Burning sage is a centuries-old ritual for many cultures around the world. The herb is known for its “clearing” properties, sending bad or stagnant energy on its way. Burning sage is a great thing to do when moving into a new home, and you can repeat the ritual on the regular.
Recently, my refrigerator ice maker broke, followed by the dishwasher not starting, my Internet being down, alarm getting disconnected and iPad’s phone functionality not working. Ummm, you better believe I saged the crap out of my house! But you don’t have to wait until everything falls apart to sage. Think of it as a home refreshment.
Fun Fact: Sage removes bacteria from the air.
Whether you want to give “clearing” or “smudging” with sage a try for the first time or to see if you’ve been doing it properly, check out this overview of how to sage your home:
Saging Your Home 101
1. Buy Sage.
Local health and wellness or crystal stores often sell dried sage that comes in a little string-wrapped bundle. Look for quality California white sage (Salvia apiana). You can also find it on Amazon—I love this pretty Mama Wunderbar package of three hand-crafted, locally harvested wild sage sticks wrapped in floral petals that come with two palo santo (sacred wood) sticks, which also can be used for smudging. You can experiment to see if the palo santo or sage resonates more with you. Alternatively, grow sage and dry your own bundle…but who has time to do that? And just in case you were wondering, don’t use loose sage from the herb aisle at the grocery store.
2. Think on Your Intention.
This is a very important step. What do you want to get out of doing this ritual? Say it out loud or in your mind over and over as you burn the sage. There’s no wrong thing to say, just really focus on whatever it is you want. Feel it, girl :) For example, I often say something like, “All negativity out, only positive energy in this space.” Or, if I feel there is a lower-energy being lingering around, “It’s time to go on your way; leave; I’m clearing this space.” Mantras, prayers or spells can all be used as you clear.
3. Light It.
Do not unwrap the string. Using matches or a lighter, light the bundle of dried sage on one end and either blow on the ember to get it going or blow the flame out if it catches on fire. You are going for a glowing, smoldering ember on one side.
4. Hold It.
Hold the smoldering bundle with one hand while you direct the smoke with your other hand.
5. Crack a Window or Door.
Byeeeee, stagnant energy. If you have a multi-level home, do this on every floor.
6. Move Around from One Room to the Next.
Walk around your house and move the sage stick/smoke up and down all walls including inside closets and make sure to get into the corners and door frames and windows. No need to over-smoke the place. Don’t overthink it and keep moving. When I’m done, I like to gather the energy with my hands and push it out of the cracked window or door.
6. Put It Out.
Use a non-flammable bowl like this soapstone bowl or ashtray to stub out the sage stick. Saging complete!
7. Optional: Bring In Something You Love.
A nice way to thank your home and “spark joy” (a la Marie) after saging is to put fresh flowers in a vase, diffuse lavender or your favorite essential oil in an aromatherapy diffuser like this one (my fave—you don’t add water, just the pure oils!) or even bake cookies and let that deliciousness make its way through your spaces.
A Couple More Things to Know About Sage
It Does Not Smell Good.
Some might argue with me on this point. This is not an incense or a lovely essential oil aromatherapy blend. I wouldn’t say that it smells BAD (like a fart); it’s just not particularly pleasant on the nostrils.
It’s Not Only for Your Home.
To keep the energetic body in balance, you can also sage yourself and your family, including pets who will look at you like, “Have you lost it? That’s a torch you’re moving around my furry body!” Your family may look at you like that, too, but they will get used to it. My husband now closes his eyes, leans back on the couch and lets me smoke up his bod. (That’s what she said.) Ha!
But seriously, studies such as this one have shown that sage can activate certain receptors in the body that are responsible for elevating mood levels and reducing stress. I use it to get my positive-energy mojo on and clear the day-to-day buildup if you know what I mean.
Interested in energy work? Find out more about Reiki’s benefits.