Just the idea of clearing negative energy may look like decidedly new age, but it has been around for thousands of years. In the article today, we will present you how to use smudging in your spaces – and for self-care.
Think of some time when you had a bad feeling or negative outlook, which you just could not shake. Maybe the negative emotions that remained from an upsetting meeting were at play, or you just went into a new space, and you immediately felt that something was “off.” Even though such moments are often fleeting, they can be a real nuisance if they stick around, so you will probably wonder if there are any ways to turn the feeling around. Well, there are – use the ancient art of sage cleansing.
The practice of burning sage, which is also known as smudging, is said to help in clearing negative energies. Also, it is often done to clear the energy around a particular person, yourself as well, or to remove bad energy from some space.
The Native American shamans used sage smoke to carry away conflict, as well as anger, unrest, and some other negative emotions for generations.
While it probably sounds unusual or even exotic, a lot of people that have experimented with, as well as adopted the practice of smudging in recent years report that they had a positive experience with it.
What is a sage?
The sagebrush is actually a low-growing shrub which belongs to the mint family. A lot of people are familiar with its use as an herb in culinary applications, but it has also been connected with healing and wellness since ancient times – and not only in North American indigenous cultures, but also the Romans used it in sacred ceremonies. The scientific name of the herb, Salvia, comes from Latin and means “to be in good health” or “to save,” which also proves that the plant was connected with well-being and renewal for a long time.
What is smudging or sage cleansing?
As a lot of people are not familiar with the concepts behind the practice of smudging, it will be a good idea to start with its most basic definition.
Sage cleansing or smudging is simply the act of burning sage or sage-scented incense in our home. One resident and urban shaman in Brooklyn, named Donna Henes, who makes a living doing space clearings and blessings which usually involve burning sage, says:
As long as there are houses, people everywhere will make sure to cleanse them spiritually, in order to ensure to yourself a safe, as well as supportive, and comforting environment in which to live. All kinds of methods were and still are employed to accomplish this. The fragrant smoke of burning herbs is perhaps the most common one.
The spiritual history of sage cleansing or smudging.
For a long time, sage plays an integral part in diverse rituals and complex belief systems, and the basic premise which supports its use for smudging is that sage smoke can carry away negative feelings.
A professional space clearer, as well as founder of Soul Advancement Path in Nashville, named Lori Knowles, says that burning and smoke are tied to renewal in a lot of cultures, as well as spiritual belief systems in the world. She says:
Fire is destructive, which smoke is a by-product, but spiritually these forces purify and cleanse. Rituals utilize fire and smoke to facilitate purifying, as well as cleansing without the destruction. I believe that sage smoke grounds inharmonious energy and that is the reason why it is the most commonly used. Our bodies are used to unconsciously ground our energy right after we smell sage smoke.
This practice is definitely a spiritually-inspired one, so just a certain level of belief can help people to tune into the richness of the ritual for sure.
One licensed clinical social worker, as well as author and illustrator of Iphelia: Awakening the Gift of Feeling, named Erick Kenneth French, pointed out:
The smell of the environment is transformed, and there is actually a very subtle change in the temperature, as well as the texture of the air when sage is burned, which is highly symbolic and also suggests to the subconscious mind that things are now different.
Why does a sage cleanse and when to do it?
Those people that do this practice regularly tend to smudge as they think that burning sage removes heavy, as well as negative energy out of space or away from a person.
Some people incorporate burning sage into their lives almost on a daily basis, while others reserve it for religious or ceremonial events. Then, there are those that first experiment with sage cleansing when they have had a negative or intense experience which they want to move from.
Smudging after some emotional release, such as an argument, mourning a loss, as well as coming home frustrated and winding up even more agitated by the messes in your living space, may for sure be a way for you to tune into and take care of your surroundings, and after that reset and move on from the negativity.
Will we feel different after sage cleansing?
People that use this method say that they feel an immediate difference once when they have started implementing it. About his experience after sage cleansing, French said the following:
Generally, I would say that my mind is clearer and it is easier for me to be fully present for the next activity. Even though I may be a little dirty from having just been dusted with smoke and ash, I feel clean.
French also said that he sleeps better after cleaning himself and his space with sage.
How to buy sage or how to DIY sage cleansing?
No matter if you are looking to create a spiritual experience, establish a self-care ritual, or experiment with the different ways in which changing your atmosphere can actually affect your mood, you may be keen about giving a try of the practice of sage cleansing for yourself. The first thing you should do is find white sage, which is the species that is typically used for sage cleansing.
White sage is quite different from the sage that is used for cooking, and it is known for a lot of health benefits, from healing wounds to relieving menstrual pain. It is readily available online, so you can buy bundles or wands which are bound specifically for burning. You can also incorporate a seashell to catch the ash which falls as the sage burns, even though a plate or similar object will also work well.
When you are ready to start the process, you should light the sage and then walk through the rooms of your house or your apartment, but make sure that the sage reaches the corners of every room by wafting the smoke in the right direction. Also, you can concentrate on windows and doors. As you spread the smoke, spread your blessings for a home that is safe, comfortable and welcoming.
But, if you are doing a sage cleanse on your own, start at your head and swirl the smoking sage around your trunk and all of your extremities. Even though the process is not going to take long, the results should take immediately.
Image Credit: Sacred Science