, many ancient cultures share similar practices. The idea of using smoke to drive out negative energies can be traced back as far as Ancient Egypt.
The theory behind the practice is that the smoke attaches to the negative energy and as the smoke clears so does the negative energy. It is believed that the bad energy is then released into another dimension in order to shift and transform into something more positive.
In Native American shamanic practices, the smoke from sage is believed to drive out evil spirits, negative thoughts, and feelings and can keep negative energies away. Sage can also be used to cleanse auras, cars, your workplace, clothes, jewellery, and crystals.
Cleansing using smoke from dried herbs is recommended when you have just moved into a new home, experienced a lot of emotional upset or arguing within the space, when you are feeling depressed or unwell and when you have unwelcomed spirits.
- Make sure the area you are cleansing is well ventilated. Keep all the room doors in the house open and even a few windows.
- Clean and tidy the area you wish to smudge. Having clutter around can block the flow of positive energy and give the negative energy places to hide.
- Set your intention: this is the most important part. Create a mantra depending on what you are trying to achieve, for example “I fill this home with light, love and positive energy, only that which has this vibration is welcome in this space”.
- Take your bunch of sage and light the ends, once they catch flame, snuff it out and allow the smoke to emit. Keep the bowl under the sage to catch the soot. Make sure the bowl is not plastic!
- When smudging people, smudge yourself first and then smudge others by moving the smoke over the outline of the body You can also use the smoke to wash your face and body like you would if it was water.
- If you are smudging a house begin walking around the edge of each room, ensuring that you get all the corners. Continue reciting your mantra.
- After you have blessed every room or yourself, place the ends of the sage into some water to stop the smoke.
- If your sage has finished, bury the sticks in the garden. If you have any ash in your bowl, wash it down the sink.
Smudging always leaves the home with a sense of calm and peace, try it and see if it makes a difference to your space.