Contributor: Cristin Smith
Photographer: Sarah Shreves
If you find yourself stuck in a rut or a bout of negativity, you might want to consider smudging. Smudging is a process that allows us to release negative energy from our environments, homes and bodies, by using sage sticks.
Sage is part of our name for a reason. In ancient traditions, sage was cultivated in monastery gardens. It’s been used to ward off the plague and cure many ailments because of its antibiotic, anti-fungal, astringent, antispasmodic, estrogenic and hypoglycemic properties. Its green color reminds us of growth, regeneration and new life. In Greek, the word sage means wisdom.
A conglomeration of these reasons makes sage the ideal purifier to use in our homes and lives. Cleansing rituals involving sage are usually done in seasons of growth, newness, negativity or when we want to enter into a meditative state.
Here’s how you can cleanse your living space with sage:
- Open the doors and windows of your house. Take your sage bundle and hold it over a bowl or abalone shell. Traditionally an abalone shell would be used, but a bowl also works.
- Light the sage stick and once it begins to catch fire, blow it out, as you would incense. This allows it to produce smoke from the embers.
- You can pray or recite mantras about what you need to let go of or hope to receive from the cleansing ritual. If you are in a new home, pray for blessings over it. If you are releasing negative energy, you can pray for peace and positivity.
- Walk around the room and let the smoke spread and settle throughout until the entire room has absorbed the sage.
- You can shower yourself in the sage after you’ve cleansed the room. Cup your hands over the stick so that they receive the smoke and wave it over your skin and body to rid yourself of any toxicity.
- After you’ve completed your cleansing ritual, extinguish the stick using a cup of water or tap it out using your bowl. Once it is completely extinguished, you can bury the stick in your garden to symbolize burying the negativity or place it on display in your home as a symbol of healing until your next cleansing ritual.