Sage smudging has its roots in Native American tradition where a wand of dried sage is set alight and the smoke used to clear negative energy. People believed energy tended to linger – both positively and negatively – and so sage smudging was used as a cleansing ritual. It was also used to cleanse people from illness and release them from other difficulties in their lives.
These days people burn sage to cleanse a space or environment, generate wisdom and clarity, and/or promote healing. Some people smudge once a week, others when they move into a new home or office to clear the energy from the previous occupiers, or as part of a full/new moon ritual. I like to use sage smudging as a new beginning to clear myself of what has happened in the past.
The science behind sage smudging
It’s said that sage smoke releases ions that change the composition of the air, which are linked to positive mode boosts. However, I’ve not managed to find any studies to back that up.
What I have found is research that shows sage smudging clears the air of 94% of bacteria within the first hour and so there are real health benefits to this practice.
How to sage smudge
- Buy a sage wand from a local florist, health food shop or try online at Etsy. You can also make a spray with sage, rose and eucalyptus essential oils.
- Set your intentions and what you want from the energy releasing practice. Is it to start anew? Or to release yourself from past hurt and let yourself heal?
- Remove any excess clutter and allow yourself to have the feeling of space.
- Open doors and windows to let all the negative energy flow out.
- Light sage wand and blow flame to go out whilst keeping it away from your face in case of embers. Allow the flame to go out and ensure the tip of the wand is smouldering and let smoke billow up.
- Start with the lowest part of your space such as the ground floor of your house and move from room to room. Use your hand to waft the smoke into each four corners of the room where the ceiling and wall meet.
- Encourage the smoke to leave through the doors and windows and release the energy from your space.
- Extinguish the wand by pressing the end into a hard surface so you can use it again.
- Fill the space up with love by spraying with an essential oil blend. Lemon, peppermint, sandalwood, clary sage, frankincense, black spruce, cardamon and palo Santo are all good for positive energy (please note, just one or two of these together would be fine).